March 14, 2017 Special Joint Commission Meeting

March 14, 2017 Special Joint Commission Meeting

March 14, 2017 Special Joint Commission Meeting

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Special Joint Commission Meeting


March 14, 2017                                                                                                                    7:45 A.M.

Mayor Brian Linin called the meeting to order with Vice-Mayor Annette Fairbanks, Commissioner John Garcia, Commissioner Gary Farris and Commissioner Gwen Mai responding to roll call.


Present from Sherman County Commission are Chairman Larry Enfield, Commissioner John Topliff, and Commissioner Rod Blake.


Present from USD 352 School Board of Education are President Gennifer House and members Jessica Cole, Brad Bergsma, Terry Smith, Ron Vignery, Lee Ihrig, and Diana Spinney.


Junior Commission present are Mayor Erin Floyd, Vice-Mayor Margaux Thompson, Emily Whisnant, Chelsea Phillips and Natonya Ordonez.


Others present are Bill Biermann – USD 352 Superintendent, Andrew Finzen – City Manager, Mark Scheopner – USD 352 Board Clerk, Mary Volk – City Clerk, Ashley Mannis – County Clerk and James Foster – Kansas Department of Commerce.


Mayor Linin welcomed the Junior Commission to present their project Club NEU, a dry bar for students of the high school, junior high and college to have a place to gather on weekends.  Board Member Vignery stated, I was part of a similar group years ago and a succession plan is important for the project to continue. Vice-Mayor Fairbanks asked, do you have a location?  Emily stated, we are still working on a location.  We have talked to various owners about potential locations.  The School Board, City and County Commissions thanked the Junior Commission for the presentation, stating they are excited to see the progress.



Mayor Linin opened the Joint Public Hearing at 8:00 a.m.  Chairman Enfield stated, page 6 indicates the plan is retroactive to January 1, but we are aware the Attorney General will not allow us to have a retroactive plan.  No one has applied for plan to date so feel we need to remove for a smooth approval process.  There will be no public affect.  Consensus of all entities is to remove retroactive information on page 6 of NRP.  Bill asked, when does the plan become effective?  Andrew stated, I understand the plan is effective upon approval from the Attorney General.  Mayor Linin asked, is the process for each entity to approve plan then send to Attorney General for approval before the plan is in effect?  Commissioner Garcia asked, could the County Commission help everyone understand why people are not getting the 90% rebate stated in plan that they are expecting?  County Commissioner Blake stated, it is based on appraised value for improvement, not total cost of project.  Chairman Enfield asked, on page 4, Item (B), do we need to change beginning date here also since the plan is not retroactive?  Mayor Linin stated, I suggest we have plan dates as April 1 through December 31, 2017.  Chairman Enfield stated, we can change the plan at any time so if termination is in April it will allow time to get another plan approved.  Board Member Vignery stated, property taxation is on calendar year basis so will it put us in a bind when the plan terminates April 2018?  Board Chairman House stated, we cannot let the plan lapse again for our community.  James stated, I have statistical information on for neighboring counties.  Looking at Thomas and Sherman County plans, Sherman County plan is simpler with a bigger, quicker return.  With investors, you are competing against large cities and want to be as competitive and unified as possible.  I am willing to meet with entities when your group meets to revise plan.  Mayor Linin asked, how do Thomas and Sherman County plans compare?  James stated, Thomas County is ten-year plan with 10% step down every year.  Sherman County has five-year plan with 90% rebate that most commercial people appreciate.  Residential citizens tend to be sticker shocked the sixth year, but services cost money.  I feel an educational event to explain appraised value and how it works would be a benefit to help public understand plan.  Chairman Enfield asked, how does Thomas County treat the 100% rebate first year?  James stated, the plan has to specify who is participating and rebate is 100% of participating entities.  If an entity is not outlined in the plan, taxes are not rebated.  Communities have to have a plan to give investors an invitation to develop in your community.  As far as budget affect, money rebated is property tax the entity has never received before so budget neutral item.  Andrew asked, do plans from other communities have caps?  James stated, some communities have caps more on commercial improvement than residential because of costs to build business.  Investors will look at the plan from all communities they are looking at to see which community has the best plan.  IRB is another incentive used, but it also has caps.  Because a community has an NRP does not mean the investor cannot do other things; they just cannot participate in both programs.  Your current plan is very clear and avoids confusion through interpretation.  Vice-Mayor Fairbanks stated, my concern is the cap will discourage an investor.  James stated, that is correct especially on commercial property when another community does not have a cap.  Residential property is viewed differently because a higher cost improvement ties the individual to community.  I am not a fan of any plan having a cap, if people are willing to spend money your community should get benefit.  Suzanne stated, I do not believe Thomas County has a cap on commercial property.  Board Member Cole asked, why would you cap commercial property?  James stated, the main reason for the cap in northwest Kansas is attitude; yet I have a tough time thinking in times past in northwest Kansas a governmental entity did not help the commercial owner get what was needed to have them in the community.  Board Member Cole stated, I think to be progressive the commercial cap should be removed.  Commissioner Garcia stated, Thomas County does not have commercial cap in their plan.  James stated, you do not want to complicate your plan.  Commissioner Mai stated, I encourage us to get started revising plan and keep conversation going to help public.  County Commissioner Topliff stated, I feel we need to remove the cap.  Mayor Linin asked, if we make changes to this plan will it require another hearing?  Board Member Vignery stated, date change are not of substance, but a change in plan is of substance and would require a hearing.  Mayor Linin stated, I feel we need to start working on a revised plan.  Mayor Linin closed hearing at 8:29 p.m.



  1. ON A MOTION by County Commissioner Blake to accept the NRP, revising effective and termination dates on pages 4 and adding effective date on page 6 as discussed during public hearing seconded by County Commissioner Topliff. MOTION carried on a VOTE of 3-0.  Resolutions to approve the interlocal agreement and plan will be approved in Sherman County Commission meeting immediately following.



  1. Resolution 1497: Approving the Interlocal Agreement – ON A MOTION by Vice-Mayor Fairbanks to approve Resolution 1497: Approving the Interlocal Agreement and accept NRP, revising effective and termination dates on pages 4 and adding effective date on page 6 as discussed during public hearing seconded by Commissioner Garcia. MOTION carried on a VOTE of 5-0.



  1. Resolution 2017 NRP – ON A MOTION by Board Member Cole to approve Resolution 2017: NRP and accept NRP, revising effective and termination dates on pages 4 and adding effective date on page 6 as discussed during public hearing seconded by Board Member Smith. MOTION carried on a VOTE of 7-0.


ADJOURNMENT WAS HAD ON A MOTION Commissioner Farris seconded by Commissioner Garcia.  Motion carried by unanimous VOTE, meeting Adjourned at 8:30 a.m.





ATTEST:                                                                                Brian Linin, Mayor





Mary P. Volk, City Clerk