Seward County Commission Meets, Approves Additional Funds for Rural Fire

Joe Denoyer - October 21, 2019 11:00 pm

The Seward County Commission  met on Monday October 21 at 5:30pm. Board appointments were made to the Fair Board. With 6 positions open, the 4 individuals who applied were appointed. They included, Brandee Cochran, Erin Atchley, Amanda Kolb, and Rosa Conley.

Before the Commission was a proposal to change the hours at the Seward County Administration Building to Monday-Thursday 7:30am-5:30pm and Friday 7:30am-11:30am. The Commission asked that a survey be put together to gather input from the public before they would approve the changes.

The Rural Fire Budget was before the Commission. During budget work sessions and approved published budget in August 2018 for the funding year 2019, a settlement was made after the fact with DCP National Helium. The valuation and levy for the 2019 budget were already set before the settlement was finalized. With the settlement to National Helium that was finalized in November of 2018, this resulted in a loss of approximately $32,000 for the funding year 2019 for Rural Fire. This loss results in a cash shortage to fund the budget authority given to Rural Fire.

In addition, the Commission approved salary adjustments for all employees in 2019. Those raises were budgeted for in the General Fund, Reserve for Claims, Salary Adjustments. Because Rural Fire is it’s own taxing entity, not in the General Fund, their budget has not been offset to accommodate for the salary wage increases as well as employee benefits. Rural Fire reimburses the County for all payroll and benefit expenses. This adjustment, for salary and benefits, is $31,262.

Due to loss of tax distribution, payback to DCP National Helium, no cash carryover, and salary adjustments this has resulted in a cash shortfall for Rural Fire.

The Commission authorized expenditures up to $162,265 to be paid from the General Fund and required this be repaid to the General Fund and budget for repayment which would be discussed in 2021 budget sessions.

Disposition of Surplus Property was also on the Agenda. The Commission authorized the services of Gavel Roads to handle the disposition of surplus property at no cost to the County. Gavel Roads would charge a 10% Buyers Premium on the items sold. Gavel Roads would also handle all the cataloging, inquiries and showing of the properties of the items.

The Commission after an Executive Session, approved continuing in the Opioid Lawsuit and also authorized the HR Department to handle a raise in the County Attorneys Office.

Due to a scheduling conflict, the November 18 Commission Meeting has been rescheduled to November 19.


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