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HSC valuation plunging again; Upcoming budget talks set for Febuary

Hot Springs County's Assessed Valuation is plunging this year by nearly $100-million on the back of lower oil and natural gas prices. The county commissioners are now planning a meeting by late next month with all of the elected officials to begin discussing the next fiscal year budget. Some $1.2 million will have to be trimmed from the current budget. "The way it is going, I am really concerned," said Commission Chairman John Lumley. "We have some real short-term budget concerns." Although the valuation is slumping this year, it's not as bad as it was in the 1990s when the county's assessed value fell from $318 million early in the decade down to $65 million in 1999. "We didn't have any money to operate with back then," he said. Today, Lumley said the assessed value is around $230 million and he's guessing it will drop by another $100-million. "We had been putting $2 million into our reserves and for infrastructure, not sure if we can continue that now," he said. #springcity #news