UNIVERSITY CITY, MO (KMOX) – For all the talk of sequestration and cutting budgets, University City is doing just the opposite. The city’s new budget proposes hiring four new police officers, two firefighters, and either building a new police station or renovating the existing one.
“We’re quite confident that we’re going to be able to continue to provide the same level of services in University City that we’ve been able to demonstrate over the past three years,” City Manager Lehman Walker said.
Walker’s budget proposal doesn’t stop at first responders. “No reduction in city services; there will be no increase in real estate property taxes.”
After four years, University City workers will be receiving a two percent cost of living increase under the plan. There is also good new for youngsters: the city plans to fund a youth summer jobs program.
And when it is all said and done, Walker says University City will have a surplus of more than $300,000.
“We’ve been able to manage our fiscal affairs over the past three years very well. We’ve reduced layers of management; we’ve consolidated city departments; we’ve made a real effort to hire first-rate, qualified people. So we’re quite confident that we’re going to be able to provide the same level of services to University City.”
Walker is not without concerns. The city’s population has declined and while they still have the same number of housing units, fewer people are living in them. He says much of University City’s revenue is dependent on the number of residents but he is confident new developments coming down the pike will increase the population.