April 10, 2017 Special Joint Meeting

GOODLAND CITY COMMISSION

Special Joint Meeting

 

April 10, 2017                                                                                                                              7:00 A.M.

Mayor Brian Linin called the meeting to order with Vice-Mayor Annette Fairbanks, Commissioner Gary Farris and Commissioner Gwen Mai responding to roll call.  Commissioner John Garcia was reported absent.

 

Present from Sherman County Commission are Chairman Larry Enfield and Commissioner John Topliff.   Commissioner Rod Blake was reported absent

 

Present from USD 352 School Board of Education are President Gennifer House and Board Members Jessica Cole, Brad Bergsma, Terry Smith, Ron Vignery, Lee Ihrig, and Diana Spinney.

 

Others present are Andrew Finzen – City Manager, Mark Scheopner – USD 352 Board Clerk, Mary Volk – City Clerk, Ashley Mannis – County Clerk and James Foster – Kansas Department of Commerce.

 

DISCUSSION

  1. Neighborhood Revitalization Plan (NRP) – Andrew stated, I provided documents to amend current plan as discussed last meeting where it appeared consensus was to remove caps on plan if entities agree to do so.  There is a resolution available if agree to changes.  Board Chairman House asked, could this be a five to ten year plan instead of meeting annually to adopt?  Andrew stated, that is discussion point as the NRP can be effective as long as would like.  Mayor Linin stated, the original plan was a ten-year plan that expired a year and half ago which brought us to discussion to adopt new plan.  Now we are discussing what we want going forward with plan.  James stated, in adopting plan, you need to model plan after businesses you are attracting so they can plan financing accordingly.  Board Chairman House stated, could we do five to ten-year with auto renewal.  Andrew stated, you could design your plan however the entities agree.  Chairman Enfield stated, I believe the only way can do auto renewal is to hold a hearing at renewal of plan.  Have we heard from Attorney General on plan approval?  Stephens Construction contacted me wanting to know if he approved plan as they have project in works and waiting on approval.  Andrew stated, we thought three weeks but when I called Attorney General, they indicated approval could be up to ninety days.  They do not approve plan but interlocal agreement.  James stated, in the past he has made comments on plans even though they do not approve plan.  County Commissioner Topliff stated, from a tax payer stand point, I have received comments that they may be out of town so two days late paying second half of tax and are thrown out of plan.  We need to allow thirty-day grace period. We also do not allow them to participate in plan if they have started their project.  Board Chairman House asked, what about enforcing a daily penalty up to thirty days.  County Commissioner Topliff stated, it does not cost us to delay their rebate but feel should allow only thirty days.  I do not believe we should have residential or commercial caps.  Chairman Enfield stated, I want to have people building in Goodland but it costs us money for the rebate.  County Commissioner Topliff stated, I feel the cost affect is less than 1% of basis for entire county.  Are we eliminating growth in Sherman County because of it?  Board Member Cole stated, at end of five-year period we receive tax on 100% of property value.  Board Member Vignery asked, why would we rebate tax money if someone started construction before applied?  County Commissioner Topliff stated, they might not have heard about plan before started construction.  Board Member Vignery stated, but they decided to build without the plan.  Chairman Enfield stated, we changed plan in past allowing applications that do not have total project cost at application to provide project estimate, then when complete they provide total project cost so we revamp rebate.  Commissioner Mai stated, I do not agree when someone does not complete construction by deadline that the application gets thrown out.  They should do a valuation based on where project is.  Board Member Vignery stated, maybe need a committee from all three entities to determine if should extend time for those type of projects.  Chairman Enfield asked, how long do you go, you do not want to continue to extend project?  Board Member Vignery stated, there should be a point application is terminated if they do not complete construction.  Mayor Linin asked, if they are slow how is tax rebate determined?  Commissioner Mai stated, the appraiser would reappraise property at that point and annually thereafter.  Board Member Vignery stated, I agree we should have waiver available but at some point have to terminate waiver.  County Commissioner Topliff stated, many commercial projects take more than one year.  Andrew stated, plan allows one year extension if approved by County Commission.  James stated, I believe the reason there is no rebate until construction is complete is the appraisers have a tough time finding value on partial construction.  Commissioner Mai stated, our appraiser evaluates property annually.  Board Member Vignery stated, our plan allows for an extension.  Annette stated, the plan states County Commission approves extension, should all three entities approve extensions?  Board Member Vignery stated, I believe so since plan affects all entities.  Commissioner Farris stated, the County’s problem is paying out tax when not all entities are in plan.  James stated, the county should not be financing the bill for entities not under plan.  The entity should be paid property taxes based on original valuation not increased valuation with NRP.  Chairman Enfield stated, the hospital requires six mills by statute and we had to go back and pay rebate amount to them, which caused us problems.  James stated, you probably need to get a legal opinion, but I feel that should be a local decision as to valuation their tax is be based upon.  