Overland Park is on a tight budget for the next five years.
By JENNIFER BHARGAVA
Special to The Star
At the Committee of the Whole meeting on Monday evening, City Manager Bill Ebel presented the 2015-2019 five-year financial, capital improvements and maintenance plans to the governing body.
While the city’s financial position is stable and will slightly improve over the next five years, the biggest risk is that there is not a lot of money to meet any future needs or new service requirements, should they unexpectedly arise, he said.
But, the city isn’t panicking.
“If everything is status quo, we’ll be fine, but we know it’s normal for things to pop up” said Gena McDonald, assistant chief financial officer for Overland Park. “We’re not overly concerned. Hopefully with the development that’s been occurring and with the economy continuing to grow, we’ll have additional resources. And we will always continue to reexamine our current resources to see where we can be more efficient.”
Ebel pointed out that the current mill levy of 12.833 will remain constant over the next five years.
The Capital Improvements Plan is filled with important projects.
One of the biggest highlights from the plan is the widening of Antioch Road from two to four lanes from 167th Street to 179th Street. The $20 million price tag can be attributed to the complexity of the project, since it crosses Wolf Creek, Ebel said.
The plan also calls for Roe Park Pool to be closed. Because of the conditions of the concrete, operating equipment, and sewer problems, the city plans to close the pool after the 2015 swim season.
Plans to enhance Roe Park are in the works. Improvements may include parking lot reconstruction and expansion, newer restrooms, enhanced playground features, picnic shelters and landscaping.
The city is also set to replace the covered parking at the Overland Park Convention Center.
The five-year plan is not set in stone, McDonald said. Over the next several months, various city committees will review the plan until it eventually goes to the Planning Commission and City Council for public hearings and approval.