City of Tonganoxie Newsletter - Fall 2019

Citizen Newsletter City of Tonganoxie,KS October 2019

2020 Budget Initiatives

Other funds in the City budget also include multiple initiatives. For example, the Utility Fund includes budget authority for a replacement Ford F-450, Mobile generators for Sewer Lift Stations and replacement mowers. Public Safety Equipment Funds include partial funding for PD replacement vehicles and PD equipment, as well as an Operations Vehicle for the FD.

In August, the City Council adopted the FY 2020 budget and was able to maintain a flat mill rate while still including initiatives aimed at achieving the City Council’s strategic goals. In the graph below, a breakdown of one dollar paid in property tax is shown as cents to each relative taxing jurisdiction. The City’s share of property tax is the primary source of revenue for the City General Fund, and the major initiatives for this

Distribution of a 2020 Property Tax Dollar paid

fund include: adding a part- time Code Enforcement Officer, adding a full-time Police Officer and cost sharing of the SRO position with USD 464, purchasing authority for a 2020 Dodge

Charger for the PD and partial funding towards a replacement Street Sweeper.

The City Council has continued the commitment of supporting both public infrastructure and Library needs with the Infrastructure Sales Tax fund, FY 2020, the Library debt for the new building will make a $262,950 payment (project updates on Page 2), and hopes to have $150k towards a third year of bolstered street maintenance, and $50k towards resurfacing of the Community Pool.

Distribution of 2020 Infrastructure Sales Tax

Infrastructure Sales Tax Initiative Updates

Street Maintenance

In the image to the right, the areas shaded in green and yellow represent the Street Maintenance projects including mill and overlay, chip and seal, and asphalt rejuvenation completed between 2018 and 2019. The City Council has set a goal of performing maintenance on each street that was identified in the 2017 Street Index, as developed by BG Consultants. The sales tax dollars serve to bolster the available budget for maintenance, but are subject to first making the debt service payments for the new Library.

Sales Tax Dollars allocated :

FY 2018— $150,000

FY 2019—$168,150

FY 2020—$150,000

Library— on Schedule for Spring 2020!

Sales Tax Dollars allocated :

FY 2018— issued $3.85M in bonds, total 20 year debt with P&I = $5.32M

FY 2019—$261,850 annual debt payment

FY 2020—$262, 950 annual debt payment

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Police Department Initiatives

The Tonganoxie Police Department prepared multiple initiatives based upon a commitment to a strong Community oriented policing philosophy.  Crime Stoppers is a metro wide program, but wasn’t being utilized anywhere in Leavenworth County. TPD now partners with them, and introduced the P3 Tip program for high school students.  Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) - TPD offers an evaluation to any community members interested in the program, which includes lighting, visibility and cameras.  Nightly Door Hangers—TPD Officers working the night shift leave paper hangers on both residential and business locations, indicating that the property had been personally checked and offer an opportunity to visit about findings. Additionally, TPD introduced many Community Outreach programs, including:

 Lead to Read—Officers read to grade schoolers each week.

 MILO Simulator—thanks to Midwest Public Risk, the City’s Insurance provider, TPD was able to provide an opportunity for citizens to use a training simulator which trains Officers to react to dangerous encounters.  Lifesaver Program—an initiative that centers on at-risk individuals with cognitive conditions who tend to wander from home, which began with the Tonganoxie Business Association within the City, was expanded to a County wide program.

Fire Department Initiatives The Fire Department is committed to making Tonganoxie as safe as possible for its business owners and their customers. The department has begun its annual inspection cycle for all registered businesses in the city. Inspections, which are scored during the city’s Insurance Services Office (ISO) review, allow the department to maintain its current ISO Rating of 3; with the long-term goal of lowering it even more, thus saving everyone in the community money. The ISO Rating is used to calculate how well-equipped fire departments are to put out fires in that community. The more well-equipped your fire department is to put out a fire, the less likely your house is to burn down. An ISO fire insurance rating is a score from 1 to 10 that indicates how well- protected your community is by the fire department. In the ISO rating scale, a lower number is

better: 1 is the best possible rating, while a 10 means the fire department did not meet the ISO's minimum requirements.

Budget Savings

Budget Authority of $550,000 for a new Fire Pumper with a 10 year debt from Fire Equipment fund. FD purchases a new 2018 Pierce Pumper for $210,000 , after trade-in value for old pumper ($105k)

Additionally, your fire department continues to aggressively research and apply for grants to assist the community and the department. As of August 1, 2019 we have received over $61,000 in grants from various sources. We encourage everyone to stop in and see how we are working to keep our firefighters and community safer.

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How to Contact your Council Members

Mayor Ward

Curtis Oroke 913.845.2765 Term expires in 2020 Term expires in 2020

Lisa Patterson

Rocky Himpel Term expires in 2020 Term expires in 2022

Loralee Stevens

Dave Bennett Term expires in 2022 Term expires in 2022

Utility Billing Rate Changes

Using this report, the City Council had a clear evaluation tool that allows for reliable water and sewer service to continue, and ensures that the average users would not face drastic rate hikes. The new rate structure is based on water meter sizes and usage levels. The new rates will be reflected in the bills generated in early 2020. Additionally, the City and Honey Creek Disposal reached an agreement for a 2 year extension of trash and recycling pickup. While there is a slight increase, trash from $15 to $16/month and recycling from $4 to $4.50/month, these increases come after 12 years of no rate increases. Projected Total Utility Cost increases to users:

Earlier this year, the City desired to develop a formal rate structure for water and sewer rates. A rate structure is a set of causes that a utility firm uses to compute the consumer charges. In Tonganoxie, we desired to develop a rate structure which reflected the “cost of service.” This type of rate structure allows the utility provider an opportunity to recover the cost associated with providing the utility, and to allow for a reasonable amount to go into fund balance to prepare for high-cost infrastructure needs. To ensure that the process had the appropriate level of expertise and autonomy, the City hired a third party consultant to complete the Rate Study. As such, Carl Brown, President of, was selected. Carl has nearly 30 years experience in conducting rate studies, and is located in the metropolitan area. Carl immediately began work on a rate analysis. Ultimately, this analysis provides a sound basis in advising the Utility how to account for fixed, variable and capacity costs. The full report can be found online at:

Trash and recycling rate changes should be reflected in the December ’19 billing; water and sewer changes should be reflected February ‘20.


 Spooktacular—Friday, October 25th @ 6pm

Upcoming Community Events

 Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting—Saturday, November 23rd @ 4:30pm

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