Archive for Wednesday, July 4, 2001

County commission briefs

July 4, 2001

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More than $200,000 may be cut from the county's information services budget.

Commissioners Tuesday discussed cutting a line item of $140,000 for a new imaging system.

Jim Lawson, director of information services, said county departments would use the system to scan in documents and data. He said the digital format would be more convenient, plus digital information takes up less room than paper documents.

On the negative side, Lawson said additional money probably would be needed in the future to pay someone to scan in older county documents.

Also on the potential chopping block is $86,850 for two new full-time Web development employees. Commissioners said they may keep $38,550 in the department's budget to hire a full-time Web master, who would help develop an e-government plan and improve the county's Web site.

Without any cuts, the information services budget would increase from $1.04 million this year to $1.3 million in 2002.

Employee contributions

for insurance discussed

To offset increasing insurance premiums, county employees probably will have to pay more for their coverage next year.

County commissioners are considering charging employees $25 more each month for insurance. The county now pays its employees' individual insurance premiums in full.

Under the proposal, an employee would have to contribute $25 per month toward health insurance for individual coverage, $162 for coverage for the employee and one family member, or $225 for employee's entire family.

The plan would generate an additional $105,000 from employees.

Insurance premiums for the county and county-funded agencies, such as Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center, Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department and Douglas County Extension Office, are estimated to cost $3.95 million in 2002, up from the $2.98 million in premiums paid this year.

Capital improvement

budget scrutinized

Douglas County could delay some capital improvements projects or move projects around in hopes of decreasing the 2002 budget.

The proposed 2002 budget presented to commissioners already cuts the capital improvements portion of the general fund budget from $1.06 million to $597,698. Some additional altering could reduce that figure even more.

For example, Commissioner Charles Jones suggested extending minor improvements to Kasold Drive, where it continues south of 31st Street to the South Lawrence Trafficway. He said the county may want to delay spending $2.4 million to realign the road, a project that would be paid off over several years, depending on what happens with the completion of the trafficway in the future.

About $236,000 was allocated for the road project in next year's budget.

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