City Commission Approves Street Maintenance Sales Tax Renewal, Votes No on Proposed Abilene Library Plant Tax Cap

August 9—The Abilene City Commission met for a regular meeting yesterday afternoon. The committee voted on five points, approving four and disapproving one.

First, the commission approved an ordinance amending the city code relating to the code of procedure for city meetings. Marsh said city staff wanted to update the code, which is Chapter 1, Section 110, to match the code created and recommended by the League of Kansas Municipalities. The city’s code of procedure currently reflects the league’s first edition of 2004. The league’s most recent edition is the fourth, created in 2017. The ordinance will be available on the city’s website.

The commission then approved the renewal of the Street Maintenance Sales Tax and its vote in the November general election ballot. Marsh said the tax, which is a 0.25% sales tax, generates about $300,000 a year. The levy has funded approximately 50 projects and street improvements since its inception in 2012. The meeting agenda includes a summary of all levy-funded projects. The tax expires in March 2023. Marsh said the city is planning a promotional campaign for the renewal of the tax.

The commission then voted 4 to 1 to disapprove of an order to lower the factory fee cap for the Abilene Public Library. The ordinance, requested by Commissioner John Kollhoff, lowered the library ceiling to 7 mills. The current library cap is 8,034. Kollhoff was the only commissioner to vote yes.

The last item the committee voted on was the Notice of Publication of a Public Hearing on the Budget and a Public Hearing on the Neutral Rate, both for the 2023 budget. The committee approved both hearings August 22 at 4 p.m. during the regular town meeting.

Marsh then presented a city manager’s report. The Cowboy Art Trail project is nearing completion, as nine of the planned 11 boots have been placed in the community. We hope that the remodeling of the police department will be completed in a few weeks. Kansas Media Day in Abilene was a “phenomenal success,” Marsh said, and Abilene should see several stories in publications and blogs over the next few months. Mayor Dee Marshall then shared a text message she received from a writer who attended the media day about how much he and his wife enjoyed the event and Abilene.

The next meeting of the Abilene City Commission is a study session at 4 p.m. on August 15.

Aurora J. William