Fairview City Council: City approves Community Improvement District

The Fairview City Council met at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1, at the Fairview Community Center. Present for the meeting were Mayor Art Vonderschmidt, City Council Members Doug Bletscher, Steve Holthaus, Charlie Kramer and Bridget Harvey, City Clerk Christine Rosenberger, City Treasurer Kim Rettele, and Code Enforcement Officer Ashley Martinez. There also were 10 guests present.

Community Improvement District

Mark Emert with Fagan & Emert LLC came back to the Fairview City Council after visiting with them last month regarding a possible Community Improvement District (CID) to be located where the new Keim Travel Plaza is. Emert presented a proposal to the council for their review and was present to answer any further questions.

Emert said the proposed sales tax of 1.5 percent would apply at just the Keim Truck Wash, Keim Travel Plaza — including the A&W restaurant — and the additional truck parking on the east side of Old Highway 75. According to Emert, this tax will only be charged at these locations and nowhere else in Fairview. The tax will stay in effect for 22 years or when the revenue cap of approximately $2 million is met.

Vonderschmidt asked if they met the revenue cap prior to the 22 year sunset, if the sales tax would be done.

“Yes. The CID [Community Improvement District] would retire and the district would no longer have that sales tax,” Emert said.

Vonderschmidt then asked if the cap wasn’t met within the 22 years if the sales tax would be “cut off.”

“Yes. The State [of Kansas] law prohibits it,” Emert said. “You have to have a sunset provision.”

Emert said if any other business wanted to join the district in the future, that the city council would have to “redo the district.”

“This isn’t set in stone,” Emert said. “It can be modified, but you would have to essentially have to start over. We would have to terminate what is already there, and start over from scratch. The outline — the border — is just the Manatawny Properties [a division of Keim TS]. There is some open space in there, but that would be subject to approval with the city. Not by scrapping the development agreement, because we already have the district, but we would have to modify the development agreement with the city, if there was going to be something else that shows up.”

Rosenberger asked if this sales tax would cover expenses that the Keims have “already incurred” or expenses they will incur once the sales tax goes in place.

Emert said the sales tax will only cover allowable expenses — as stated in the proposal — which the Keims have already incurred and will incur going forward. Emert confirmed that the sales tax generated funds can be used for expenses, which were incurred beginning in 2012 — when the truck wash project began.

Emert said the sales tax will go into effect once the CID is established. In order to establish the CID, the city will have to sign the development agreement, publish the ordinance in The Sabetha Herald and then record it with the Brown County Register of Deeds.

Currently, Brown County’s tax rate is 7.5 percent. The addition of the newly established city sales tax of 0.5 percent will go into effect in April 2023. Therefore, in April 2023 the sales tax rate at the CID will be 9.5 percent, while everywhere else in town will have an 8 percent sales tax rate.

After further discussion, the council approved the CID with Manatawny Properties, with the right for their attorney — Martin Mishler — to review the proposal.

In addition to the CID, the council approved an off-premise liquor license for Bert’s Express — the Keim Travel Plaza.

Bud Keim asked the council about a health inspector for the facility. The council said they do not have a health inspector and B. Keim would need to contact the state in Topeka.

Then, B. Keim gave an update on the status of the travel plaza and the A&W restaurant. See story beginning on Page 1 of this week’s Herald for more information.

Court Hearing-Condemned Property

The council held a hearing for the two properties, which were placed in condemned status approximately three months ago. The two properties were Kirk and Donna Watson located at 212 Maple Street and Kim Schuetz located at 216 Main Street.

Martinez updated the council on the status of the two properties.

“I feel like both properties have done enough improvements to take them out of condemned status,” Martinez said. “Then, in the spring when the weather is better, we will continue working with the property owners to improve the properties more, but I feel like they have all done enough improvements at this point.”

After discussion, the council decided to remove the two properties from condemned status.

Also at the meeting:

The council approved the minutes from the Thursday, Nov. 3, meeting. The council reviewed the correspondence.

The council approved the treasurer’s report and the bills to pay.

Vonderschmidt did not have anything new to report in old business.

Vonderschmidt said the city Christmas lights look good, and Holthaus said the City of Fairview sign looks really nice as well.

Martinez gave an update on the conferences she attended and recommended two different ordinances the city should consider implementing. She also asked for the council to approve and pay for her to attend two classes, one on Friday, Dec. 16, and one on Friday, Jan. 27, 2023. After discussion, the council approved both of these requests with one of the classes costing $110 and the other costing $100.

Following the city’s sales tax question approval on the Nov. 8 general election ballot, the council approved Ordinance 2022-02, which implements a 0.5 percent general purpose sales tax in the City of Fairview. See Ordinance 2022-02 on Page __ of this week’s Herald.

Rettele also said she submitted the application for the Wolfe Grant.

The council will meet next at 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023, to discuss the ordinance for the CID. This is an adjusted time for this meeting only. Following the adjourned meeting, the council will have dinner at Hack’s Steak Shack for their annual dinner.

Heather Stewart175 Posts

Heather Stewart is one of two co-editors for The Sabetha Herald, where she has been on staff since 2015. Heather is a 2011 Kansas State University graduate with a degree in psychology. She lives in Sabetha with her husband.

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