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Salvation From Kansas City's Pothole Problem Could Come In Next Year's City Budget

Julie Denesha
KCUR 89.3
Kansas City's proposed 2019-20 budget includes another hike for police and firefighters and more money to fix potholes next year.

The proposed Kansas City budget throws a lot more money at fixing up the city's roads. 

The 2019-20 budget, totaling more than $1.7 billion, was presented Thursday to the city council.  It includes a 70 percent increase for road resurfacing — from $10 million to $17 million.

City Manager Troy Schulte says that is a new consideration.

“Given that we're being besieged with pothole requests, that’s a direct result of that,” Schulte said.

The budget won’t be adopted until March – so that extra cash won’t help fix current potholes.

The police and fire departments are set to receive about $20 million more in the proposed Kansas City budget than the current year.

Residents consistently list public safety as a top priority in a yearly survey, and it takes up more than three-quarters of the city’s general fund.

The plan also calls for increased snow and ice removal, a rural mowing program, operation costs for a new animal shelter and a $1 million infusion into the American Jazz Museum.

Kansas City Budget Officer Scott Huizenga said revenue went up more than 5 percent in the last fiscal year, largely due to income from property and sales taxes and the earnings tax, which is the city’s largest single source of revenue.

Four public budget hearings are scheduled over the next month in different parts of the city.

Lisa Rodriguez is a reporter and the afternoon newscaster for KCUR 89.3. Follow her on Twitter @larodrig.

Slow news days are a thing of the past. As KCUR’s news director, I want to cut through the noise, provide context to the headlines, and give you news you can use in your daily life – information that will empower you to make informed decisions about your neighborhood, your city and the region. Email me at lisa@kcur.org or follow me on Twitter @larodrig.
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