Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Baldwin City Council Met on July 18

Mayor Marilyn Pearse called the July 18, 2016 Baldwin City council meeting to order. Tom Larkin, Flint Hills Development, who is a member of the development team of the School House Lofts at 704 Chapel addressed the council about the affordable housing project in the former school building.
The group already operates several other properties  around Kansas including in Lawrence, Olathe and Fort Scott. Remodeling of the building is expected to begin this fall and be completed by January 1, 2018.
Larkin requested a Neighborhood Revitalization Act "NRA" Tax Abatement of 95% for fifteen years.  Council-member Steve Bauer moved that the city staff draft a resolution to show their support for the project and the creation of the Neighborhood Revitalization Area.
Steve Friend, Baldwin City Recreation Commission (BCRC), addressed the council in regards to the proposed new recreation center. Friend said the school board would be asked to approve an increase in the BCRC’s annual property tax levy of 2 mills to provide $2.5 million to help construct a community center. Even though the BCRC has no taxing authority, but it has an agreement with the Baldwin school district to approve its annual 4 mill levy for operations.
He asked the Baldwin City Council to provide the other $2.5 million needed with a half-cent sales tax, which unlike the property-tax,  requires a city-wide vote by state statute. Although a petition drive could force a vote on the school boards mill levy increase.  The council and school board plan to have a joint meeting on the issue at 6:30 P.M. on August 9.  A location for the meeting has not been set yet. Council Member Kristi Darnell made a motion directing the city staff to draft an ordinance, seconded by Council Member Kathy Gerstner.
In other business: 

  • The council approved a request for $15,000 (annually) from the city for the Economic Development Corporation.
    Jeannette Blackmar, Interim Director, Chamber of Commerce, address the council about the benefits of the Chamber, a members only Non-Profit and an advocate for local businesses.
  • Unanimously approved ordinance 1344 to rezone a parcel of land from Agricultural to R-1B.
  • Approved the 2017 budget summary. Public hearings on the budget tentatively scheduled for August 1, 2016.
  • Unanimously approved the Water Supply Loan Fund Resolution 2016-08.
  • Approved each of the following Special Event Resolutions.
    1. Chairity Fundraiser for Lumberyard Arts Center
    2. Downtown Ballet Production
    3. Wildcat Wobble Dance Party
    4. BCRC's Maple Leaf Triathalon
    The meeting adjourned about 8:30 P.M.

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