When they met Wednesday, Leavenworth County commissioners considered a funding request from the city of Linwood to help hire a public safety officer.

When they met Wednesday, Leavenworth County commissioners considered a funding request from the city of Linwood to help hire a public safety officer.

The County Commission considered the request during a budget meeting. But there did not seem to be support among a majority of the commission to fund the request in the county’s 2020 budget.

“OK, it will not be included at this time,” County Administrator Mark Loughry said.

Commissioners have been reviewing a proposed 2020 budget this week during a series of meetings, and an additional budget meeting is scheduled for Tuesday.

Wednesday’s budget meeting followed a regular weekly meeting of the County Commission.

Loughry said the request from the city of Linwood had not been included in the proposed $50.8 million county budget that has been presented to commissioners.

“That would be an enhancement,” he said of the request.

As proposed, the 2020 budget would keep the county’s mill levy flat. The mill levy is used in determining property taxes.

The Linwood mayor and members of the City Council have requested $25,000 in funding from the county.

According to a letter sent to Commissioner Mike Stieben, city officials are seeking the money “to hire a public safety officer within the City of Linwood and also used for other public safety purposes.”

Commission Chairman Doug Smith said the county provided $90,000 in funding in 2019 for repairs to the Linwood Community Center.

Commissioner Vicky Kaaz questioned whether the city of Linwood would have an easy time hiring a public safety officer when the Leavenworth County Sheriff’s Office struggles to find deputies.

“They’re a city,” Smith said. “They can have their own mill levy to raise the funds.”

Stieben, whose County Commission district includes Linwood, said the cities of Easton and Linwood are in a different category than other cities in the county. He said cities such as Tonganoxie and Lansing have larger tax bases.

Kaaz questioned what the qualifications would be for a Linwood public safety officer.

Stieben said funding provided by the county would be a grant for public safety, and Linwood city officials would have discretion to use the money as they see fit.

Smith said the Leavenworth County Sheriff’s Office already provides law enforcement to Linwood.

“I think this is a discussion that needs to be done with the sheriff,” he said.

Smith said the Linwood mayor needs to meet with the sheriff.

Also Wednesday, commissioners reviewed a proposal that had been put together by Megan Waters, director of Leavenworth County Community Corrections.

Waters put together a request for $29,063 to pay for training and materials in order to provide additional programs for offenders who are assigned to Community Corrections for probation.

“This is not included in the current budget,” Loughry said.

Leavenworth County Community Corrections is a county agency, but it generally is funded entirely through grants awarded by the state government.

“We’ve never funded it before out of the general fund,” Loughry said.

Waters said she put together the proposal after meeting with Commissioner Chad Schimke. She said Schimke asked what Community Corrections would do if the agency received money from the county government.

During Wednesday’s discussion, none of the commissioners made a request to include funding for Waters’ proposal in the 2020 budget.

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