Sedgwick County's finances remain strong

WICHITA _ Unlike many units of government that are struggling through the recession, Sedgwick County's financial picture for the near term is excellent, commissioners were told today.

According to its 2009 financial report, the balance in its general fund — the county's main operating fund — is $68.8 million, up $2.4 million from 2008, said Troy Bruun, the deputy chief financial officer.

The fund has $6.4 million in reserve funds, $24.9 million in funds designated for the 2010 budget, and $37.5 million in undesignated and unreserved funds.

The amount of property tax revenue in the general fund rose $6.5 million although commissioners lowered the mill levy by 1 mill in 2008.

Bruun said the county changed how much of the mill levy money flows into each of six funds that receive mill levy money, increasing the amount for the general fund by 1.7 mills to pay for services.

The county's total net assets rose to $658.6 million, up $16 million from 2008. The county's net worth has increased every year since 2005.

Bruun said later that the county is in strong financial shape because it built up its reserves in the last two years to prepare for a "rainy day."

By sticking to tough financial policies, the county is able to fund its services and not have cut-backs, like some governmental units, he said.