WAUKEE — The Waukee City Council will hold a public hearing at its regularly scheduled meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, March 4 to review and approve the City’s proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2020. The proposed budget is a reflection of the Waukee Mayor and City Council’s Vision and Priorities and serves as the major policymaking tool of the organization. The City Council meeting will be held at Waukee City Hall, located at 230 W. Hickman Road.
Last year, the Waukee City Council approved a 10-cent reduction in the property tax levy to bring the City’s portion to $13.40 per $1,000 of taxable valuation. No change in the tax levy is planned in the proposed FY 2020 budget.
“We are happy that we can continue to facilitate immense growth in the community while also maintaining existing infrastructure and services without raising property taxes,” said Waukee Mayor Bill Peard.
The budget for the City of Waukee is comprised of basic operating expenditures totaling approximately $16.1 million, business/proprietary expenses of $22.2 million, debt service expenditures of $8.6 million and capital improvement expenditures of $26.7 million. The full proposed budget totals nearly $86.8 million.
Highlights of the FY 2020 Capital Improvements Plan (CIP) include the following:As the Waukee Community School District prepares to build its second high school in Waukee, the City is making a substantial investment of $9.6 million to extend 10th Street to the north and $2.2 million to construct the new Sunrise Drive, which will connect the school complex to the existing streets system. The high school is expected to open in fall 2021.Adjacent to the second high school site, the City will begin work on Phases 1 and 2 of Waukee’s Community Park & Youth Sports Complex. The regional destination will include 12 softball/ baseball fields, practice spaces, a large pond, playground equipment, trails and more. The first two phases include work on the pedestrian bridge and fishing pier footings as well as the construction of the Youth Sports Complex buildings and maintenance area. Plans for a Miracle League® Field, an all-inclusive playground and an accessible fishing pier are under development by the Waukee Betterment Foundation.Dallas County Local Option Sales Tax dollars will continue to give Waukee parks a boost. Waukee’s Trailside Dog Park will open later this spring and Phase 2 of Fox Creek Park will be completed this summer, featuring the community’s first splash pad. Construction will begin this spring on the new neighborhood park Westown Meadows Park. Master planning of the new Glynn Village Park will occur this summer, with construction planned to begin in spring 2020. The Alice Nizzi Park master plan is complete; construction to build that park will also begin in spring 2020.Kettlestone Boulevard in the Kettlestone Development will be extended in FY 2020. Phase 2 of the Kettlestone Greenbelt improvements are also on the CIP schedule.As Waukee’s boundaries have changed in recent years, the City will soon implement its gateway, wayfinding and community identity signage plan. This spring, the City will begin constructing and installing distinguishing gateway signs along major Waukee corridors and will also add new signage at Waukee City Hall.As staff has grown to meet demands for City services, the City is planning to purchase land adjacent to Waukee City Hall on which the new City Hall Annex building will be constructed to house staff and provide additional program space.The Waukee Public Library will take on the final year of its interior improvements in 2020. The building has already seen new carpet, paint, furniture and technology updates in the children’s program rooms and staff area. This year, updates to the meeting room and lobby floor will wrap up the project.A carryover from FY 2019, Phase 5 construction to widen Alice’s Road will be completed late this spring. The new eastern (northbound) lanes will be constructed from SE Olson Drive to NE Horizon Drive. As part of this project, the City is also collaborating with the Iowa DOT to expand and improve the intersection of Alice’s Road and Hickman Road.Following the completion of Alice’s Road, a traffic signal enhancement project will take shape to synchronize traffic signals throughout the City and to improve traffic flow.The City will follow through with its ADA Transition Plan to improve sidewalks and other pedestrian passages in the community.Annual improvements to the City’s water system as well as gas main service and rehabilitation costs are also included in the CIP.
Technology improvements will be prevalent throughout City departments. Investments will be made to update technology, tighten cybersecurity and increase overall efficiency. The City is also focusing on having more “in-the-field” technology for employees.
The City of Waukee currently has 112 full-time staff positions. The FY 2020 staffing plan is headlined by the addition of five new full-time public safety positions and the creation of an Assistant Parks & Recreation Director. Public safety improvement and efficiency of City services are of high importance to the Waukee Mayor and City Council.
The City Council will vote on proposed utility rate increases and a decrease. If approved, the increases to water and wastewater rates minus the decrease to solid waste rates will equal a $2.35 monthly billing increase for the average Waukee household. The moderate increase will help keep up with increased operation and system costs.
Both the proposed budget and Capital Improvements Plan are reviewed extensively each year by the Waukee City Council during open work sessions.