Butler County Times Gazette
  • County approves budget with .28 mill reduction

  • As a last step to the finalization process for the 2015 Butler County Budget, the Butler County Commissioners held a public hearing during their meeting Tuesday morning.
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  • As a last step to the finalization process for the 2015 Butler County Budget, the Butler County Commissioners held a public hearing during their meeting Tuesday morning.
    "The 2015 budget was published and the total 2015 mill levy is 35.136, which is a .28 mill decrease," explained County Administrator Will Johnson. "This reduction is due to a number of reasons including: major policy reconsiderations, changing the merit pools from 2.5 percent to 2 percent, EMS staffing modifications and utilizing reserve to reduce the taxes levied."
    Because no one from the public appeared to speak on the budget, the commission closed the hearing and the commission began their discussion.
    "As the budget stands right now," began Commissioner Ed Myers, "everything is flat in the budget except for the fact that we are increasing our expenditures as they relate to our personnel costs. Everything else in the budget has been flat or reduced. That would include things like public works and gravel asphalt. Somehow, we've been able to shoehorn utilities that are increasing and software maintenance agreement costs that are increasing by 5 to 6 percent each year. I want to commend the staff. They've taken a reasonably aggressive approach to find cuts in the budget. I think that is good. We are required by the state to build a balanced budget. I'm happy to be part of the process where accountability is very transparent. I would issue a challenge to other authorities throughout our area. I would like to see them emulate what we're doing here in Butler County."
    Despite being pleased with the reduction in the mill levy, Myers also showed concern on the sustainability of the current reductions.
    "I think that in the long-term scheme of things, we can't sustain this type of thing," Myers went on. "Material equipment is flat-line and all of the increases in the budget have gone to personnel. That is not a strategy that is going to be successful long term, but overall, I feel that I can support this budget as it stands."
    Myers then moved for the 2015 Butler County operating budget to be approved and the motion was carried 5-0.
    "It's been a long time since we had a 5-0 vote on a budget," said Commissioner Dan Woydziak.
    The commission also:
    • held a public hearing on the 2015 Butler County Fire District budgets #1 through #9.
    • approved the 2015 Butler County Fire District budgets #1 through #9.
    • approved the agreement between the Kansas Department of Corrections and Butler County offender housing services.
    • approved the purchase of three replacement skid steer loaders on an annual buy-back program for the Department of Public Works.
    • approved a notice to contractors for the SW Butler Road turn lane project for the MKC Elevator located just south of K-254 Highway.
    Page 2 of 2 - • approved a notice to contractors for culvert letting No. 69 for the construction of six reinforced concrete box structures throughout Butler County.
    • held a work session on Move 2040 project proposals.
    • held a work session on the KDOT local bridge improvement program
    • held a work session to discuss resolution options for the Sunday sale of alcohol in unincorporated areas.
     
    Kari Adams can be reached at kadams@butlercountytimesgazette.com.

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