Bourbon County Officials Cutting Costs, Removing Light Bulbs Fro - KOAM TV 7

Bourbon County Officials Cutting Costs, Removing Light Bulbs From Court House

Bourbon County, KS -

The Bourbon County Kansas commission today approved the budget for fiscal year 2017. But more cuts are needed. As a result, county officials are coming up with new ways to save some money.
Even with the lights on, it's a little bit darker in the Bourbon County Court House. Half of the light bulbs have been removed as a way to save money.
“When you look at our electric bill in the summer, it ranges from $6,000 to $9,000 a month, and that’s with air conditioning, so anything that we can do to save money on that bill, it just makes sense,” says Commissioner Lynne Oharah.
The County Commission approves the budget for fiscal year 2017 but several cuts had to be made.
“We really didn't have the money that we wanted for carry overs in the prior year so that actually made things a lot tighter than normal but with that said, we just had to adjust our budgets to meet what our income would be,” adds Oharah.

Each department had cuts and some outside agencies will receive reduced or no funding. The commission also passed a 2.955 mill levy increase.
“Taxes are high for all of our citizens but we have to maintain a certain level of services in the county,” says Oharah.
County health insurance costs increased 9 percent, so the mill levy revenue will be held in reserve in case health costs increase again. Despite the cuts, the county still needs to save more.
Some taxpayers don't agree with their choices.
“I think there could be some other ways that they could eliminate stuff than light bulbs. I think that’s kind of silly,” says Alesha Martin of Fort Scott.
Commissioners and county employees say they're just doing what they can to save where ever possible.
“If you reduce your lighting by 50 percent and really not affect the work area or work force in their daily duties, I think it’s a good thing,” says Oharah.
The county has also implemented a hiring freeze for the time being.
The county treasurer was told by the commission not to comment on this story.

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