The Unified Government Commission’s 7 p.m. meeting Jan. 23 was vaguely reminiscent of a commercial for a hearing aid where the audio suddenly goes down and the viewer can’t hear much if anything.
During a discussion on changing the UG’s financial policies, Commissioner Jim Walters said a committee reviewed it earlier and wanted the policies on tax-increment financing and low-income housing tax credits to be reviewed first by the entire commission and modified if needed.
He said the feeling of the committee was that these policies were inadequate as they were currently worded because the results do not end up as the commission wants them, particularly the TIF policy. He said it had resulted in some TIF projects that were not economically viable.
As Walters made his motion to approve the policies with the reservation of those two policies being reviewed by the entire commission, the audio on his microphone suddenly dropped down to barely audible.
When the roll-call vote was taken, Commissioner Jane Philbrook said she had trouble hearing the motion and asked if Walters said TIF or something else?
Commissioner Hal Walker, mayor pro tem, said he would not allow her question in the middle of a roll-call vote.
Philbrook responded that she had to vote no because she didn’t know what she was voting on. Walters’ motion passed 8-1.
The commission has previously discussed some projects that were using TIFs but were not as successful as hoped. Last year, there were some concerns expressed by commissioners at a commission meeting when a downtown hotel renovation project went before it.
In other action tonight, the commission approved a resolution in favor of keeping the current mortgage registration fee in Kansas, and also gave permission for a resident to live on a mobile home on his property while he rebuilds from a fire.
Also approved was an ordinance to authorize as much as $17.5 million in taxable industrial revenue bonds for Assisted Living Associates, to be used for an assisted living facility in the Hazelwood Development, 2309 N. 113th Court, near 113th and Parallel.