Archive for Tuesday, August 5, 2014

KSU professor reports on state of Tonganoxie

August 5, 2014

A Kansas State University professor said Tonganoxie has qualities — the community just needs to find better ways to highlight them.

Vincent Amanor-Boadu, associate professor of agribusiness economics and management at Kansas State University, has been working with Tonganoxie organizations to identify what the community needs in moving forward to attract businesses and improve its existing businesses.

Businesses filled out surveys and from there, Amanor-Boadu has been working to pinpoint strengths and weaknesses.

He said the school district is considered one of the community’s strengths. The high school has a strong jazz ensemble. He said the schools could look at ways to better promote such groups within the community.

Community safety and no infrastructure challenges for businesses also were considered top qualities.

He said current businesses were identifying challenges and addressing them. He said K-State, Kansas University and other area colleges could be used as resources for the businesses.

Amanor-Boadu said volunteer leadership was needed to continue to move the community forward. He said he would continue to work on a plan for the community.

“On my part, I have committed to get it done,” he said. “I don’t want to get emotional, but there’s something beautiful here.”

Additional 2015 budget publication needed

The Tonganoxie City Council will need to publish an additional document regarding its budget, thanks to a recent bill Gov. Sam Brownback signed into law in April.

The law, which made its way through the Legislature as House Bill 2047, requires that municipalities that increase property tax rates by more than the inflation rate from the previous year publish their vote.

The council is planning for a nearly 3-mill increase from the previous year’s budget.

Assistant City Administrator Jennifer Jones-Lacy said the council, per the new law, was required to publish its vote in the official county newspaper, which is the Leavenworth Times.

The public hearing for the city’s 2015 budget will take place during its next meeting, which is 7 p.m. Aug. 18 in city council chambers. The vote will then be published in the county newspaper after the vote.

Jones-Lacy said that an ordinance no longer is required to approve a property tax increase. Instead, a simple majority vote now is needed. Per the new law, the county clerk must factor in the regional consumer price index of the previous year in the final setting of the tax levy in October. Before, only county appraiser’s final assessed valuation was included.

City to ponder sidewalk extension

City Administrator Nathan McCommon said a sidewalk and crosswalk striping likely would cost about $3,700 to connect Chieftain Trail to VFW Park near its entrance at First Street.

Resident Laurence Hill told the council at its last meeting that he and others utilize the trail, but many cross from the trail’s latest extension to VFW Park near its entrance. Though the trail connects to VFW Park at its west entrance via a walking bridge, there’s no sidewalk entrance or crosswalk at its northwest entrance.

McCommon said the best route would be a crosswalk across County Road 5 that would connect the trail to VFW Park north of the main entrance. McCommon said a sidewalk, which would be on city property, could be built just north of the main entrance that could parallel County Road 5.

The council asked McCommon to get feedback from VFW officials on the possible addition before making a decision on the sidewalk.

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