City manager submits FY 2014-15 budget; public input encouraged at upcoming meetings

Posted January 21, 2014 at 4:12 pm

Northeast News
January 21, 2014

City of Kansas City Manager Troy Schulte has delivered the FY 2014-15 activity budget to the mayor’s office, and several public meetings will be held to garner community feedback.

The FY 2014-15 budget totals $1.4 billion, an increase of $37.3 million over the FY 2013-14 budget.

Revenue for governmental activities which includes wages and benefits, public safety, capital improvements, among others, is expected to decrease by 1.1 percent, or $10.2 million, due to a reduction in grants and fine revenue. Funding for personal services will increase by $11.5 million, mostly due to the city agreeing to fully fund the actuarial required contribution for all pensions beginning in the new fiscal year. Total funding for pensions will increase by $14.8 million. Due to this funding increase, Schulte is proposing to eliminate a total of 110 positions in city departments and eliminate 30 fire department positions. The police department is also being asked to make structural changes by continuing to partner with city departments as well as eliminating positions and finding additional savings through vacancies. Schulte said he recommends “a $6 million program efficiencies reduction to absorb approximately half of the police department’s combined costs of pension increases.”

A complete breakdown of the budget is available at http://www.kcmo.org/idc/groups/citymanager/documents/citymanagersoffice/submittedbudget_fy15_web.pdf.

“Over the past couple of years the Council, the manager and I have worked diligently to put policies in place to ensure the City’s long-term fiscal health is sound and to produce a five-year financial plan,” Mayor Sly James said in a press release. “Because of those efforts the City is in better shape, but we will need to make some tough decisions this year. Moving forward, I encourage our residents to give us feedback understanding that, much like their own budgets, funding is scarcer than our needs and wants.”

“The 2014-15 budget will require further belt-tightening in all City operations,” Schulte said,”but basic services will be maintained and the City will comprehensively fund its current pension obligations while saving hundreds of millions of dollars over the next 30 years in long-term financial obligations.”

Kansas Citians are invited to offer their input during three upcoming public budget hearings:

•Saturday, Feb. 15, 10 a.m. to noon
KCPD Shoal Creek Police Academy (auditorium)
6885 N.E. Pleasant Valley Road, Kansas City, MO 64119

•Saturday, Feb. 22, 10 a.m. to noon
Robert J. Mohart Multi-Purpose Center (auditorium)
3200 Wayne Ave., Kansas City, MO 64109

•Saturday, March 1, 10 a.m. to noon
KCPD South Patrol Division (use main entrance)
9701 Marion Park Drive, Kansas City, MO 64137