Council approves budget amendments, modifies tax abatement for Engineered Air

The 2011 budget for the city of De Soto will remain balanced thanks to some end-of-the-year amendments passed by the city council on Thursday night.

The council approved transfers from the city's cash balance fund to three other funds in order to legally maintain the budget before the end of the year. The changes will have no impact on citizens' taxes, according to City Administrator Pat Guilfoyle. The following changes were made:

  • $5,000 was transferred to the city's law enforcement fund as a precautionary measure. According to Guifoyle, the previously budgeted amount of $461,318 will likely be correct but as the city has not received the final bill from the Johnson County Sheriff's Office for the year it would be best to prepare for an overage.
  • $70,000 was transferred to the city's water fund to safely cover the nearly $60,000 budget overage due to the late completion of the "water break alley" project last month instead of over the summer, according to City Engineer Mike Brungardt. The original budget amount for the water fund was $1,225,809.
  • $16,000 was transferred to the city's refuse fund to cover the cost changes due to the voluntary curbside recycling program that started this year. Guilfoyle pointed out this change is cash-neutral as the cost is recovered by the city in customer charges but must still be noted in the budget. The original budget for this fund was $340,000.

The good relationship between the city and Engineered Air continues after the council approved a modification to the ten-year tax abatement agreement between the two.

The abatement, which was approved for the company's newest building addition, called for a 100 percent tax abatement for the first three years and a 50 percent abatement for the remaining seven. This year marks year three, the end of the full abatement, and Engineered Air asked the council to extend the full abatement by one year to help the company with their new acquisition of an Oregon company. The new acquisition will add approximately 100 jobs to Engineered Air over the next 10 years, according to company representative Ric Rambacher.

The council unanimously approved the modification, citing Engineered Air's good history with the city and the community. Engineered Air is a member of the Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Council and sponsors many city events such as the De Soto Days Festival and Night on the Kaw.

The council also took care of several other minor business items at their final meeting of 2011:

  • Beer Thirty owner Connie Shackelford received a renewal for the special use permit for her business. The 10-year permit will allow Shackelford to continue operating the business as usual.
  • Staff was directed to enter into a contract with R.L. Duncan Construction to replace a culvert on Shorewood Drive. The contract is not to exceed $60,000.
  • City Administrator Pat Guilfoyle was directed to draft a proposal outlining the logistics of relocating the Johnson County Sheriff Department's De Soto office from City Hall to the fire station downtown in order to make room for a proposed jobs incubator and to return with the proposal at the council's next meeting.
  • Mayor Dave Anderson received approval from the council to approach four community members to gauge their interest in joining the Board of Directors for the Northwest Consolidated Fire District. Anderson will bring back more biographical information on any candidates interested in January.


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