Mayor Tom Brown is looking for ways to bring more families into McPherson.
During a study session Monday morning, Brown asked commissioners and officials to consider enacting an eight-year property tax reimbursement on new homeowners within the city.
“We have to broaden our tax base,” he said. “Many of our surrounding communities have already established housing incentives. We need to get more families with children into McPherson to grow and spend money in the community. Don’t, and it’ll be more expensive for everyone else.”
The city of Inman approved a resolution in February that reimburses new homeowners 100 percent of city property taxes for five years.
Brown said the city would likely reimburse 50 percent of property taxes on new homes, but that the measure would likely have a dollar cap based on the home’s value. As an example, Brown said a new home valued at $400,000 would not, in this case, receive a full 50 percent reimbursement, but rather a smaller percentage based on whatever the dollar cap is set at and the rate of decline after exceeding that cap.
Commissioners Michael Alkire and Bob Moore both agreed to look at more housing incentives. No decision on what to enact has yet been determined.
Brown said the city has delayed enacting new housing incentives due in part to current Kansas legislative procedures.
“We don’t yet know what the legislature is doing and how it’ll affect our budget,” he said.
In other business:
• The first 2013 town hall meeting for the city will take place at 7 p.m. April 29 at the McPherson Municipal Building. Items to be discussed include a time line for First Street reconstruction, as well as details covering the first phase of the project.
• Commissioners approved an encroachment easement that will allow the construction of a six-foot concrete wall just north of Northview Road. The wall will act as a barrier to the Veranda housing unit.
• Commissioners approved a bid of $186,942 for the mill and overlay project on North Main.
• Commissioners approved a request by public works to submit a supplemental agreement to Cook Flatt and Strobel to remove pump station No. 4 and install a new gravity collection system. The budget approved was $28,800.
• Commissioners agreed to sign a letter of support to the Kansas Museum Association. The letter is a proposal to host the KMA’s 2014 Annual Convention in the McPherson Museum, which is expected to finish construction this fall.
• Commissioners agreed to allow the mayor to sign a compliance certification for modifications at Turkey Creek Golf Course. The agreement says the city will comply with all conditions required by the U.S. Corps of Engineer, and will allow repairs to the creek to begin.
Page 2 of 2 - • Commissioners approved deductible payments of up to $50,000 for pending lawsuits. Former police officer Matthew B. Michaels is suing the city, saying the city should have compensated him and other officers for 10 minute pre-shift briefings, and claims the city discriminated against him when it fired him on July 16.
Joseph Tuszynski can be reached at email@example.com, or follow him on Twitter @JoeTSentinel.