Commission moves closer to finalizing budget

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

As the deadline draws near, the Fort Scott City Commissioners discussed the budget Tuesday night.

The issue on the agenda for Tuesday night's commission meeting was to publish the budget and schedule a public hearing for its approval however the discussion quickly moved toward making more cuts.

"I still think can make more cuts," Commissioner Jean Parker said. "Dolly is nice, but we need to get our priorities straightened out."

Parker was not alone, the other four commissioners agreed that more cuts can be made to avoid the proposed 2.5 mill levy increase. According to Fort Scott City Manager Joe Turner, the budget can still be changed between the publishing and the public hearing. He said the expenditures cannot be increased, however they can be lowered. A move which Fort Scott Director of Finance Susan Brown said has happened before.

Parker said the spoke with Bourbon County Clerk Joanne Long and was told the county will not be increasing their mill levy.

"If they can do it, we can try," Parker said.

The commission scheduled the public hearing for the budget for 6:15 p.m. August 18. In preparation for the public hearing, the commission also scheduled a work session for 6 p.m., August 10 to further discuss budget cuts.

Other business conducted during the meeting include:

* the issue of trading land with USD 234 for the purpose of building a skate park was tabled.

* appointed Jeff Pommier to the Library board.

* appointed Tim Emerson, Shawn Groans, Dallas Smith, and Dean Mann to two-year terms on the Airport Advisory Board; Bob Marshall was appointed to a three-year term.

* appointed Robert nelson, Daryl Roller, Clyde Stepps, William Russell, and Otis Thomas to four-year terms on the Board of Zoning Appeals.

* approved a $322,650 change order to the Streetscape Project to use remaining money on expanding the improvements.

* approved a $3,000 change order to the Waterline Project, the money will be coming back to the city because the project is under budget.

* approved a contract with SeKan Asphalt for the paving of Runway 18-36 at the Fort Scott Municipal Airport.

* approved a contract with Professional Engineering Consultants, P.A., of Wichita, for engineering inspections on the repaving of National Avenue from Wall to Linker streets.

* approved to commit city funding for the repaving of National Avenue from Wall to Linker streets.

* decided to not remove the stop signs on National Avenue at the intersection of National Avenue and First Street.