The past two weeks at the Wyandotte County Museum have been interesting. Reports in the newspapers and tv news reported that we were closing due to budget limitations within the Unified Government of Wyandotte County. Whereas this was a budget proposal, the proposal of complete closure did not pass. Therefore, we will continue to stay open at regular museum hours for all of 2009. Operating hours for 2010 are still undecided, although limited hours have been approved. Below is the official press release for the UG regarding the budget for the upcoming year.
“No Property Tax Increase
Unified Government Approves 2010 Budget Posted July 31, 2009
The Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas approved an austere 2010 budget which furloughs employees, freezes hiring and pay raises, suspends most public works projects and cuts services and programs by at least 10-percent.
The drastic budget cuts are required to meet a revenue shortfall of nearly $12-million. The dismal budget picture is painted by a drop in property values, declining sales tax receipts and sharp cuts in promised state funding.
Despite the huge budget shortfall, Mayor Joe Reardon and the Commission are not increasing the UG property tax rate. In fact, with an average 7% decline in assessed property values, most homeowners will see a reduction in city/county taxes.
The budget does increase fees for electric and water service, the stormwater system and weekly trash pick-up.
The Commission rejected an early proposal to close the Wyandotte County Historical for the remainder of 2009 and all of 2010. The museum will stay open the rest of this year and operate on a limited schedule next year.
The Commission will also study the possibility of placing a ¼ or 3/8 cent sales tax referendum before voters in the Fall.”