Archive for Sunday, July 12, 1998

TAX INCREASE WOULD FUND CAPITAL PLAN

July 12, 1998

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The capital improvements plan accounts for a mill levy increase in Douglas County's recommended 1999 budget.

Douglas County's capital improvements plan comes within about $18,000 of what a roughly 2.5-mill increase would generate in revenue.

The county unveiled its 1999 budget Thursday, preparing taxpayers for a possible mill levy increase. County administrator Craig Weinaug has recommended a budget of $34,402,035, raising the mill levy from 24.663 to 27.107.

The major factor driving up the levy is the county's capital improvements plan (CIP), the first for this commission. The effort paves the way for the county to make improvements in a planned, thoughtful way, the board says.

The cost of capital improvements in 1999 is projected to be $1,525,429.

The figures jibe nicely, Weinaug said, since the cost of the CIP is close to what the 2.5-mill increase will generate.

The plan sets aside funding for projects and improvements through the year 2007. The county will pay for some projects in one or two years while it will set aside chunks of money each year for larger projects, such as new buildings to accommodate growth in courts and law enforcement.

The plan is not set in stone, and commissioners may or may not elect to follow it.

``What we actually spend and what we set aside may end up being different things,'' Weinaug said.

The administrator told commissioners early in discussions about devising a capital improvements plan that it would necessitate a mill levy increase.

The commissioners thought the projects were important enough to county business to approve them, Weinaug said. Approving the plan, however, does not mean the commission has rubber-stamped the funding for it. The projects still have to be approved in each year's budget.

Among the projects in the plan with proposed funding next year:

  • $250,000 for ``space development,'' or new buildings to accommodate future growth in county government.
  • $90,000 for upgrading and replacing emergency sirens.
  • $242,584 for building an addition to the juvenile detention center.
  • $41,010 for improvements to County Road 442 from County Road 1029 to Stull.
  • $51,262 for improvements to Noria Road.
  • $100,246 for improvements to County Road 1029 from U.S. 40 to Lecompton.
  • $86,462 for improvements to Kasold Drive from 31st Street to the South Lawrence Trafficway.
  • $101,326 for improvements to County Road 438 from County Road 1029 to Lawrence.
  • $212,224 for improvements to Sixth Street.
  • $50,000 for shoulders on County Road 1055.
  • $24,000 for improvements to County Road 1055, or Sixth Street in Baldwin.
  • $92,000 for a maintenance shop at the fairgrounds.
  • $84,315 for other new buildings or additions at the fairgrounds.

-- Deb Gruver's phone message number is 832-7165. Her e-mail address is dgruver@ljworld.com.

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