Pottawatomie County officials got their first look at the proposed 2024 budget at a Monday work session.
County administration is proposing an approximate half mill levy decrease, with an estimated valuation increase of over $22 million, over $229,000 in additional ad-valorem taxes and a $1.6 million increase in budgeted expenditures. Commission Chair Pat Weixelman explains where much of the added expenses are coming from.
The proposal includes for a 5% cost of living adjustment for employees, as well as anniversary increases paid out at a half a percent annually and 4% every five years. County administrators are also requesting to double the deferred compensation match, which equates to about a 36 percent increase year-over-year, according to Assistant County Administrator Heather Gladbach.
The overall budget authority is just under $41 million. The general fund mill levy is 29.653 and is proposed to be 29.111 for fiscal year 2024.
Several requests from outside agencies are also being considered, including an additional $3,780 for Pawnee Mental Health, $8,961 for Big Lakes Developmental Center and $2,500 for the Conservation District. ECODevo is seeking $25,000 less due to having a new director to succeed the retiring Jack Allston.
Elsewhere, the Pott County Extension is seeking a 28% increase to hire a new employee and a one-time payment of $40,000 to go toward a new county fair building. The Flint Hills Metropolitan Planning Organization requested nearly $3,000 for an electric vehicle study, presented last week, but commissioners indicated no interest in participating in that study and requested the funds be removed from the budget.
Commissioners favored implementing a 2.5% COLA increase starting July 1, which will be considered at next week’s meeting.
Commission Chair Pat Weixelman complimented department heads for their work on budgets and advocating for employees.
Pottawatomie County will continue to work toward finalizing its budget, aiming to have it approved on or before July 20.