City ponders property tax exemption

Staff writer

A public hearing will take place 4:30 p.m. April 15 during the Marion City Council meeting concerning an industrial revenue bond for the September Housing projects.

The city has the option of entering in an industrial revenue bond agreement with Homestead Affordable Housing. An industrial revenue bond uses the city as conduit to acquire funds through a bank. The city would have ownership of the property for the life of the bond, but if the company went under, the city would not be responsible to make payments, Gilmore Bell accountant Sarah Steele said.

As a part of the bond, the city must grant tax abatements for the project — a sales tax exemption for all building materials and a property tax exemption. The property tax exemption could be set for any period, with a maximum of 10 years. City Administrator Doug Kjellin said it would not be worth it for Homestead to accept an agreement for anything less than 5 years of tax exemptions. Kjellin added that there is an option to have Homestead pay property taxes on the existing property, about $8,300.

The property tax exemption would apply to Marion County and USD 408, thus the reason for the public hearing. The city is the only tax entity with the power to make a decision.

The September housing project includes renovation of 22 existing assisted living apartments and the construction of 10 new duplexes west of the football stadium.

Construction projects

The city approved a bid from Middlecreek for the Jex Addition sewer project.

The total bid was $432,000, which was more than $300,000 less than bids from Tri Star Utilities and Nowak Construction.

Some individual cost differences include a lift station, which Middlecreek projected to cost $80,000 and the other two companies projected to cost $130,000 and $114,800 and 8-inch PVC pipe that Middlecreek projects to cost $133,000 and the other two companies projected to cost $304,608 and $271,700.

Engineer Darin Neufeld said he checked that all of the materials for the project would be the same. The cost difference comes from installation procedures. He added that Middlecreek could have lower costs across the board because the company is based in Peabody, it would have lower fuel costs and not have to pay for lodging for employees.

Neufeld said Middlecreek can start building and installing the lift station but that procedure would take nine to 12 weeks. He said the project could run through November.

The city discussed the upcoming Main Street resurfacing from Locust to First streets. The Kansas Department of Transportation is paying $200,000 of the $267,000 total cost.

Neufeld said the project is up for bid for the next 30 to 45 days. The project cannot begin until June 10, after Chingawassa Days, and must be completed the week before Art in the Park. Neufeld said the project should be completed in about two weeks.

Appointment

Because of Kansas State statutes, the council voted again on a resolution denying Diana Holub’s appointment to the board of zoning appeals. Mayor Mary Olson submitted the appointment at the Feb. 18 council meeting.

As in previous votes, Todd Heitschmidt, Chris Meierhoff, and Jerry Dieter voted for the resolution and Olson and Jerry Kline voted against it.

Holub currently serves on the Marion Planning Commission and previously served on the Board of Zoning Appeals. The reason the resolution states for denying her position is that she “is unqualified and/or not fit to hold the position.”

 

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