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Proposed Sedgwick County Budget Includes Broad Cuts, Layoffs

Jim Good

The Sedgwick County Manager Wednesday presented his 2013 recommended budget to the commissioners. It proposes layoffs, cuts to services and closing the Judge Riddel Boys Ranch.

County Manager Bill Buchanan said he had to do “less with less” to reach the goal of eliminating the county’s $9.3 million deficit by the end of 2013.

Buchanan said in their analysis the budget team focused on the core missions of programs and looked for duplications of services.

“Although this is a difficult year, and they all seem to be difficult, we’ve accomplished our goal,” said Buchanan.

“But I want to remind us that we are going to continue to do 97 percent of what we’ve done in the past.”

Under the proposed budget 113 positions would be eliminated, 79 of which are currently filled, and the county would close Judge Riddel Boys Ranch, a youth corrections facility, in January.

Services for seniors and funds for senior centers would be cut by more than $138,000.

Funding for people with intellectual and physical disabilities would be cut by more than $191,000.

The proposed budget also includes cuts to the Sedgwick County Zoo, Exploration Place, and Wichita Area Technical College.

Public hearings on the proposed budget are scheduled for July 25, August 9 and August 14 at 9am.

People can also submit comments online at sedgwickcounty.org