Unified Government commissioners approved a plan to divide $500,000 among three nonhost school districts on Thursday night.
The Turner School District will receive $180,044; the Kansas City, Kan., School District will receive $173,359; and the Piper School District will receive $146,598 under the formula.
The UG received the $1.1 million donation funding, including the $500,000 for school districts, from the Hollywood Casino at the Kansas Speedway today. But it could be six to eight weeks before the districts see any money, UG officials explained. That’s because the agreement needs to go to the state attorney general’s office for approval first and then filed by the AG’s office, according to UG Administrator Dennis Hays.
The school district agreement was approved without any UG commissioners’ comments. UG commissioners whipped through Thursday night’s meeting in under 20 minutes, without discussing any items. Votes were generally 7-0, with those absent including Mayor Joe Reardon, Commissioner Ann Murguia and Commissioner Tarence Maddox.
The UG also approved, without any discussion, a resolution setting a public hearing for a proposal by Schlitterbahn for a two percent sales tax community improvement district at the water park at 94th and State.
A 2 percent sales tax add-on is proposed and would raise $8.9 million for construction of water park attractions, retail, parking lots, improvements on 180 acres at the water park, and also could be used for ongoing operations, maintenance and upkeep of property, according to the petition and UG documents. The project would be on a pay-as-you-go basis, according to the documents.
The UG Commission passed a resolution that sets a public hearing on the Schlitterbahn CID for 7 p.m. March 7.
General obligation bonds
Lew Levin, UG chief financial officer, said a bond sale earlier today turned out very well for the UG. He reported very good rates and strong interest from bidders.
Going into the tax sale, the UG received an AA rating from Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s for its positive financial trends, Levin said.
Two ordinances were approved for issuing general obligation bonds and two resolutions were approved for issuing municipal temporary notes.
Hays noted that the UG is financing $52 million in temporary notes and the total cost of interest is about $120,000.
Other items approved Feb. 7 by the commission included an amendment to a home rule ordinance to make a grant to the Argentine Betterment Corp. for economic development and issuing general obligation bonds. The home rule ordinance would be increased to $1.6 million, according to documents. It is a tax-increment financing and sales tax project for a new grocery store near South 22nd and Metropolitan Avenue.
The UG Commission also approved a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grant that would result in the hiring of 16 new firefighters in 2013.
The UG Commission also approved a revised travel policy, without discussion. The travel policy was the subject of some meetings last year. According to UG documents, the new travel policy for UG commissioners sets out rules on official travel by each commissioner.
Commissioners who are delegates will be reimbursed for certain trips to professional associations such as the League of Cities conferences; if they are delegates to a caucus of the designated professional associations, they may be reimbursed for one trip a year. Each individual commissioner will be able to spend $1,500 a year in 2013 on travel expenses for a caucus meeting of a professional association.
Each commissioner also will have access to $500 to spend in community event participation, according to the new rules. The policy lists several eligible events, such as the United Way luncheon and the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast. The policy says political fundraisers, campaign rallies, raffles, gaming, religious or non-Unified Government-related ceremonies are not eligible.