Finney County commissioners on Monday continued to hear budget requests for the 2019 fiscal year during their regularly scheduled meeting.
The Finney County Treasurers Office is requesting a nearly $41,000 increase for a total of $540,964 for its 2019 budget.
Of the requested increase, $35,0000 of it is for an additional employee for the Motor Vehicle Department. Currently, the office has six employees, according to Kelly Drees, the County Treasurer.
Drees said the department is in desperate need of another employee to help with daily tasks. Drees said traffic through the office is constant, and that the office is busy enough to support another employee.
“There’s a a ton of lines, and I know the girls are having trouble keeping up with the people coming in and the phone calls,” Drees said, adding that employees are having trouble returning phone calls and processing daily paperwork, along with waiting on clients due to being short-staffed. “My plan was to move one of the experienced workers to answers phones… and to take care of business on the backside.”
Drees wrote in meeting documents that she has had several taxpayers and other county employees request that the office have someone there just to answer phone calls and work on paperwork. If there was an employees to take on those tasks while the others were helping clients at the counters, it could reduce foot traffic as those visiting the office wouldn’t have to return several times, ultimately reducing the size of the lines, she said.
Drees said there are 250 vehicle registrations a day.
“People are buying more vehicles in town, and the line is out the door,” she said.
Drees also said the Treasurer's Office would like to offer additional services, like passports, but the since the department is currently short-staffed, it cannot do so.
Another additional $3,000 is being requested for repairs and maintenance for equipment in the Treasurer's Office. Drees said the state no longer pays for repairs to equipment, and that a lot of the equipment is older and getting run down. The department cannot afford to have any of its equipment down for an extended amount of time, so some of the equipment will slowly need to be repaired, according to Drees' request. There is some money available in the department’s technology fund, but it is typically used for larger purchases, like when a new copier/printer/fax machine is purchased.
For the Finney County Appraisers Office, County Appraiser Maria Castillo has requested $693,859 for the 2019 budget, a $27,689 increase from this year. While the commodities and contractual portions of the budget remains. The increase comes from a proposed 4 percent increase in salaries.
No action was taken by the commission, and the requests were taken under advisement. The next commission meeting is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Monday.
Contact Josh Harbour at email@example.com.