Archive for Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Sewer plant expansion included in 2008 budget

August 8, 2007

The Basehor City Council unanimously approved the 2008 budget after a short public hearing Monday evening.

City Administrator Carl Slaugh reviewed the basics of the $11.5 million budget, which includes $4.85 million for the expansion of the wastewater treatment plant. The plant expansion itself is expected to cost about $4 million, while $400,000 will be set aside for sewer line rehabilitation to begin correcting the city's inflow and infiltration issues and $450,000 for engineering fees in 2008.

Slaugh said the additional sewer fees would not cause the mill levy to rise from the current 28.5 mills because it is an enterprise fund that derives revenue from utility fees.

An increase in revenue from 2005 to 2006 from a 15 percent increase in sales tax and an 11 percent increase in property valuation will help cover increases in medical and dental insurances as well as expected city employee pay increases, Slaugh said.

Council votes to allow Sunday sale of alcohol

Changing the Municipal Code to allow Sunday sales of alcohol has been brought to the city council several times in the past and denied, but the council approved it Monday night, 4-1, with Keith Sifford opposed.

Dave Burkemper, manager of Shorty's Liquor and Party Shop in Basehor, spoke to the council about the benefits of allowing the sale of alcohol specifically on the Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day holidays.

"From a business aspect, we believe those would be the second, third and fourth busiest days of the year behind New Year's," Burkemper said.

Nearby Casey's General Store is permitted to be open on those holidays as well as stores in neighboring counties, he said.

Council member Iris Dysart asked Burkemper if he planned to be open every Sunday and he said as of right now, they would plan to be open on the holidays specified next year, which often fall on Mondays, as well as the Sundays immediately preceding them.

"As of right now, we do not have the staff to allow us to be open every Sunday," he said.

VFW's request for assistance denied

With a new building and new utility expenses to pay, the Basehor Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 11499 came to the city council to ask if they would consider waiving the sewer and solid waste fees at their new home, 2806 N. 155th St.

VFW Commander Fred Box spoke to the council about the matter and reminded the council of the VFW's contributions to the community, including student scholarships.

"We're strapped for funds anyway," he said. "Everything that the VFW makes goes back to the community of Basehor. We don't keep a dime except to pay utilities."

"We're in dire need of help," Vice Commander Ed Bush added. "Any help you can give us, we would be grateful."

While Slaugh said there was no problem with approving the fee waiver, approving such a thing could set an example for all other not-for-profit organizations to follow.

"Anytime we do take action like this it does set a precedent," he said.

While all council members agreed they wanted to help the VFW, the majority of them were concerned with the precedent and denied the request, 3-2, with council members Sifford and Terry Hill opposed. Council president Terry Thomas said they would try to come up with another solution to help the VFW.

Dysart also praised Box for his work in restoring the VFW and bringing life in the community and downtown Basehor.

"Hopefully we can make a contribution to offset some of your expenses," she said.

Appointment of city prosecutor tabled once again

A motion to approve changes to the Basehor Municipal Code to add the position of city prosecutor failed, 3-2, with Sifford and Hill in favor while the appointment of John Thompson to city prosecutor was tabled, 4-1, with Sifford opposed.

Patrick Reavey, the new city attorney said he decided after reviewing the position of city prosecutor and talking with Thompson, as well as police chief Terry Horner and police court clerk Traci Dockery, that he wanted the attorney and prosecutor to work independently of each other instead of having the prosecutor work under the attorney.

The council pointed out that the duties of the city attorney and the city prosecutor should then be written as two separate paragraphs instead of lumped into one as presented in the current code before approval is granted.

In other action Monday night, the council:

  • Approved, 5-0, the appointment of Kenneth Massingill to the Board of Zoning Appeals.
  • Approved, 5-0, payment request No. 1 from Holland Corporation for asphalt overlay on Hollingsworth Road and approval of substantial completion.
  • Approved, 5-0, change order No. 1 in the amount of $1,878 for the 147th Street and Parallel Road project for the addition of a larger drain pipe.
  • Approved, 5-0, a utility relocation expense in the amount of $8,523 to Consolidated Water District No. 1 on the 147th Street and Parallel Road project.
  • Approved, 5-0, the voluntary annexation of the Mussett Property and Rix Property in conjunction with the Basehor City Center development.

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