Archive for Wednesday, August 16, 2006

City council briefs

August 16, 2006

Tonganoxie mill levy down from last year

The mill levy that is required to finance the city's $9.5 million budget next year will be less than last year's levy.

This year's city budget called for $1 million in expenses.

The reason the mill levy is going down is partially because of a $4 million increase in assessed property valuation. As the value of property increases, the mill levy can be reduced.

The budget includes expenditures that would be paid through bond issues. And these expenditures aren't set in stone.

Kathy Bard, assistant city administrator, said the city budgeted $2.1 million for a new city shop; $3 million for a new city hall/police station; and $2 million for a swimming pool.

But the city council has discussed only the city shop at length.

Just because that money is included in the city's capital budget, Bard explained, it doesn't mean any money would be spent.

No one spoke during a public hearing on the 2007 budget Monday night, after which council members adopted the financial document.

City settles on firm to design two signs

Tonganoxie City Council members on Monday were split on which company should build two signs for the city's east and south city limits.

At its last meeting, the council narrowed the field of companies to do the work to two: Eagle Memorials of Tonganoxie and Star Signs and Graphics of Lawrence.

Monday night, with council member Steve Gumm absent, the council voted 2-2 to hire Eagle Memorials for the work.

"I've never voted before," Mayor Dave Taylor said. "Can I have a day or two to think about it?"

The mayor then quickly voted for Eagle Memorials, a company that he had favored throughout the search process.

The city still must determine exactly where to place the signs. Kansas Department of Transportation regulations call for such signs -- this one will say, "Welcome to Tonganoxie" -- to be at least 35 feet from the edge of the highway.

2 police officers granted promotions

Council members on Monday approved two promotions in the police department.

Sgt. Billy Adcox was promoted to lieutenant/deputy chief and received a pay increase of $1.76 an hour, to $17.61 an hour. And Sgt. Tony Hernandez was promoted to a new position, lieutenant/patrol supervisor. He, too, received a pay raise -- up $1.67 an hour to $17.18 an hour.

VFW plans to expand post home building

Tonganoxie VFW members plan an addition to their building, and city council members on Monday agreed to waive fees normally charged for adding onto commercial property.

Although VFW member Larry Meadows also asked to be exempt from taking the building plans through the city's planning commission, council members said they preferred city policies be followed.

Council members did agree to waive the fees.

Meadows said the VFW plans to add onto the south side of the building, which the community uses for events.

Meadows also pointed out that the land that the VFW improvements are on -- including VFW Park -- was donated with a deed restriction that calls for the land to revert to the city if the VFW ceases to be an active organization and disbands.

Council to meet in special session

At a special meeting set for 6:30 p.m. next Tuesday, council members will discuss whether to authorize a feasibility study on the impact a proposed turnpike interchange would have on Tonganoxie.

The Kansas Turnpike Authority plans to build an interchange at Leavenworth County Road 1.

The city and county still are in negotiations about how much money the city might contribute to upgrades of the county road.

City Administrator Mike Yanez said a feasibility study would cost about $5,500.

And at 1:30 p.m. today, city council members are expected to travel to the Leavenworth County Courthouse, where a meeting will be held with the county commission and turnpike authority officials.

On Monday, Yanez told the council that he had contacted the Kansas Department of Transportation about the possibility of widening U.S. Highway 24-40 between Kansas Highway 16 and County Road 1. KDOT0 soon will begin setting priorities for highway projects to be funded in 2010.

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