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County signs city's TIF agreement

Staff writer

Marion County Commission approved an agreement Monday with the City of Hillsboro to correct the legal description of the city’s tax increment financing district.

The county discovered in late 2010 that the legal description, approved in 2008, had omitted Hillsboro Business Park, where improvements have already been made, from the district. Without the district, the city would be unable to recover the costs of the improvements.

TIF districts allow a city to collect increased property tax revenues created by development within the district — including other government entities’ share of the increased taxes — and use them to defray expenses of development.

The agreement will give the county and USD 410 veto authority on any additional TIF-funded projects in the district. Hillsboro will seek USD 410’s approval to correct the legal description at the Board of Education meeting Monday.

“I think it was a learning experience for all of us,” Commission Chairman Roger Fleming said.

County Attorney Susan Robson had no problems with the agreement, Hillsboro’s bond counsel, J.T. Klaus, said. The agreement will also be sent to the Kansas Attorney General’s office for review and assurance that the agreement is enforceable.

Commissioner Dan Holub said he remained concerned about how TIF would interact with the county’s neighborhood revitalization program. Klaus said the city would seek to resolve neighborhood revitalization issues contractually with Midway Motors, which built in the business park.

The agreement was approved, 2-1, with Holub opposed. Holub also opposed a previous vote to have the city draft the agreement.

Activity in economic development

Economic Development Director Teresa Huffman said Monday a community is nearly ready to create a community foundation. Huffman did not name the community at the meeting and later declined to say which community, as well.

A couple is planning to open a grocery and variety store in the county. She and the couple making the plans visited a couple of similar stores elsewhere that are successful. Huffman declined to name the couple or where the store would be located.

Huffman has heard from someone interested in buying the vacant Holiday Motel along U.S. 50 at Florence.

In other business:

  • Commissioners are trying to determine how to cover a $32,000 expense to clean up the 911 map data and make it compatible for new software and a new base map to meet industry standards. None of the departments involved have enough staff to make the changes themselves.
  • Patty Carter was appointed to the board of Harvey-Marion County Community Developmental Disability Organization as a parent or guardian representative.
  • Larry D. Wedel was appointed to Logan Township board at the recommendation of the board.
  • Commissioners signed paperwork for a loan from Kansas Department of Transportation to pave 330th Road from K-15 into Tampa, with a limit of $2 million and an interest rate of 3.91 percent. If the county uses the entire loan, payments would be a little more than 2.5 mills per year for 10 years.
  • Cooperative Grain and Supply of Hillsboro will provide 3,000 gallons of clear diesel, 2,000 gallons of dyed diesel, and 3,000 gallons of unleaded gasoline to Road and Bridge Department for $23,478. Cardie Oil Company of Tampa bid $23,850.
  • Road and Bridge Superintendent Jim Herzet will seek bids to replace a department gas pump. The current pump has pumped about 600,000 gallons, Herzet said.
  • Prairieland Partners of Marion will replace parts on a transfer station skid steer for $3,300.

The next commission meeting will be Monday.

Last modified Feb. 10, 2011

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