KANNAPOLIS -- Kannapolis City Council approved the budget of $75,513,726 million for the 2020 fiscal year which includes all seven operating funds of the city.
At Monday’s city council meeting, the board approved the budget that includes no property tax increase.
The current tax rate will remain at .63 cents per $100 valuation, so a home valued at $150,000 will pay $945 annually in property taxes for all city services.
The budget is composed of two primary revenue sources: property taxes and sales taxes.
The city’s population is expected to be 50,000 by the end of the year, which is an approximate 15 percent increase since 2010.
City officials said the population growth is largely the result of new residential and commercial development.
Sales tax revenues are projected to increase by 9 percent in fiscal year 2020.
“This budget will focus our efforts on continuing the aggressive revitalization plans for downtown, maintaining our current delivery of services to residents and investing in our employees,” Kannapolis City Manager Mike Legg said. “We will continue to position ourselves as a premier location for investors to bring their business and residential developments to the city. Our close proximity to the Charlotte region remains one of the reasons we are able to project a healthy growth in property and sales tax revenues. Over the next two years, our investments in infrastructure and the first phases of the Downtown Revitalization Project will be completed and this will help drive additional private investment in our city.”
Kannapolis City Council has goals to invest in employees and the Downtown Revitalization Project.
City officials said that an independent employee compensation plan found that several employees are underpaid when compared to the market and employees with more supervisory responsibilities were not compensated accordingly.
The budget includes funds to bring employees in line with market pay rates.
The budget includes $1.9 million for the next phases of the Downtown Revitalization Project. Private investment and sale of city owned land, such as the current baseball stadium, will also be needed to cover the entire costs of the next phases, according to city leaders.
The projects in the next phases of the Downtown Revitalization Project are:
- Gem Theatre Improvements (HVAC and Restrooms)
- Preparing Block 8 (train station area) for Parking or Development
- Stabilization of Blocks 1, 2 and 6. (Main Street and the former Swanee Theatre)
- Block 5 (West Avenue) seeking Public-Private Partnership with Baseball Team Owner, Temerity, for Team Store and Offices and associated Private Development.
- Former Plant 4 site seeking Public-Private Partnerships for Townhomes and other mid to high density residential and mixed-use development.
Other notable items in the budget include:
- $40,000 increase for the city council election in November 2019.
- $350,000 increase in incentive grants to Gordon Foods ($10,000 due to revaluation issues for a full incentive grant of $280,000) and $340,000 for the first year for Amazon.
- $9,200 increase for a Reverse 911 Calling system. Concord, Kannapolis and Cabarrus County formerly used Blackboard with a cost of $15,000 (this was removed in FY 19). Everbridge is a new service (better and less expensive).
- $13,967 (3%) increase in IT Administration costs in accordance with the contract with Technologies Edge.
- $120,000 increase for new software licenses for Acela (permitting), Bluebird (engineering), and Office 365.
- $4,500 for installation of VCT flooring in in the storage and food prep room at the Train Station.
- Increases in General Services Operating Capital: (a) $47,000 for a Generator at Fire Station #5, (b) $32,000 for a Generator at North Communications Tower (Floyd Street near FS1) and (c) $7,400 for a Steam Cleaner for grout at City Hall.
- $10,000 increase for Ballistic Helmets and Vests in the Police Department. The total cost is $58,000. The plan is to continue to fund at $10,000 per year for the next five years.
- $8,000 increase in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for fire department staffing turnover. When a firefighter leaves the department is responsible for the purchase of new PPE.
- $12,000 increase for the cost of one set of new lights and wayfinding signs for the new Downtown Streetscape.
- $105,000 increase in Part-time Salaries in Parks and Recreation including $60,000 for building monitors at City Hall and Train Station; $30,000 for Building monitors at KCS facilities as part of the KCS usage agreement (there is a corresponding revenue of $20,000 for these part time salaries), and $15,000 for current part-time salaries due to salary increase with the Employee Compensation Study.
- $20,000 increase for the Summer Event Series.
- $30,000 for City Hall artwork. This funding includes a $6,000 donation from a Kannapolis family for city art.
- $151,000 decrease in funding for the Cabarrus County regional radio system improvements ($196,000 was for Phase II in FY 19). FY 20 is the Phase III of this project (total project is four phases). Phase III has a cost of $45,000 for the City of Kannapolis.
- $50,000 decrease in Contracted Services due to the City bringing Engineering Services in house and becoming fully staffed in FY 19.
- $350,000 decrease in Contract Planning services for the UDO re-write, Cannon Blvd study, and South Main St study. The UDO is underway. The other two studies have been delayed due to limited staff capacity in the Planning Department.
- $40,000 decrease in contracted services for master plans for the Eastside and Westside parks which were completed in fiscal year 2019.