Buffington retires from Edgerton Elementary
When asked about her parting words to her students and faculty, Edgerton Elementary School Principal Sharon Buffington simply wrote her message on a piece of scrap paper – because she couldn’t bring herself to say the words out loud without crying.
“I will tell my students how much I have loved the time we had together and the memories will be remembered forever,” the hand-written statement read.
It’s a simple way to wrap up more than two decades of service to the Gardner Edgerton School District, as Buffington will retire as the school’s principal at the end of this school year.
City of Gardner cuts six staff positions
The city of Gardner has enacted a reduction in force, resulting in the elimination of six positions in the Department of Community Development.
Community Development Director Fred Sherman was one of the employees affected by the RIF; the other five positions eliminated were a long-range planner, a building plan reviewer, a permit services specialist, a planning services specialist and a codes inspector. All told, the cuts translate to an annual savings of $384,500 for the city, according to City Administrator Stewart Fairburn.
Fairburn, however, said the cuts will be felt throughout all of the city’s departments.

Members of the Spring Hill High School dance team prepare to perform for TV cameras during a morning news broadcast. Both SHHS and Gardner Edgerton were featured as cool schools on a local news station in 2010. File photo

Math error leads to higher property tax bills
Spring Hill residents will pay more in property taxes this year due to a calculation error, the city council learned during a work session on May 6.
“It doesn’t have anything to do with the fire districts, but that’s where I made the error,” city finance director Melanie Landis said. “I assure you it will not happen again.”
Although the city published a 2010 budget with a 36.82 mill levy, this year’s property bills show a mill rate of 39.618 mills. For the owner of a $100,000 home, the increased rate amounts to a $32.18. For the owner of a $200,000 home, the rate increase amounts to $64.35.
Transportation bill offers BNSF incentive
Tucked into the transportation bill – one of the final bills to squeak through the Kansas Legislature during the 2010 Legislative session – is a provision that offers BNSF a $35 million tax incentive to begin construction on the intermodal project before the end of 2010.
Despite rumors to the contrary, Sen. Karin Brownlee said the legislation wasn’t drafted in her office, and it does not give the railroad money.
“Not a gift, it’s a loan. It’s my understanding that it’s part of the revolving fund from KDOT (Kansas Department of Transportation),” Brownlee said. “It’s more like a benefit district.”
SH Aquatic Center opens to public
It’s been a year and a half in the making, and on Saturday, Spring Hill residents will finally get to enjoy the Spring Hill Aquatic Center.
The aquatic center, after months of preparation, will open its doors to the public at noon on Memorial Day.
“We’re hoping it’s packed this weekend,” said Beau Ford, parks superintendent for the city of Spring Hill. “We’re looking at least a couple of thousand people this weekend.”