Talks continue on RCPD budget

By Katherine Wartell

Talks leading to a 2014 budget for the Riley County Police Department began Thursday night during a special meeting of the Riley County Law Board.

Department officials presented two budget proposals whose final figures represent a slight decrease from the budget approved in 2013 when carryover totals are included. The main difference between both budgets is the cost of living adjustment (COLA).

In one budget, the COLA is adjusted at 1.8 percent, resulting in a proposed budget of about $18.110,593. That’s about $700 less than 2013’s approved number, $18,111,200. Assistant director John Doehling said the 1.8 percent figure was taken from December 2012’s consumer price index for urban areas.

The second budget included a 1.5 percent COLA, with expenditures of $18,071,593.

The budgets also include the salary for a new custodial position, and would not result in a mill levee increase for either the city or county. “(The department) understands the fiscal pressure that local governments have been under for the past several years,” director Brad Schoen said.

With a 1.8 percent adjustment, the budget for full-time salaries would increase about 3.25 percent, or about $327,300. That number includes merit raises for 87 percent of employees and the new custodial position.

Total personnel costs, including employee benefits and salaries, are projected at $16,227,500.

Despite discussion on healthcare costs and concern for areas where expenses could be consolidated with the city and county, board members were generally pleased with the proposed figures. Chairperson John Matta said the board should not “belabor” the process.

Talks will resume during Monday’s monthly Law Board meeting, where a vote is slated to be taken.

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