The proposed 2021 Douglas County budget is $125.5 million and has a flat mill levy of 46.430 mills.
Seventy percent of Douglas County’s revenues are from ad valorem taxes and 9% are from sales taxes. Staff has proposed a 10% reduction, or $6 million, in sales tax revenues for the remainder of 2020 and all of 2021 due to economic hardship.
To meet a potential decrease in sales tax revenues beyond the estimated 10%, the county has $6 million available in fund balance.
County Administrator Sarah Plinsky said it’s difficult to forecast how COVID-19 or any unanticipated event will impact the budget, but she feels they have built in several contingency plans if needed.
Douglas County Commissioners will review the proposed budget, which is available online at http://dgcoks.org/budget, as well as requests from more than 40 community partners and 15 Douglas County Departments during budget hearings. The proposed budget provides $16 million in funding to community partners like Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center, Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health and Senior Resource Center. Commissioners will consider $2.8 million in requests for additional funding.
The budget hearings begin at 9 a.m. Tuesday, June 30, with Plinsky providing a budget overview. The hearings will be held from 9 a.m. to noon June 30-July 1 and July 6-7 using Zoom. Meeting information is available on the county’s website at https://www.douglascountyks.org/commission/meetings, where recordings of the meetings also will be provided. Meetings also are available on the county's YouTube channel.
Commissioners are scheduled to begin budget deliberations on July 8. The budget will be formally adopted in mid-August.
The schedule for budget hearings:
Tuesday, June 30
9:30 a.m. – Emergency Services Council, Sexual Trauma and Abuse Care Center, Just Food, Lawrence Community Shelter, Cottonwood, Independence Inc.
10:15 a.m. – JAAA, Senior Resource Center, Trinity In-Home Care
11 a.m. – Public Works, Zoning and Codes and Capital Improvement Projects
Wednesday, July 1
9 a.m. – Van Go, CASA, Children’s Shelter, Legal Aid, Criminal Justice Services, Children’s Advocacy Center
9:45 a.m. – K-State Research and Extension, Conservation District, Humane Society
10:30 a.m. – Lawrence Chamber, Baldwin Chamber, Eudora Chamber, Peaslee Tech, Bioscience and Technology Business Center
Thursday, July 2
9 a.m. – County Clerk, County Treasurer, Register of Deeds, Appraiser and Information Technology
9:30 a.m. – Administration, Sustainability, Maintenance and Information Technology
10 a.m. – Emergency Communications Center
10:30 a.m. – Consolidated Fire District No. 1
11:15 a.m. – Rapid Intervention Team
11:40 a.m. – Emergency Management
Monday, July 6
9 a.m. – District Court and District Attorney
10 a.m. – Sheriff’s Office
11 a.m. – Criminal Justice Coordinating Council and Criminal Justice Coordinator
Tuesday, July 7
9 a.m. – Members of Behavioral Health Leadership Council: Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center, LMH Health, Lawrence-Douglas County Housing Authority, Heartland Community Health Center, Heartland RADAC, Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health, Douglas County Dental Clinic
10:15 a.m. – Members of Heritage Conservation Council: Freedom’s Frontier, National Heritage Area, Black Jack Battlefield Trust, Clinton Lake Historical Society, Douglas County Historical Society, Eudora Area Historical Society, Lecompton Historical Society, Santa Fe Trail Historical Society.