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Archive for Sunday, December 28, 2003

State and local briefs

December 28, 2003

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Pensions

Union urging more state contributions to KPERS

Topeka -- The state's largest public employee union is urging lawmakers to authorize the state to contribute more money to the Kansas Public Employee Retirement System.

"State employees cannot and should not be expected to bail out the system which past Legislatures have failed to adequately fund," said Betty Vines, president of the Kansas Association of Public Employees.

Kansas is near the bottom in retirement contributions compared to other local and state governments.

KPERS is projected to have about a $2.7 billion gap between current assets and projected benefits paid to retirees. KPERS provides benefits to nearly 58,000 retired state employees, teachers and other government retirees.

County

Appraiser mailing forms for personal property

Happy New Year from the folks at the Douglas County Appraiser's Office.

Come Wednesday, some 9,000 assessment forms for personal property will be dropped into the U.S. mail. The documents will be destined for owners of boats, mobile homes, large trucks, trailers and business machinery and equipment.

The forms list all personal property owned by county residents and businesses in 2003. Those receiving forms have two choices: certify that they still own the property, or make adjustments to reflect current ownership.

Forms are to be signed and returned to the Appraiser's Office by March 15. Appraiser's officials intend to mail out tax bills for personal property this spring.

People who own such property but do not receive a form should contact the Appraiser's Office at 832-5289.

Nature

Eagle Day swoops in

Area residents can experience wild eagles up close Sunday at Eagle Day 2004.

The event will be from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 25, at Douglas County 4-H Fairgrounds. Admission is free.

Eagle Day is a collection of exhibits and presentations concerning bald and other eagles. Presentations range from environmental concerns for eagles to eagles as predators.

In addition, there will be an eagle-viewing excursion at 10 a.m. that day at Clinton Lake, weather permitting. For the latest information, call the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at 843-7665.


Government

County commissioners off until Jan. 12

Douglas County commissioners may be finished with their collective work for the year, but they're making arrangements to ensure that the county's business doesn't grind to a halt heading into 2004.

Commissioner Jere McElhaney has permission from his fellow commissioners to sign off on renewals of permits to sell cereal malt beverages in the county. Such permits typically come up for renewal at the end of the year, and commissioners haven't met as a group since Monday.

Commissioners aren't scheduled to meet again until 9 a.m. Jan 12 at the county courthouse, 1100 Mass.

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