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An uptick in potential demolition projects for the Jefferson City Planning and Protective Services Department topped the funding requests for the department for the Fiscal Year 2020, which begins Nov. 1.

The overall mayor-approved Planning and Protective Services Department FY2020 budget for the upcoming year is nearly $2.2 million, a 1.5 percent decrease from FY2019.

The property maintenance and code enforcement division has a proposed budget of more than $319,500. About 82 percent of the budget goes toward personnel services.

The division submitted five pink sheets — funding requests — for a total of $273,302. None of the pink sheets were funded in the mayor-approved budget.

The largest pink sheet request was $110,000 to increase demolition funding, from $20,000 to $130,000. Currently, demolition funding is set at $40,000 but the department cut $20,000 from the fund after department chairs were directed to find savings within their budget, Planning and Protective Services Department Director Sonny Sanders told the Jefferson City Budget Committee on Thursday.

The funding request is based on the number of properties that have been ordered for demolition through the city’s administrative hearings, the pink sheet notes.

The increase would also clear up a backlog of city-initiated demolitions, according to the pink sheet. An estimated 40 demolitions could be needed next year because of damage from the May 22 tornado, Sanders said.

Ward 2 Councilwoman Laura Ward questioned why current buildings set for demolition were taking so long. The transfer of funds from abatements continues to take funds from demolition projects, Sanders said.

The property maintenance and code enforcement division also submitted a $22,725 pink sheet to increase funding for abatements. Currently, the abatement funding is set to decrease from $15,000 to $10,000, according to the pink sheet.

In FY2015, the city spent nearly $30,000 in abatement expenditures, but it recovered more than $65,000, according to the pink sheet. However, that gap has been decreasing since. In FY2018, abatements cost more than $57,600, but the city only recovered about $41,700, the pink sheet notes.

In the mayor-approved budget, abatements decreased from $40,000 to $20,000 after department chairs were directed to identify savings.

“The abatement process doesn’t really cost money,” Sanders said. “I would propose the abatement fund is really inefficient to reduce because we recover most of those funds.”

If the division does not receive the demolition increase, city staff will seek other funds, Sanders said.

Other property maintenance and code enforcement division requests included adding a property/housing inspector supervisor position and a property/housing inspector position, as well as replacing two inspection vehicles.

The Planning and Protective Services Department’s redevelopment and grants division has a proposed FY2020 budget of more than $211,000. Slightly more than 50 percent of the budget is for personnel services.

Of the two pink sheet items the division submitted, the highest priority was a $68,638 request for a new city planner position for historic preservation efforts. This was not funded in the mayor-approved budget.

The job duties may include surveying existing properties or areas, completing National Register of Historic Places nominations, working with neighborhoods to create local historic districts and reviewing demolition applications, according to the pink sheet.

“The city has a wealth of history that hasn’t been surveyed, documented or explored,” the pink sheet notes. “This position would bring the ability to hold a database of historic resources which would aid in times of disaster.”

The 2018 passage of the demolition ordinance and other activities have put a strain on the current staff, the pink sheet notes.

“Each demolition applications requires a great detail of research for staff to report,” the pink sheet notes. “On average, it takes staff up to five hours to gather all the necessary information and completion of the staff report.”

The division also requested $25,000 to increase funding for the residential down-payment incentive program from $55,000 to $80,000. This was not funded in the mayor-approved budget.

Jefferson City offers a dollar-for-dollar match down-payment program for certain residences, with the maximum incentive up to $5,000.

The proposed budget for the department’s administration division is nearly $268,000. More than 90 percent of that is for personnel services.

The administration division and metropolitan planning organization division submitted pink sheets to replace a 10-year-old copy machine. The administration division submitted a $6,000 pink sheet while the metropolitan planning organization division submitted a pink sheet for $2,000.

These pink sheets were not funded in the mayor-approved budget.

The metropolitan planning organization division has a proposed FY2020 budget of more than $179,000.

The planning division has a proposed budget of more than $225,000. With more than 85 percent of that budget going toward personnel services, the remaining finances are for contractual services, materials, supplies and maintenance.

The planning division did not submit any pink sheets.

The Planning and Protective Services Department’s building inspection and regulation division has a proposed FY2020 budget of nearly $477,000. More than 96 percent of its budget goes toward personnel services.

The division submitted six pink sheets for a total of $312,176. None of the pink sheets were funded in the mayor-approved budget.

One of the division’s top pink sheet requests was for $58,064 to hire a mechanical inspector. The building regulations division inspects the electrical, plumbing and general construction components of buildings, but an important element of building systems is the mechanical system, according to the pink sheet.

“This area is not being permitted and inspected to a level of detail to help ensure the health, safety and welfare of the public,” the pink sheet notes.

The building inspection and regulation division also requested funding for a new assistant building official, new building inspector, new customer service representative, and a needs analysis of enterprise software and hardware system. The division also submitted a pink sheet asking for funds to acquire technical publications and pay for technical memberships.

The environmental health services division has a proposed budget of $490,440. Nearly 52 percent of the budget goes toward personnel services and 40 percent goes toward contractual services.

The division did not submit any pink sheets.

The entitlement grant division has a proposed budget of more than $218,000, with 70 percent going toward contractual services.

The division did not submit any pink sheets.

In other business, the mayor-approved budget projected revenue from Sales Tax G funds is $5 million and $7,500 in estimated interest. However, an anticipated $450,000 would be for carryover surplus. An estimated $3.82 million is expected to capital projects such as $1.2 million for street resurfacing and $37,500 for replacing fire equipment.

The overall proposed mayor-approved budget for FY2020 is more than $65.1 million. The general fund budget for FY2020 is more than $32.9 million

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