Port Authority approves budget

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times

The Leavenworth County Port Authority Board of Directors have approved a budget for 2021.

Board members approved the $725,794 budget when they met Tuesday. The meeting was conducted through the Zoom online videoconferencing service.

The Port Authority is a quasi-governmental organization that focuses on economic development. The Port Authority’s board members are appointed by Leavenworth County and local city governments.

The Port Authority is funded by the county government.

Staff of the Leavenworth County Development Corporation provide services for the Port Authority.

Steve Jack, executive director of LCDC, said the Port Authority had a cash balance of $773,232 at the end of 2020.

The Port Authority’s only budgeted revenue for 2021 is $204,500 from the county government.

A total of $725,794 is budgeted for expenses for 2021. This includes $96,794 for services from LCDC.

The budget also includes $600,000 in expenses for a job creation and retention fund. This includes $500,000 for a spec building program and $100,000 for other expenses for things such as economic incentives.

Jack said he budgeted the $600,000 in expenses to show what a few spec building program projects and incentives might do to the Port Authority’s balance.

With the $600,000 for the job creation and retention fund as well as the other budgeted expenses, the Port Authority is projected to end 2021 with $251,938.

Also Monday, Port Authority Chairman Greg Kaaz reviewed a proposed budget for a regional transportation study.

Leavenworth County commissioners have tasked the Port Authority with overseeing the study.

Kaaz shared a budget of $450,000 for the study, which would be conducted by a consulting firm. The firm has not yet been selected.

Kaaz presented a budget for funding the study based on a suggestion from the Kansas Department of Transportation.

The budget proposes $150,000 in funding from KDOT and $150,000 from the Leavenworth County government. The budget also proposes $90,000 in funding from the city of Leavenworth, $30,000 from Lansing, $15,000 from Basehor and $15,000 from Tonganoxie.

The Port Authority has not yet made formal requests to local governments for funding for the study.

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