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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Commission approves $51.5 million county budget

  • The Leavenworth County Commission has approved the county's budget for 2015.
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    • Other business

      In other business Thursday, the Leavenworth County Commission:


      • Approved an Aug. 20 closing date for the purchase of prope...

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      Other business

      In other business Thursday, the Leavenworth County Commission:



      • Approved an Aug. 20 closing date for the purchase of property at 725 Laming Road in Tonganoxie. The county is purchasing the building for $422,500 to convert it into a new county annex.



      County Counselor David Van Parys said the building can be bought with money from a county capital improvement account, but lease purchasing also will be explored.



      The vote came after commissioners met behind closed doors in executive session for 10 minutes to discuss land acquisition.



      The county already has an annex in Tonganoxie. Commission Chairman Bob Holland said he would like for the county to sell the old annex building once the new facility is open.



      • Heard quarterly reports about the Leavenworth County Department of Juvenile Services, Planning and Zoning Department, Information Systems Department and Council on Aging.



      • Met behind closed doors for 10 minutes to consult with an attorney.

  • The Leavenworth County Commission has approved the county's budget for 2015.
    The unanimous vote came Thursday at the conclusion of a public hearing.
    No one from the public came to Thursday's hearing to speak about the $51.5 million budget, and commissioners made no changes to the budget during the meeting.
    The budget will keep the county's mill levy flat for 2015 at 36.57 mills.
    The mill levy is used in determining property taxes. A mill is $1 per $1,000 of a property's assessed value.
    "It was a difficult budget," Commission Chairman Bob Holland said after the meeting.
    Commissioners had a number of requests for enhancements to the base budget. But, there wasn't enough money to fund all enhancements without raising taxes.
    Holland said he's happy the county is "able to maintain a pretty good budget without raising the mill levy."
    He suggested the county could be faced with an increase to property taxes next year. He blamed this on the state's phasing out of a mortgage registration tax collected at the county level.
    State lawmakers have increased other fees, but county officials have said these increases won't offset the loss of revenue from the mortgage registration tax.
    "It's a possibility that we would have to raise the mill levy to keep the different programs available to the citizens of the county," Holland said.
    The 2015 budget includes a 1.5 percent pay increase for all county employees.
    The budget also includes funding assistance to several non-profit organizations in Leavenworth County.
    At one point during their budget discussions, commissioners voted to not fund The Guidance Center, a Leavenworth-based community mental health center that serves three counties.
    But, a majority of the commission later reversed the decision, and The Guidance Center will receive $105,550 from the county in 2015.
    Two organizations that won't receive direct funding from the county in 2015 are the Leavenworth County Port Authority and Leavenworth County Development Corporation.
    The county has provided funding to these economic development organizations in the past. But, there was no direct funding for the Port Authority or LCDC in the 2014 budget, and funding isn't being restored for next year.
    Holland said the commission will work with the organizations to provide financial assistance for certain projects.

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