Workers comp changes in four county departments

By Maura Wery

Riley County commissioners will allow a total of $39,960 in workers compensation premiums for four county departments to be paid from the general fund this year. Beyond that, however, commissioners appeared likely to require four departments that have their own revenue sources make the payments from those resources.

The four departments in question are the Health Department, rural fire, community corrections and solid waste.

Budget and finance officer Johnette Shepek said workers comp premiums were not included in this year’s general fund budget because all four departments have their own revenues, and none receives a share of ad valorem (property) taxes. The problem is that the departments did not budget for the workers comp premium payments from their own revenues, either. 

In previous years, workers comp premiums had been included in the departmental budgets.

Community Corrections director Shelly Williams came to the commission last month to push them to pay for her department’s $18,126 premiums, saying that if the commission did not do so she was unsure of how they were going to get paid.

Commissioners decided to permit payment of the premiums out of the already established insurance fund since most of the four departments’ fiscal years end in the next few months. Going forward, however, commissioners said those departments would have to pay for their premiums out of their budgets.

Commissioners also decided to have a work session about the issue at a future date.

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