By ROBERT PIERCE
• Daily Leader
During a recent county work session, department heads made requests for their Capital Improvement Plan. Monday, commissioners approved a final plan of requests, and while more money has been asked for than is in the CIP budget, the Seward County administrator is optimistic about the 2010 plan.
Mary Bloomer gave a review of this year’s CIP, starting with the general fund, which has an allocated budget of $344,584. She said after all was said and done, total requests amounted to $458,720.
“Obviously, there are more capital items being requested than there is budget,” she said. “The deficit is about $114,000.”
Bloomer said just as was the situation in 2009, department heads will again have to be frugal with dollars this year.
“We’ll purchase items in order of importance,” she said. “The bottom line on your equipment reserve will be watched.”
Bloomer said the same situation took place last year, and the county came out of it in good shape.
“We have very frugal department heads, and we’ll get items only as we need them,” she said. “There are two purchases – a pool vehicle and an emergency management vehicle – that likely will not be purchased.”
Bloomer said these items are listed in the CIP, and if the county has an emergency, there is authority to purchase them if necessary.
She said the county’s cemetery fund will likely not see purchases listed in the plan, but the same scenario does exist for that department. The total amount of the two vehicles and the cemetery items is about $114,000.
Bloomer said there are monies listed in the sheriff’s department, and the county could see a transfer of $300,000 from the general fund to the equipment reserve fund this year.
“We were advised during CIP that there were potential foundation funds, so I think with prudent oversight of our general fund, CIP is going to be just fine,” she said. “We’ll just watch it and insure that it does operate fine.”
Bloomer said if an emergency occurs and funds do need to be spent, the county always has the ability to re-publish a line item in the general fund.
“We will have the funds available should that arise, and the board has the authority to do that in your general fund,” she said.
Bloomer likewise provided a review of the non-general fund items of the CIP, starting with the county technology budget, which had less items requested than the commission had the authority for.
The next fund was the landfill, which Bloomer said does not rely on budgeted dollars but rather revenue that is generated through the department.
“His total landfill fund requests were $1,669,850,” she said.
The Seward County Health Department likewise does not rely on budgeted dollars, but on revenue, and Bloomer said if the revenue is generated, health department administrator Martha Brown has the capability to purchase those items as well.
“Her total CIP request was $18,850,” Bloomer said.
Seward County Road and Bridge CIP projects are usually done through two funds – a special highway improvement fund and a road machinery fund, with balances of $572,812 and $726,240 respectively. Total CIP requests for road and bridge for 2010 were $792,000, and Bloomer said those items will occur under those two funds.
The final item in the CIP budget was the county’s rural fire find, which she said had a request of $9,150.
The commission voted unanimously to approve the capital improvement plan for 2010 as submitted.