The Mission Hills City Council on Monday approved diverting $150,000 out of its “rainy day” funds to pay for repairs caused by floods this past summer.
A pair of storms in July and another in August caused significant flooding along Rock Creek and Brush Creek within city limits, requiring the city to clear debris from roads and waterways, repair retaining walls and the footings of the new bridge on 63rd Street, replace a fence on Indian Lane and stabilize a water access ramp off Mission Drive.
In total, the work cost around $350,000. City Administrator Courtney Christensen said the city had only $200,000 available for the work, leaving a sizable shortfall.
With the move to amend the 2017 budget, the city is banking on receiving enough federal and state dollars in 2018 to reimburse most of the cost. Federal and Kansas officials earlier this year declared the storms a disaster, freeing up money for local governments.
Christensen said the reimbursement has been delayed as the federal government also has had to deal with expenses from hurricanes striking Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.
“They’re saying it’s probably going to be later in the year,” Christensen said.
The repair work is separate from a new pool of capital improvements made possible beginning next year after voters in November approved a five-year, 1/4 -cent citywide sales tax increase to address a backlog in projects. The city expects to begin receiving that additional revenue in April.
In other business, the council said it will consider amending its ordinances to prohibit professional landscaping companies from performing work in residential areas on Sundays and national holidays after receiving complaints from residents about a company mowing lawns and operating leaf blowers early on the morning of Thanksgiving.
City rules currently allow landscaping on any day between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. If changed, the new rules would mirror city prohibitions against construction activities on Sundays and holidays.
The council expects to discuss the issue further at a future meeting after receiving more information from staff.
Council members also agreed to conduct a study of the wages and benefits paid to city employees to see how well it matches up to comparable governments. Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. will provide the compensation study for $6,000.
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