Archive for Friday, November 8, 2013

Basehor advertising campaign trying to attract new residents, more growth

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

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

November 8, 2013, 9:49 a.m.

Updated: November 8, 2013, 9:49 a.m.

Basehor is being branded as “the town in the middle of everywhere.”

In partnership with the city, the Basehor Chamber of Commerce is paying for a video advertisement through KMBC TV-9 in Kansas City, MO, to promote the city and attract new residents. City Administrator Lloyd Martley said at Monday night’s city council work session that the advertisement, which cost the city $1,500 and the chamber $1,500, will reach 7 million monthly visitors to the news channels website.

“The reach this will have for the cost is just unbelievable,” Basehor Mayor David Breuer said.

The Basehor Chamber of Commerce President Blake Waters said this week that the city will own the video and will be able to use it on its own websites as well. The chamber is also collaborating with Basehor-Linwood School District and the Basehor Community Library to produce the video.

“The idea is to simply promote Basehor and share what we have to offer,” Waters said.

The film crews finished shooting on Monday and will provide the Chamber of Commerce a copy of the video for approval by the end of the week, Waters said.

Even without the advertisement campaign, a development company approached the city council Monday interested in building a housing complex near the intersection of Amber Street and 155th Street.

Prairie Fire Development and Management Company sought approval from the council to seek tax credits from the state for the Sect. 42 housing complex. Kelley Hrabe, the company’s co-owner, spoke to the council and said the complex could have as many as 48 units and will be limited to people 55-years-old or older. Being a Sect. 42 housing development, Hrabe said, the companies in-house management team would require that any residents fall under a maximum income cap of $30,000 for a single individual or under $34,000 for a couple. The residents would not be allowed to have family live with them, Hrabe said, under current regulations.

The city council approved a resolution for the housing complex despite some concerns. The resolution that allows Prairie Fire to seek tax credits from the state was approved with the understanding, Martley made clear, that the approval only allowed Prairie Fire Development to pursue tax credits, not actually begin construction. Actual building plans and construction would have to be approved by the council at a later date after the public is given an opportunity to comment.

Councilman Brian Healy expressed concerns that after the companies proposed 15-year contract expires, the housing complex would be up for grabs and the city wouldn’t be able to have a say as to what takes over.

“It’s a risk,” Healy said.

Vernon Fields said that the complex, with its income cap per Sect. 42, could exclude many of the older people who currently live in Basehor.

“My concern is having something built here but not having our people being able to take advantage of it,” Fields said.

Despite the voiced concerns, the council sounded more positive about the proposal than negative. Breuer said during the meeting that the city staff, particularly City Clerk Corey Swisher, had done an “exemplary” job of scouting out other Prairie Fire developments.

“Many of them are award winning communities,” Swisher told the council.

In other business, the council:

• Decided that of the two proposed designs for the expansion of Basehor City Park, they like Concept B which includes a children’s play area, several new gazebos, a tennis court and bocce ball/croquet field. Fields did bring up two issues with the designs, chiefly being that Concept A provided more parking spaces than Concept B. The council recommended that the city staff add another parking lot to Concept B as well as several more gazebos. Swisher told the council that the city was overbooked last summer for park shelter rentals and had to turn people away. The city is expanding with money from the liquor tax fund and building tax fund which has more than $100,000 set aside for the city park project. The designs for the expanded park can be seen on the Basehor Sentinel’s website at www.basehorsentinel.com.

• Approved several changes to the city’s sound ordinance and will vote on the changes at the next council meeting. Martley said that the past ordinance was too limited in its restrictions. The proposed changes now all problematic noise to between the hours of 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

• The council approved several changes to the vicious dog ordinance and will vote on the changes at the next council meeting on Nov. 18. Martley said many of the current ordinance’s requirements are “unenforceable” and that the breed restrictions of the current ordinance were unfair. The current ordinance states that pit bulls, Rottweilers or wolf-hybrid dogs must be confined safely and kept on a four-foot leash when off property and that owners of such dogs must pay public liability insurance to the amount of $200,000 per incident. The leash law and penalties for harboring a dog deemed vicious because of its actions, not because of its breed, would remain the same.

• Reviewed the city’s codification update, a 380-plus page re-organization of all the city’s ordinances and codes. The city’s codification has been a three year process and may finally be approved in January 2014. The codification hasn’t changed any city codes but rather has organized them all into a cohesive, easy-to-access format.

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