The Pottawatomie County Commission approved the budget for fiscal year 2021 during its meeting Monday.
The county’s spending authority for for the 2021 general fund will decrease from about $34.4 million to about $34.1 million.
Overall county expenses will increase from about $38.7 million in fiscal year 2020 to about $40 million in fiscal year 2021.
Despite this increase, Heather Gladbach. Pottawatomie County finance office, says the overall tax levy will decrease from 28.256 mills to 27.664 mills.
“Just to put that in terms of dollar figures, on a $200,000 house, that would be a decrease of $13.62 in taxes,” Gladbach said.
Pottawatomie County’s assessed valuation increased from $672 million in 2020 to $710 million in 2021.
CARES Act fund allocation
The Pottawatomie County Commission has approved a fund-allocation plan for the first round of CARES Act spending.
Pottawatomie County is set to receive a total of about $4.9 million during the first round of CARES Act funding.
Of this amount, about $1 million has been allocated for cities in Pottawatomie County, but Pottawatomie County Andrea Umscheid, Pottawatomie County operations officer, says most cities requested less than their allotted amount.
“Wamego was the only one that went right up to their allocation,” Umscheid said. “All the other cities came in lower. So they get their full allocation and the rest went to the county to spread out with the schools districts and other businesses in the county.”
Other Pottawatomie County CARES Act fund allocations include about $1 million for school districts, $400,000 for businesses, $1.1 million for county reimbursements and about $1.4 million for the county government’s spending plan.
The county’s CARES Act fund spending plan includes, among other items, $750,000 in emergency radio tower upgrades, about $169,000 for EMS medical equipment, $105,000 for online streaming equipment and $55,000 for PPE and cleaning supplies.
Pottawatomie County plans to put about $300,000 from various budget funds towards additional road rock.
According to Peter Clark, Pottawatomie County Public Works director, severe weather over the past several months has increased the need for maintenance on county roads.
He says, of the funds being transferred, about $200,000 will come from money that has been saved on fuel due to recent low prices.
“I anticipate that even with some winter weather we could experience, we’re not likely to go over $300,000 this year on fuel,” Clark said. “That’s predicted to be around a $200,000 cost savings.”
The rest of the money being transferred, about $100,000, will likely come from personnel services.
The full amount of the $300,000 is projected to come from the county’s Road and Bridge fund, which encompasses the fuel and personnel-services line items.
These transfers will not come from the Rural Highway fund as they will be used for maintenance on roads from both the rural and county-road systems.
Clark projects that about two-thirds to three-quarters of the money will be used on rural roads while the rest will be used on county roads.