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LCAT officials discuss their upcoming budget with county commissioners Thursday morning.

County Commissioners officially approved a Lyon County Area Transportation funding grant for fiscal year 2021 during a regularly-scheduled action session Thursday morning.

The pledged money — $233,239.60 in total, which marks a $14,000 increase from the previous grant — will help support LCAT from July 1 of next year until June 30, 2021. A little more than $205,000 of the grant will be used for the organization’s operating and administrative costs, meaning no change from last year. The remaining funds are set to be put toward the purchase of new fleet vehicles.

“One thing I wanted to do when I took over the finances was finally arrive at a budget we could carry over from year to year,” LCAT Finance Officer Shane Brunner said. “The county runs on a calendar year and [the Kansas Department of Transportation] runs on a fiscal year, so there’s always a six-month sort of deficit when we change budgets, and we weren’t quite able to maximize our money from one side or the other … From here forward, all the budgets should match. I feel like we’ve finally arrived at a budget that reflects LCAT spending and that we can operate inside of.”

Brunner said a few LCAT vehicles were approaching KDOT’s 150,000-mile replacement cutoff, meaning he needed to act sooner rather than later. Among other purchases, the organization plans to invest in a new van which would allow easier access and more space for wheelchair-bound passengers.

“We’re applying on their side for a replacement bus and a replacement van from them,” Brunner said. “It comes to about $27,859.60 and won’t exceed $30,000 on the county’s side … We are hoping to sell [a bus] in the calendar year of 2020, and the last time we sold a vehicle it went for about $15,000. Hopefully we can get roughly around the same amount, which would offset this year’s increase.”

During the meeting, commissioners also:

• Published bids for a hot water heating system replacement at the Lyon County Detention Center

• Approved several quotes for new Road and Bridge Department purchases including a barrel-head tree mulcher for a Komatsu excavator in the amount of $45,200; a specialty tool and electronic equipment storage system in the amount of $3,399; and an engine overhaul for a 2000 Sterling dump truck in the amount of $20,823.62.

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