Improvements to the Gardner Senior Building and terminating the Walmart tax increment financing district will be discussed by the Gardner City Council at their May 16 meeting.
Senior Building
Staff is asking the council to authorize the city administrator enter into a contract agreement of about $392,000 total for improvements to the Gardner Senior Building, 128 E. Park.
Improvements include resolving non compliant ADA issues, increasing the building’s functionality and energy efficiency and decreasing long term maintenance costs. Renovations will include work to restrooms, community room and kitchen; replacement of outdated HVAC systems; and purchase of furniture, fixtures and equipment.
Gardner is expected to receive $200,000 to offset expense for the project through a Community Development Block Grant from Johnson County.
In April Jeff Stewart, then-parks and recreation director, said construction was anticipated to take 4-6 months. The facility has about 500 rentals per year. While the facility is closed plans are for senior meals to be relocated to the Baptist Church.
Walmart TIF district
In 2004, a tax increment finance district (TIF) was established by Gardner at 175th and Cedar Niles. The project was part of a redevelopment agreement between Wal-Mart Stores Inc., and Gardner.
Although the TIF was established for 20 years, it can be terminated nine years early due to the project generating higher than anticipated revenues. The total amount paid to the developer was about $6.8 million and the final payment was remitted in March.
Staff is recommending the council adopt an ordinance terminating the TIF redevelopment district.
According to the agenda, all increment property tax and sales tax generated within the district will no longer be remitted back to Wal-Mart and can now be used to support Gardner and other taxing jurisdictions. The 2016 budget was developed assuming the TIF would be terminated mid year and revenues have been incorporated into the general fund.