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  • Writer's pictureCharlene Sims, Journal staff

County to make yearend changes in budgets

Updated: Dec 19, 2022

MOUND CITY – Linn County Clerk David Lamb updated the commissioners on end of the year budget actions on Monday, Dec. 12.

Lamb told the commissioners that he had sent a budget amendment to the newspaper so the county could change the budget for two funds. One was for the Linn County Health Department amending its budget from nearly $415,000 to $500,000 to allow for spending of grant monies received.

The other one was for the capital improvement fund, changing it from $5.46 million to $6.38 million. Lamb said this change was not additional costs, just a timing issue. He said he had expected to pay more of the Justice Center construction fund in 2021, but it had been paid out in 2022 instead.

Lamb said that there was nothing unusual in those changes and he just wanted to make the commissioners aware of the changes and the budget hearing at the Dec. 27 commission meeting.

Lamb informed the commissioners that he had sent emails to the department heads to remind them to turn in any purchase orders fund transfers for the end of the year. He told the commissioners he would go over these at the Dec. 19 commission meeting.

He said that he had received the following from the department heads:

• GIS/Mapping Director Pam Cannon wants to transfer $5,000 to equipment reserve for a plotter, scanner and computer expenses.

• County Appraiser Kathy Bridges wants to transfer $20,000 from the appraiser budget into reappraisal reserve to go toward a new vehicle for that department.

• Fire Chief and Emergency Management Director Randy Hegwald wants to do purchase orders for bills for bunker gear for structure fires and wildland gear. The orders have been made but will not be in until March or May. Hegwald will get exact amount for Lamb.

Hegwald also wants to transfer money to special fire to go toward purchasing a replacement fire truck. And, he wants to move $20,000 to equipment reserve for the emergency management department to replace another vehicle at some point.

• Register of Deeds Kristy Schmitz had requested to do a purchase order for ongoing software maintenance and replication costs.

• Lamb explained that he was writing a $500,000 purchase order for the employee health benefits fund because that was the amount left over from this year. He said that this summer when he did the budget, he figured that there would be approximately $150,000 to transfer over to cover claims for next year but after reviewing that fund, it turns out that there is about $500,000 left to transfer over.

Lamb pointed out that the advantage of being self-funded instead of buying insurance is that the money that is left over from paying employees’ medical expenses comes back to the county instead of paying premiums.

Lamb told the commissioners that Public Works Director Shaun West would be in later to go over his budget.

Lamb said that he would go ahead and track the county expenses through the end of the year and unless some bill comes and affects the budget, he will go ahead and make those entries since the county has the budget and cash to do it.

In other business, the commissioners:

• Approved the Lake Region Solid Waste Authority budget which includes dues of $4,600 from Linn County. Lamb said that the dues are the same for each of the six counties that belong to the authority.

• Learned from Economic Development Director Jessica Hightower that the tarp for the airport hoop building might be delivered this week.

• Learned from Hightower that the fuel tanks for the Pleasanton shop are scheduled to be delivered Thursday morning, Dec. 15.

• Were reminded that the city officials meeting will be Dec. 20, 7 p.m., at Bunker Hill Community Center.

• Told Hightower that they were not ready to talk about the La Cygne American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds request.

• Learned from Hightower that she was applying for a grant from the Local Assistance and Tribal Consistency Fund for $50,000 for two years. She said that Linn County was guaranteed at least $50,000 for two years from ARPA funds because the county qualified. She said it could be used for any government service that the county can use ARPA dollars for.

• Asked Hightower to look into an assisted-living grant that Commissioner Rick James had inquired about.

• Learned from Public Works Director Shaun West that the cost-benefit analysis for the transfer station and landfill was starting this week. West said he would be able to bring costs to the commissioners next week for raising the current cells at the landfill.

• Learned from West that the Linn County staff was going through the items that needed correction on the Kansas Worker’s Risk Cooperative for Counties (KWORCC) review and all items will be checked off. The KWORCC is the worker’s compensation company for the Linn County.

West said that the foremen had mitigated most of the items and a training is set up for Dec. 22 that will alleviate one of the last items on the last and then the review will be brought to the commissioners.

• Received a copy of the Oak Grove landfill contract at Crawford County from West. The contract is a 10-year revolving contract which ends April 2025. West pointed out that there was a 365-day option for canceling the contract.

County Counselor Gary Thompson explained that if the county terminates early, Oak Grove gets a one-year notice. If the county terminates at the end of the 10-year contract, a six months notice is required.

• Learned from West that signage was being placed in the annex parking lot for the transportation buses so that operators were able to walk around them to inspect them.

• Learned that the annual large equipment inventory was being completed and sent out this week. Commissioner Rick James asked West and the foremen to look at equipment and decide if there was a better piece of equipment, for example backhoes versus skid-steers. James suggested that a mini track hoe might be better in some circumstances. He asked that West and the foremen look into that.

• Learned from West that there was one opening for a driver/operator in the north shop and two openings in the south shop, and there were two mechanic openings, one in the north shop and one in Pleasanton.

• Agreed to have Michael Clancy from RenoDry USA do a free inspection and estimate for repair/mediation work on the courthouse foundation.

• Accepted the resignation of public works mechanic Jeremy Willard effective Jan. 2. West said that Willard had worked for the county for 13 years.

• Voted to not make the Juneteenth federal holiday an official holiday for Linn County.

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