Reducing the budget requests for all departments is the topic of the Orange County Commissioners this week.
The Tax Assessor Office requested outsourcing the printing and mailing of tax statements for the coming year in the capital outlay. If the court approves the outsourcing, the item will need to be moved to operating expense,
Lynda Gunstream, Tax Assessor-Collector, said her department sent out 40,000 statements last year.
“We will have more statements this year, than last,” Gunstream said.
To save costs on paper and envelopes, the Tax Assessor will not send out receipts this year.
“They will have to request a receipt,” Gunstream said. “Also, to save on envelopes we will not send return envelopes.”
Gunstream told the courts that currently it takes her staff 2-3 weeks to prepare the statements for mailing while the vendor would be able to process the statements in a week. The vendor also would be able to establish a bulk postal rate.
Postal for mailing out the yearly tax statements is $16,000. The vendor would lower that to $12,000.
“I am against outsourcing,” Carl Thibodeaux, County Judge, said. “That is what your department and employees are there for.”
Gunstream said they were also there to wait on the customers.
Thibodeaux said he would need all the numbers on the table so the court could take a look at it.
The Maintenance Department faired better during the budget talks than other departments. No cuts were made at this time.
Mark Wimberley, Maintenance, asked for assistance.
“We are a support group here,” Wimberly said. “That is what we do. But we have more we are taking care of and who pays for what is a lot of gray areas.”
Wimberly told the courts his department was in need of more personal.
The court agreed to look into the cost of one maintenance and one custodial personal, however did not agree to approve such as yet.