Archive for Wednesday, July 13, 2011

County leaders say property tax hike not likely

July 13, 2011


County employees will not be seeing any extra dollars added to their paychecks if county commissioners approve the 2012 Douglas County recommended budget — and county residents will not be seeing any dollars added to their property taxes.

Douglas County commissioners met this week with local agencies and county department heads, working on the $67 million proposal prepared by County Administrator Craig Weinaug.

In the proposed budget, county revenues remain flat. Douglas County expenditures will remain generally unchanged, except for increases in fuel costs related to road construction planned for 2012. The increased fuel costs will be covered by spending down the road and bridge maintenance fund by more than $700,000.

Commissioners will discuss next week whether to fund as many as 15 agencies, including the Lawrence Community Shelter, Lawrence Humane Society and Health Care Access.

The proposed budget includes an option to hold off on funding the sheriff department’s federally mandated transition to digital radio technology. That project, which cost estimates put at $3 million to $11 million, is one the county could hold off or cut funding to until a more accurate cost estimation is available. The law requires all radio transmissions to be in digital format by 2018.

It is possible, Weinaug said, that county workers could get a raise. Should options be cut and not all the supplemental requests approved, commissioners could allocate some of the savings for small raises. Weinaug said the move, if made, could help the county stay competitive with city positions.

Meanwhile, the county is trying to determine what effect the planned closure of the local Social and Rehabilitation Services office will have on social service agencies.

Weinaug said agencies affected by the closure will be invited to meet with commissioners next Tuesday to discuss the issue.

Commissioners will meet next Tuesday and Wednesday to continue budget discussions. The final budget is scheduled for approval Aug. 10.


rse1979 6 years, 11 months ago

So we're supposed to be thankful for no increase this year, and just forget all about the 9% increase from last year?

What happened to the 700k in last year's budget for economic development (350k) and heritage/open space (350k)? How about some follow-up on how these funds were actually spent and whether retaining them as an ongoing part of the budget is warranted?

Interesting that each of these items is more or less the same as what the state is saving (400k) by closing the SRS office. I think keeping an SRS office in the county would provide a greater impact than the other two combined.

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