Archive for Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Basehor council considering sewer fee break for multi-unit buildings

Basehor City Hall is at 2620 N. 155th St.

Basehor City Hall is at 2620 N. 155th St.

August 15, 2012

The Basehor City Council last week signaled support for a plan that would ease the burden of sewer connection fees for multi-unit residential developments or businesses, such as apartment complexes or hotels.

The plan presented by city staff at the council’s Aug. 6 work session would base fees for businesses or multi-unit residential structures on lot size rather than the number of units. Interim City Administrator Lloyd Martley said city officials were concerned the city’s current system could be scaring away developers of multi-unit developments.

“We’re just trying to establish something that was not so rigid that we were driving those type of developments away from our community,” Martley said.

The city’s current sewer connection policy charges $3,450 per unit to connect to the city’s system and includes no exceptions for businesses or developments with multiple housing units.

Earlier this year, the City Council denied a request from the Country Place Senior Living center for a break on its connection fee. The cost for the 22-unit complex to connect came to about $76,000.

But the proposed new system, which would charge a fee of 30 cents per square foot in lot size, would cut the center’s fee more than $50,000, to about $24,000.

Council members said they thought the proposal would be an improvement.

“It’s a step in the right direction for sure,” member Travis Miles said.

Also at the Aug. 6 session:

• Council members said they’d support a request by the city that the U.S. Postal Service move the boundary of Basehor’s 66007 ZIP code south to Interstate 70.

Hundreds of addresses in or near Basehor but south of U.S. Highway 24-40 fall in the Bonner Springs 66012 ZIP code. After the city sent a letter to affected residents last year about a possible request to move the boundary south, it received resounding support, Martley said.

Residents said insurance companies, mistakenly assuming they lived in Wyandotte County, had given them higher rates because of the ZIP code confusion, Martley said. The situation can confuse GPS devices, cause problems with deliveries and force residents to drive to Bonner Springs to visit the post office.

Martley said that a council resolution would be required as part of the request to the Postal Service, though it would not guarantee a change.

A USPS spokesman told the Sentinel last year that moving ZIP code boundaries can be complicated and is not always possible. The USPS denied a similar request in 2008.

• During a special meeting before the work session, the council approved, 5-0, the city’s 2013 budget, which will provide more than $100,000 in pay increases for city employees but decrease the city’s mill levy by a fraction of a mill.

Also during the special meeting, the council approved, 5-0, an ordinance and resolution that allowed for the sale of about $8.8 million in general obligation bonds. The sale will refinance debts owed on the 2008 Basehor Boulevard and 155th Street improvement district, a revolving loan from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment for sewer system improvements and a Kansas Department of Transportation revolving loan for the construction of Wolf Creek Parkway.

Bryan Kidney of the city’s financial adviser, Springsted Inc., said the city had received a favorable 1.77 percent interest rate, thanks to a strong bond rating.

Comments

LightTheDarkCorners 2 years, 1 month ago

Here we go again in Breuerville. Council said in February that Country Living Place, a Breuer project, should pay the same connection fees as anyone else. Looks like King David thinks we have short memories. Agenda Item 4 on the August 6th Work Session has the following:

"The proposed 79,863 Sq. Ft. or 22 unit Country Place Living facilities is currently required to pay $3,450 for each unit and would total $75,900. If the Sq. Ft. price is introduced at $0.30 per Sq. Ft. the cost for the sewer connection would be $23,958.50 which is a difference of $51,941.50 from the current required connection fee."

City Council rejected a demand by the Breuers to reduce the connection fees on this property by a 5 - 0 vote on February 27th.

I recall in his opposition statement that evening Mr. Washington stating that if Hill were retained and Mertz and Dysart were recalled, that it would only be a matter of time until the Breuers would be back to continue their theft from the taxpaying and rate paying citizens of Basehor.

It won't be on Monday's agenda probably because this $50,000 gift from sewer rate payers on top of the obscene grift of $200,000 to the document altering, resume misrepresenting former administrator is even too much for Gauleiter Brüer to jackboot onto our suffering citizens.

Look for it next month or whenever next our gaze is elsewhere.

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johninbasehor 2 years, 1 month ago

Your previous city council and all of their followers are the reason for the $200,00 gift payout plus all the hours of city legal fees that go with it. If your former city council had been so diligent, they would have followed the advice of their city attorney and not made this city liable for their public forum trash talk of Mr. Loughry's reputation. Now, the city insurer has decided with council to pay this money,(don't know if there is a deductible). The city will in all probability have to pay a rate increase because of the bull headed former council. Also, how much will the city have to pay to get the asbestos out of those buildings that are on the future site of the new city hall that the previous council also made us liable for? Mayor Hill, you were right in your actions against the previous council. It is just too bad that many of the citizens of Basehor believed in the former council in error when you were recalled. I think this action by the new council and the city insurer vindicates your actions.

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Ronald Grover 2 years, 1 month ago

As Basehor attempts to lure businesses and developments to our community it is important to not get caught up in give-away programs many other communities have fell victim to in their operating budgets.

I can understand providing an upfront incentive but what is the plan to recoup that give-away over the long term viability of the project? Are we looking at increased payback over the long term usage, such as 120% of usage rates? Are we putting in measures of performance that ensure the projections of the developers are achieved and the taxpayer provided incentives are repaid, penalties for non-performance? Are we requiring surety bonds that ensure the financial wherewithal of the developer and personal accountability? As you can see many things can be done to protect the citizens of Basehor along with attracting development.

A simple reduction of the connection fee, I cannot support without assurances the incentives provided come back to the city from the developer. If Basehor continues to provide the incentives without measures to protect the citizens we will find ourselves on the hook again just like the Town Center project and the grocery store project.

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johninbasehor 2 years, 1 month ago

I agree with Rong completely. I am sure that our new Council and Mayor will be smart and protect the citizens of Basehor and not give away the farm to any developer. After the fiasco of the Town Center, and the cost to the citizens owning property along 155th, I would think a surety bond is a must, along with contractual guarantees to protect the city against any default or bailout of a would be developer. Speculation by any developer should not be backed up with any citizen's liability.

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