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Kingman has plenty of bills, but revenue suffering

KINGMAN - Roadwork. Sewer expansion. New bulletproof vests and a brand new fire station.

These are just a few items Mayor Janet Watson and the City Council will discuss Friday when they look at budget priorities for the upcoming year and a capital improvements plan that will take the city into 2019.

The two departments that will likely get the most attention - simply because they are the largest and most expensive - are police and fire.

The Kingman Police Department will have more than $8.5 million in total funds available, about $500,000 less than before the Great Recession began in 2007.

There are 17 fewer employees at the KPD today than there were then.

The department's immediate budget priorities include the need to replace a total of 10 vehicles for patrol, detectives and Neighborhood Services. There is a mechanism in place that could allow the KPD to use drug forfeiture money to purchase two vehicles for detectives.

Tactical entry vests and an entry shield, and officer ballistic helmets are also high on the list.

According to the KPD, the helmets now used were donated and are "in disrepair and past expiration date."

Fifty-five of department-issued Tasers must be replaced and 20 now obsolete radar units and mounts must be replaced.

Next year, the department will request new handguns. The current crop was purchased in 2005 and the standards recommend a 10-year replacement cycle.

The Kingman Fire Department has a total of $5.7 million available for fiscal year 2014-15 beginning July 1. Like the KPD, the fire department is operating on about $500,000 less than it was six years ago.

Chief Chuck Osterman's budget priorities include a new fleet vehicle and a HAZMAT support and rehabilitation trailer for a total of $105,000 and another $70,000 in facility maintenance, but his big project is the long-discussed Fire Station No. 2 replacement project.

At $4.5 million, the project will require the city to carry a debt load.

Friday's meeting begins at 9 a.m. in Council chambers. No action will be taken. The City Council will hold a second budget work session on April 18.


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