County bracing for budget cuts
State aid in highway, grant funding biggest areas of concern in Leavenworth
As money continues to tighten on the state level, county officials say budget crunches probably will not be felt until next year.
On Monday, Leavenworth County Administrator Heather Morgan briefed the Board of County Commissioners on business going on at the Statehouse that would affect the county’s coffers.
Morgan said the biggest hit to county money would come from reduction in highway funds and in grant money. The lower amount of grant money available would affect county departments such as juvenile corrections, health and the council on aging.
She said that the county could also expect not to see any money from liquor tax and a reduction in the state’s property tax slider.
But it will be receiving roughly $655,000 in funds from the state because of a miscalculated reimbursement for gasoline tax for Leavenworth County. That error occurred last fall.
Morgan also briefed the commissioners on what kind of money the county may be looking at with President Obama’s $787 billion stimulus plan.
On Friday, Morgan and Public Works director Mike Spickelmier attended a meeting with Kansas Department of Transportation officials to discuss some of the state’s cut of the package.
She said the state would be receiving $348 million for highway funds and $27 million for transit money.
Morgan said the county probably would not be getting any money from the Mid-American Regional Council, but from KDOT. Jim Pickett of KDOT, will be overseeing distribution of the money for Leavenworth County.
On the table as possible projects for the stimulus package are road improvements for County Road 9 and replacement of bridge ST-48.
Bridges that are in KDOT’s five-year plan for replacement are not eligible for stimulus money.
In other business Monday the board:
• Unanimously voted to hire James Dyson as the High Prairie Township Trustee.
• Unanimously approved a special use permit for Doug Shoemaker to run an auto restoration business on the 16500 block of Chieftain Road. The commissioners also passed a resolution granting relief from the moratorium in place where the business is located.
• Unanimously approved a resolution that established a local preference policy when accepting bids. Commissioner J.C. Tellefson said that he wanted to help out businesses in the county that pay taxes.
• Unanimously voted to make the Leavenworth Times the official county newspaper.
• Listened to a quarterly report from Donna Martin, the Health Department director.
On Thursday the board:
• Listened to a quarterly report for the Leavenworth County Solid Waste Department.
• Listened to a quarterly report from the Human Resources Department.