Speak now or forever hold your peace.
Douglas County Commission will have a public comment session on its proposed 2013 budget at 6:35 p.m. Wednesday on the second floor of the County Courthouse, 1100 Mass. The hearing is a formality in the budget-approval process, which mainly wrapped up July 16. That’s when the three commissioners agreed to a budget with a flat mill levy — meaning tax assessments stay the same.
The commission can cut items out of the budget, but it cannot increase spending in the document.
The budget that commissioners gave preliminary approval to and will give final consideration to on Wednesday adds three county jobs and increases funding for the Lawrence Community Shelter, the Ballard Community Center and the Humane Society.
County Administrator Craig Weinaug, who created the original budget proposal, had hoped for a high reserve, especially in the capital improvement plan, to brace the county for what he feels will be a major financial shortfall next year. That shortfall, he said, will be caused by state funding cuts and a normalization of currently inflated property values.
Other items on the commission’s agenda for Wednesday:
l Emergency management wants to further continue the burn ban. The ban has been in effect since July 25 and was renewed last week.
l Public discussion of a plan to give a small tract of property next to the United Way building (which the county owns) to Tenets to Homeowners to build some housing for seniors. This process — the county handing over the land, at least — is all but done.
l A representative from Westar will discuss an easement at Douglas County Fairgrounds.
l Vote on approval of an agreement with the city on funding for emergency communications. This isn’t to hire additional dispatchers, which the county, but not the city, supports; it’s an agreement on funding for the new 911 system.
l Consideration on an amendment to the building permit code for home business sites.
More information on the agenda can be found at bit.ly/Mo4RaR.
— Reporter Alex Garrison can be reached at 832-7261. Follow her