Public hearing under way on Sedgwick County budget

Several speakers are urging Sedgwick County commissioners not to cut the extension center’s budget the roughly 15 percent recommended by staff.

From master gardeners and 4-H leaders, supporters of the center say the cut would devastate the agency.

County Manager William Buchanan asked county department heads to cut their budgets 6.6 percent, except for those involved in public safety, where he asked for cuts of 3.3 percent.

Buchanan presented his recommended budget to commissioners last week.

Buchanan has recommended a nearly 15 percent cut for the Sedgwick County Extension Center. He said in an Eagle story Monday that the center’s budget had increased 9.8 percent during the past five years while the county’s general fund had increased 1.7 percent. He said that was why he had recommended a higher cut for the center.

Today is the first of two public hearings before commissioners vote on the budget Aug. 3.

The next public hearing will be at 7 p.m. Aug. 2 in the commission’s chambers on the third floor of the courthouse, 525 N. Main.