Aldermen approve 2019 budget

By Dennis Minich

The Harrisonville Board of Aldermen voted at its Nov. 19 meeting to approve a fiscal year 2019 budget of $35,730,045. The board voted 7-1 to approve the budget with Alderman Judy Reece voting no.

Of the total budget, about $9.5 million will go to the general fund and just under $12.9 million is in the electric fund.

The largest percentage of the general fund budget goes to police and law enforcement services which accounts for just more than $3 million. The general fund also includes $841,000 in debt service.

Among some of the major expenditures included in the budget are $350,000 for sidewalks, $100,000 for storm water and $400,000 for asphalt. The police department is budgeted about $100,000 for three new cars and $20,000 is earmarked to build a locker room in the police station, something which has been discussed for three years.

The Emergency Medical Services department is getting $433,000 for new equipment and the street department is planning to purchase a new dump truck for $58,500.

The largest source of income for the fiscal year is sales taxes which are projected to bring in $2.3 million. Administrative services fees will bring in $1.7 million and franchise fees are worth another $1.6 million.

Reece said she voted no on the budget because it did not provide funding for the city’s employees to observe the Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday holiday.

“One of the TV stations came here last January and the mayor spoke, quite eloquently, that this was a policy we needed to update and observe. Then we got into the survey and the employees said they didn’t want it. You said it would cost too much money. (City Administrator) Happy (Welch) said it would cost the city $20,000 to observe.

“$20,000 in a $35 million budget is about one-half of one-one hundredth of a percent,” Reece said.

Alderman Judy Bowman commented, “I voted for the budget, but I am disappointed we didn’t add another holiday. I also wish we had added more money for storm water.”

Mayor Brian Hasek addressed the holiday by saying, “That’s something in the personnel policy, not a budget item.”

The board voted 8-0 to contract with Michael Newman to serve as a manager of the airport. Newman is a pilot and mechanic who has a plane at the airport. He has agreed to work for $415 per month.

James Green, who is the current airport manager and is a city employee, is leaving at the end of this month to work for the federal government in St. Louis.

The board also approved two change orders totaling just more than $26,000 for work on the city’s water treatment plant. The board also unanimously approved a contract with Shady Tree Service for a tree-trimming contract with the electric department.

In other business, the board approved the application for the Christmas on the Square event Dec. 8 and watched as the mayor presented police officer Doug Rose with his 20-year service certificate.

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