Hunting request causes concern, tension
Tension was high Monday at the Basehor City Council work session when council members discussed an agenda item concerning deer hunting.
Basehor resident Joe Nick requested the council consider issuing to him a special permit for bow hunting on his property on State Avenue. Bow hunting had previously been occurring on Nick’s property because be obtained a permit for it several years ago, but the permit had since expired. Nick was present at the meeting Monday and told the council he wanted to allow people to hunt on his property to control the deer population, as deer had long been destroying his crops.
“I believe we’ve saved a lot of accidents on the highway and a lot of personal injury,” Nick told council members of the hunting on his land. “I can’t raise any (crops) anymore. (The deer) will eat beets and sweet potatoes down to the ground.”
Nick’s nearby neighbors Jan and Richard Maleta also attended the meeting and said they had been rallying to stop hunting in the area because of the danger it presented to the community.
“How would you feel if someone was in your back yard, and you were walking on your nature path with your dog, and you find bloody surgical gloves on your path?” Jan Maleta asked the council.
As voices raised, Mayor Terry Hill reminded those in attendance the work session was designed only to consider adding the item to the Jan. 25 agenda, not to make any decisions.
“These animals can become a nuisance, but we’re not here to decide if animals are a nuisance,” Hill said. “We’re deciding whether to allow bow hunting in the city of Basehor. Tonight is just a question for the council, do they want to put it on the agenda?”
Should the issue be added to a regular meeting agenda, Hill said, that was the time arguments for and against the hunting permit may be made. Hill asked City Administrator Mark Loughry to do research on the city of Leavenworth’s hunting policies to provide some comparative information for the council.
The council decided to address the issue further at its next work session, which will be Feb. 1.
Also on Monday night, the council:
• Discussed a letter for reference for Burns and McDonnell project engineer Jeff Keller for his work on Basehor’s wastewater treatment plant expansion.
• Discussed a resolution pertaining to weed control on unplatted lots and water ways in the city. The city has received several complaints from residents about land that has not been consistently mowed.
• Discussed a request from the Basehor Baptist Church for reimbursement of a fireworks sale permit fee of $500. The group that ran the fireworks stand was acting on behalf of the church, which is a nonprofit organization and applied for the permit too late to appear in front of council to request waiving the fee. The council expressed its favor of the reimbursement, provided it received a letter verifying the profits from the fireworks went to the church.
• Discussed a request from the Prairie Gardens Homeowners Association to consider changing the way special assessments are calculated for the U.S. Highway 24-40 sewer interceptor. The current program calculated a fee based on square footage of property in the area to be served and applied to the cost of the sewer line to calculate the special assessment for each property. The plan did not distinguish between developable and undevelopable properties such as designated green space. The council did not favor putting the item on the Jan. 25 agenda for consideration.
• Discussed a conditional use permit for Consolidated Water District No. 1 to build a new water tower where one already exists at U.S. Highway 24-40 and 155th Street. The tower currently holds 100,000 gallons of water, and the new tower would hold 1 million gallons. Consolidated Rural Water District No. 1, the city’s water service provider, is requesting an extended conditional use permit to build the tower. Conditional use permits are generally granted for five years, and the water district would like to extend that so the structure, which would have a lifespan of 50 years or more, would not have to be evaluated every five years. The current tank along with another tank in the Falcon Lakes subdivision serve the water needs of the district today, which includes Basehor and Lansing. The tanks operate independently of each other in two different pressure zones. A new larger tank at 24-40 and 155th Street would allow the two tanks to work in conjunction with each other on one pressure setting. The cost of the new tower would not affect water rates within the district.