Archive for Thursday, November 5, 2009

Athletic association seeking assistance

November 5, 2009

The Basehor Athletic Association has called out to the Basehor City Council for help.

At Monday night's work session, council members discussed a few ways it might be able to assist the Field of Dreams with a $10,500 deficit.

Ty Garver, of the athletic association, spoke to the council about the organization's financial problems, which Garver said had persisted for several years. The council talked about both short-term and long-term solutions, which included the possibility of creating a recreational committee to provide assistance to Field of Dreams.

Council member Dennis Mertz expressed his support for the association and said he thought the council should do what it could to keep the organization afloat.

“I jumped onto this back in February… before I even set up here, and at that meeting I expressed to former mayor Chris Garcia that I thought this was something that needed to stay alive,” Mertz said. “It’s kind of our name place in the city, and I feel it’s very important as also a marketing draw that people know we’re here and they come here. And what they also do for the kids more importantly. I hope that it’s the rest of councils’ opinions that this is something that we would like to give and figure out a way to work with them.”

An issue raised by council member Bill Moyer was the lack of balance in the athletic association’s budget. Moyer said he had a problem giving money to Field of Dreams when it was spending more than it was making. The money problems would continue to run the same course if something didn’t change, Moyer said.

“I’m not comfortable giving you a dime until I see some commitment to balancing the budget,” Moyer said. “If you’re making $140,000, I don’t want to see you with $150,000 in expenses.”

Garver responded to Moyer’s concern, saying the association recognized that and was making an effort to rectify it.

“We’re looking at everything, and we’re finally saying, ‘What’s in the best interest of Basehor?’” Garver said. “We have made some cuts in our budget, but we still have some trouble.”

Council President Jim Washington, who presided over the work session in Mayor Terry Hill’s absence, said the council did not have enough information at the time to make any decisions, but it was certainly something to consider.

“Whether it’s the rec commission or (Field of Dreams), you still need to develop enough activity that it flies by itself,” Washington said. “When I talk to the mayor after this meeting, I’m going to recommend he task the city administrator and one councilman to do the research and have some discussions with the school district to figure out a way to move forward. That’s all we can do.”

Also on Monday night, the council:

• Heard a presentation about the Leavenworth County Development Corporation from Executive Director Steve Jack.

• Heard about a few floodplain issues in the city from building inspector Mark Lee. Lee said the Federal Emergency Management Agency redrew floodplains for the city and overlooked previous changes to those areas that removed two residences from the floodplain. Lee said he was working with FEMA and the homeowners to make sure the problem was resolved. Washington suggested Lee contact U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins’ office to try to speed the process of correcting these errors.

• Discussed the Glenwood Estates Sewer Decommissioning. City Administrator Mark Loughry asked council for some indication of the city’s intentions with annexation of the subdivision. The council was in favor of offering a reduced flat rate for the sewer connection fees if the subdivision had all 97 homeowners agreeing to voluntary annexation. The topic will be discussed further at the next regular city council meeting, which will be Nov. 16.

• Discussed updating the city’s technology. Loughry researched several companies to provide software and continued information technology support for city staff. He recommended the company The Purple Guys that offered a package deal of $24,900 annually. The council will make a final decision about which company to use at the Nov. 16 regular meeting.

• Discussed the possibility of creating a committee to promote the newly-passed property tax rebate, or neighborhood revitalization, program in Basehor. The city council members were in support of the idea and will talk about it further at future meetings. Council members David Breuer and Dennis Mertz will be in charge of researching the idea and finding possible members from all taxing entities involved to serve on the committee.

• Discussed funding to outside city agencies. Several organizations in the city have requested funds from the city, and the council needs to find the best way to allocate money to each group. Council discussed the possibility of creating a care committee to get different organizations together before yearly budget meetings to decide how much each group needed.

• Discussed changing the city’s employee recognition policy. Loughry recommended spending the same amount of money and including a five-year award along with the first-year and 10-year awards. He also wanted to decide what was the best way to spend this money, as he did not believe the prizes were adequate.

• Discussed using a collection agency to collect on the city’s delinquent sewer accounts. The issue will come back to the council at a future meeting.

• Discussed renewing the auditing services of Lowenthal, Webb and Odermann.

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