The nine community partners of the Board of Franklin County Commissioners requested nearly $70,000 more in funding for fiscal year 2019 versus what was actually funded in fiscal year 2018.
Each partner made their requests during Monday’s county commission study session. Four of the partners — Prairie Paws Animal Shelter, Inc., Franklin County Conservation District, COF Training Services, Inc. and Franklin County Development Council — requested no increase from last year. Five of the partners — Services of the Elderly, Elizabeth Layton Center, Inc., CASA, Franklin County Historical Society and the Franklin County Agriculture Society (county fair board) — requested increases.
The approved requests will be part of the fiscal year 2019 county budget, which will be finalized later this summer. The total requests were $778,951 and the total funding for fiscal year 2018 was right at $709,000.
Here is a synopsis of each organization’s request:
Prairie Paws — Melissa Reed, executive director, requested $40,776, which matched last year’s funding. She said Prairie Paws uses the county funds to provide housing, medical care and buy food for animals that come through the shelter’s doors. She said in 2017 they cared for 1,306 animals, adopted out 1,010 pets and returned 204 lost animals back to their families.
“We are proud to have made a difference in so many animals in people lives,” she said.
Reed said one of the 2018 goals is to strengthen their fundraising efforts and look at providing veterinarian services.
Franklin County Conservation District — Keri Harris, conservation district manager, made a request of $45,000, which equaled last year’s funding.
Harris said county funds provide a significant portion of their yearly budget.
“We are keeping things straight down the line,” she said. “We do have some concerns about our state funding. We are stressing to Topeka that what we do works and there is a need for it. Certainly, the board recognizes and appreciates the county funding. In no way, do we expect the county to make up the shortage that the state handed us.”
COF Training Services, Inc. — Chris Patton, COF executive director, presented a request of $95,000, which was the same as fiscal year 2018.
“I really appreciate the support we get from the county,” he said. “We feel good about what we are doing. We are focusing on employment.”
Services for the Elderly — Sharon Geiss, services for the elderly coordinator, requested $204,970, which is an increase of $5,970.
Geiss said part of the funding goes to help provide public transportation to the elderly.
“We have to operate on holidays to take people in for dialysis,” Geiss said. “The insurance [costs] get to be a real issue.”
She said their insurance premiums increased $1,000 in 2017.
Elizabeth Layton Center — Perry Chapman, chief financial officer, requested $180,928, which was an increase of $8,615 from 2018.
He reiterated the challenges of maintaining a balanced budget with the state cuts and not having space for more patients at Osawatomie State Hospital can be daunting.
He said at times patients have to be hospitalized for 24-48 hours instead of being sent to a state hospital.
FCDC — James Oltman, FCDC executive director, presented a request of $64,375, which was the same as fiscal year 2018.
“We have are very cognizant communities are facing the tax lid and we want to be respectful of that,” Oltman said. “Marketing Proximity Park is our top priority. We have been hitting the ground running.”
Oltman said there has been business attraction successes with Holiday Inn Express hotel breaking ground in south Ottawa and Arby’s announcing this past week it would build next to the hotel.
“[The hotel] project spurred additional development in that area,” he said. “The restaurant would not have come here if not for that development.”
He said this in 2018, the FCDC will fully implement the Franklin County Works program, which helps businesses and workers with workforce development.
CASA — Crissy Stumbo, executive director, requested $25,000, which is a $21,000 increase from last year.
Stumbo said there were a lot of success stories in 2017. She said in 2017, there were 14 cases closed in Franklin County. She said CASA is a powerful tool when used correctly and is beneficial to the community.
She said part of the funding increase would be to hire a part-time staff person, which would allow the office to supply services to 30 more families. She said that person would help with the volunteer recruitment and training.
“Our vision is to continue to serve children,” Stumbo said. “We have the judges asking for more volunteers. We have children that need CASAs. Our CASAs are invaluable to our kids right now. Our CASAs are meeting with the kids on a regular basis, providing that support for them and trying to be there for them.”
Franklin County Historical Society — Diane Staresinic-Deane, executive director, made a request of $104,550, which increased $33,550 from last year’s funding.
Staresinic-Deane said they are looking to use the increased funding to help replace an old heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system in the Old Depot Museum. She estimated the cost to be around $30,000.
“Climate control is the most important thing we can do to protect the artifacts,” she said. “Protecting artifacts takes a lot of effort and funding. We cut our budget as much as we can. Our [artifact] collection will continue to grow.”
Franklin County Agricultural Society (county fair) — Brandon Livingston, president of the agricultural society, requested $17,752 for an increase of $542 from 2018 funding.
Livingston said the county funds support fair premiums and improvements to buildings and grounds.
“There have been quite a few structure improvements from this past year,” he said. We are putting more focus on improvements of our south arena, which is the large arena. We are targeting improvements to Celebration Hall. We feel [this requ