Tonight, Overland Park Mayor Carl Gerlach and the City Council received the first presentation for the recommended 2019 Budget that includes additional personnel in the police and fire departments, public works, park services, and the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead.
"Overland Park operations are service-driven. With that in mind, the 2019 Budget adds personnel to maintain the high level of public services our community has come to expect,” said City Manager Bill Ebel. “Further, as the city infrastructure continues to age, the proposed budget allocates more money for street maintenance and curb replacement.”
“Our budget priorities are public safety, public services, and infrastructure,” Ebel said.
Street infrastructure maintenance increases from $14.8 million this year to a proposed $16.7 million in 2019. The increase includes replacing over five miles of curbs in 2019 based on current costs, Ebel said.
The proposed 2019 budget maintains Overland Park’s 13.565 mill rate from 2018, the lowest of any city in Johnson County or any first-class city in Kansas. The total budget is $294.6 million, a .8 percent increase above 2018. The general fund portion supporting day-to-day city operations is $122.5 million, a 4 percent increase.
The 2019 budget would increase the city’s full-time equivalent to 1,084 employees compared with a FTE of 1,092 in 2009.
“Over the last decade positions have been cautiously and strategically evaluated and have been added only as specific needs have been identified and defined,” Ebel said. “This next year we are proposing to add staff where we were seeing significant workload increases.”
Proposed additions to staffing include:
- A full-time digital communications assistant.
- Three Full-time systems analysts in the Information Technology Department.
- Three full-time police officers, a full-time investigations technician and a full-time dispatcher in the Police Department.
- A full-time fire inspector and a full-time data analyst in the Fire Department.
- A full-time assistant superintendent and a full-time assistant supervisor for animal care and at the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead.
- Additional part-time lifeguards at Matt Ross Community Center.
- A full time probation officer in Municipal Court.
- Two full-time construction specialists in stormwater maintenance.
Other budget highlights include:
- $31,000 for live streaming of public meetings.
- $51,500 employee safety enhancements for cancer reduction strategies in the Fire Department.
- $55,000 for removal and replacement of approximately 100 ash trees as part of the Emerald Ash Borer management plan.
- $40,000 for the Fourth of July Star Spangled Spectacular.
- $38,000 to enhance the Wi-Fi system at Scheels Overland Park Soccer Complex.
The four City Council committees will each review their respective areas of the budget. On Monday, July 16, the City Council Committee of the Whole will reconvene to review the 2019 budget and any proposed changes.
The second public hearing for the 2019 budget is currently scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Monday, Aug 6, in the Council Chamber, with final adoption set for Aug. 20. An approved budget would go into effect Jan. 1, 2019.