KANSAS CITY, Mo. — On Thursday, the Kansas City Council approved the $1.9 billion fiscal year 2022-23 city budget.
City leaders note the budget supports major improvements to services like street repair/resurfacing, trash and litter pickup, and public safety.
At $269 million, the Kansas City Police Department’s budget is the largest of any city department.
In a deal with the Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners, the city council also added $33 million to the Community Policing and Prevention Fund. The money will still go to KCPD but will be directly focused on increased pay for officers and staff, adding more officers, funding for the communications unit and more.
“This budget — for the first time in my lifetime — includes earmarked funding to ensure the Kansas City Police Department is prioritizing vital services such as providing officer pay raises, boosting the 911 call center, adding additional homicide detectives, and creating two new neighborhood centers to build police-community relations,” Mayor Quinton Lucas said in a statement Thursday.
The city budget also fully funds the new Housing and Community Development Department, which focuses on affordable housing, tenant advocacy and preventing homelessness. The department’s budget includes $12.5 million for the Housing Trust Fund, $2.5 million for the Tenants Right to Counsel Program and $40 million for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program.
The Public Works budget has increased to $145 million, up $2.7 million from the last fiscal year. The department will have new funding for litter cleanup, new street sweepers, expanded bulky item pickup, additional snow removal vehicles and more.
Additionally, Kansas City’s budget includes funding for pay increases for city employees. It’s a move city leaders hope will help with retention and recruitment.
The budget was first proposed in February, but the city council held several public hearings to gather resident feedback, leading to the following changes, among others:
- The Rebuild KC grant program went from $10 million to $15 million in American Rescue Plan funds.
- Funding increased for Arts KC, the KC Film Commission and UNESCO.
- An additional $500,000 went to support small businesses.
- An additional $500,000 went to KC Parks and Recreation to improve facilities, open pools and expand operations.
- The city will spend $150,000 to hire more development plan reviewers and construction inspectors, along with the $1.74 million added to the City Planning department for new staff and resources.
“Over the last two years, we’ve made important investments in road resurfacing, expanded trash collection, and launched Kansas City’s first-in-the-nation Zero Fare Transit initiative—all while trimming wasteful spending and working to put Kansas City in a healthy financial spot,” Lucas said.
“But there is still critical work to be done to rebuild our roads, bridges, and sewers; increase access to public transit and broadband; make our city more resilient against the impacts of climate change; and invest in neighborhoods and communities that have been left behind too often by federal, state, and local officials.
“Kansas City’s Fiscal Year Budget reflects these priorities and so many more, including further investments in our Housing Trust Fund, substantial funding for neighborhood improvement projects through our Rebuild KC grant program, and increases in City worker salaries to recruit and retain talent and ensure we are paying all in our workforce a humane wage.”