The Board of County Commissioners reached an agreement July 20 on an approximately $163.7 million budget for 2023. They agreed on a mill levy of 46.380 mills, which is a decrease of one mill from 2022. One mill is one dollar per $1,000 of assessed value.
The 2023 budget included growth in property values (assessed valuation) of 12.44%. This higher than traditional rate of growth allowed the Commission to reduce the mill levy by $2.2 million in the general fund. The 2023 budget does not eliminate any current county services.
Commissioners Shannon Reid, Patrick Kelly and Shannon Portillo reviewed nearly 50 funding requests totaling $3.8 million from Douglas County departments and community partners.
Douglas County departments and services that received new funding included:
- $225,000 for sustained funding for the Housing Stabilization Collaboration to provide case management and direct rent and utility assistance payments to prevent homelessness.
- $98,000 in sustained funding for a collaborative Housing First supporting housing project for individuals and families experiencing homelessness in partnership with Tenants to Homeowners, Family Promise, Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center and Heartland Regional Alcohol Drug and Assessment Center (RADAC).
- $105,157 for a District Court self-help center director.
- $10,000 for the Heritage Conservation Council to provide an increase in total annual grant funding of $210,000.
- $57,054 for an additional cook at the Correctional Facility.
- $176,727 for three additional Corrections Officers.
- $79,104 for an additional Sheriff’s Office patrol deputy.
- $40,000 for lease payment for a new satellite office for the Douglas County Treasurer.
Commissioners agreed to provide additional funding to Lawrence-Douglas County Fire and Medical in the amounts of $191,700 for two full-time Mobile Integrated Health paramedics and a vehicle and $115,441 for one full-time logistic civilian and a vehicle.
Additionally, Commissioners approved $2.2 million for market, merit and longevity pay for county employees. They also transferred $4.8 million to the Capital Improvement Projects fund, a 5% increase from last year.
For community partners, Commissioners tentatively approved these funding requests:
- $80,000 for an additional Project LIVELY case manager through Jayhawk Area Agency on Aging.
- $50,000 for a landlord incentive program through the Lawrence-Douglas County Housing Authority.
- $10,000 for additional support for the Small Business Development Center through the Economic Development Corporation of Lawrence and Douglas County.
- $100,000 to support truancy programming for elementary and middle school students through the Center for Supportive Communities (CSC). An additional $50,000 was set aside to support expanded truancy programs through CSC and/or O’Connell Children’s Shelter.
- $100,000 to support supportive housing landlord services at Tenants to Homeowners.
Sales tax revenues have increased over the past several years, which has led to an increased budget of $5.3 million in the behavioral health sales tax fund. New projects that will receive funding through this sales tax include:
- $69,799 in additional substance use disorder treatment for the uninsured through DCCCA, bringing total county funding to $433,021 between several different programs.
- $104,000 for DCCCA to provide two beds for youth who are in crisis.
- $99,700 for Heartland RADAC for expansion of the Integrated Crisis Care team.
The budget will be adopted during a public hearing at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 24 that will be held during the County Commission business meeting.
Video recordings of the budget hearings and deliberations are available on our YouTube channel: http://dgcoks.org/dgkscommrecordings
To view more information about the county budget: http://budget.douglascountyks.org