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Platte County supervisors got a peek at the Veteran Services Office’s 2018-19 budget proposal on Tuesday, but the board opted to table any action while spending for next year continues to wind through the budget workshop process in the weeks ahead.

Supervisor Jim Scow said he voted to table action because of the timing of the presentation by Veterans’ Services Officer Eric Mullally, who addressed the board without realizing that board already had a budget workshop meeting slated for later in the day.

“I may have jumped the gun,” said Mullally, adding he would return to supervisors’ meeting room later today to attend the workshop.

Mullally said he appeared at the supervisors meeting because he wasn’t included in last year’s budget workshop when decisions were made that were not a benefit to the office.

The budget proposal presented by Mullally detailed total spending of $107,050 for the office, which services Platte and Colfax county veterans.

Platte would pay $78,827 of that spending, while Colfax taxpayers would pick up $28,222 of the tab.

The spending blueprint calls for $82,160 for office personnel, Mullally and a clerical assistant. The service officer’s salary would be $49,920 in the upcoming budget cycle.

That personnel spending would include wage increases of $3 per hour for Mullally and $1 an hour for his assistant.

Mullally also gave the supervisors a snapshot of what other comparable counties are budgeting to operate veterans’ services offices this year.

Platte’s budget total for this year is $102,430, far less than the $181,487 Adams County is spending for the cycle. Platte has a total population of 32,861 with an estimated 2,338 veterans, while Adams has a population of 31,684 with a vet population of 2,125.

Meanwhile, Colfax with a population of 10,414 and 484 veterans, spends $34,250. That’s compared to York County, with a population of 13,794 and 847 vets, spending $119,887 during this budget year.

The combined vets’ office had 139 veteran and dependent benefits claims decided from January through December 2017. A total of 28 claims are still pending with federal Veterans Administration officials as of Dec. 29.

Mullally said $491,042 had been received as retroactive compensation payments, along with $27,773 received as one-time burial allowances.

Jim Osborn is a reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at jim.osborn@lee.net.

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Jim Osborn is a news reporter at The Columbus Telegram.

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