City ponders revitalization program
In the next few weeks, the Basehor City Council will explore the possibility of implementing a neighborhood revitalization program for parts of the city.
The revitalization program gives property owners that make a designated amount of improvements to their homes or business a tax rebate on the valuation of the improvements.
During the City Council meeting on Monday, Aug. 20, the council listened to a presentation by Leavenworth Area Development director Gary Carlson on the guidelines of the program.
Carlson said the aim of the revitalization program is to encourage development and that most improvements made to a home or business would apply to the revitalization program.
Both Leavenworth and Tonganoxie already have similar programs in place, Carlson said. The city of Leavenworth recently renewed its plan and expanded the revitalization area, he said.
Although an entire county can be designated as a revitalization area, an entire city can't be.
If the City Council approved the program, certain sections of the city would not be included, council member Chris Garcia said.
"You don't want to include a new development because it doesn't need to be improved," Garcia said. "If we approved it, we probably wouldn't include the treatment facility because it wouldn't need improved."
Garcia said the program would also allow the city to modify where the designated areas for improvement were. If the City Council annexed a property that wasn't designated in the revitalization plan, the area could be changed to fit the annexed area, he said.
Council members agreed to research the issue and discuss it further at a council work session on Sept. 10. The council will not be able to approve the program during the work session, but it could be placed on the agenda for the October City Council meeting.
Basehor Mayor Bill Hooker said he thought the program would be beneficial to the city and that it would gain council approval.
"I think it is a good deal for us," Hooker said. "It doesn't cost us anything, and it gives some people incentive to improve their property."
Gaining approval during the meeting on Monday night was the selection of the engineering firm Ponzer Youngquist as the designer for the Kansas Highway 24/40 sewer interceptor line.
The 24/40 interceptor line is a proposed project that would connect developments south of the highway to the wastewater treatment facility. City officials said the line would give the treatment facility more user fees.
In other council news, the City Council was updated on traffic fines that would be imposed in Basehor Municipal Court.
Basehor City Attorney John Thompson said the fines were set by Municipal Court Judge Bill Pray and did not require council approval.
City officials said all fines were increased approximately 30 percent. The previous fines fell below the state average.
Basehor Police Chief Vince Weston said the Police Department conducted a study to determine how much to increase the fines. Fine increases fall in line with those imposed in Lansing and Tonganoxie, he said.
The new traffic fines in the city of Basehor will become effective on Sept. 21, city officials said.
In other action, the City Council:
approved payments to contractors for wastewater treatment facility.
approved an ordinance amending chapter of public offense code.
approved an ordinance amending traffic codes.
approved an ordinance amending municipal court fines and bonds.
approved a resolution authorizing the issuance of temporary notes and agreement between issuer and agent.
selected a committee to review qualifications for city engineer.
approved the reimbursement to Carrother's Construction for electricity bill.
The next Basehor City Council meeting will be at 7 p.m. Sept. 17 at Basehor City Hall.