Published in the Iola Register on Nov. 8, 2012.

City commission approves revenue bonds

By Jessica LeDuc
Blade staff writer

The Concordia City Commission gave its approval Wednesday for the County Commission to issue $26 million in industrial revenue bonds for an AgMark LLC expansion.
Because part of the AgMark property is in the city limits, the Commission must give its approval for the issuance of the bonds that will be used to acquire, construct and equip improvements to the facility. The City has no obligation to repay the bonds.
AgMark President Jeff Bechard told Commissioners that the bonds will be used to pay for the construction of 12 new storage bins on the north side of the property. He said that $8 million of the total bond issuance will be used to pay for the first phase of the project – four new bins – which have already been built. The four new bins went online at the end of the summer, Bechard said. The rest of the $26 million will go toward building the additional eight bins and related infrastructure.
"We would like to have those in place over the next 10 years," Bechard said.
The remaining eight bins will be built as the need arises, he said. Bonds will be issued out of the total $26 million in multiple series.
"That will allow the ownership to remain with AgMark or one of our partner companies to own exclusively and utilize them as part of their grain storage needs," Bechard said.
In other business, the Commission approved a zoning change for property at 322 West 5th Street. The residential area was rezoned to commercial to accommodate what will be a new business – McDaniel Memorial.
Building inspector Bruno Rehbein said the property owner, Josh Trimble, plans to relocate his monument sales business to that area. The site previously had three mobile homes and still has a single family dwelling which Rehbein said Trimble plans to convert into his sales office.
A right-of-way vacation was also approved for a planned new church between L and H streets. City Manager Larry Uri said the Wesleyan Church is planning to build a new church across 11th Street from the Elementary School. To assemble a large enough tract of land for the project, the church asked the city to vacate a platted street and alley. Neither the street nor the alley have ever been opened, Uri said, and the ground is currently undeveloped.
As a condition of the vacation, Uri said the church has agreed to grant the city a 30-foot utility easement along the east side of the tract.
As part of the new Law Enforcement Center project in the north development, the Commission approved construction agreements for the new street and sanitary sewer extension.
At the last meeting, the Commission accepted low bids for the projects. Last night, the Commission authorized the mayor to sign contracts with Smoky Hill, LLC for the construction of Fort Kearney Street, and with Hood Heating, Air, Plumbing and Electric for the sewer work. As per the City's agreement with the county, the City will do the work and the county will pay for it.
The Commission also authorized the mayor to sign the federal fund exchange agreement with the Kansas Department of Transportation. The program is the exchange of federal dollars to KDOT, Public Works Director Ron Copple said. The exchange rate is 90 percent of every dollar the City will receive, meaning the City will receive $25,041.
Copple said he has been planning to use the money for the construction of 18th Street from Lincoln to State, and it is currently being designed. But, he recommended that the Commission save the exchange dollars until 2015, then start construction or use it for another project. The Commission approved saving the money until 2015.
After a 30-minute executive session for attorney-client privilege, after which no action was taken, the Commission adjourned to a study session to discuss flood control, a Brown Grand operating agreement and the airport master plan.
The next meeting will be Monday, Nov. 19 at 5:30 p.m. due to the Thanksgiving holiday.