City renews agreement with Humane Society of the Flint Hills and sets court dates | Free

The Emporia City Commission renewed an agreement with the Humane Society of the Flint Hills to operate the Emporia Animal Sanctuary on Wednesday evening.

The Humane Society has operated the shelter on behalf of the city since 2015. According to city attorney Christina Montgomery, the proposed deal was a close mirror to previous years.

The main exception was to remove verbiage that the Humane Society would handle animal licensing. This work is handled by the Emporia Police Department.

Under the terms of the lease, the HSFH is responsible for the management and operations of the shelter, including providing shelter and proper veterinary care to the animals, managing its own staff, and accepting animals from the police department and the animal control.

It also offers walk-in services to the public at least 30 hours a week.

The city will pay HSFH $132,000 per year for a two-year period to operate the shelter. Montgomery said it was a 10% increase.

The commission approved the deal 3-0, with Mayor Becky Smith abstaining from the vote due to her position on the shelter’s board.

Commissioners also approved a resolution to set a hearing date for June 1, for the district’s review of the Red Brick Tax Increase funding. The Red Brick Emporia Redevelopment District was originally approved last year and encompasses 39 acres at the corner of Graphic Arts Road and US Highway 50.

Plans are to build a new travel plaza, which includes a QuikTrip.

Special Projects Coordinator Jim Witt said there are also other development plans in the area, including a hotel and retail options.

The second part of this project included an application for a community improvement district that would impose a 2% sales tax on sales in the district.

“It’s an optional thing,” he said, noting that developers can use that money to make improvements to the property. The CID lasts 22 years.

Smith asked what would happen if the developer sold part of the land. The CID would stay with the land.

Witt said the total estimated cost of the project is $50 million.

The commissioners also passed a charter ordinance that allows the city to schedule meetings as it sees fit. Previously, the charter ordinance required meetings to be held at specific intervals. Montgomery said the commission would approve new dates for May on a trial basis, which sees study sessions held directly after action sessions.

So the new meeting dates are 11 a.m. May 4 and 11 a.m. May 18, with study sessions to follow immediately.

Wednesday’s action also scrapped study sessions scheduled for May 11 and May 25.

Commissioners also approved a request by City Engineer Jim Ubert that allows the city to trade its 2022 allocation of federal funds with the Kansas Department of Transportation for state transportation dollars.

He said the Federal Fund Exchange is a reimbursement program with KDOT and the city must continue to spend its money on future reimbursement.

Ubert also discussed the 2022 Hazardous Sidewalk Project, which received a bid from SR Coffman Construction for $53,315.

Commissioner Susan Brinkman expressed concern that only one offer had been received and questioned the process for making it known that a job was starting. Ubert said the city is doing its due diligence to notify potential contractors.

He also asked commissioners to approve a bid of $802,009.33 from APAC-Kansas, Shears Division for the 2022 Street Rehabilitation Project.

Commissioners have also set a June 1 hearing date for the Whittier Tract Rural Housing Incentive District.

The project will develop 27 single-family homes consisting of three to four bedrooms and two to three bathrooms, and two to three garages. The property is currently owned by Church of the New Covenant and would be developed by Speculative Holdings LLC out of Topeka.

The commission then meets at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, April 27 at the municipal courtroom.

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