Harrisonville continues 2014 budget discussions

bbashioum@demo-mo.comAugust 23, 2013 

Harrisonville City Administrator Keith Moody has laid out his plan for the 2014 city budget.

Moody presented the budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year during a regular meeting Aug. 19.

The budget includes the objectives aldermen approved at a special meeting in July with some minor adjustments.

Among the proposals, the city is looking to fund the following projects:

Completion of part two of a three-step plan to replace current EMS turnout gear that has reached its 10-year useful life span. Cost estimate is $22,000.

Clean 12 miles of city sewer lines that have been identified for roots, material build up and grease. Cost estimate is $60,000, submitted by Jerry Gibbs.

Apply for a grant for the expansion of the Harrisonville Linear Trail system. To receive the grant, a 80/20 or 75/25 percent match from the city would be needed. Cost estimate is $50,000 for the city’s match, and $200,000 from the grant.

Continued development of a crime control unit to specifically attack illegal drug use, submitted by John Hofer.

Purchase new office furniture for police facility. Moody said due to a very tight budget, furniture costs were eliminated in initial cost discussions. Cost is $50,000.

Also discussed in recent meetings, the city plans to bump up utility rates.

Moody has proposed a three-cent increase in the cost of the city’s water rate for the first 1,000 gallons of water residents and businesses use, jumping the current cost of $11.12 to $11.15. In addition, the rate for each additional 1,000 gallons would increase from $7.055 to $7.10, a 4.5 cent increase.

A spike in sewer rates by four cents is also being considered.

The city wants to increase the sewer rate for the first 1,000 gallons of water from $10.36 to $10.40, and from $6.707 to $6.75 for each additional 1,000 gallons.

Moody expects the increase will be no more that $6 per year for a single-family residence.

“We’re still in a position that our utilities are above average, and I recognize that,” said Moody, earlier this week. “But, the very modest increase in the water and sewer rate that I’m proposing is not going to move us into a position where we’re at the top.”

Residents may also be asked to pick up the tab for the Household Hazardous Waste collection program, which has always been provided by the city in the past.

The city’s contract with Town and Country to provide trash disposal will not see an increase for 2014, but as presented in the budget discussion, the city plans to begin charging property owners an additional $2.76 annually to pay for the HHW program, which costs the city $10,000 annually.

Within the proposed budget, the city is looking to give employees a 2.5 percent merit increase in pay, as well as an additional $35 per month increase in the city’s contribution toward health and dental premiums. The change is LAGERS contribution is reflected which amounts to a $1,300 decrease.

The city is also proposing a $.0089 increase in the property tax rate to increase revenues by $5,624.

Moody said if approved, the increase would not result in a property tax increase on current property as property values decrease, but that the additional revenue would come from new construction or new personal property purchases.

Total expenditures are at $34.23 million, down from $36.2 million in 2013, but up from $31.7 million in 2012.

Adoption of the budget is expected in early September.

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