BROOKS COUNTY, Texas -

Brooks County officials are in negotiations for a bank loan to help them avoid bankruptcy.

The county will be able to meet payroll this week, but the last pay period before the fiscal year begins on Oct. 1 is in question.

Brooks County Judge Raul Ramirez blames the shortage on a dramatic drop in oil and gas revenues, the cost of handling immigrant deaths and a state mandated cap on the county tax rate.

County commissioners have laid off 16 county employees and approved salary cuts in an effort to save money. The county hopes to have a decision about the bank loan on Friday.