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Law board opens talks on budget

By Katherine Wartell

The Riley County Law Board and RCPD officials began 2013 budget talks Thursday. The discussion primarily focused on a proposed increased budget for salaries, which takes up the majority of the RCPD budget.

In a draft examined Thursday, the total budget increases about 7 percent, from $17.127 million to $18.329 million.

In this draft, RCPD officials suggested a 6.47 percent increase, from $10.537 million to $11.218 million, in full-time salaries and a 29.27 percent increase, from $61,500 to $79,500, in part-time salaries, for the general purpose of hiring new positions.

The new full-time positions would be three sworn officers and a non-sworn public information officer. At present, a sworn officer acts as the information officer, but Director Brad Schoen said he wants a civilian in the position so officers are freed up to perform police duties. He said he also envisions the information officer to be active on Facebook and Twitter.

Schoen said the increase in full-time salaries also reflects merit raises and a cost of living adjustment of 3.2 percent for all personnel. That adjustment, which was questioned by Law Board members, was tinkered with in different budgets and will most likely be discussed in further meetings.

During the meeting, Law Board members John Matta and Wynn Butler also advised the board to look at areas, like insurance, where there are consolidation opportunities among the Law Board, City and County.

Budget talks will continue in a second special Law Board meeting at a date to be determined.

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