Bourbon County Commissioners conducted a public budget amendment hearing and approved a budget amendment for the 2012 budget during its regular meeting Friday. For some, it may seem like a game of musical chairs -- with money, but for commissioners, it's a way to address shortfalls and overages within the numerous departments in the county's year-end budget. And it's state law.
Commissioner Allen Warren stressed that the budget amendment in no way means an increase in taxes.
"Basically, all this is is redistributing money," Commissioner Jingles Endicott said.
One resident, Deborah Hall, attended the hearing. There were no objections to the amended budget, prepared by Terry Sercer of Diehl, Banwart and Bolton CPAs.
Amendments to the budget included increasing the general fund from $3,541,984 in expenditures to $3,728,484, for an increase of $186,500.
Landfill fund expenditures rose from $173,000 to $223,000, an increase of $50,000.
The road and bridge fund was reduced from $2,082,007 to $1,822,007, for a $260,000 reduction in expenditures.
The road and bridge sales tax increased from a projected $606,115 to $1,106,115 for a jump of $500,000, which will cover any late asphalt oil bills and also to cover charges from road and bridge for equipment, rock and manpower used on asphalt road jobs in 2012.
"We have some funds that were over budget and some that were under budget," Warren said. "The bottom line is that this enables us to spend the cash that we have to ensure that we do not have a budget exception."
Warren said unexpected expenses in 2012 included about $32,000 to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment for development of a plan for clean-up of the former Wade's Aluminum.
Endicott listed several funds that saw increased revenues in 2012, including Interests and Fees on Taxes, which increased from a projected $100,000 to $139,000, for a $39,000 increase. Reimbursements from diversion and the correctional center were estimated at $50,000, but the county actually took in $66,000 for a $16,000 increase in cash flow. Revenue from delinquent taxes increased from a projected $59,500 to $145,784, an increase of $86,284.
"We had three tax sales," Endicott said. "By doing that, people started paying up."
Other reimbursements were estimated at $16,000, but the county actually collected $66,000 for a $50,000 increase, which included a check from KW Underground for $37,125. The reimbursement from K&W was to replace gravel on the road and windrows along Poplar Road between 205th and 235th streets.
"The budget was made in August, so you project what your cash flow is going to be," Endicott said. "When you add everything together, that ends up to be a different total than what we thought we were going to have."
Endicott said on the expense side, courthouse general expenditures increased $120,000 , due in part to air conditioning problems and increased utilities. He said the correctional center fund also increased by $69,000.
Warren pointed out that any 2012 bills that did not arrive to the county before January will still have to be paid from 2012 money.
"We try to amend this budget to where we can take into consideration those 2012 bills," Warren said.
In terms of major equipment purchases for the Road and Bridge Department out of the 2013 budget, in which payments for those items begin, commissioners managed to purchase several items for less than the estimated cost, including saving $8,000 and $9,000 on each of three dump trucks; $51,000 on a backhoe loader; and $17,500 on an excavator. Road and bridge, the second-largest county fund behind employee benefits, has an estimated 2013 budget of $1,918,881.