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Leases, tax district, on city council's agenda

Staff writer

Peabody City Council tabled several issues at the Nov. 8 meeting, awaiting additional information before making decisions.

A five-year lease agreement between Larry Andres and the city to rent farm ground around the sewer lagoons expires Jan. 1.

An additional five-year lease between the city and Marvin Larsen for farm ground at Prairie Lawn Road and U.S. 50 will also expire on Jan. 1.

Each tenant would like to renew his lease. After discussion, the council tabled a decision on both lease agreements.

A third lease proposal also would affect the property at Prairie Lawn Road and U.S. 50. That proposal is for a three-year gas and oil lease from American Energies, Inc., of Wichita. City Administrator Mac Manning recommended the council turn the lease proposal over to the city attorney before making a decision. Council members hope to make a decision at the Nov. 29 meeting.

In addition, Shane Marler presented a proposal for a tax increment financing district. A TIF district is an economic development tool used by municipalities to offset the cost of development or redevelopment of an area.

The TIF district would be established with the county clerk. On the date that the district boundaries are filed, the property values in that district are “frozen.” Area taxing groups such as the school district, county, and cemetery districts would continue to receive tax dollars generated by properties in the district up to the frozen value.

Any tax increase generated by those properties is called the increment, and those tax dollars would be distributed exclusively to the city of Peabody for 20 years. The money could be used for infrastructure, site improvements, purchasing land or buildings, or direct subsidies to building owners in the TIF district.

The city of Hillsboro has a TIF district for Hillsboro Business Park. The tax money generated has been used to offset the cost to develop the property with streets, gutters, and utilities.

The council unanimously approved a resolution calling for a public hearing of the council on the proposed establishment of a TIF district.

An ordinance to amend sections of the codes for structures in the city of Peabody by amending the 2006 International Property Maintenance Code ran into a bit of trouble as council members discussed enforcement of the new regulations and penalties assigned to residents who violate the codes.

After considerable discussion, no action was taken. The council requested Manning present more information at the next meeting.

In other business:

  • Marler told the council that Incentives Without Walls fund applications had been received by his office for two new businesses in Peabody. Peabody has a revolving loan pool of $30,000 from Kansas Main Street Association for interest-free loans. The entire amount is now at work helping local businesses. Peabody Main Street Association will consider applying for more funds in the spring.
  • Marler also told the council that the city’s sales tax revenue is up more than $7,000 for the 2010 fiscal year.
  • The new windows for the American Legion building façade renovation have been ordered and should arrive within two weeks.
  • Water shut-off dates for delinquent customers were discussed and Manning was instructed to draft an ordinance that would mean a Monday shut-off every month. The change will be presented and discussed at a future meeting.
  • Manning said the inventory of municipal equipment and supplies by various department heads is coming along. He will do a spot check in several areas before the next council meeting.
  • New playground equipment for the park will be delivered and installed during the next meeting.
  • Council members were told the transformer went out on the Olive Street lift station and was replaced.

Last modified Nov. 18, 2010

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