On Tuesday, the City Commission will continue discussions on the 2021 budget. Early in the process, City Commissioners expressed desire not to raise property taxes by keeping the mill levy flat and directed City Administration to focus on cuts in services and transfers to the General Fund to fill the gap in lost revenue.
At the June 30 City Commission meeting, City Administration presented options that included just under $1.5 million in reductions in seasonal personnel and Parks and Recreation (P&R) programs, along with just over $1.2 million transfers from Water, Wastewater, Stormwater and the Economic Development Funds. However, City Commissioners expressed a desire to explore other reductions outside P&R programs like pools, parks, and certain programs.
Based on this feedback, City Administration and Department Heads presented options at the July 21 Commission Meeting that included 5% and 10% reduction scenarios in General Fund supported departments to make up the $2.7 million adjustment necessary for 2021. Human Resources, Finance and the Utilities (Water, Waste Water or Storm) were not included as the Utilities Division expenses do not come from the General Fund and staffing levels and resources in Human Resources and Finance need to be increased in order to serve the organization.
A total of $1,430,315 was identified for a 5% reduction; and $2,558,225 for a 10% reduction; summary chart is below. Details elaborating the specific departmental cuts be found on the City’s website at https://cityofmhk.com/DocumentCenter/View/59348/Item-6A-Discussion2021-Budget
Additionally, City Administration proposed to transfer $1.23 million from Water, Wastewater, Storm and Economic Development Funds as shown in the table below.
Per state statue, Kansas cities are required to hold a public hearing and publish maximum budget 10 days prior passing the final budget. Following this hearing, cities can make further cuts to their budgets, but they cannot exceed the published amount.
The City Commission may provide direction based on all of the options presented to reach the $2.7 million necessary to cover the 2021 budget challenges of additional necessary personnel, 27th pay period, and reduction in revenue for 2021. The options presented were not “all or nothing”, so the Commission may decide on a combination of cutting seasonal staff/programs; 5-10% across the board reductions; and transfers from water, waste water, stormwater and economic development funds.
Manhattan’s public hearing will occur during the Tuesday, August 4 Commission meeting at 7 pm. Public Hearing budget details can be found at https://cityofmhk.com/DocumentCenter/View/59591/Item-6A-2021-Budget2020-Amended-Budget-Hearing . You can watch live on Cox Cable Channel 3, City’s website at http://cityofmhk.com/tv, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Cityofmanhattan