By Holly Cook
Roeland Park’s positive economic outlook, decreased crime rate, and ongoing rebranding and development initiatives were among the highlights in the city’s 2016 report introduced during Monday’s workshop.
The report showed the city’s year-end general fund balance at $2.79 million, an increase of more than $500,000 in 2016, and noted that Walmart’s continuing business has helped Roeland Park “build reserves and will continue to help fund essential city services.”
Pending developments at the northeast corners of Roe Boulevard and Johnson Drive and Roe Boulevard and 48th Street were a point of emphasis as well.
“The Governing Body is focused on bringing quality, diverse, and financially impactful development to these few remaining greenfield sites,” said City Administrator Keith Moody. “We know what residents want to see from our surveys, we have assessed the market to determine feasibility and are resolved to deliver on these factors.”
The analysis noted that 257 total crimes were reported in 2016, a decrease of 5 percent from 2015.
Theft was the highest reported crime in 2016 with 195 incidents. There were also 13 reports of aggravated assault, 2 reports of rape and 1 report each of robbery and arson. A total of 305 arrests were made and 2,695 citations issued.
No homicides have been reported in the city since 2011 and crime reports have declined by almost 18 percent in the last decade.
Other accomplishments noted:
- Citizen satisfaction survey showed 88 percent of residents felt positively about the overall quality of life in Roeland Park
- The City secured a $4.6 million Surface Transportation Program (STP) grant to support the Roe Boulevard 2020 Project
- Old caves site has been stabilized with a retaining wall in preparation for development
- Efforts to relocate the Public Works Department are underway