Overland Park & Leawood

Proposed Overland Park budget includes six new full-time positions

Overland Park’s proposed budget for 2014 shows the city is on solid ground.

In his presentation to the city council on Monday evening, City Manager Bill Ebel said that while there are no plans to offer new services, the budget reflects a strengthening in public safety and an increased investment in infrastructure maintenance.

The budget would also maintain the current property tax rate of 12.769 mills, which he said is the lowest in Johnson County.

To address specific needs, six full-time equivalent positions have been added to various departments.

The Fire Department will add two full-time positions — a lieutenant and a paramedic — to implement new mobile strategies to deliver EMS service and response.

The Police Department will add a full-time records technician.

Public works will add a full-time construction inspector.

The Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens will add a contract special events and education coordinator.

And two part-time positions — a customer service clerk and engineering technician — will be added to the Planning and Development Services Department.

The budget increases the 2014 general fund allocation for street maintenance by $750,000. The 2014 street and traffic maintenance budget is nearly $11 million, but would increase to almost $12 million after agreements with other cities are included.

As Overland Park ages, the city is going to need additional funding for maintenance to streets, curbs, stormwater, and traffic management, Ebel stated.

In June, each council committee will review the budget. The next public hearing before the council is tentatively set for Aug. 5. Final adoption is set for Aug. 19.