Sedgwick County ended last year on enough of a solid financial note that it can weather cuts in state funding, commissioners were told Wednesday.
The county ended the year with more than $63 million — about four months of planned expenses this year — in its unreserved general fund. Money in that fund can be spent on anything, but the county's financial policy is to keep a minimum of $36.78 million — or about 2 1/2 months of expenses — in the fund at any given time as a cushion, said Troy Bruun, the deputy chief financial officer.
The unreserved general fund remains healthy even though some revenue sources were down from 2008, Bruun said.
The county collected less money from sales taxes and Medicaid fees and received less state revenue from SRS last year compared with 2008.
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Meanwhile, many of its costs grew, including salaries, up nearly 7 percent from 2008.
Health insurance went up 10.5 percent.
Commissioner Gwen Welshimer said she was heartened to see that the county still was doing well despite cutting property taxes.
Bruun also talked to commissioners about key economic indicators:
* Construction is starting to pick up, though projects are generally less expensive.
* Employment continues to lag after bottoming out in July.
* The unemployment rate is improving after the July peak.
* The tough economy has increased demand for some county services, such as work force development, mental health counseling, aging services, health care and law enforcement.