The Finney County Commission approved the county’s 2020 budget last month, raising the mill slightly.

The budget moved forward unchanged from how it was originally presented, with a $9.2 million general fund and 48.492 mill levy, roughly a 1 mill increase from 2019. The valuation is $482,113,247.

The county approved it with a 4-1 vote after a public hearing, at which Roxanne Morgan, executive director of the Convention and Visitors Bureau, addressed the board. She presented the board letters from local hoteliers about the decision to transfer $80,000 from the CVB budget to the Economic Development Incentive Fund, which is used to help establish new industries and businesses in Garden City.

Morgan said last week that the funds, taken from the county’s transient tax on hotels, is generally used on bringing in tourism-based out-of-town business. The loss of the funds — about 10 percent of the bureau’s budget — will mean the CVB will cut back services this year.

“It’s not the way I would have liked to have seen it go. Obviously, I think the funds are still going to a good thing. I just feel like we needed the money too,” Morgan said.

The dissenting vote came from Commissioner Lon Pishny, who said in an email he wanted to take more time to attempt to keep the mill levy stable. He said he supports the board’s decision to approve the budget.

In other business, the commission approved the budgets for Sewer Districts Nos. 1, 2, and 3, setting the mill levies at 4.232, 5.006 and 5.0, respectively. The commission also approved a resolution that would allow the Finney and Scott County Extension Offices to form a district, allowing them to share staff and resources. The formation of the district will not take place until after a 60-day protest period, during which citizens can challenge the decision.

 

Contact Amber Friend at afriend@gctelegram.com.