Archive for July 2014

UG Commission raises maximum mill levy rate to 86 mills

Saying they wanted a little more flexibility as they discussed the Unified Government 2015 budget, UG commissioners tonight set the maximum mill levy rate at 86 mills, an increase from last week’s 82-mill budget proposed by the UG administrator.

Raising the city side 2 mills to 45.5 and the county side 2 mills to 40.5, commissioners voted 7-1 to approve the maximum mill rate. They are scheduled to vote on the final budget at 7 p.m. July 31 after several more budget discussion meetings.

Last Thursday the UG administrator proposed a budget that would increase the county side 2 mills and decrease the city side 2 mills, leaving Kansas City, Kan., residents at a flat rate compared with last year’s property tax bill from the UG. The effect on Bonner Springs and Edwardsville residents, however, would be to increase the county levy, leaving it up to the cities, school district and community college whether their total bill increases.

The UG Commission last year set a higher maximum mill rate for its published budget before lowering it when it passed the final budget.

Mayor Mark Holland said Commissioner Mike Kane’s motion on the mill levy gave maximum flexibility to the commission, so that commissioners would not be taking items off the table before they even talked about them.

Commissioner Jim Walters, who represents the Bonner Springs area, called for a discussion of the proposed 2014 amended budget, asked why an increase of $2 million was needed and what would happen if the increase was not approved. Walters voted against the 86-mill maximum rate. He asked if the $2 million increase in the proposed 2014 amended budget could instead be applied to the fund balance.

Earlier in the discussion, UG chief financial officer Lew Levin addressed how the UG could shore up its reserves to strengthen its fund balances. That is critical in maintaining a good bond rating, he said. If the bond rating is lowered by credit agencies, then it would cost the UG more to borrow money in the future.

Levin suggested that the UG might spend an additional $1.8 million to strengthen fund balances.

Mayor Holland said the UG finds itself in a situation where fuel costs have gone up, pension fund costs are up, state revenues have been cut again dramatically, and the top two priorities the commission gave to the administrator were to reduce the property tax rate and restore fund balances. There was some discussion about finding $1.8 million to cut out of the budget and add it to the fund balances.

“That’s the tension we’re in for the next several weeks as we figure this budget out,” Mayor Holland said.

A public hearing on the budget is scheduled at 5 p.m. July 28 at City Hall. The budget meeting calendar is at

The budget documents are at

To see an earlier story about the budget, visit


Driver injured after concrete truck overturns

KC Scout photo

An accident involving a pickup truck resulted in an overturned concrete truck and an injury today on I-70.

According to a Kansas Highway Patrol trooper’s report, the accident happened about 10:30 a.m. July 14 at I-70 westbound at Central Avenue.

A concrete truck was westbound on Central when a pickup truck merged onto Central and made an unsafe lane change to the left, the trooper’s report stated. The pickup truck failed to yield to the concrete truck, and the concrete truck struck the side of the pickup, the report stated. The concrete truck then overturned.

The driver of the concrete truck, a 55-year-old man from Louisburg, Kan., was injured and taken to the hospital, according to the report.

The pickup truck driver, a 30-year-old man from out of state, was not injured.


Police station, Krispy Kreme store and Village East plan on Planning Commission agenda

A public safety facility at 2100 Metropolitan Ave., a Krispy Kreme doughnut store at Wyandotte Plaza and master plan conformance for Village East, Schlitterbahn area, is on tonight’s Unified Government Planning Commission agenda.

The Unified Government Planning Commission is considering several items tonight.

The public safety facility in the Argentine area is at a former heavy industrial location, the Structural Steel site. The site was environmentally remediated and would have to comply with environmental development standards.

It is near the new Walmart and Save-a-Lot site in Argentine. In previous stories, the site has been mentioned as a possible South Patrol police station, and potentially, space for a parole office.

Korb Maxwell is listed as the developer for the 15,160-square-foot public safety facility on 9 acres at the location.

The Krispy Kreme restaurant address listed is 7648 State Ave., the same address as the former Evergreen restaurant at Wyandotte Plaza. It would have 2,671 square feet and would include a drive-through.

For the Village East, Schlitterbahn area, STAR bond district, the UG is looking at an expansion of the area.

According to Planning Commission agenda documents, the UG is expected to expand the original Village East STAR bond project district in August 2014. The expanded district would include the original district property and adds 126 acres of land located in the northeast part of 94th and State Avenue, along with adjacent State Avenue right-of-way. There are five project areas.

According to agenda documents, the area is designated for mixed entertainment use. Other building for commercial uses such as a hotel or other lodging, office facilities, multi-family residential units, could be included.

Several other items also are on the agenda, which is online at