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Final Public Hearing on Proposed Budget Set for Tomorrow

8/12/2019
Contact: City Communications |

The final public hearing for the 2020-2021 Proposed Budget and 2019-2028 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) will be held at 9 a.m. tomorrow during the City Council meeting.

The meeting will take place in the City Council Chambers at 455 N. Main. The Budget and CIP are scheduled to be adopted the same day following the closure of the final public hearing.

For residents who are unable to attend the City Council meeting, the broadcast will be televised on City7 and the City's YouTube, Facebook and Twitter pages. It can also be viewed on the City's website www.wichita.gov.

City Manager Robert Layton released the proposed budget and CIP at the City Council meeting on July 23. Since the proposed budget was presented, changes recommended by the City Council at the Aug. 6 public hearing will result in the implementation of Phase II of the Police Staffing Study. The Proposed 2020-2021 Budget includes one-time expenditures in order to enhance efficiency and improve operations, as well as ongoing changes. These are the some of the highlights of one-time and ongoing expenditures that are reflected in the proposed budget:

Police Staffing Study Phase II. A Central Bureau will be created to address changes in crime patterns as a result of greater residential, business, and entertainment activity downtown. Additionally, capacity will be added to the Investigations Bureau. Equipment for 26 staff to be hired in 2019 and 2020 will be purchased for $865,811 in 2019. This equipment includes vehicles, radios, uniforms, computers, and body-worn cameras. The ongoing cost of Phase II will total $2.88 million in 2020 and $2.97 million in 2021. 

Funding core area policing. Seven grant-funded police officers are funded by the General Fund after the retention period ends in 2020. The officers currently patrol the Broadway Corridor at a cost of $700,000.

Code Enforcement Liaison Program. One inspector position is shifted to the General Fund in the 2019 Revised Budget following the discontinuation of grant funding. Additionally, funding for contracted process service and materials for volunteers is included in budget starting in 2019. The annual cost of these three changes is $125,000.

Additional funding for park maintenance. The annual budget increases by $275,000 per year in order to address maintenance requests in a more timely fashion.

Increased funding for pavement maintenance. The Capital Improvement Program includes significant and increasing levels of funding for pavement maintenance. Currently, $10 million is budgeted in 2020, but this amount is projected to rise to $18 million annually in 2028.

Innovation Fund. The Innovation Fund is available to implement projects that might languish without a funding source. In addition to the usual contribution of $50,000 each year, the General Fund will provide a supplemental amount of $400,000 in 2019.

A one-time $1 million surplus in 2019 will be invested in technology, equipment, and improvements that will result in future savings, such as:

  • Outsourcing the digitization of Police records. Outsourcing records scanning would cost $310,000 and save the City $65,000 annually. 
  • Purchasing a remote-control tree removal truck. This $200,000 truck would allow tree limbs to be removed by remote control and the efficiencies that are created by this process are valued at nearly $230,000 per year.
  • Investing in firefighter scheduling software. Reductions in overtime spending would recover the cost of scheduling software, which is $90,000 initially and $60,000 annually thereafter.
  • Implementing the Places for People Plan. Through the facilitation of the Places for People plan, $400,000 is available to be spent on missing sidewalks and unpaved streets in neighborhoods associated with infill development projects and/or land banks in order to purchase and maintain properties for future redevelopment.

The 2020-2021 Proposed Budget and 2019-2028 Proposed Capital Improvement Program can be reviewed online at www.wichita.gov or at any Wichita Public Library location.

The City's mission is to be an exceptionally well-run city that keeps Wichita safe, grows the economy, builds and maintains dependable infrastructure, and provides conditions for living well. The City's mission guided development of the $624 million 2020-2021 Operating Budget and the $2.4 billion, 10-year 2019-2018 CIP.

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