Photo courtesy of Rick Poppitz
Special to The Gardner News
Tax abatements and industrial revenue bonds for two LPKC development projects were approved, and the name and logo of a new economic development organization were announced at the Oct. 27 Edgerton city council meeting.
PILOT payments discussed
A public hearing was held prior to council consideration of tax abatement for a 30 acre property at 32901 W. 193rd Street, where a 500,000 sq. ft. spec warehouse and distribution facility will be built.
The details are the same as previous developments at LPKC – a 100 percent property tax abatement for 10 years with a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) equal to $0.21 per square foot.
A cost-benefit report prepared by Columbia Capitol was presented by Scott Anderson, bond counsel.
There were no public comments.
Anderson told council that the school district had responded by letter.
The letter reiterated the district’s previously stated position that the PILOT payment rate of $0.21 is far too low.
A chart in the cost benefit report indicates that the $1,508 tax on the 30 acre property would be replaced with a $105,000 PILOT payment for 10 years.
The letter also stated that the school district would like to be involved in negotiations and would like to have the opportunity to negotiate separate contributions to the school district’s capitol outlay.
Anderson addressed all three of those points. Regarding negotiating ‘separate contributions,’ he said he had never seen that request before and was not aware of it ever being done.
Citing Kansas Statute: K.S.A. 12-1742, Anderson said, “The city is powerless to negotiate any kind of separate capitol outlay, or negotiate any other payment, with the school district or any other party. That is beyond the scope of what’s permitted by statute.”
During later discussion, Anderson said, “I was a little surprised to see the request for a negotiation of a separate contribution, simply because it can’t be done.”
Don Roberts, mayor, said he’d like to see a report totaling up the revenue increase from all the LPKC development projects combined.
“The numbers are huge. The increase of revenue is huge,” said Roberts. “Granted they’re right, it’s not 100 percent of the tax revenue, but I know from sitting in negotiations that we wouldn’t have Amazon, we wouldn’t have Jet, we wouldn’t have hardly anything, if we were sitting so separate from the rest of the Kansas City metro that it wouldn’t make any sense to build here.”
It was discussed that PILOT payments represent a 6,000 percent increase in revenue, which will start increasing greatly when the first abatements start expiring about 8 years from now.
“They want revenue, well we’re giving them revenue. They just want more,” Roberts said.
The council expressed frustration and puzzlement that the school district’s reaction to revenue increase continues to be critical rather than appreciative.
Charlie Troutner, council member, wondered if the district was aware of the statute Anderson had explained and why the district never came to council meetings.
Jody Brown, council member, noted that the district had not attended any of the 12 public hearings he has been a part of.
After discussion, council approved the abatement via Resolution No. 10-27-16A with a 4-0 vote.
Cindy Crooks was absent.
In previous meetings, council approved resolutions expressing the intent to issue industrial revenue bonds and grant abatement to develop a 161,000 sq. ft. cold storage distribution facility at 31301 W. 181st Street.
At tonight’s meeting, council considered an ordinance that authorizes the city to enter legal agreements necessary for the issuance of $36,100,000 in bonds for the project.
Council approved the ordinance with a 4-0 vote.
During the city administrators report, Beth Linn revealed the name and logo for the city’s newly formed economic development organization.
‘ElevateEdgerton! Partnership for Economic Advancement’ is the name. Logo artwork was also displayed.
Linn told council that the new organization represented long term vision and long term commitment.
“We want to elevate everything about Edgerton,” she said.
The task force has engaged a consultant that specializes in the creation of new economic development agencies, to perform an economic assessment profile, develop an initial business plan and conduct a search for a President/CEO.
Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, the Nov. 24 council meeting is cancelled.
In December, council will meet as scheduled on the 8th.
A work session focusing on the Parks Master Plan is scheduled for Dec. 15.
Other city business may be addressed at the Dec. 15 work session. If enough gets done, the Dec. 22 may be cancelled also.