Archive for Wednesday, November 7, 2001

Basehor City Council to seek public opinion on

November 7, 2001

If a recent work session is a barometer, the Basehor City Council still has much to decide before implementing a citywide neighborhood revitalization program.

The revitalization program, which has been on the minds of council members since June, was one of several topics of discussion on Monday, Nov. 5, at Basehor City Hall.

The program is designed to give property owners that make improvements to their home a tax rebate on their property taxes. Similar programs already exist in the cities of Leavenworth and Tonganoxie.

To qualify for the tax abatement, the property owner would have to complete the improvements and the improvements would also have to be physical improvements not site improvements, city officials said.

And while the program is expected to gain council approval, there are still several details city officials must iron out before implementation.

One issue council members will have to decide is whether to allow new development into the program.

City officials said while new development isn't the target of the program, allowing it to be included could trigger growth on some of the city's vacant lots.

City Council member Chris Garcia said the program should benefit older properties and not new ones.

"We are trying not to benefit the new subdivisions," Garcia said.

City Council member Joe Odle agreed with Garcia's assessment.

"My idea was that it would give incentive to some inner-city properties to improve," Odle said.

Another detail discussed was whether to place a minimum dollar amount or percentage to qualify for the revitalization.

Under the current proposal, there are no such stipulations and property owners would need only to obtain a building permit to qualify.

City Codes Administrator Mike Hooper said he was in favor of placing a dollar amount on the improvements rather than a percentage.

To approve the program, the city would have to receive the approval of the Basehor-Linwood School District, Fairmount Township Fire Department and Leavenworth County officials.

Basehor Mayor Bill Hooker said he has heard no opposition to the program so far.

A public hearing regarding the revitalization program has been scheduled for Monday, Nov. 19 prior to the Basehor City Council meeting.

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