Talks to ramp up soon on RCPD budget needs

By The Mercury

County commissioners were briefed on the timeline for development of the Riley County Police Department’s budget at Monday morning’s meeting.

Brad Schoen, RCPD director, said talks are starting to get serious.

“We’re getting into the nuts and bolts of the budget development, pretty much right now,” Schoen said.

He said there will be three Riley County Law Board meetings this month alone—two more than usual—to discuss the issue. The meetings are March 8, 15 and 25. Schoen told commissioners the department hopes to decide on a final budget no later than June.

He encouraged residents with concerns to attend those meetings, so that any issues may be dealt with sooner rather than later. Commissioner Alvan Johnson asked Schoen to identify any major increases to the RCPD’s budget.

Schoen said there will most likely be an increase related to the KPERS employee retirement system, and added there will also be a discussion about a cost of living adjustment. Based on those preliminary assumptions, he said the RCPD budget is expected to increase by about 5 percent next year.

Rod Meredith, assistant director of public works, also told commissioners that Purcell Road will be closed to through traffic starting today. The closure is so Westar Energy can put up power poles adjacent to the road.

Commissioners were also alerted to “severe weather awareness week,” which runs from March 12-16. County officials are advising residents to review their severe weather plans at home, work and school. They are also advising residents to take stock of their disaster supply kits.

There will also be a statewide tornado drill on March 13 at 1:30 p.m. Additionally, the National Weather Service will host a presentation at Pottorf Hall on March 6 at 7 p.m. The presentation will offer information on severe weather in Kansas and safety tips.

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