Special to The Gardner News
A work session on economic development components, a public hearing regarding joining Fire District 1 and the city’s regular meeting kept the city council busy May 2. The council’s last regular meeting had been cancelled due to lack of quorum.
The work session was a presentation on key concepts of economic development projects. Dotty Riley, bond counsel with Kutak Rock, and Bruce Kimmel, financial advisor with Ehlers, advised council on evaluating agreements between Gardner and prospective developers.
The speakers shared their knowledge of past development projects and how development agreements are created and used.
The work session concluded a few minutes before 7 p.m., and the council meeting began.
Council returned the Planning Commission’s recommendations for the I-35 & Gardner Road Interchange SubArea Plan for reconsideration. In March the council had approved the initial step to begin developing land east of I-35 on 175th street . In an unanimous vote, council had approved a resolution of a funding agreement with Day3 LLC and VanTrust Real Estate. The developers had asked the city to consider incentives of a tax increment financing district, community improvement district and industrial revenue bonds or sales tax exemptions on construction materials.
The council’s focus Monday was on the ‘Future Land Use Map 3-1’. Which identifies proposed land use zoning for the future. Council wants the planning commission to review information that was presented at the Feb. 15 council meeting and from meetings with property owners in March.
A required public hearing was held early in the meeting, prior to council’s approval of Resolution 1947, which authorizes Gardner to formally ask the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) to consider adding the city to Fire District No. 1.
Prior to 2010, a city public safety department, which included police officers with some fire training, responded to fires in town. In October 2010, officials separated fire protection services from police and entered into a contract with JCFD No. 1 for services. As part of the agreement, Gardner turned over debt payments on a fire station and police building on 183rd Street to the fire district as well as fire equipment including trucks. In 2017 the taxing authority will fall under the fire district.
The BOCC is expected to consider the City’s petition at their May 19 meeting. Gardner city representatives will attend the meeting.
Council voted 4-0 to approve the request to join Johnson County Fire District No. 1. Rich Melton, council member, was absent.
By a 4-0 vote, council approved the Airport Advisory Board’s revisions of the Gardner Municipal Airport’s Minimum Standards code. Over a series of meetings, the board worked through the existing standards section by section and made revisions and update recommendations for council.
Two professional service contracts were authorized.
Professional Engineering Consultants (PEC) will be paid $42,000 to perform a study of the water supply and update the Water Master Plan.
HDR Engineering Inc. will receive $49,590 to study the wastewater system and update the Wastewater Master Plan.
Council appointed two new members to the planning commission: Tory Roberts and Tim Brady. Brad Austin was reappointed to the planning commission.
Ashley Webb was appointed as city prosecutor. Webb replaces Christopher Reecht, who resigned in January. Since January, the position has been temporarily filled by Alex S. McCauley.
Brian Faust, director of public works, presented staff recommendation to council multiple times, including recommending the use of general obligation bonds to pay for road improvement costs of main traffic ways.
A motion was made to approve the first six items on the consent agenda in a single vote. Those first six items, in brief, approved:
• the last meeting’s minutes
• $2,205,238.61 in April city expenditures
• appointment of Gonzalo Garcia and Clint Barney to Kansas Municipal Energy Board of Directors
• acceptance of traffic signal installation at Lincoln Lane and Moonlight
• participation in the 2016 Federal Fund Program
• off site easements for the Copper Springs IV development
Gardner requests to be part of fire district 1