A crackdown on graffiti, with stiffer penalties for violators, was passed Thursday, March 7, at the Unified Government Commission meeting.
At a meeting more notable for what was not said than what was said, the commission presented a united front in passing several measures 9-0 and breezing through the meeting. There were no major disagreements among the commissioners at the 7 p.m. meeting.
Under the changes to the graffiti ordinance, juveniles would be prohibited from possessing “graffiti implements” at any time. There would be a $250 fine for the first offense and $500 for subsequent offenses.
Rewards will be offered that will increase from $100 to $250, according to agenda information. Also, retailers will be required to display spray paint and broad tip markers in areas that can be continually observed by employees or in areas not accessible to the public without employee assistance.
Fines for anyone selling spray paint to a minor will increase from $100 to $250 for a first offense and $500 for subsequent offenses, according to agenda information. Also, the district attorney would be able to file charges under the city ordinance for possession of “graffiti implements.”
No one spoke at a public hearing held on an ordinance that would authorize the creation of a Community Improvement District at the Schlitterbahn Water Park, 94th and State Avenue. The ordinance was approved.
A 2 percent sales tax add-on 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.
George Brajkovic, UG economic development director, said this 2 percent sales tax would cover only part of the 300 acres at the site. It will exclude future retail areas at Schlitterbahn, he said, and is designed to capture the water park area and the cabana area.
The commission also authorized, without any discussion, a resolution allowing the filing of an application with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment for a $20 million loan under the Kansas Water Pollution Control Act.
According to UG documents, the work is necessary to comply with a pending Department of Justice-Environmental Protection Agency consent order and the Clean Water Act.
Also approved March 7 was an agreement with the Sheriff’s Department, the Fraternal Order of Police and sheriff’s deputies. The Memorandum of Understanding includes an agreement for a 3 percent cost-of-living adjustment to wages.
The agreement states that if FOP Lodge 4, police, receives a salary wage increase for the 2013 year, the FOP 40, sheriff’s deputies, also will receive a salary increase. The agenda stated that when FOP Lodge 4 received an increase in 2011, FOP Lodge 40 was under a wage freeze.
Also approved was an ordinance authorizing the UG attorney to begin legal proceedings to acquire property for the Turkey Creek – Rainbow Interceptor Project.
Another resolution on the agenda approved the UG’s participation with a Mid-America Regional Council committee studying best practices in solar installation planning and permitting.
Appointments to the Casino Grant Fund Review Committee also were approved. The new members are Tom Burke, Kansas City, Kan., former president of Kansas City Kansas Community College, nominated by Commissioner Tom Cooley; Kim Kimmennau, Leawood, associate professor at University of Kansas Medical Center, nominated by Ann Murguia; Wendell Maddox, Kansas City, Kan., United Way of Wyandotte County, nominated by Mark Holland; Bob Sheldon, general manager of Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway, nominated by Mike Kane; Willie Smith, Kansas City, Kan., Alltax Financial Service, nominated by Nathan Barnes; and Bernard Franklin, Kansas City, Kan., assistant to the vice president at Kansas State University, and president of the Center for Imagineering Leadership, nominated by Mayor Joe Reardon. Franklin chairs the committee under the proposal.
The committee will review applications for casino grants and will recommend the applications for approval.
Also at the meeting, Brajkovic gave an update on the economic development accomplishments for 2012. He said there was more than $411 million in capital investment through the Economic Development Department.