The Monday meeting of the Montgomery County commissioners was all about hearing various department budgets for FY2019. 

Following approval of the agenda, minutes of the last meeting, invoices and correspondence, commissioners Larry McManus and Fred Brown heard from Liz Schwatken of the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office regarding their 2019 budget. 

"It's the same basically, as last year," Schwatken began. "The only increase we have asked for was on capital outlay, we still have three or four Crown Vic's that are starting to get excessive high mileage on them so we are trying to get those rotated out of our fleet."

She said they are attempting to replace at least one a year. "You did allow us to replace 10 of them last year but we still have three or four Crown Vic's that are on the road," Schwatken explained. "So we did ask for an additional $11,500 on our capital outlay over last year to help rotate one more newer vehicle into the fleet." Commissioner Fred Brown asked Schwatken how many vehicles the sheriff's office had total which were 30. 

She mentioned the personal services line (salaries). "We ask for 8 percent which is what we have asked for the last three or four years," said Schwatken. "There were three or four years that we received no increases for our officers and we also had went through and we are still below the national average and even the state average on salaries for our officers."

Brown said he was curious about fuel prices since they are projected to rise in the near future to which Schwatken replied, "We have left it over the last several years and we have been able to make it on that. We don't anticipate needing anymore on that line."

The Department of Correction budget was then presented by Schwatken. "We have asked for $35,000 extra in capital outlay for a new transport unit," she said. DOC also asked for 8 percent increase for wage increases. 

The next department to present their 2019 budget was Kurtis Simmons, Community Correction director, who told commissioners, "The FY2019 Kansas Department of Corrections grant budget needs to be revised," he began. "What happened was the KDOC found it necessary to reduce the amount of DUI funding awarded for FY2019 from $1.8 billion to $1.5 million due to declining revenues in the Community Corrections Supervision fund." He mentioned it affected every community corrections statewide. The revision was approved.

"The other item I have is that Nov. 1 of this year I will have been here 34 years," Simmons stated. "The first five years I was Intensive Supervision officer and for the last 29, I have been director. I will be 62 this month so I decided to retire. I will be retiring effective Sept. 1 and my last working day will be Aug. 24."

Simmons told commissioners he selected three members of the advisory board, Nancy Finley, Judge Jeff Gossard and the county attorney, Larry Markle, who will select the next director. 

"I hate to see you go," said Commissioner Larry McManus. "You've done a good job."

Others presenting budgets to the commission were, County Health director Carolyn Muller, Register of Deeds Marilyn Calhoun, County Treasurer Nancy Clubine and County Clerk Charlotte Schmidt.

Jim Wright of the Public Works Department requested permission to fill an Operator 1 position due to an employee resignation; it was approved. A Memorandum of Understanding between Montgomery County and Washington County, Okla. was presented to commissioners which pertained to the bridge NBI #28325 which crosses the state line. Washington County will be responsible for maintaining the bridge; commissioners signed the memorandum.

In other business, the commission gave approval to destroy County Clerk records.