BCC reschedules budget hearing

Chad Frey
Butler County Times Gazette

For local governmental units that collect mill levies, there is a budget process that happens every year. And one of the most important parts of that process is a public hearing — a chance for members of the public to talk about that budget with the decision makers.

That public hearing is required — and there are requirements as to how the public finds out those hearings are coming up.

Namely, a notice of public hearing published in an official newspaper. Under statute, that is a paid notice, and a notarized confirmation of publication is supplied.

Local governments are required to designate an official newspaper — a newspaper of “general circulation” in the area they govern, according to state statute.

The Butler County Times Gazette is one of those papers. And, during the recent budget proceedings for Butler County Community College, the paper failed to publish the public notice of hearing for the college.

The notice was submitted by the college and acknowledged by the Times-Gazette, but, it did not appear in print editions.

“We were real tight this time. We thought it would be published Aug. 1 and our hearing was Aug. 11,” said Kent Williams Vice President of Finance for Butler County Community College.

Reguardless, the result of the notice omission by the Times-Gazette is the 10-day notice was not met — and a delay in the budget process that pushed the college past established deadlines by the county clerk and Kansas Board of Regents. The county clerk’s deadline is Aug. 25.

“I talked to the county clerk. We will be late, but we will be O.K. ... It will be OK. We will explain what happened.” Williams said. “... It will not have a funding affect at KBOR.”

The college is planning to host it’s next public hearing on the budget Sept. 8 during a regular meeting of the board. The college is resubmitting a legal notice to the Times-Gazette.

Once approved, the budget will be submitted to the county clerks’s office, which calculates the final mill levy based on the requested tax revenues, and the Kansas Board of Regents which reviews the budgets of all regent colleges.