KANNAPOLIS — Kannapolis City Manager Mike Legg presented the recommended Fiscal Year 2023-24 budget to the Kannapolis City Council on Monday evening. The total recommended budget is $104,385,876 which includes all seven operating funds of the city. The budget includes no property tax or fee increases.
The proposed budget concentrates on several strategies:
1. Beginning the implementation of the Imagine Kannapolis Strategic Plan.
2. Retaining existing employees and recruiting new people to work for the city.
3. Leveraging the city’s financial capacity to improve the quality of life for residents and the delivery of services to residents.
The city’s population is approximately 53,000, and the city has grown by almost 50% in the last 20 years. Kannapolis is the 20th largest city in North Carolina. Projections indicate that the city will continue to grow by 2.2% annually and will likely reach a population of 77,000 by 2040.
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Like all cities and businesses across the U.S., Kannapolis faces the challenges of the new post-Covid economy. Fortunately, the city’s sustained positive financial health and the continued outlook for continued economic growth means the city can meet these challenges without increases in the property tax rate or fees this year.
In March 2022, the city launched the Imagine Kannapolis Strategic Plan. Thirteen focus groups were formed, and dozens of residents participated. The goal was to imagine the future of Kannapolis, especially what objectives the city would like to achieve in the next decade. Priorities were balanced with the needs the city will have during the next 10 years and items Kannapolis would like to have to be a healthy, high-quality city and economic driver in the state.
In this year’s proposed budget, the first of six years of Imagine Kannapolis priorities are funded. These will be subject to city council ultimately adopting the final version of the Strategic Plan.
Projects and Initiatives include:
$2,800,000: Renovations for Fire Stations No. 1 and No. 4
$1,550,000: Construction of a fire training tower and storage facility
$1,200,000: Gem Theatre Phase 3 improvements
$450,000: Construction and operating costs for a downtown dog park
$1,290,000: Upgrades to existing city parks
$190,000: Cultural Arts & Historic Preservation Work Program
$50,000: Open Space and Tree Preservation Plan
$700,000: Downtown Parking Management Plan (construction of new surface parking)
$30,000: Exploring the possibility of a local part-time professional symphony/orchestra
$1,340,000: Little Texas Road sidewalk (city’s portion to the NCDOT funding)
$50,000: N.C. Music Hall of Fame growth plan
$60,000: North Carolina Research Campus Development Strategy Planning Support
$20,000: Motorsports Asset Promotion
$750,000: Adding offices to the second floor of City Hall
$1,200,000: I-85 monument signage (joint project with the city of Concord – Exits 58, 60, 63)
Recruiting and retaining employees continues to be a high priority for the city.
“Our most valuable asset will always be our employees. Our employee team continues to serve at a high level and respond faithfully every day to their regular duties as well as emergency situations which arise. They are one of the top reasons we have been recognized as a Top City in the United States in many categories including quality of life, planning, safety, recreation and more,” said Kannapolis City Manager Mike Legg. “This budget concentrates on providing the tools they need in order to do their jobs and for us to offer competitive salaries and benefits.”
If the budget is approved in June, the current tax rate will remain at 63 cents per $100 valuation — a home valued at $200,000 will pay $1,260 annually in property taxes for all city services.
The majority of the city’s revenues come from two sources — property taxes (55% of the budget) and sales taxes (23% of the budget).
Other notable items in the budget include:
1. 3% Cost of living increases for employees: $900,577.
2. Merit increases for eligible employees: $825,469.
3. Salary development range increases for eligible employees: $497,000.
4. 14 new positions in the police, fire, parks and recreation, environmental and water resources departments.
5. Vehicles and equipment in the police, parks and recreation, fire, general services, environmental and transportation departments to replace aging and maintenance problem vehicles. Included are 17 police vehicles, a dump truck, cart delivery truck, asphalt patch truck and two mini excavators.
6. Funding is included to support fire department accreditation, audio-visual upgrades to certain City Hall spaces and an update to the 10-year parks and recreation master plan.
A public hearing on the budget is scheduled for 6 p.m., June 12th, at Kannapolis City Hall with adoption scheduled for June 26th.
Budget Documents—Kannapolis FY2023-2024 Proposed Budget Presented to City Council > City of Kannapolis — City of Kannapolis (kannapolisnc.gov)