Leavenworth County commissioners are considering whether to create a new project engineer position for overseeing projects funded by sales tax revenue.

Leavenworth County commissioners are considering whether to create a new project engineer position for overseeing projects funded by sales tax revenue.

Public Works Director David Lutgen requested approval for the full-time position Monday during a monthly Public Works Department report.

Commissioners ended up tabling the matter until they meet again Thursday.

Lutgen said the Public Works Department has been short an engineer since the retirement of John Forslund.

Forslund previously worked full time for the Public Works Department. After leaving that position, he was contracted by the county to serve as project manager for sales tax project. But he retired from this position last year.

“We’re a little short on staff,” Lutgen said.

As part of a 20-year renewal of a sales tax, commissioners promised 80 percent of the county government’s revenue from the tax on road projects. And commissioners promised three major road projects that will make improvements to sections of 147th Street, McIntyre Road and Eisenhower Road.

Lutgen suggested the new project engineer position can be funded with money generated by the sales tax.

Financial Administrator Mark Loughry likened the proposed position to a grant position that could go away once the funding source is no longer available. He said commissioners can evaluate whether they want to keep the position once sales tax projects are completed.

“It is a 20-year tax,” Lutgen said.

He said county officials may have time to work the position into the county budget.

Lutgen suggested commissioners could table the matter Monday. The public works director said he may be able to find other funding sources for the position in the budget.

Commissioners voted unanimously to table the issue until they meet again later this week.

“I’ll look through our budget to see if we can find funding,” he said.

Commissioners also received updates Monday about the ongoing sales tax funded road projects.

Commissioners approved a change order from BHC Rhodes, Overland Park, for additional design work for McIntyre Road. Commissioners previously approved the proposed design change.

The additional design work will cost $140,805.

Commissioners also authorized the Public Works Department to issue requests for proposals for construction engineering services for the 147th Street project and land acquisition services for the Eisenhower Road project.

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