October 8, 2022
By Michael Anderson
During the October 4th, 2022 BOA meeting, the Raytown Board of Aldermen approved a $37.1 million budget for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. The annual budgeting process begins in June 2022 and focuses on infrastructure, revenue enhancements, and neighborhood revitalization. Employees of the City will receive a 5% cost of living adjustment. The approved budget is a conservative budget and each Department was asked to create a budget that would keep expenditures in line with flat revenue projections for the General Fund.
The General Fund finances most City operations and departments and has a budget of $14,769,039.00.
Additional funding for the City comes from specific taxes and funds that must be used for their intended purpose.
The Park Fund is budgeted for $1,840,863.00 and will be appropriating $480,000.00 of its unrestricted fund for the redevelopment of the Supersplash property and other park projects. The Parks Department is estimated to receive $335,000.00 in grant funding. The Parks Department is funded by both property and sales taxes.
Last fiscal year, the Parks Department received a grant of $224,486.00 from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources Land Water Conservation Fund which paid 50% of the cost of the Kenagy Park Tennis Court Renovation. The new tennis courts should last close to 40 years. In addition, $3,000,000.00 was secured in Federal funding for the Kenagy Park and 53rd Street property. These funds are currently awaiting the approval of the United States Senate.
Transportation Sales Tax Fund is budgeted for $1,687,575.00 and funds from this tax must specifically be used to fund road repair projects, such as patching potholes and damaged sections of roads, and also for resurfacing projects.
Over the last two years, the City of Raytown has spent $2,000,000.00 on roadway maintenance projects, addressing only 3% of City roadways. The Public Works department has applied for $10,000,000.00 in ARPA funds along with State grants in the amount of $2,900,000.00. In addition, the City has applied for $7,400,000.00 in grants from the Mid-America Regional Council’s Surface Transportation Block Grant Program.
The Capital Sales Tax Fund is budgeted for $1,853,193.00 and these funds must be used for one-time capital related purchases or projects. Capital purchases can be asset purchases such as property, buildings, vehicles, and equipment. For the new fiscal year, security upgrades for the City Court and new evidence building for the Raytown Police Department will come from this fund. These funds will be utilized by multiple City departments including Public Works, which will receive $940,500.00 to fund various equipment and capital needs.
The Public Safety Sales Tax Fund is used to help fund the Raytown Police Department and has a budget of $2,127,626.00. The total budget for the Police Department is $7,448,469.00.
The TIF Fund is used to collect sales taxes that pay for the debt servicing of the 350 Hwy. redevelopment, otherwise known as the Raytown Live project. Once the debt is fully paid, these funds will return to City coffers. $3,172,428.00 is budgeted for debt servicing.
The Sanitary Sewer Fund is budgeted for $10,556,365.00. There is a 7% sewer rate increase for the 2022-2023 budget year to offset rate increases from the Little Blue Valley Sewer District and KCMO Water. $2,776,500.00 was budgeted for capital repair projects for sanitary sewer infrastructure.
City Administrator, Damon Hodges, stated in his report to the board, “that the proposed budget encourages the professional development of our staff, places people to provide enhanced services, preserves and improves infrastructure, maintains facilities and lays the groundwork for future growth.”
Additional highlights from the Board of Aldermen meeting included a report from the Finance Department that the City of Raytown has no general obligation debt.
The Board approved a pilot project for a winter weather response incentive program which is designed to ensure operational readiness through adequate staffing, and to encourage and allow for employees from other City departments who possess a CDL to assist in plowing the streets. The annual cost is weather dependent, but not expected to exceed $33,000.00.
The Board approved the sale of surplus property from the former Supersplash water park. Other water parks are expected to have an interest in this equipment. Parks Director, Dave Turner, believes that City can recoup close to $100,000 in selling the surplus equipment.
During public comments, former Alderman Joe Creamer spoke about the need for Aldermen to handle themselves in a professional manner. His comments were directed towards current Ward 1 Alderman Greg Walters, who he accused of filing a false police report against him. Creamer said, “I was disappointed that this Alderman utilized the police department against me.”