City Continues to Build 2015 Budget

The Manhattan City Commission Met Tuesday to review outside funding requests during the third work session for next year’s City budget.

“We have the Manhattan Public Library, we have the Social Services Advisory Board, Flint Hills Transportattion Agency, Downtown Manhattan, Inc. along with others that we typically have with various agreements and contracts with as part of the annual budget process,” said Bernie Hayen, director of finance for the City of Manhattan.

Social Services

The Social Services Advisory Board presented its funding request of  $384,965, which  is 1.7%  higher than last year’s allocation; and according to Advisory Board Chair, John Ball, the increase falls in-line with inflation.

“If you pick a year, and you look at the population change in Manhattan over a period of time, social services spending, even though it’s  had some peaks and valleys, averages out pretty close to the population change,” Ball said.

One of the ways that the City has addressed the growing need for capital improvements to the various social service facilities around town was to establish the Utility Billing Donation and Ghost Card Programs.

So far, the two programs have raised 25 thousand dollars which will be used for one-time improvement projects, some of which include heating and air renovation for Big Brothers/Big Sister, security cameras for the Boys and Girls Club and playground equipment for the Crisis Center.

Downtown Manhattan, Inc. (DMI)

DMI requested $45,000 for 2015, the same amount requested and allocated each of the last four years.

Downtown Manhattan is growing not only geographically, but also economically and structurally.

“Just in the last year, we’ve had 18 new businesses open, 7 business expansions or building improvements and just over 200 new jobs created,” said Gina Scroggs, executive director of Downtown Manhattan, Inc.

$40 thousand of the total request will go towards standard operating and program expenses and $5,000 will go towards maintaining DMI’s on-going design and streetscape program.

Other Agencies 

Manhattan Public Library- 2015 request totals $2.231 million, a $10,000 increase from 2014.

Special Alcohol Programs- 2015 request totals $470,848, a 6.9% increase from 2014.

Flint Hills Transportation (aTa Bus)- 2015 request totals $54,882, a 3.5% increase from 2014.

To view a complete list of outside funding requests, visit http://www.cityofmhk.com/DocumentCenter/View/25089

Summary

As a brief reminder, the latest 2015 budget proposal totals just shy of 135 million dollars and includes an estimated Mill Levy impact of 1.65. At the end of Tuesday night’s discussion, Mayor Wynn Butler emphasized the Commission’s priority to keep that number as low as possible, and he added that with some hard work and tough cuts, the Mill Levy could potentially stay flat.

The final 2015 City budget work session will take place on July 8th.