The Walker County Commissioners Court will continue to review its proposed 2008-09 budget for the new fiscal year today during a budget workshop.

The court will meet in regular session at 9 a.m. at the courthouse.

Commissioners continue budget talks after spending several hours last week meeting with county department advisers.

“We’ve been taking in and listening to the requests of the different county departments,” said Walker County Judge Danny Pierce. “We are about a third of the way through that.

“Of course, we’re looking at the effective tax rate. Based on the preliminary information presented by the Walker County Appraisal District ... we’re looking at 52.5 percent which reflects a 2 percent decrease — if adopted — from the current 54.5 percent.

“It’s too early to know for sure right now, but naturally, we want to adopt this rate if possible to help the taxpayers in any way that we can.”

The preliminary budget puts the county with an expenditures budget totaling more than $23 million.

“We’re trying to create a budget that will allow us to maintain a general fund balance of 17 percent,” Pierce said.

He added that the county is also looking at other budget issues, including a decrease in court revenues that usually funds Precinct Road and Bridge projects.

“There are some issues out there,” he said. “We’ve had some increases and decreases in different areas.

“The county will receive about $350,000 from new property to the tax role and EMS revenues are up $235,000 which reduces the deficit in the general fund.”

Pierce said a priority on his mind concerns county employees.

“For me — and I think the court overall as well — it’s ever so important that we address the cost of living increase for the employees of Walker County,” he said. “The cost of living is being fueled by fuel prices and they have certainly been impacted by this.”

Before the workshop, the court will:

• Discuss and/or approve minutes for July 17, 2008,

• Discuss and/or approve 2008 renewal of benefits for Walker County health insurance,

• Discuss and/or approve claims/invoices submitted for payment,

• Discuss and/or approve price increase for Bid #C2360-7-001 for Asphalt’s, Oil’s and Emulsion’s to Cleveland Asphalt Products due to the increased cost of raw materials such as asphalt we are forced to raise asphalt emulsion prices for the period July 1, 2008, through Sept. 30, 2008,

Discuss and/or approve price increase for Bid #C2360-7-005 for Aggregate, Type L, Grade 5 to Texas Industries, Inc. due to fuel prices for production and shipping from $30.89 per cubic yard to $33.18 per cubic yard for the period July 21, 2008, through Sept. 30, 2008,

• Discuss and/or approve Interlocal agreement with Purchasing Solutions Alliance,

• Discuss Notice of Intent to issue Certificate of Obligation for a boom mower for Road and Bridge Precinct 2,

• Discuss advertising Bid #C2360-8-014 for window painting in the DA’s Building,

Discuss and/or approve change order to Informal Bid #2008-024 for Repair of Windows with Marsh Waterproofing, Inc.,

• Discuss and/or approve renewal of insurance to include Law Enforcement Legal Liability, Property/Boiler and Machinery, Inland Marine, General Liability, Automobile, Public Officials Liability and Employee Practices Liability for the period Oct. 1, 2008, through Sept. 30, 2009, from Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management Services, Inc.,

• Discuss and/or approve Interlocal agreement and Resolution #2008-31 with The Cooperative Purchasing Network (TCPN),

• Discuss and/or approve purchase agreement between Walker County and Dodge Volunteer Fire Department.