TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)-The Shawnee County Commission had the first day of budget hearings Monday morning.
Shawnee County Commissioners are starting meetings with agencies that receive County money, and those agencies are being asked to justify what they get in the next year.
Commissioners heard Kansas Expocentre General Manager H.R. Cook. He's asking for $1.5 million, with the biggest expenditure being capital repairs.
He says there is a $100,000 increase for income. He also says there is a $50,000 increase for operating costs and a $145,000 increase for capital repairs.
"And that is still a decrease from 2011. We've done very well," said Cook.
In fact, this Expocentre request amounts to nearly $80,000 less than last year's budget.
Cook says he has long-term plans for enhancements at the Expocentre.
"Wider more comfortable seats, wider concourses, better selections of concessions," said Cook.
That brought questions from Commissioner Bob Archer.
"The competition for dollars for the Expocentre, for people coming in the door seems to be growing," said Archer.
Cook says not only is competition coming from concerts and events at other venues, but also non-profit events in Topeka.
"There's not only ticketed events, but people have to make a lot of decisions now whether it be charitable giving or a ticket at a WWE event," said Cook.
Cook is hoping the Expocentre will continue to compete next year.
"We really have to stand on our toes and offer the best entertainment possible," said Cook.
Commissioners will be hearing from roughly 32 different groups through July 25th and plan to finalize their budget on or before August 25th.