By Jessica LeDuc
Blade staff writer
The Concordia City Commission received good financial news at its meeting Wednesday night.
Neil Phillips, with Jarred, Gilmore & Phillips, presented the 2012 audit, and gave the City's finances a clean bill of health. Phillips said the City has no statutory violations in its budget, and no deficiencies in internal controls that would be considered material weaknesses.
Mayor Lyle Pounds thanked city staff for their work in keeping the City's finances in order.
In other business, the Commission moved forward with a Tax Increment Financing project on West 5th Street for McDaniel Memorial and Destiny Breault Photography.
The $56,452 project will cover the areas at 500 State Street and 312 and 323 West 5th Street, and includes sidewalk, curb and gutter, and sewer, tree and electrical pole removal.
City Manager Larry Uri said the projects will not generate enough of an increment to pay for the improvements over the remaining life of the TIF district. But, he said, the TIF fund has more than enough money to pay for the 5th Street project, and still make the necessary TIF bond payments. The available balance in the TIF fund, at the end of 2012, was $297,149.
A public hearing on the TIF project is scheduled for May 15.
The Commission also approved submitting an application to the Kansas Department of Transportation for a mill and overlay of a portion of Highway #9. Public Works Director Ron Copple said the KLINK project would be from Fourth Street's west city limits to Davies Street, and 5th Street east of State Street to the west side of Broadway.
The total estimated cost of the project is $276,000. The City would contribute $76,468 toward the project, with the remaining $200,000 coming from KDOT.
The Commission also approved a federal funds exchange with KDOT. Copple said the program allows a city to trade all or a portion of the federal highway funds it receives with KDOT for state transportation dollars. The exchange rate for the program is 90 cents for every dollar of federal funds, which gives the city $21,286.
Copple said he would like to continue saving the exchange dollars and use them to pay for part of the planned reconstruction of 18th Street from Lincoln to State. After receiving the $21,000, he said he would have $56,473 in that account.
"I'd like to bank this for another year to get as much as I can so we don't have to borrow as much when the time comes to do this project," Copple said.
Also at the request of Copple, the Commission approved the purchase of a new video detection system for the stoplight at Highway 81 and College Drive for $7,685. Copple said he had been having trouble with the system detecting cars at the intersection, and it needed to be replaced.
The commission also appointed Brenton Phillips and Janice Swenson to four-year terms on the Frank Carlson Library board, and Pounds proclaimed April as Fair Housing Month.
After executive sessions for preliminary discussion of acquisition of real estate and attorney-client privilege, the Commission adjourned to a study session to discuss items related to the North Development gas line.