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Shawnee to focus on public safety and public works in 2020 budget

Posted: 7:11 AM, Jul 08, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-08 08:11:53-04
shawnee city hall.jpg

SHAWNEE, Kan. — Monday night, leaders in Shawnee, Kansas, will host a public hearing on the 2020 proposed budget. The proposal calls for keeping the same tax rate as 2019.

Public safety gets the biggest percentage of budgeted funds, with public works coming in second accounting for about a third of the budget.

The fire department is asking for $350,000 to create three new administrative positions. The funds would cover salary, benefits, retirement. A chief of operations would help coordinate the department's response to emergencies. A logistics officer would be in charge of maintenance on fire stations trucks and equipment. And a data analyst would look for ways to improve inefficiencies by taking a look at the numbers, from response times to amount of equipment firefighters use.

In the past two years, the department built a new fire station and added 12 new firefighters.

On the public works side of things, the city is setting aside money for a series of road, sewer and sidewalk projects over the next nine years. They include improving the interchange at Johnson Drive and Interstate 435, work on Midland Drive from I-435 to Shawnee Mission Parkway and completing Lackman Road between Johnson Drive and 75th Street.

The city estimates it will collect roughly $26 million from property taxes. In May, voters rejected a proposed property tax increase to pay for a new community center.

Before adopting the budget, city council members will host a public hearing on the proposal at 7 p.m. at city hall, 11110 Johnson Dr.