Special to The Gardner News
Edgerton city council met Aug. 11 and approved the city’s 2017 Budget. Council also approved new bonds for intermodal construction projects, took steps to correct shortfalls in previous project cost estimates, and amended an ordinance to include a strip of land that had been excluded from annexation before.
2017 budget; mill levy unchanged
Beth Linn, city administrator, presented the 2017 budget. Staff developed the final budget based on input from council work sessions on June 30 and July 14.
Budget items include the General Fund, Special Highway Fund, Special Parks and Recreation Fund, Bond and Interest Fund and the water and sewer budget.
Edgerton’s mill levy will remain unchanged at 33.622. The city’s total budget is $6.2 million.
A public hearing was held, and then council considered the budget.
“I want to thank all staff for working hard on the budget. The budget here, for us, has been going on for months…”, said Don Roberts, mayor.
Noting his appreciation of council’s input on projects, Roberts said, “I know we can’t fund them all right away, but our Capitol Improvement Project list continues to grow, which it should, hopefully we can keep taking items off”.
Cindy Crooks, council member, said, “It’s exciting to me that we get to see movement forward and progress, versus survival. In the past it’s been about, maybe a little money here for parks and a little bit here for the community, but we’re seeing that growth, and that’s exciting.”
Council approved the budget with a 5-0 vote.
Bonds for intermodal construction
Council considered two ordinances authorizing the city to issue industrial revenue bonds for the construction of warehouse and distribution facilities at 196th and Waverly Road.
Ordinance No. 1026 issues up to $38,250,000 in bonds for a 765,000 sq. ft building at 31450 W. 196th.
Ordinance No. 1027 issues up to $46,350,000 in bonds for a 926,000 sq.ft. building at 31100 W. 196th.
Council has been through this type of bond issue before.
“These bonds are like all the other intermodal tax abatement bonds. They are not a general obligation to the city, and the city is not on the hook for bond payments,”,said Scott Anderson, bond counsel.
Council approved both ordinances with 5-0 votes.
Another ordinance presented to council was No. 1028, which is an amendment to an existing ordinance, No. 998.
Adopted in April 2015, No. 998 annexed land at 18501 Waverly Road. The original description excluded the right of way adjacent to the tract, resulting in a strip of land within the right of way that is still technically outside city limits.
“This little strip, I think it’s 30 feet wide, was not annexed. Then, as part of the Waverly Road project, we acquired additional right of way adjacent to that, so we have a little sliver of right of way that’s technically Johnson County, with City of Edgerton right of way on each side of it,” Kenneth Cook, community development director, explained to council.
The new ordinance amends the original, and annexes the strip of land previously excluded.
Council adopted Ordinance No. 1028 with a 5-0 vote.
Previous bond issuance shortfall
Staff recommended engagement of Robert W. Baird and Co. as underwriter of the “Series 2016-B” general obligation bonds to cover costs of sewer system improvements.
The city previously issued “Series 2016” bonds for this purpose, however due to an error, there was a shortfall in bond proceeds.
“The reason this item is on your agenda tonight is that we made a mistake when we sized the bond issue that the city approved a couple of weeks back,” Jeff White of Columbia Capitol told council.
“What you have before you is the first phase of a two phase approach to fix that error, in hopefully the least painful way possible,” said White.
White explained that an estimate is used at the beginning of the process and shortly before final sizing, the city is asked for updated information to determine final figures.
“The city sent us that information and we flat out missed the e-mail,” White stated.
“There are additional costs associated with doing a bond financing – we will cover those. Those additional initial costs of issuance that the city wouldn’t have incurred if we didn’t have to do this,” White told council.
Council approved engaging with Robert W. Baird and Co. as underwriter with a 5-0 vote.
Final rates and terms will be presented to council at the August 25 council meeting. Council will then vote on the new bond ordinance and resolution. If approved the transaction will close a couple of weeks later.
2016 budget amendment
Another item that required a public hearing was a proposed amendment to the 2016 Budget, concerning the Special Highway Fund only.
The city’s share of the CARS (County Assistance Road System ) project on Sunflower Road ended up being higher than estimated.
To allow for the additional expenditure, the city is required to amend the 2016 budget.
Council approved the amendment to the 2016 Budget Special Highway Fund by a 5-0 vote.
Updated parks reservation policy
Council also approved an update of the city’s request form for reserving park facilities.
Staff recommended several changes to the form, including a decrease in the fees.
The fee previously was $50 for the first hour and $25 per hour after that – the new rate is $20 an hour.
Staff also recommended declining profitable events like sports leagues and tournaments, for the time being, because staff f believes that the ball fields are not in good enough condition currently to support that.
Council approved the policy updates with a 5-0 vote.
The recommendations adopted tonight are to be re-evaluated by staff annually. Staff will re-evaluate, and if necessary, update the policy again in February 2017, using a rental policy study of nearby communities.
Edgerton council approves 2017 budget; mill levy holds steady