County commissioners have approved the county's 2019 operating fund budget.

County commissioners have approved the county's 2019 operating fund budget.

Commissioners had been scheduled to vote on the budget last week. But the vote was tabled because Commission Chairman Louis Klemp did not want to vote for the part of the budget dealing with the Leavenworth County Sheriff's Office.

Commissioner Bob Holland was absent last week. And with only two commissioners remaining, there were not enough votes to approve the budget without Klemp's support.

Holland was on hand for Tuesday's meeting.

And despite Klemp's reservations last week, he voted for the budget Tuesday. The budget was approved 3-0.

The budget will reduce the county's mill levy by 0.25 mills for 2019. The mill levy is used in determining property taxes.

Klemp said Tuesday that the mill levy "does not mean diddly squat."

He said people want to know how much is being spent and where the money is going.

According to budget information published by the county government, the 2019 budget has net expenditures totaling $51 million.

The budget information also indicates that the county's total assessed valuation increased by $37.49 million for 2019.

Commissioner Bob Holland said he was glad to see the 0.25-mill reduction, which previously was promised to county taxpayers.

Holland said he is pleased to see the mill levy reduction even though it may not be in the county government's best interest because of a state tax lid law.

Commissioner Doug Smith said he would like to see the mill levy lowered every year as long as the county is growing.

Klemp has previously expressed concern about how the Sheriff's Office may use money that has been budgeted for positions that are unfilled. But he did not mention this concern Tuesday before the vote on the budget.

Later in the meeting, Klemp said he would like county staff members to develop a policy regarding unused salaries.

Also Tuesday, commissioners approved a check register that included a payment to Shawnee Mission Ford for three pickup trucks for the Leavenworth County Sheriff's Office. The purchase totaled $104,487.

The truck purchase was included in a check register that was presented to commissioners last week. But commissioners voted on the truck purchase separately. And the truck purchase was not approved by a 1-1 vote. Klemp voted against the purchase.

Holland, who was absent last week, questioned Tuesday why the purchase had not been approved if the county's purchasing policy was followed.

"How is that possible?" he said.

The purchase, and the check register as a whole, were approved Tuesday as part of a consent agenda. The consent agenda was approved 3-0.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR