County Restores Funding In 2013 Budget

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

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Sedgwick County Commissioners have approved the 2013 budget with new recommendations to Judge Riddel's Boys Ranch, Aging Services, and compensation.

County leaders approved the budget in a 3-2 vote. Commissioners Richard Ranzau and Karl Peterjohn voted no.

"'I'm quite disappointed. I know some of the things I suggested were more controversial than others, but I really was hoping and thought that we could make some of these reductions here," said Ranzau, after a handful of his recommended amendments to the budget were rejected.

The updated budget includes funding for the Judge Riddel's Boys Ranch at Lake Afton. The program will receive $736,282 for a full year's worth of funding. Changes include operating the program at a 12-hour shift, instead of 8-hour shift, and having a 42 bed capacity, instead of 49. Also, there will be no capital improvements to the building.

"It was gut wrenching to try to think that we were going to have to close it. I think the manager worked hard, some commissioners worked really hard, to try to figure out how to carve out some money and keep it available. It's not a long term fix though," said Commissioner Tim Norton.

The budget restores $100,000 for aging services, including senior centers. The Aging Advisory Board will determine how to distribute the money.

The County Manager said money restored will be paid for by the elimination of the Youth Reporting Program, which was budgeted in place of the Boys Ranch, and a change in compensation.

The pay for performance raise will be 2.5 percent instead of 3 percent for county employees.

The budget reduces 69.55 full time positions, of those 23.5 are filled.

The County was facing a $9.3 million deficit.

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