Olathe & Southwest Joco

Olathe’s budget hearing shows about 5% increase in spending

Another place where the budget will see a significant change is in the recreation fund budget. The activities and maintenance at Lake Olathe is the main factor in the 10.5% increase in spending
Another place where the budget will see a significant change is in the recreation fund budget. The activities and maintenance at Lake Olathe is the main factor in the 10.5% increase in spending Courtesy photo

Tuesday night’s budget hearing at the Olathe City Council meeting showcased a budget with an approximate 5% increase in spending.

One of the bigger percentage increases in spending came in the stormwater fund, which increased by 20.3%, or $890,862. Although residential stormwater rates will not increase, non-residential rates will go up by 12 percent.

The spending increase will cover capital projects, such as those involving Upper Cedar Creek and Little Cedar Creek, as well as an additional stormwater maintenance position.

One place residents will see a rate increase is in water and sewer charges, which will go up by 3.5 and 4.5 percent respectively in 2020.

Another place where the budget will see a significant change is in the recreation fund budget. The activities and maintenance at Lake Olathe is the main factor in the 10.5% increase in spending, said Matthew Randall, the city’s budget manager.

Although the budget also shows 5.9% increase in spending from the solid waste fund, residents will not have a rate increase for solid waste disposal.

Olathe will also gain several new police officers under the 2020 budget. Three of those will be school resource officers. The Olathe School District and the city will split the cost on those positions.

A Community Oriented Policing Services grant will help fund four other police officer positions. The grant will pay for 75% of the officers’ salaries next year and taper off to 70% and 55% over the following two years.

In other business, the public comment period on the draft of the proposed non-discrimination ordinance has ended. City officials estimated they received about 200 comments and will have those ready for the council to review in September.

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