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Hardin County officials consider adjusting department budgets due to surging gas prices

Prices at the pump are causing pain in the pocketbook of the Hardin Country Sheriff's Department.

HARDIN COUNTY, Texas — The recent spike in gas prices is forcing Hardin County commissioners to take a close look at their budget.

In a Tuesday meeting, certain departments said they've already exceeded their fuel and oil budget.

They are proposing budget cuts seeing what is worth keeping and what has to go.

“We have to get creative just like you know a consumer is getting creative at their house. With their own personal finances. We're having to do that too,” said Hardin County Sheriff Mark Davis.

Prices at the pump are causing pain in the pocketbook of the Hardin Country Sheriff's Department.

"Our calls for service are up. It couldn't have happened at a worse time,” Davis said.

With four months left in the fiscal year, Davis said cuts from other services are in the works to keep his deputies on the streets.

“And unfortunately, we're not liking what we're seeing,” Davis said.

The sheriff is facing hard questions.

“There are going to be some lean things in this budget where we're going to have to really focus on cutting where we can cut,” Davis said.

The sheriff's department is not the only department getting creative with budget planning.

During Hardin County Commissioners Court, the rise in gas prices is also punishing the department of roads and bridges.

“On the road bridge departments, a few of them have already gone over budget,” said Hardin County Judge Wayne McDaniel.

McDaniel said they are looking to make cuts to help fund departments that cover the Hardin County's 900 square miles.

“To try to cut any of our maintenance and operations expenses as much as we can to try to provide some relief,” McDaniel said

Three out of the four road and bridge departments proposed to increase their fuel budget to anywhere between $3,000 to $10,000.

No action was taken Tuesday on the proposed budget plans.

McDaniel said they will continue to monitor gas prices before taking action.

“We can watch that for a few more, at least several more weeks, maybe even a couple of months before we make a decision on that,” McDaniel said.

Until then, the discussion will continue at the next budget workshop on June 14, 2022.

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