Shawnee County finance director: 2016 a healthy budget year for county departments

Equifest of Kansas continues to grow after relocating from Wichita

Betty Greiner, audit finance director, discusses the 2016 budget year Thursday at the Shawnee County Commission meeting. (Luke Ranker/The Capital-Journal)

With the exception of the Shawnee County Election office, county offices spent at or below their allotted amount in 2016, and the county brought in about $1 million more in revenue than it expected.

 

That means the county budget is healthy, Betty Greiner, director of audit finance, said during a preliminary look at the 2016 budget year Thursday.

“You’d call us ‘right on budget,’ ” she said.

The county brought in $101,429,636 in 2016, about $1.3 million more than expected, and planned to spend $10,156,368 but spent about $500,000 less. The more than $1 million in savings will placed in a reserve fund, bringing the balance to more than $31 million. Such a move would reflect well on the county’s bond ratings, Greiner said.

“We should maintain our reserves and show a steady increase,” she said.

Also at the Shawnee County Commission meeting, commissioners heard from Ann White and Marty Bloomquist about Equifest of Kansas, which will have its second year at the Kansas Expocentre.

The horse show and rodeo has seen steady growth since moving the weekend-long event from Wichita last year. Attendance there was about 10,000 but hit 13,000 last year, and 15,000 people are expected this year, White said. The event has also seen an increase in the number of interested vendors and participants.

“We have waiting lists now,” she said.

Early calculations from last year’s event show Equifest had a $3 million impact on the local economy, Bloomquist said.

The event is Feb. 24-26 at the Expocentre. This year, it will kick off with a concert and dance Friday night.

“We’re trying to get people to come to town early,” White said.

In other business, commissioners:

  • Approved five bridge design contracts worth a total of $214,000. Those contracts were split between Cook, Flatt and Strobel and Finney &Turnipseed, the only two companies who made bids.
  • Acknowledged that the Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office extended a contract with Sherwood Improvement District for additional law enforcement through 2019.

Contact reporter Luke Ranker at (785) 295-1270 or @lrankerNEWS on Twitter. Like him on Facebook at facebook.com/lukeranker.

Mayoral elections are Aug. 2
 

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