Sedgwick Co. Budget Cuts Spending, Closes Boys Ranch

By: Lily Wu - Email
By: Lily Wu - Email

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Sedgwick County's proposed budget calls for $8 million less in spending and cutting 113 full time positions, of which 79 are currently filled.

County Manager William Buchanan presented the proposed budget at today's county commission meeting.

The proposed budget calls for the closure of the Judge Riddel's Boys Ranch at Lake Afton. The Ranch currently employs 60 people and affects 140 youth of the 7,000 in the juvenile system. The closure of the Ranch would save the county $1.5 million.

Buchanan said the Ranch is a state program but it is not being adequately funded by the state.

"We've been asking for seven years and nothing's happened. The legislature is more conservative then it was and the state's poorer than it was. So, that doesn't lead anyone to a conclusion that there's help on the way," said Buchanan.

Other programs being affected include the elimination of the Health Department's prenatal program and reduced funding for Sedgwick County Zoo, Exploration Place, and Extension Center.

Two requests that were not funded included the addition of an ambulance crew and the mental health pod in the Adult Detention Facility.

The budget accounts for $1.3 million in new revenue from the implementation of credit card fees. The mill levy would not increase.

There is also a recommendation of a 3 percent pool for performance-based salary increases for county employees.

Three public hearings have been set for the budget at 9 a.m. on July 25, Aug. 9, and Aug.14.

The budget will be adopted on Aug. 15th.

To submit online comments about the proposed budget, click here.

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