Tonganoxie voters approve 20-year sales tax; Tonganoxie Days entertainment agreement approved; VFW Park news
A 3/4-cent sales tax will fund a new Tonganoxie Public Library.
Tonganoxie residents voted, 776-429, to replace the current 3/4-cent sales tax with a new 20-year sales tax at the same rate, according to Leavenworth County Clerk Janet Klasinski. She noted voter turnout was nearly 42 percent. The “yes” votes won with about 64 percent of the vote.
Mail-in ballots were sent out earlier this month, with Tuesday being the deadline to return ballots.
The sales tax will fund various infrastructure projects, along with the library. The exact site of the library still is to be determined, but the southwest corner of the former Tonganoxie Elementary School campus or the northeast corner of Third and Main streets have been the most discussed.
The new tax will go into effect Oct. 1. The previous 3/4-cent sales tax, which funded Tonganxoie Water Park, is set to end Sept. 30.
The ballot question earmarks the tax going toward construction of new capital improvements, maintaining new and current infrastructure, funding debt issued for capital improvements and the construction of a new or expanded library. The tax would be in addition to a 1 percent citywide retailers’ sales tax already levied within the city.
Revenue from the 20-year replacement sales tax is estimated at $7.2 million. Library representatives are projecting a new library would at most cost $3.6 million.
Klasinski has estimated that the election would cost Tonganoxie about $9,500.
Entertainment for Tonganoxie Days approved at Feb. 21 meeting
Tonganoxie City Council approved an entrainment agreement for Tonganoxie Days at its regular meeting Feb. 21.
The council appoved, 5-0, a contract with Generation Relevant for $13,500.
The agreement includes the booking of four bands to perform 1:30-11 p.m. June 10 for Tonganoxie Days in Gallagher Park. The company will handle coordinating set up/tear down times, location, power requirements and other duties. Also as part of the agreement, it will provide sound and lighting for the stage in Gallagher Park, handle all tax, w-9, and 1099s for each band and provide sound and lighting for the stage
Last year, the city contacted with the company for $21,500 for the Tongaoxie Sesquicentennial, which spanned two days and included lighting for three stages, set up and tear down of the main stage and six bands.
This year’s bands lineup is The J Love Band (funk, jazz, soul), Rusty Lafoon Band (country), Elton Dan (Elton John tribute band) and Perpetual Change (80s, 90s, 00s rock).
VFW park potential changes
Bob Puhr spoke in open session about the possibility of a dog park area at VFW Park.
He said VFW members were looking at the options for committing a portion of the VFW’s land for a leashless dog area. Attorney Keyta Kelly, who was filling in at the meeting for husband and City Attorney Mike Kelly, said she had worked with the VFW at the time it created the park. She said the park was established with some tax exemptions. She encouraged the VFW to research whether a dog park area would affect those exemptions.