Miles becomes new Basehor City Council president
The re-forming of Basehor’s governing body became complete Monday when Travis Miles was appointed City Council president.
The council voted 4-0, with Miles abstaining, to install Miles in the position.
Before the vote, member Vernon J. Fields said the choice was easy, as Miles is the only council member who was given his seat by the city’s voters. He was elected to the council in April 2011.
“Given the fact that all of us here, with the exception of one, have been appointed to fulfill spots,” Fields said, “a logical choice ... would be to appoint the remaining elected official to that spot.”
The president runs the council’s meetings or work sessions if the mayor is absent. If the mayor is removed from office, the president becomes the new mayor.
Dennis Mertz, who was recalled by Basehor voters in February, was the council’s previous president (though David Breuer was technically the council president for a split-second in March before immediately becoming mayor).
Also during Monday’s City Council meeting:
• Officials shared two pieces of good economic news. Interim City Administrator Lloyd Martley said 16 new home building permits had been filed with the city in 2012 through April, after only 19 permits were filed in all of 2011. That number far outpaced other nearby cities, he said.
Mayor David Breuer, meanwhile, said the city’s sales tax revenue had been up by about 9 percent during the year’s first four months, compared with the same time period in 2011. Those numbers, he said, do not yet include any receipts from the Orscheln Farm and Home store, the city’s new retail anchor.
• The council passed, 5-0, two resolutions relating to the refinancing of some of its debt.
One resolution authorized the city to issue general-obligation bonds to refinance its debt on the construction of Wolf Creek Parkway. That debt, owed to the Kansas Department of Transportation, is to be repaid through a transportation development district, which imposes additional sales taxes on businesses along the road.
The second resolution establishes a procedure for complying with federal rules as it issues bonds that are tax-exempt, which attorney Gina Riekhof said should help improve the rating of any bonds issued. By August, the city must also issue bonds to refinance its debt on the construction of Basehor Boulevard and improvements to 155th Street in 2008, and council members have discussed refinancing debt on the city’s wastewater treatment plant, as well.
• The council accepted, 5-0, the results of the city’s independent external audit for 2011.
Audrey Odermann of the accounting firm Mize, Houser and Co. said the firm had conducted some extra procedures in this year’s audit, including examining the use of employee purchasing cards.
“We did not find anything that we would say there was a material misstatement, by any means,” Odermann said.
• The council reappointed Lloyd Martley as police chief, William Pray as municipal court judge and Corey Swisher as city clerk and treasurer, each by a 5-0 vote.
• As part of its consent agenda, approved by a 5-0 vote, the council approved an agreement with Mike Kelly to serve as city prosecutor. Kelly has the same position in Tonganoxie. He’ll be paid $85 per hour or a minimum of $400 per month.
Also as part of the consent agenda, the council also approved an agreement with Affinis Corp. to provide designing services for KDOT-funded improvements to 155th and 158th Streets at a cost of about $195,500. Affinis is also designing the construction of Wolf Creek Parkway between those two streets, and the three projects will have a combined engineering cost of $311,600. Construction is scheduled for summer 2013.
• The council voted, 5-0, to remove the approval of employee health benefits for 2012-13 from the consent agenda and discuss the issue at its June work session. The vote came after former member Dennis Mertz distributed a packet saying the new benefit plans would not comply with a resolution passed in summer 2011 that caps the city’s benefit contributions.
• And the council approved, 5-0, the rezoning of a property at 2932 N. 156th St., allowing for the property’s owner to split the lot into two.