What It Takes To Run A City

Judy Kramer
County Reporter
On Monday, December 17th, the Warsaw Board of Alderman passed the 2019 budget. The projected total revenues are estimated at $4,079,127.00 with projected expenditures of $3,869,911.00. 
The city is made up of several departments that have their budget dependent on a dedicated revenue source.  Total city employees are 22.
Government Funds are made up of a variety of sources including taxes, fees, earned interest, licenses, rentals, etc. The General Fund consists of the Administration Department with eight full time employees and Police Department with seven full time employees.  The Police Department also has reserve officers in their budget.  A major project in this department for 2019 will be the renovations for the new City Offices in the old UMB building. Currently, an architect is finalizing the floor plan for the renovations.  According to City Administrator and Planner Randy Pogue, “The city personnel and Board of Alderman are excited about what we see in the design of the floorplan.  The facility will make business much easier for staff and our citizens. We are in discussions with the USDA for a grant/loan combination for the renovations.”
The Transportation Fund is used for the streets and airport. In the streets, Warsaw maintains 55 miles of roadway within the city limits. The day-to-day operations are managed by a street foreman and two full-time employees.  The street department also has a budget for part-time help.  Major tasks for 2019 will be asphalt overlays of some of the streets, street sealer for several streets, major intersection improvements at Highway 7 and Commercial, and Main Street improvements from Highway 7 to Seminary.
The airport is maintained by the street crew.  The airport is currently experiencing more use of the facility.  Fuel sales greatly climbed in 2018.  A major contributor to the increase sales of fuel is  ChaseAero Aviation.  The city recruited ChaseAero in 2016.   The business provides pilot training, annual maintenance and an air taxi service.  Due to these services, hangar rental space has seen a high demand.   Currently, there are 20 planes in hangars with a waiting list of 14.  The city has selected a contractor to build 8 more hangar units.  The construction will start early in 2019.  “The airport is a major part of the economics for the community and the county,” states Pogue.  “With the demand for hangars and ChaseAero’s continued growth of the business, we see that in the near future the airport can become self-sustaining financially.”
The Park Fund finances the Park Department and the pool.  When needed, the General Fund subsidizes the parks. The Park Department consists of a park foreman and 3 full time employees.  This department also has a budget for part-time employees.  The City of Warsaw has parks within and outside of the city limits. The department has been instrumental in the construction of the trails system and Bledsoe Ferry Sports Complex improvements.  A major project for 2019 will be placing lights from the Steamboat Landing boardwalk on the Osage trail levy to Highway 65.  This project is funded with a Recreational Trail Program grant like the other trail projects currently used.  Match for the grant is the city crews labor and equipment costs. According to Mayor Eddie Simons, “I hear frequently from citizens how proud they are of the trail system and the parks.  Receiving a national designation and a national award this year, shows that we have created a park system with trails that are unique to our region and even the state.”  Mayor Simons states, “A majority of the public waterfront recreation improvements are complete.  With this, a shift to improving services to the interior of the community should be an utmost priority to the City government in order to achieve complete community revitalization.  We have come close to receiving a grant to improve four of our major streets that will have connections to the trail network.  This will allow our citizens safe routes through the community no matter what mode of transportation is used. We will continue to seek funds for these improvements.”
Also, in the Park Fund budget is the pool and Recreation Department.  The pool consists of 1 management employee, Part-time seasonal employees that include three head lifeguards and 10-15 certified lifeguards.  The Recreation Department has one management employee that oversees the sports programming and events.  This department successfully held a softball tournament in 2018.  The tournament attracted teams from outside of the community in 2018. There are plans to increase the number of tournaments in 2019.
The City water and sewer system is funded through the Utility Fund.  This fund is considered a business activity fund due to the sale of water and use of the sewer collection system.
The City of Warsaw’s water system consists of +/- 300 fire hydrants and +/- 22 miles of distribution piping ranging in size from 4” to 21” lines. The newer lines are between 1-10 years of age, but many of the lines in the City are constructed of 4” cast iron which lacks the proper size for public safety.  In 2014, the City replaced 33,000 feet of the 1930’s water main.  There is a considerable amount of this main to replace in order to meet current public safety needs.  Through the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), Warsaw has been placed on the Intended Use Plan for water main improvements in the amount of $1,278,700 from the State Revolving Fund (SRF).  The city will be working through 2019 to create a project for 2020.  A major project to start in early 2019 is a new main lift station at the wastewater treatment facility.  This lift station services the entire community and needs replacement.  Smi-Co has been selected as the contractor.
Randy Pogue believes 2019 is a critical year to advance Warsaw. 
“Private investors need to be attracted to construct developments as outlined in our 2015 Comprehensive Plan, “Building on Success to Capitalize on the future,” said Pogue. “In this plan, private development is a major focus that includes land use, business recruitment and transportation improvements.  Mixed use development, along with encouraging residential housing throughout Warsaw, will create a diverse economy that will help to promote Warsaw as both a place to visit and live.”
As stated by Warsaw Area Chamber of Commerce Director Mac Vorce, “There is great excitement in the community with all we have accomplished.  This excitement is spilling over to those that visit.  Warsaw has become a respected model for revitalization of a rural community.”