City declines to waive building fee for school
An effort by the Basehor-Linwood School District to save money on the construction of the intermediate elementary school has failed.
The district's request to have the city's building permit fees waived for the construction of the school was met with differing views from the City Council and ultimately the agenda item could not gain an adequate motion and second at Monday's Council meeting.
District officials said they asked that the fees be waived because they weren't expecting them to be so high.
"I've been involved in three other building projects in the past and the building permit fees were minimal," Superintendent Bob Albers said. "I didn't expect building fees of this magnitude."
The total fee, which is $69,593, is broken down into several different categories such as a base fee and plumbing and electric fees. The largest category, at $43,128, is the transportation excise tax, which helps the city recover costs of road improvements throughout the city.
Albers said he felt the district was already making its contribution to the improvement of roads in the city through the two benefit districts in Basehor Town Center, the area in which the new school will be located.
"In this particular instance we have a benefit district and we're already paying for the improvements for 155th Street and Basehor Boulevard," Albers said. "Sewer and water are also being paid for by the benefit district. I feel like we're already paying for our portion of the infrastructure."
Council member Keith Sifford reminded fellow council members that whatever decision was made would set a precedent. However, City Administrator Carl Slaugh said the transportation excise tax has been waived in the past in some cases including the First Baptist Church of Basehor and Holy Angels Catholic Church.
As for surrounding cities, the policy on waiving fees varies.
"What I found is that in smaller cities particularly in rural areas, there is no excise tax and when there is, they generally waive it," Slaugh said. "In metro areas, they treat schools just like everybody else. They do not waive excise taxes for schools or not-for-profits."
Jim Washington said he thought the excise tax could be waived, but all other fees should be paid. Sifford thought the district should pay all building permit fees including the excise tax and made a motion to that effect. President Iris Dysart also made a motion to waive the excise tax and reduce the other fees, but neither one received a second and no other motions were made, causing the item to die.
Albers said they hoped to bring the item back soon for reconsideration.
"I feel like we've always had a pretty good relationship with the city because of the things we do for them and the things they do for us," he said. "I think this is another place where we can cooperate with them a little bit."
In other action Monday night, the Council:
¢ Approved, 5-0, a resolution authorizing and directing the issuance, sale and delivery of $3,760,000 principal amount of general-obligation temporary notes, series 2008 of the city of Basehor.
¢ Tabled, 4-1, with Washington opposed, the approval of authorization No. 3 for professional engineering services to Burns & McDonnell Engineering Company, Inc.
¢ Approved, 5-0, the low bid for the wastewater treatment plant project to CAS Construction of Topeka in the amount of $4,933,000, pending Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
¢ Tabled, 5-0, the approval of the revolving loan agreement with KDHE for the wastewater treatment plant expansion.
¢ Approved, 5-0, the renewal of FundBalance annual maintenance contract.
¢ Approved, 5-0, the first phase of a street maintenance plan prepared by McAfee Henderson Solutions, Inc. for the city of Basehor.
¢ Approved, 5-0, the appointment of Pat Massingill to the Park Advisory Board.
¢ Approved, 5-0, the purchase of remote cellular monitoring devices for lift stations in the amount of $6,345.60 plus monthly charges.
¢ Approved, 5-0, the appointment of Slaugh as the voting delegate for the Annual League of Kansas Municipalities Conference on Oct. 14.
¢ Approved, 5-0, the transfer of $244,000 from Sewer Fund to Bond and Interest Fund for State Revolving Loan Payment.
¢ Met in executive session for about 45 minutes to discuss real-estate acquisition and attorney-client privilege matters.