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Kannapolis releases proposed fiscal year 2023 budget

The recommended budget is $94,916,039 which includes all six operating funds of the City.
The recommended budget is $94,916,039 which includes all six operating funds of the City.(City of Kannapolis)
Published: May. 26, 2022 at 9:29 PM EDT

KANNAPOLIS N.C. (WBTV) - Kannapolis City Manager Mike Legg presented the recommended Fiscal Year 2023 budget to the Kannapolis City Council this week. The recommended budget is $94,916,039 which includes all six operating funds of the City. The budget includes no property tax increase.

The proposed budget concentrates on several guiding principles:

1. Maintaining and improving city services to meet the needs of our thriving City.

2. Retaining existing employees and recruiting people to work for the City.

3. Saving cash reserves to be used for future one-time capital projects once the Imagine Kannapolis Strategic Planning Process is completed later this year. The goal of Imagine Kannapolis is to establish a future vision for Kannapolis, determine the focus areas (such as public safety, transportation, and economic development) needed to bring the vision to fruition, set strategic objectives for each focus area, develop a financial and operational plan to achieve the objectives and begin implementation of the strategic plan.

The City’s population is approximately 51,000 and the City has grown by 45% in the last 20 years. Kannapolis is the 20th largest city in North Carolina. Projections indicate that the City will continue to grow by 2.2% annually and will likely reach a population of at least 77,000 by 2040.

Like all cities and businesses across the U.S. Kannapolis faces the challenges of the new post Covid normal. Employee shortages, inflation, supply chain issues and construction costs impact how the City spends its funds to provide services. Fortunately, the City’s good financial health and the continued outlook for positive economic growth mean the City can meet these challenges without increases in the property tax rate or fees this year.

“Our most valuable asset is our employees. Without our employees we could not keep the City safe, livable, comfortable or vibrant. Every day we are able to go about our lives because City employees have made sure we have clean water, our garbage is collected, and police and fire are taking care of our emergency needs. We can go to a park, walk a greenway, and enjoy a concert. We have places to go to work and much more because our dedicated city staff are doing their jobs to make Kannapolis a premier place to be,” said Kannapolis City Manager Mike Legg. “This budget concentrates on providing the tools we need to ensure we maintain the high-quality staff we have now and to ensure this continues well into the future.”

If the budget is approved in June, the current tax rate will remain at .63 cents per $100 valuation – a home valued at $200,000 will pay $1,260 annually in property taxes for all City services.

The majority of the City’s revenues come from two sources – property taxes (57% of the budget) and sales taxes (22% of the budget).

Notable items in the budget include:

1. $1.41 million – for 5% cost of living adjustments for all employees.

2. $875,000 – to add 11 new positions and 15 reclassifications (including: additional city attorney, assistant HR director, community outreach coordinator, payroll administrator, assistant parks director, police recruiting officer, GIS specialist, construction maintenance worker, two construction maintenance technicians and a customer service representative).

3. $921,000 for the replacement of 15 police vehicles.

4. $150,000 for improvements to the recently acquired Dixie Youth Diamond Sports Facility.

5. $1 million for renovations and improvements to Fire Stations #1 and #4.

6. $149,347 for the replacement of citywide technology equipment and devices.

7. $323,406 for the 2nd payment for full replacement of all police in-car cameras, body worn cameras and tasers.

8. $95,000 for replacement of fire hoses, communication devices and other fire equipment needs.

9. $13,000 to replace HVAC at Fire Station #5.

10.  $160,000 for new pickleball courts and either Safrit Park or Baker’s Creek Park.

11. $210,620 increase for street repairs and maintenance.

12. $50,000 for sidewalk repairs near A.L. Brown High School and surrounding neighborhoods.

13. $179,239 for increasing part time hourly salaries in the parks and recreation department.

14. $136,000 for upgrades to the 911 telecommunications operations.

15.  $8,500 for new equipment for Customer Service.

16. $730,000 for vehicles and large equipment replacements in the Water Resources Department.

17. $856,000 Kannapolis’ share to Water and Sewer Authority of Cabarrus County (WSACC) to fund wastewater treatment plant expansion.

18. $703,235 increase in costs to fund CK Rider (fuel, new federal requirements and contract increases).

19. $482,841 for the required local match for new CK Rider buses. Joint match with the City of Concord.

20. $14.9 million for annual debt payments for completed projects including City Hall, Fire Stations 2 & 3, Irish Buffalo Creek Greenway, Atrium Health Ballpark, West Avenue Streetscape, VIDA Parking Deck, fire trucks, police radios, and Village Park.

21. $325,000 to acquire Gem Theatre business and $737,795 for management of the Gem Theatre as it becomes an operation of the City. The management expenses will be matched by corresponding revenues from ticket and concession sales and facility rentals.

22. Increase water and sewer tap fees from $3,000 to $7,500 per tap in order to achieve full cost recovery of the expenses incurred by the City.

A public hearing on the budget is scheduled for 6:30 p.m., June 13, at Kannapolis City Hall with adoption scheduled for June 27.

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