The Johnson County Fiscal Court approved several amendments to its budget during its regular meeting July 12, among them a $3 million amendment for a line of credit for expenditures related to disaster relief from this year’s ice storm and flooding events, alongside other amendments, including some for the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office.
Judge-Executive Mark McKenzie put forth the item with a call for a motion to approve the first reading of the amendment, explaining that the line item had to be added for a line of credit approved to help with recovery efforts of up to the $3 million mark, although that does not mean that the entire amount would be used.
“We need to amend our budget in order to be able to bring these funds in when the process is complete for the line credit and in order to be able to expend these funds,” McKenzie said. “So, the first step in that process is to amend the current year budget. We did not anticipate this need when we did the budget a couple of months ago ... so, we are proposing to amend the budget $3 million because the line of credit was approved for up to (that amount) ... obviously, pending reimbursement from (Federal Emergency Management Agency).”
This first reading, McKenzie said, is but the first step in passing this amendment in earnest, as it will also pass through the Department of Local Government for approval and then move on to a second reading, as well as a publication before it can be entered into the budget.
According to McKenzie, these efforts are still underway, with cleanup and road repairs still sweeping through the county repairing culverts, cleaning trees and debris and patching damaged roads. McKenzie asked for the community’s continued patience throughout this process.
“We appreciate everybody’s patience, we know that it can be a challenge at times, but understand that we will continue to work toward getting all of this cleaned up -- it is a lengthy process. It happened within a week, or within just a few hours, really, but obviously the cleanup and recovery can last for months,” McKenzie said, speaking of the ice storm cleanup. “We’re going to stay after that until we get that taken care of.”
McKenzie also updated the community on FEMA flood damage repairs for areas not deemed as an emergency by the federal agency, citing that the process cannot continue with those areas until after the agency actually visits them in person for evaluation and input.
“Obviously, it’s very important that we continue to follow the FEMA process as we seek reimbursement on this,” McKenzie said, also asking that the community continue to report any damages related to the flood -- adding that the deadline for filing reports has been extended to July 30. “Please don’t hesitate to call us, we’re going to address all of these items, sometimes it takes a little longer as we’re waiting on approval from state and federal agencies but we’re going to continue working until we get them all addressed. Call us to ensure to that we know where the locations are of things that need to be addressed.”
The Johnson County Fiscal Court meets on the second Monday of each month at 4:45 p.m. in the fiscal courtroom on Court Street and all meetings are open to the public.