City of Lawrence

City Manager’s Office



Diane Stoddard, Interim City Manager


Bryan Kidney, Ashley Lonnberg, Kevyn Gero, Brandon McGuire


Casey Toomay, Assistant City Manager


July 13, 2015


City Commission Q&A Memorandum (part 2)


The following memorandum includes requests from City Commissioners for information related to the 2016 budget development process.  Staff is still working on some requests, and that is noted following those questions.  This is the third Q&A memorandum for the 2016 budget development process and responses to previous questions are found in the July 4, 2015 and July 17, 2015 City Commission Q&A memorandums.


1. Q:  Mayor Farmer asked for a comparison of the 2016 baseline budget to the 2016 Recommended Budget.

A:  Staff is working on this comparison and will provide the information as soon as it is available.


2. Q:  Commissioners asked for a schedule of spending in 2016 for non-budgeted funds.

A:  The State requires that annual operating budgets be legally adopted for the General Fund, Special Revenue Funds (unless specifically exempted by statute,) Debt Service Funds, and Enterprise Funds.  The City budget document includes all of the legally required funds.  Historically, budgets have not been prepared for those funds that are not required to be adopted.  Actual revenues and expenditures for these funds can be found in the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR)


Beginning with the 2017 budget process, budgets could be developed for non-budgeted funds if the City Commission desires.


3. Q:  Commissioner Boley requested a report on the total expenditures by department from each fund.

A:  The City Budget is presented by Fund because that is how the City’s accounting system is organized.  Staff is working on a report of total expenditures by department and will provide it as soon as it is available.


4. Q:  Commissioners requested an analysis of the previous two years’ overtime costs in Police and Fire Medical compared to the cost of additional staffing that might eliminate the need for overtime.

A:  Staff reviewed the factors that drive overtime in public safety, and evaluated overtime costs against the cost of new FTE positions (memo attached).


5. Q: Mayor Farmer requested that the General Fund detailed spreadsheet be provided for the next study session.

A:  Staff provided this spreadsheet on the July 7, 2015 City Commission study session agenda.


6. Mayor Farmer requested a report on the City’s general fund expenditures verse fund balance against those of other Kansas first class cities.

A: The attached table reports the fund balances of first class cities in Kansas as a percent of total expenditures. National fund balance medians as reported by Moody’s Investors Service are also provided in the attachment.    


7. Commissioners requested a recommendation on the funding appropriation for the Bert Nash Homeless outreach program.  

The Recommended Budget includes a $153,208 appropriation for the Bert Nash Homeless Outreach program, which is $24,680 less than Bert Nash’s request of $177,888. The agency stated that the $24,680 funding request is equivalent to half of a new WRAP position that would be created as a result of the Recommended Budget’s $350,000 appropriation to the WRAP program. Bert Nash would prefer to reduce the new staffing level for WRAP by half a position in order to maintain the current service level of the Homeless Outreach program. Budget team staff recommends reallocating $25,000 from the recommended appropriation for WRAP to the Homeless Outreach program. The total recommended funding to Bert Nash for these two programs will remain at $350,000, with $325,000 being appropriated to WRAP and $178,208 being appropriated to the Homeless Outreach program. These expenditures are budgeted in the Special Alcohol Fund.


8. Commissioner Boley requested additional explanation of the costs of work that needs to be completed at the Community Health building.

A: At the July 14, 2015 Study Session, Public Works provided facility condition assessments and improvement priorities for the facilities it maintains, including the Community Health Building facility and maintenance assessment. The Community Health Building is 16 years old and in overall good condition although the parking lot shows signs of deterioration. The priority improvements for the facility are listed in the following table.


Identified Improvements

Public Works Cost Estimate

Roof is 10 years old; life expectancy is 15 to 20 years


Access control system is no longer supported by the manufacturer


Boilers are obsolete; the heat exchanger is no longer available


Generator replacement


Parking lot repair





Additionally, Bert Nash provided its own evaluation of the facility along with cost estimates for many of the improvements included in that evaluation.