Tuesday, October 18, 2016

City Council Repeals Half cent Sales Tax

by Kevin Surbaugh

Mayor Marilyn Pearse gaveled the October 17, 2016 city council meeting to order. After the council unanimously approved the consent agenda, the council quickly moved to old business. 
Taking up Ordinance No. 1353, Kansas Department of Health and Environment Loan Agreement before council. Public Works director Bill Winegar said at the last council meeting that this project will replace old water lines that have been in existence since the early 1900’s. The lines that will be replaced and brought up to standard. The project will be bid out possibly this Fall, with construction expected to begin early next Spring. The project should take about one year to complete. There should not be any outages during the construction. The council voted  this week after delaying the vote two weeks ago. Council Member Tony Brown moved to approve the ordinance and Council Member Cathy Gerstner seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
Up next on the agenda was Ordinance 1354, sewer averaging changing from a three-month averaging cycle from October, November and December to a six-month averaging of October, November, December, January, February and March.  Currently sewer bills for the year are based on the average of the water bill for three cold weather months. The new plan would expand that to six months, that are still typically outside the yard watering and swimming pool months. Council Members Christi Darnell moved to approve and Council Member Brown seconded, while the council approved it unanimously. 
The council then turned it's attention to Ordinance 1355, an ordinance that repeals Ordinance 1347 that had enacted the half cent sales tax for the proposed new community center. Not because they had changed their minds, but because the building project will rely on two taxes, the half cent sales tax from the city and a 2.75 mill levy. A levy the school board has not acted up on, and probably won't until June of next year, when they are again working on their budget. A tax that if passed, is expected to be the subject of a protest petition to put that particular tax on the ballot as well. The desire of the council, school board and the Rec Commission is to have both on the ballot at the same time, and not have two different elections, which could be confusing to some voters.
Gerstner told the council that she wanted it to be known the repeal of the ordinance is not a rejection of the project, as it will come up again when both taxes of the project will be on the ballot at the same time.  Gerstner then made the motion to approve the ordinance and Brown seconded. The council unanimously approved.

In other business:

  • Ed Courton, Community Development Director, discussed an aged sign near Calhoun's Liquor, promoting the downtown, that is in the KDOT right of way and it's potential removal.
  • Council Member David Simmons told the council that the Public Health and Safety now has a draft of an ordinance addressing conditions  of the cities mobile home parks, which will be taken up at their next meeting.
  • Council Member Steve Bauer reminded the council that the Council Meeting of the Whole will be next Monday at 6:30 P.M.
  • The council then adjourned at 7:34 P.M.
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