LAWRENCE, Ks. – It appears the Lawrence SRS office won't be closing after all.
City and county commissioners have unanimously approved temporary financial assistance to help SRS meet its budget target without closing the agency's Lawrence office. SRS secretary Rob Siedlecki had planned to close the office as a way of saving $225,000 in the state general fund.
"I definitely regret the chaos that was a result of having to reach the nine office closure, but again, we had to meet our goals of cutting the budget," says Siedlecki. "But this is a win-win for everbody because we get to keep the Lawrence office open, we meet our obligations, the citizens get their services. So we're excited this proposal was brought to us."
The city of Lawrence and Douglas County will each pay $112,500 this year and next to SRS in exchange for the office staying open.
"Afterward, we'll make good-faith efforts to keep the office open, get funding from the legislature," says Siedlecki. "We want this to be a partnership with the city and county."
The city will spend down its fund balances to make the payments. The county's share will come from money set aside for future economic development projects.