The Mitchell County Commissioners met on Monday morning, July 31. The main issue at hand was the considerations for the fiscal year 2018 county budget. The commissioners first held a budget hearing for Mitchell County Rural Fire Districts 1, 2 and 3. With no attendees present, and no comments made, the commissioners closed the hearing at the appointed time and approved the budgets for the rural fire departments.
Mitchell County District 1 was allotted $63,000 of which $50,249 will be taxpayer provided in the coming fiscal year. District 2-Tipton has a budget authority of $27,000 with tax payer contributions of $23,549. District 3-Solomon Rapids is budgeted for a $57,000 allotment with a tax roll contribution of $49,265.
Following another unattended public hearing at 10 a.m., the overall county budget was approved at a total of $13,084,341 for spending authority across all departments. The largest allotment was for the general fund at $4,844,942. This includes, but is not limited to, the Sheriff’s Department, commissioners, county clerk, county treasurer, register of deeds, county attorney, district court, dispatch, information systems, custodial and others.
Other top budget allotments for county departments included Road and Bridge at $3,099,462, EMS at $1,476,527 and $534,620 for solid waste. Questions about the budget and expenditures should be directed to the county clerk’s office or the commissioners themselves.
The commissioners also met with Kelly Leister from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas to discuss the county’s health insurance. The county has been forced to budget for a 25 percent total increase in health insurance costs for fiscal year 2018 as compared to the current year as healthcare costs continue to increase significantly across the state and the nation as a whole. The county’s policy is due for renewal in October this year.
There was discussion about changing the renewal date to June beginning in 2019 to more closely align it with the county’s fiscal year. No official decisions were made, but Leister agreed to provide a cost comparison between leaving the renewal dates as they are and changing them as previously mentioned.
The commissioners also moved during the meeting to approve the financial statement provided by Lindberg, Vogel, Pierce and Farris Chartered for fiscal year 2016.
The Mitchell County Commissioners are next scheduled to meet on Monday, August 7 at 8:30 a.m. at the Mitchell County Courthouse.