Mayor Quinton Lucas introduced record high budget propoosal aiming to enhance Kansas City’s public services

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Kansas City, Missouri – Kansas City announced its largest-ever budget for Fiscal Year 2024–25. This budget reflects the city’s commitment to fostering inclusive growth, enhancing community connectivity, and prioritizing areas such as housing, public safety, and infrastructure.

A New Chapter in Fiscal Health and Community Development

Mayor Quinton Lucas and City Manager Brian Platt took the lead in unveiling this historic budget to the City Council on February 8. The city has scheduled three community meetings designed to facilitate active engagement between Kansas City residents and their elected officials, providing a platform for citizens to voice their preferences on the allocation of the city’s tax dollars.

Check also: New capital programs for KCMO small businesses

Reflecting on the financial challenges faced in late 2020, Mayor Lucas highlighted the city’s remarkable turnaround from a $70 million shortfall that threatened essential city services and the well-being of city employees. Fast forward to today, and Kansas City has not only overcome this fiscal challenge but also achieved its strongest financial standing. “Today, I am proud to say we are in Kansas City’s strongest fiscal position ever,” Mayor Lucas stated, citing a record-high rainy-day fund balance, strong credit ratings, and a reduction in unnecessary spending as key indicators of the city’s fiscal resilience.

The 2024–25 budget signals a period of sustained revenue growth for Kansas City, enabling the administration to allocate funds towards critical areas that will drive the city’s inclusive growth and development. This budgetary strategy is aimed at not only addressing the immediate needs of the community but also laying down a robust foundation for the future prosperity of Kansas City and its residents.

The proposed budget includes:

Public Safety and Community Well-being

  • Fully fund Kansas City Police Department personnel exceeding their budget request.
  • Funding for 150 new officer recruits
  • Proposing pay raises for all officers and a $15,000 or 30 percent increase in starting salaries from $50,000 up to $65,000 for Kansas City Police Officers.
  • Provides wage increases with the goal to remain competitive in the region at recruiting top public safety professionals for both Police and Fire.
  • Creates a KCPD hiring and retention incentive of $2,500 per employee program to recruit and retain positions the department is finding difficult to hire.
  • $7M dedicated toward violence intervention and prevention and continue to bolster our Partners for Peace program which helped more than 500 people impacted by shootings in 2023, giving them resources to heal and lead a successful life.
  • Prioritizes solutions to address emergency call wait times.
  • Adds $500,000 for Citywide Camera Replacement.
  • Includes more than $30M toward fleet and Fire Department infrastructure improvements.
  • Continues replacement of fleet at or beyond its lifecycle replacing 12 new ambulances.

Check also: Kansas City roll outs new trash carts for cleaner streets in 12 neighborhoods

Infrastructure and Accessibility Improvements

  • $34.8M toward another year of historic street resurfacing and street infrastructure work throughout the city with a goal of over 400 lane miles again this year to reduce the number of future potholes and allow smoother and safer driving for all.
  • Additional funding of $4.0M for Vision Zero/safer streets improvements, 8 times more than last year. Vision Zero is designed to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries on Kansas City streets by 2030 while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all.
  • Funding for enhanced snow removal operations originally implemented in 2022.
  • Fleet vehicle replacements including new street sweepers, zero emissions electric vehicles, additional snow removal trucks, and the City’s first fully electric trash truck
  • Continuation of the City’s LED streetlight conversion to reduce carbon emissions, provide better lighting, and a multimillion dollar decrease in energy and maintenance costs
  • $5M in GO Bond funding for sidewalk improvements and $2.5M toward ADA corner improvements, along with an additional $600,000 in funding toward ADA improvements.

Housing Initiatives and Healthy Communities

  • Purchasing and delivering 170,000 trash carts to residents in every single district following the 2023 delivery of citywide recycling cart delivery across the city
  • Provides an additional $800,000 to fund the current demand for the Right to Counsel program for total funding of $2.4M. This funding will help provide legal assistance and support to individuals facing eviction.
  • Prioritizes $6.0M annually for year two of five dedicated to Violence Intervention and Prevention.
  • Appropriates $12.5M for year two of four in the Housing Trust Fund from GO Bonds for affordable housing initiatives at no additional cost to residents.
  • $1M to continue the expansion of Kansas City’s tree canopy and goal of planting 10,000 trees over three years.
  • Addition of $1.5M for Dangerous Building Demolition.
  • Neighborhood Empowerment Grants funded at $400,000.
  • Continued expansion of bulky item collection
  • $250,000 toward expanded litter cleanup across all districts.
  • $1M to mitigate lead in soils of vacant properties in the Ivanhoe Neighborhood and to prepare the property for use as infill housing.
  • $200,000 funding for launching a citywide mural arts program.

Check also: Kansas City Streetcar Authority announced the arrival of the newest Streetcar

Fostering Inclusive Growth and Economic Development

  • Investments in Kansas City as a destination:
    • $5.0M for World Cup preparations.
    • $2.3M increase to VisitKC, the economic development organization dedicated to tourism in Kansas City to attract visitors and conventions to Kansas City.
  • Investments in Kansas City as a place for small businesses:
    • Continued investment of $500,000 for small businesses and $200,000 for restaurant incentives.
  • $3.8M for T-Mobile Center capital maintenance and repairs.

Finance & Governance

  • Kansas City Employees will continue to receive meaningful salary increases across the board. For non-union employees increases will be 3.5%.
  • Continues Investments in the Equity Office and Improving Accessibility of City Services:
    • Appropriates $375,000 for Language Access Initiatives.
    • Adds $1.0M of funding for a new Refugee and Immigrant Services program.
    • Dedicates $210,000 for the Reparations Committee.
  • $2.0M for capital repairs at the American Jazz and Negro League Baseball (NLB) Museums.
  • $100K One Percent for Art conservation and maintenance.

Residents are encouraged to participate in the upcoming community meetings to voice their opinions and preferences regarding the budget allocations. For detailed information on the proposed budget and to access the budget transmittal letter, residents can visit the official Kansas City website at KCMO.gov/budget.

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