Board Chairman House stated, information should be disclosed to the individual so aware of what valuation tax is based upon.  Mayor Linin stated, it is not fair any entity pays the cost for entities not allowed to tax, such as library or hospital.  James stated, if county has to pay the cost for them, I understand why plan is not attractive to county.  Chairman Enfield asked, what do we gain if we take more away from taxpayers to begin with?  County Commissioner Topliff stated, the average cost to the taxpayer is 2%; we have to determine whether it is feasible for growth.  Chairman Enfield stated, I feel the caps should be evaluated on case-by-case basis.  I feel to protect our community we should have cap on application for a commercial building that does not bring jobs.  James stated, if you have it in writing ahead of time it will be better for your community with incoming business.  Board Chairman House asked, who accepts or rejects application and determines if needs cap?  Mayor Linin stated, recently the commission had a group inquiring about building new motel and we had to determine how far to go with investors without giving too much.  We looked at all plans available and that were offered to other investors.  The whole conversation is how far your community can go without giving too much because you are competing with other communities.  Chairman Enfield asked, our plan approved a year ago was five year with 90 % rebate, is that a sound plan?  James stated, I like the five-year plan because the property gets on tax role faster and usually a business will make or break in five years.  It is a little different plan than other communities that have annual incremental decrease in rebate.  James stated, with clustering that follows improvement; I would not have a cap.  In Goodland, you got Federal Express hub and Old Dominion followed so you get more than just one improvement.  Chairman Enfield asked, what is Goodland missing, Colby and Burlington are building we are not.  Board Chairman House stated, that is local investors investing in their community.  James stated, local investors from Goodland have taken some hits and there has been some split in community in the past.  County Commissioner Topliff stated, the other option is finance project with IRB’s which eliminates NRP option.  James stated, that is correct and you can have them pay in lieu of taxes with IRB.  Mayor Linin asked, how do we proceed forward?  Vice-Mayor Fairbanks stated, it appears we have three items to address, decide if we remove caps, decide if we appoint a waiver committee, and a thirty-day extension for taxes paid to receive rebate.  Board Member Vignery stated, can the City Manager put together a summary for us to review and discuss at our next meeting?  I appreciate the positive interaction from all entities; we may disagree but we are civil to each entity, which is how we achieve a plan.  County Commissioner Topliff asked, should we consider another joint meeting instead of a committee since plan affects everyone?  Chairman Enfield asked, would it hurt if someone from each entity calls Attorney General to get time frame since we have people waiting for approval?  James stated, I have no good advice but I do not believe it will hurt.  Andrew stated, to be clear on outstanding items, you want a section to remove caps, add language to item (g) that rebates are subject to approval of three taxing entities, and thirty-day extension to pay taxes and be eligible for rebate.  Board Member Cole asked, should there be a limit on dollar amount requiring approval from all entities, rather than call a joint meeting on every application.  County Commissioner Topliff stated, approval of applications can be at individual meetings.  Commissioner Mai stated, I think it would help future planning if all entities know what is going on.  Andrew stated, in the rebate language I will add application is subject to approval of three entities and approval by two entities shall constitute approval.  I will email summary to entities for review.  Do you want to amend current NRP to remove cap and require three entities approval of applications in item (g) as discussed?   ON A MOTION by Board Member Smith to remove cap and require three entities approval of applications in item (g) as discussed for current plan seconded by Board Member Vignery.  MOTION carried on a VOTE of 7-0.  ON A MOTION by Vice-Mayor Fairbanks to remove cap and require three entities approval of applications in item (g) as discussed for current plan seconded by Commissioner Mai.  MOTION carried on a VOTE of 4-0.  ON A MOTION by County Commissioner Topliff to remove cap and require three entities approval of applications in item (g) as discussed for current plan seconded by Chairman Enfield.  MOTION failed on a VOTE of 1-1, with Chairman Enfield casting the dissenting vote.  Andrew stated, the vote does not pass, as the interlocal agreement requires unanimous written vote of change from all three entities.  Chairman Enfield stated, the County will vote again tomorrow at our meeting when all commissioners present.  I feel we should leave plan as is until end of year because I do not want it to affect Attorney General approval.  County approval will be addressed at next joint meeting.  County Commissioner Topliff was in concurrence.  Chairman Enfield stated, I will make contact with the Attorney General on approval for the County and Andrew will make contact for the City.  Board Chairman House stated, I will ask Superintendent Biermann to make contact on behalf of school district.  Consensus of all three entities is to hold next joint meeting Thursday April 20, 2017 at 7:00 a.m. at Wolak Building.

 

ADJOURNMENT WAS HAD ON A MOTION Vice-Mayor Fairbanks seconded by Commissioner Mai.  Motion carried by unanimous VOTE, meeting Adjourned at 8:15 a.m.

 

 

 

 

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ATTEST:                                                                               Brian Linin, Mayor

 

 

 

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Mary P. Volk, City Clerk