At this morning’s meeting, Bourbon County Commissioners listened as two more entities brought requests for funding. The county will start work on the budget the first of July, and many organizations have brought forward financial requests in the past month. Jim Cunningham, Executive Director of Tri-Valley Developmental Services, presented a portfolio including Tri-Valley’s work in past years, as well as upcoming needs.
Cunningham requested a total of $65,000 from the county for the upcoming year, citing cuts in state funding that have caused reductions in staff in past years. Cunningham said that the organization is holding the budget steady, but expenses keep rising. “We’ve pretty well cut our budget to the bone,” Cunningham said. Tri-Valley currently employs 140 people area wide and serves four counties–Bourbon, Neosho, Allen and Crawford. Cunningham said that funding cuts had caused a loss of 22 employees over the past 6 years, and that these lost jobs also brought about lost tax dollars to the county. Cunningham also highlighted a few changes since KanCare took effect. According to Cunningham, 22,000 people were disenrolled since January 1st of this year.
Cunningham reported that there are currently 53 staff members working in Bourbon County, and that there are 61 Bourbon County residents being served by the organization. Tri Valley offers vocational rehabilitation, transportation and many other services, and that there are currently 28 people on their waiting list.
A county department also presented a request for a slight increase in funding. Judy Wallis of the Bourbon County Appraiser’s Office presented her office budget from the past year, and the areas she saw room to cut funding this coming year. Wallis explained that “Everything else but the personnel is going to be down $1,500,” and that she works many hours of overtime at her salaried position, which pays less than the same position in other counties of similar size and composition as Bourbon County. Wallis requested that a 3% increase in salary per year be built into the budget in order to keep the salary comparable with others in the area.