January 10, 2003
For want of a zero

In 2002, Montgomery County got a $2.5 million grant from the Justice Department for the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program, an initiative aimed at easing the burden for housing illegal immigrants jailed on state or local charges. The size of the grant was based in part on the county's salary costs at its jails, which was listed on its application as $40 million. Unfortunately, the real cost was $4 million, which means that their grant should have been $300,000. The error, attributed to a typo, has now been discovered and the feds want their $2.2 million back.

The county may have to take $2 million from its reserve fund to pay back the money, which could affect its high credit rating at a time when the county is going to market for $60 million in bonds for new roads and $10 million for three new libraries.

"It potentially could have an impact on the credit rating, which may result in greater bonding costs," said Frank Ildebrando, managing director of RBC Dain Rauscher, the county's financial adviser.

And this all comes during a tough budget year. On the bright side, at least County Judge Alan Sadler and his merry band of Montgomery moralists will have something substantive to deal with, which should help keep them out of trouble for awhile.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on January 10, 2003 to Elsewhere in Houston | TrackBack

Why do I have the feeling they are going to get the money by cancelling the libraries.

Posted by: bob on January 11, 2003 5:20 AM