Two Johnson County cities deal with budget issues

JOHNSON COUNTY, Kan. - Money is the key word for two cities in Johnson County after controversial projects cause issues with their budgets.

This week, mounting legal issues pushed Prairie Village over its legal budget. City leaders moved $135,000 within its general fund to cover the costs. At the top of the list of legal woes: the Mission Chateau Project.

Residents like Whitney Kerr of Prairie Village opposed the project in the village.

"We think that the project proposed is the wrong project for the area, it's way too big and it's out of character and we think it's also going to cause a strain on city services," she said back in July.

Over the summer, resident urged city leaders to vote no on the controversial project. And when they did, the developer challenged the city for turning it down.

Quinn Bennion, the city administrator, noted legal costs for Mission Chateau cost the city more than $67,000.

Records show Prairie Village has gone over its legal budget for the last two years but the city says the recent budget issues aren't putting a financial strain on the city's finances.

Bid development is expected to put a financial strain on another Johnson County city in a different way. Walmart, one of the most lucrative retailers in Roeland Park, plans to pull out of the city.

"That for Roeland Park amounts to about $700,000 a year in sales tax so that is a large deal to say the least," Roeland Park City Administrator Aaron Otto. 

Otto says Walmart is one of the best residents in the city.

"If there was a way that we could have them stay there would be interest," he said.

While Roeland Park braces itself for a loss from a big move, Prairie Village works to pad up their legal budget the next time another big development stirs the pot.

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