The Waukee City Council held a public hearing at its regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, March 6, to review and approve the City’s proposed budget for FY 2018. The full proposed budget of $62.4 million was approved unanimously.
The FY 2018 fiscal budget for the City of Waukee is comprised of basic operating expenditures totaling approximately $13.61 million, business/proprietary expenses of $30 million, debt service expenditures of $6.13 million and capital improvement expenditures of $12.64 million.
Highlights of the FY 2018 Capital Improvements Plan (CIP) include:
- As the Council’s top priority, construction to widen Alice’s Road from two lanes to six will begin in April 2017. The southern portion of this project will begin in April 2017 and will be completed in late fall 2017, costing an estimated $9.8 million. It includes the construction of six lanes from University Avenue to SE Olson Drive as well as construction of a pedestrian underpass that will provide a safe place to cross Alice’s Road via the Heart of the Warrior recreational trail. Alice’s Road will remain open during construction. The northern portion of the project will occur in 2018 (FY 2019), costing an estimated $13.2 million.
- In keeping with the Council’s vision of offering great leisure amenities, a dog park is being planned along the Heart of the Warrior Trail east of Alice’s Road. The four-acre park will feature plenty of green spaces for running as well as a hard-surface area for high traffic during wet times of the year. With multiple entrances, the park amenities will include benches, waste removal containers, trash receptacles, a canopy/shelter area, a dog bathing area and parking. Permanent restrooms will be added in the future.
- Traffic signals will be added to the intersection of Hickman Road and Westgate Drive to alleviate traffic back-ups and to increase safety.
- City officials will invest in improvements to Little Walnut Creek Drive in northern Waukee. Property owners near the gravel roadway will share in the costs to pave the road to avoid future wash-out issues and expensive repairs.
- Annual improvements to the City’s water system as well as gas main service and rehabilitation costs are also included in the CIP.
The City currently has 92 full-time staff positions. Nine new full-time positions (two exist currently as part-time) are recommended to meet public demand for services and to increase efficiency in other areas. The new positions include a police sergeant, police officer, firefighter/EMT, fire lieutenant, water/wastewater laborer, streets laborer (previously PT), IT manager, library public services associate (previously PT) and stormwater inspector. Public safety improvement is of high importance to the Waukee Mayor and City Councilmembers. And, with record construction numbers in Waukee, City officials want to ensure stormwater maintenance is being properly handled by adding the additional inspector.
At the direction of the Waukee City Council, the property tax levy for residents will remain at $13.50 per $1,000 of taxable valuation. The tax rate has held steady at $13.50 since FY 2001.
In order to keep the property taxes at this rate while still serving the needs of the growing community, the Council approved a minor sewer rate increase. A $3.55 monthly billing increase for the average Waukee household will occur. The increase in sewer fees will make it possible to pay for the large cost of decommissioning the City’s outgrown wastewater treatment plant as well as the necessary sewer connection to the Des Moines Metropolitan Wastewater Reclamation Authority (WRA). This switch will set up the growing City for continued expansion.
Both the budget and Capital Improvements Plan are reviewed extensively each year by the Waukee City Council during open work sessions. The City of Waukee is also just now embarking on a new comprehensive plan process. “Imagine Waukee 2040” – done in partnership with Hoisington Koegler Group, Inc. – will help guide future development of land to ensure a safe, pleasant and economical environment for residential, commercial, industrial and public activities.