Archive for Wednesday, November 5, 2008

150th St. junction project delayed

November 5, 2008

The Basehor City Council decided Monday night to defer action on the 150th Street and U.S. Highway 24-40 intersection project.

The council voted 3-0, with council members Keith Sifford and Terry Hill absent, to continue discussion of the project at its Nov. 10 work session, then reconsidered at the council’s Nov. 17 meeting.

Council President Iris Dysart said she felt the 150th Intersection project was too expensive and not something the city should invest in. Council member Jim Washington said the project was something the city should pursue but not now due to hard economic times and lack of funding availability.

Monday was the first meeting where new rules went into effect allowing the meeting to continue with a quorum of three. A charter ordinance was passed Aug. 18 that repealed the rule requiring four council members to be present to conduct business.

At their Oct. 20 meeting, council members authorized an agreement between the city and Basehor Properties LLC, in which the Kansas Department of Transportation agreed to pay the city $325,000 for acquisition and preliminary engineering costs for the intersection project. The city, KDOT and Basehor Properties will move forward in design of the intersection, as well as purchase of the triangle piece of property that will make the realignment of the intersection possible.

At the present time, the city has received a commitment from KDOT for $500,000 in corridor management funds that was committed to the extension of Wolfcreek Parkway from 153rd Street to 150th Street. Ed McIntosh, president of Basehor Properties LLC, has been petitioning the city to group the $1.5 million Wolfcreek Parkway project with the 150th intersection project and use the $500,000 for the combined $3 million project. McIntosh said the improved intersection will increase the visibility to the Wolfcreek Junction development and give him more valuable corner lots for sale. He also believes it will bring more sales tax revenue to the city.

The challenge for the city is the funding. John Flower, Basehor resident, stated this is the only project that has the potential of providing funding back to the city through the transportation development district. Businesses in the district will charge an additional 3/4 of one-cent sales tax that will go toward completion of the road projects. However, tax revenue from the grocery store is expected to be sufficient for Wolfcreek Parkway, but not sufficient for the additional $1.5 million intersection project.

The 150th intersection project is outside the physical boundaries of the transportation development district but may use the district funding if the original agreement with the city is modified.

In other city business the council:

• Authorized no more than $25,000 for a temporary construction road to the wastewater treatment plant that will go across the Basehor-Linwood High School property between the new soccer field and the softball field.

• Deferred action on replacement of the primary server for City Hall.

• Approved the effort by staff to prepare an ordinance calling for payments in lieu of construction for sidewalks that are not completed.

• Denied on a 3-0 vote a request to buy into the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System. The police officers for the city are part of the Kansas Police and Fire retirement system and other employees receive the same percentage in a 457 deferred compensation plan. Staff had proposed to reduce the amount going into the 457 plan and begin participating in KPERS.

• Approved the designation of the city planner as the representative with Leavenworth County for preparation of a hazard mitigation plan.

• Approved a liquor license for Pastimes Bar & Grill, which has a projected opening at 15510 State Avenue on Nov. 6, in the previous Simple Simons location.

• Met for five minutes in executive session to discuss non-elected personnel.

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