Leavenworth city commissioners have wrapped a 1.5 days of reviewing the proposed 2020 budget.

Leavenworth city commissioners have wrapped a 1.5 days of reviewing the proposed 2020 budget.

Commissioner spent Thursday and Friday reviewing the city's proposed operating budget for next year as well as a proposed Capital Improvements Program.

The CIP is a five-year plan that budgets for various street and building projects as well as equipment purchases. The plan is updated each year.

And after commissioners completed their review Friday morning, City Manager Paul Kramer said he was making two changes to the CIP based on the discussions that had taken place.

Two projects are being added to the CIP. One will add batting cages at Eagles Field, a city-owned ball field adjacent to the Fraternal Order of Eagles. The other project will result in landscaping improvements on the grounds of the Leavenworth Public Library.

Kramer said there is $140,000 in funding within the CIP that is not allocated for specific projects. This money will be used to fund the two additional projects.

City officials estimate the batting cages at Eagles Field will cost $44,468.

Mayor Jermaine Wilson raised the issue of using CIP funds for Eagles Field on Friday when commissioners were meeting with representatives of the Parks and Recreation Department.

Kramer asked Steve Grant, director of the Parks and Recreation Department, about three unfunded projects at Eagles Field, the batting cases, a backstop and a dugout.

Of the three, Grant said the batting cages project is the one he would like to do first.

"I look at it as an investment in the youth," Mayor Pro-Tem Mike Griswold said.

Kramer said about $15,000 will be budgeted for the landscaping improvements at the library.

Also Friday, commissioners reviewed budget funds related to the Leavenworth Police Department and the Public Works Department.

The issue of consolidation of police dispatching services with those of the Leavenworth County Sheriff's Office came up while commissioners met with Leavenworth Police Chief Pat Kitchens and Deputy Chief Dan Nicodemus.

"That is a big conversation," Kitchens said.

The Leavenworth Police Department and Sheriff's Office each operate their own 911 dispatching services. But dispatchers for the two law enforcement agencies work in the same area of the Justice Center.

"I know they all sit in the same room," Commissioner Mark Preisinger said.

Preisinger said he was not arguing for consolidation. But Preisinger said he thinks there may be a push for this.

"We're ready to talk about that if it comes up formally," Kitchens said.

Kitchens questioned whether combining the dispatchers under one umbrella would save money because each agency currently uses its own dispatching system. And consolidation would require money to transition to only one system.

"It's going to be more money at this point," he said.

Copies of the city's proposed 2020 operating budget and CIP can be found on the city's website, www.leavenworthks.org.

Commissioners are proposing to leave the city's mill levy flat for 2020. The mill levy is used in determining property taxes.

Commissioners are scheduled to have a public hearing on their proposed $53.179 million operating budget Aug. 13.

At the conclusion of the hearing, commissioners will be able to vote to approve the budget.

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