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Archive for Sunday, March 28, 2010

City commission agenda for March 30, 2010

Tax abatement for Amarr Garage Doors on the table

March 28, 2010

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Bottom Line

City commissioners will consider enacting a previously approved 55 percent tax abatement for Amarr Garage Doors.

Background

In November 2003, the City Commission approved a 55 percent, 10-year tax abatement for $7.7 million worth of new construction and $9.4 million of new equipment at the company’s East Hills Business Park facility.

But the company did not take the steps to finalize the abatement until November 2009.

As part of the completion of the abatement, it was discovered that the building was no longer eligible under state law for an abatement because Amarr had sold the building to a third party.

Commissioners now are being asked to finalize the abatement minus $7.7 million related to the building.

City staff members are recommending approval, saying putting the full value of the building on the tax rolls improves the payoff to the city. Questions may arise, however, over Amarr’s employment totals.

When the company applied for the tax abatement in 2003, it had about 430 employees, and it estimated the project would add 80 employees. When Amarr laid off about 100 workers in late 2008, it had 600 employees. The company has begun to add some workers at the plant again.

Other business

Recognition

• Recognition of Kassie Shook as the 2010 Kansas Master Teacher.

• Proclaim the week of April 5-11 as Public Health Week.

• Proclaim the month of April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.

• Proclaim the month of April as Mathematics Awareness Month.

Consent agenda

• Approve City Commission meeting minutes from Feb. 9 and Feb. 16.

• Receive minutes from various boards and commissions.

• Approve all claims. The list of approved claims will be posted to the agenda the day after the City Commission meeting.

• Approve licenses as recommended by the city clerk’s office.

• Approve appointments as recommended by the mayor.

• Bid and purchase items:

a.) Apply local purchasing preference policy and award bid for one compact pickup for Public Works Department to Laird Noller Automotive for $17,875.

b.) Waive staff estimate and award bid for the Comprehensive Rehabilitation Project at 1132 R.I. to T&J Holdings for $24,965.

c.) Approve Change Order No. 1 to the construction contract with RD Johnson Excavating Co., for the 2009 Watermain Rehab Phase I Project, increasing the contract amount by $65,381.45.

d.) Approve sale of surplus equipment on GovDeals.com.

• Adopt Resolution No. 6879, setting a public hearing date of May 18 to review the condition of the dilapidated structures at 1313 Haskell Ave. and to consider declaring structures unsafe and ordering repair or removal within a specified period of time.

• Authorize staff to negotiate a contract with Coffman Associates for an updated Airport Master Plan and Airport Layout Plan for the Lawrence Municipal Airport. The contract will be presented to the City Commission for approval. Authorize city manager to sign a purchase order for up to $5,000 with Bucher, Willis & Ratliff Corp. for an independent cost fee analysis. This expenditure is eligible for 95 percent federal reimbursement.

• Approve as signs of community interest a request from the Friends of the Lawrence Public Library to place yard signs advertising a used book sale. The signs will be placed between Sixth and Ninth streets and between Massachusetts and Tennessee Streets on April 16 and removed on April 20.

• Authorize the mayor to sign a subordination agreement for Rick Anderson, 1602 E. 18th St.

• Authorize the city manager to execute an agreement between the city of Lawrence and Kansas University Continuing Education to allow for an expansion of the City Banner Program.

Regular agenda

• Conduct public hearing to consider the vacation of an unoccupied utility easement in Lot 3, Timberedge Industrial Park No. 2 Subdivision, as requested by Hedge Tree LLC, Roger D. Johnson, at the end of Timberedge Road.

• Consider adopting on first reading Ordinance No. 8497, initiating a previously authorized 55 percent tax abatement on machinery and equipment for Amarr Garage Doors and repealing Ordinance No. 8470, granting the same 55 percent tax abatement on machinery and equipment as well as a 55 percent tax abatement on real property as well as machinery and equipment.

• Consider approving allocation of $10,000 from the Guest Tax Reserve Fund, temporary use of right-of-way permit for the use of various city streets, and donation of various city services in support of the Tour of Lawrence, July 2 to July 4.

• Consider adopting on first reading Ordinance No. 8501, establishing the Social Service Funding Advisory Board.

• Receive letter from Jeremy Furse concerning the habitual parking ordinance.

Comments

Richard Heckler 4 years, 11 months ago

Is is acceptable to renew a tax abatement after 7 years? What is the policy? Is there a policy?

Obviously Amarr Garage Doors did not need the abatement.

Some say our tax abatement policy itself is fatally flawed.

"Tax abatements do not attract firms or retain business. The enforcement of tax abatements in Lawrence is shameful with the majority of abated firms failing to perform as promised and the City doing nothing."

What could this mean? It could mean your kid’s schools, your police department, your library, your parks are not getting that money. And you’ll notice we keep saying we’re starved for money. We’ve got to close schools, and we don’t have money for all sorts of things perhaps like after-school programs or money to repair our taxpayer owned public school buildings.

===================================================================== "In this country right now, we are spending $2 billion a year subsidizing the big four sports: baseball, basketball, football and hockey. It accounts for all of the profits of that industry and more. Now, there may be individual teams that make money, but the industry as a whole is not profitable. "

How will a new field house pay back the taxpayer?

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