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KCMO proposed budget calls for more police, fire spending

KC City Hall
Posted at 3:19 PM, Feb 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-14 16:19:43-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Largely taking advantage of a projected 4.1 percent increase in revenues, Kansas City, Missouri leaders Thursday unveiled the proposed budget for 2019-20 that calls for an increases in funding for police and fire.

City Manager Troy Schulte and Mayor Sly James said the budget calls for $21.2 million increase in the city’s public safety budget, including a $7.3 million increase for the Kansas City Police Department and a $13.3 million increase for the Kansas City Fire Department.

The increase for police allows for $4.7 million in wage and benefit increases for officers and civilians and $2.2 million in pension and health insurance increases. The proposal does not add any police officers.

The $7.3 million increase in the fire department will largely go toward wages and benefits, as well as 15 new firefighters and three communication specialists.

Following today’s submission, the city will hold a series of public meetings to gather input:

  • 6 to 8 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 19, at Southeast Community Center, 4201 E. 63rd Street
  • 1 to 3 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 21 at the Community Room at KCPD Headquarters, 1125 Locust
  • 9 to 11 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 23, at the RB Doolin Center Board Room, 1856 NE 46th Street
  • 9 to 11 a.m., Saturday, March 2, at the Gregg/Klice Community Center, 1600 John Buck O’Neil Way

The City Council is slated to adopt the budget on March 21.

Other highlights:

  • The 4.1 percent projected increase in revenue is nearly double his historical average increase of 2.5 percent.
  • The capital improvement plan calls for an increase of $17 million for street preservation. $500,000 of that increase will go toward enhanced bike and pedestrian lanes.
  • The Public Works budget calls for an $8.7 million increase for additional street repair, the repainting of more
  • The Neighborhoods and Housing Services budget calls for an increase of $4.6 million to fund animal health/public safety, illegal dumping, nuisance abatement and trash collection.
  • The Parks and Recreation Department budget calls for a $4.6 million increase to cover several costs, including the hiring of six Parks Rangers as part of a new Parks Safety and Security initiative.
  • A request for $3 million for an expansion of the convention center kitchen.
  • Rate increases of 2 percent for water and 6 percent for sewer services.