If Leavenworth city commissioners want to increase funding for street maintenance next year, they probably would need to increase the mill levy for property taxes, the city manager said.

If Leavenworth city commissioners want to increase funding for street maintenance next year, they probably would need to increase the mill levy for property taxes, the city manager said.

“It would have to come through a millage rate increase,” City Manager Paul Kramer said.

His comments came Wednesday during a budget work session of the City Commission.

Commissioners made no decision regarding a mill levy increase.

Mayor Mark Preisinger said commissioners will be wrapping a budget review today following a second work session. He said the wrap-up period will be the time to discuss a possible tax increase for roads.

Commissioner Larry Dedeke said Wednesday that he would not support a mill increase.

Commissioners will not approve the 2019 operating budget today.

Commissioners will have to conduct a public hearing on the budget before they can vote to approve it.

City officials will publish a notice of the public hearing along with information about the proposed budget at least 10 days before the hearing. The information will be published in the newspaper.

Kramer said the 2019 operating budget proposed by city staff will keep the mill levy that funds city operations flat. However, the proposed budget includes a 0.385 mill increase for an employee benefit fund for the Leavenworth Public Library.

The city levies taxes for this fund on behalf of the library, and library officials have requested the increase, according to Kramer.

The proposed mill increase for the library employee benefit fund would increase property taxes for the owner of a $150,000 home by about $6.60 for the year.

Ruby Maline, finance director for the city, said proposed expenditures in the 2019 operating budget total more than $50 million.

Kramer provided an overview of the proposed budget Tuesday during a regular meeting of the City Commission.

On Wednesday afternoon, commissioners began reviewing budgets for individual funds within the proposed operating budget.

During Wednesday’s work session, Police Chief Pat Kitchens said the Leavenworth Police Department has nine vacancies, which is about 15 percent of the department. But he said the Leavenworth Police Department is not the only law enforcement agency having trouble keeping positions filled.

“Everyone is having the same issue,” he said.

Kitchens said he has seen progress in terms of drug cases because of detective positions that were created with additional funding in this year’s budget.

The two detective positions were added at the Leavenworth Police Department in February specifically for drug investigations.

The budgets for several departments will be reviewed during today’s work session including the Parks and Recreation and Public Works departments.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR