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Kansas City Council Approves Budget That Adds Cops, Supports Entrepreneurs And Fixes Streets

Julie Denesha
KCUR 89.3
The Kansas City Council on Thursday approved a budget for the coming fiscal year.

The Kansas City Council on Thursday passed a budget for the 2019-2020 fiscal year that adds more police and funds to fix the city’s roads.

The entire city budget is about $1.7 billion.  It includes a 70 percent increase for road resurfacing — from $10 million to $17 million.

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

An unexpected increase in revenue, in part from a U.S. Supreme Court decision that allows local governments to collect sales tax on internet purchases, will allow the city to add a few additional police officers next year.

City officials had already planned to add ten new officers, but the extra windfall will allow them to bring that number to an even dozen.

Kansas City budget director Scott Huizenga says the additional spots will be entry-level salaries.

“So the police department essentially opens up a new class, there will be 12 additional position on that,” Huizenga said.

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 health department will also receive an additional boost for its violence prevention program, Aim4Peace.

The budget also includes $200,000 dollars for youth programming under the Parks and Recreation department, and $350,000 to boost entrepreneurs under the Urban Business Growth initiative.

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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