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Unified Government meetingDuring a public hearing on the downtown hotel CID, Carolyn Wyatt, a resident, said she wanted to see more minority hiring. (Staff photo)
Unified Government meeting
Having approved a bond issue less than a month ago for the Hilton Garden Inn in downtown Kansas City, Kan., on Thursday night the Unified Government Commission approved a plan to bring in more funds for hotel renovations.
The Community Improvement District approved Thursday night will levy a 2 percent sales tax on the 10-year-old hotel, along with the Reardon Center and parking garage next to it. The CID will have a maximum 22-year term, according to Lew Levin, UG chief financial officer.
An expected $75,000 a year from the 2 percent tax will go to the CID for repairs, maintenance and improvements at the hotel, convention center and parking garage. According to UG documents, the projects to be financed by the CID will cost $3.2 million, plus other financing costs.
The funding could be used for upgrading personal property and fixtures in the hotel, along with repairs to the parking garage and convention center. The CID passed 7-0.
Kurt Mayo, general manager of the Hilton Garden Inn, told the commission that the CID will not raise taxes. It will be close to what Missouri hotels are charging, and for the most part, visitors will pay the increased sales tax, according to Mayo.
The sales tax district is a very small area, between 5th and 6th streets, and Minnesota and State avenues.
During a public hearing on the CID, Carolyn Wyatt, a resident, said she wanted to see more minority hiring. She said she didn’t see many African-Americans working on construction projects in that area. There are many persons who need jobs in the downtown area, she said.
UG Administrator Dennis Hays responded that although the hotel construction was completed more than 10 years ago, the hotel’s operators make an effort to hire locally and purchase products locally, and the policy of the commission is to encourage minority, local and women business enterprises in projects in which it is involved.
In other action, Hays apologized for the miscount of the commission’s votes at last week’s UG Commission selection meeting. He said he particularly wanted to apologize to Melissa Bynum and Nathan Barnes. A vote for Barnes was erroneously counted for Bynum in the second vote before the mistake was caught and corrected. Barnes and Don Budd Jr. were announced as the finalists.
The selection process for the commission’s 1st District, at large, seat will continue, with the commission meeting June 20 at City Hall.
Also approved at the meeting:
- A resolution of intent to issue industrial revenue bonds and two ordinances for the creation of a community improvement district and transportation development district for the Fairfax area, Kindleberger Road RACER district. The proposed project has $40 million in capital investment with 1 million square feet of new industrial space, and is expected to create 2,000 new jobs, according to UG documents.
- An ordinance updating the UG's ordinances on offenses to reflect changes made by the Kansas Legislature in 2011 and 2012.
- A grant for H2O to Grow for water connections for community gardens.
- A funding agreement with the Turner Recreation Commission for lighting improvements at the Turner Community Walking Park.