Commission Approves Budget, Restores Funds for Senior Services

TOPEKA, Kan. - The Shawnee County Commission voted 2-to-1 Thursday to approve its 2009 budget after more than two hours of discussion.

It wasn't quite the seven hour marathon session the Topeka City Council had on Tuesday, but still, the budget was approved.

Vic Miller was the dissenting vote. He said he felt the district attorney's office budget increase of eight percent was too high.

The budget ended up about $99 million, $9.3 million less than the requested budget. That will equate to a drop of about 1.6 mills depending where evaluations end up.

Miller was quick to point out, even departments with budget cuts saw increases from the 2008 budget.

The commission did end up giving the Jayhawk Area Agency on Aging and Senior Services a combined $70,000 more than planned. They said it was to make up for the council cutting those services on Tuesday.

"I was disappointed they made the cut. For years we have impressed upon them the importance of these programs, and I think some of those people who voted to make those reductions are not familiar with what's being provided," said Miller. "I'd dare say they've never visited any of these programs or they would not make that kind of a vote."

The commission also approved a $10,000 raise for Shawnee County Sheriff Dick Barta, who will take over the Dmergency Communication Center.


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