Commission checking into remodeling expenses in old courthouse
By ROBERT PIERCE • Daily Leader
A proposed budget for Seward County’s Capital Improvement Plan will have to wait at least two more weeks before approval.
Following a short discussion, commissioners voted Monday to table approval of the CIP until the board’s next meeting on March 16.
County administrator Mary Bloomer began the discussion with a brief overview of this year’s CIP. After a work session and some revisions, the county has proposed a general fund plan with a total amount of $781,000.
“Your budgeted amount this year under general fund CIP was $539,954,”
she said. “You have a couple of options that you can do. Go with the full amount with the money that you have in equipment reserve budgeted this year and go with the full expenditures and republish at the end of the year, or you can also go with the budgeted amount and pull out the courthouse security item, which is $202,943 and use that expenditure for reserve for claims.”
Bloomer said, traditionally, the county does not use the full amount it has for CIP.
“You have $700,000 under reserve for claims,” she said. “That will allow you additional funds throughout the year for your special projects.”
Bloomer said the county building fund portion of the budget can likewise be used for some of those special projects.
One such project commissioners discussed during the recent work session dealt with the Seward County Health Department.
“You could look at that under your county building facility as well,”
Bloomer said. “You do have some flexibility as well.”
Bloomer said by taking courthouse security out of reserve for claims, this will leave the county a reserve of $500,000 for other projects.
Commissioner C.J. Wettstein noted that with two projects planned for the county courthouse – a remodel of the county attorney’s office and that of Cimarron Basin Community Corrections – most of that reserve could be used up.
For that reason, he said those projects should be looked at closer in order to make sure they are handled right.
“But yet, I’m still hoping we can get the price of it down so we don’t spend all of our funds just on the community corrections project and on the county attorney projects,” he said.
Bloomer said the two building projects would come out of county building and would not impact the equipment reserve at all.
Wettstein said it is not the commission’s intent to put the county at risk with any project.
“I think our intention is to do the project at a reasonable price as we can, but take the risk off the county,” he said.
The commission voted to table the CIP for further consideration and bring it back in two weeks.