City gathering public comments on city manager’s recommended budget, which holds property tax rate flat and increases utility rates

photo by: Mike Yoder

Lawrence City Hall, 6 E. Sixth St., Thursday, July 7, 2016

The City of Lawrence is seeking feedback from the public on the city manager’s recommended budget.

City Manager Craig Owens’ recommended budget is $383.87 million across all funds. Among other things, it would reallocate existing resources to establish a Housing Initiatives Division to address homelessness; provide more than $117 million in infrastructure and maintenance funding; and add approximately $5 million in new compensation for employees as part of a two-year plan to bring compensation to market rates. The budget also includes eight new positions, four of which would be funded at least initially by federal or state grants. Though the budget does not propose an increase in the city’s property tax rate, it does call for increases in utility rates.

The city’s budget memo and presentation can be viewed on the city’s website,

This budget is the first one to incorporate the city’s new Strategic Plan and the priorities set forth by the community as part of the plan’s creation. An overview of the strategic plan is also available on the city’s website.

Residents can provide a statement on the recommended budget through the Lawrence Listens platform on the city’s website, Comments must be received by midnight on Aug. 24. The public budget hearing will take place Aug. 31.


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