Pittsburg city officials met Tuesday, February 9, 2021 for the regularly scheduled City Commissioners meeting, held the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at the Beard-Shanks Law Enforcement Center, 201 N. Pine St., Pittsburg.
Commissioner Larry Fields took off his commissioner-hat to participate in the public input period of the meeting and provide feedback about the new drive-thru kiosk that was installed for the convenience of those that do not want to come into City Hall to pay bills.
“I had the opportunity to use the new kiosk that’s on the south end of City Hall,” Fields said. “…even I could follow the instructions. So, if the citizens haven’t used it, that’s a really nice setup. They can pay with a check, a credit card, debit card, and it even takes cash. It’s bilingual—in Spanish and English. It is (available for use) 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It’s a real nice system. So, ‘good job’ to whoever all was involved in that.”
Following public input, the commissioners acknowledged that the City of Pittsburg was awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in financial reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association for the twenty-fourth consecutive year. City Finance Director Larissa Bowman said that the city had received the award for going beyond the state’s basic requirements for its annual audit. Later in the meeting Bowman presented the Dec. 31, 2020 bi-monthly budget review.
“Each year the city prepares a report during our audit process,” Bowman said. “Kansas statute only requires basic audit, but we did a halfer. So, we take additional steps, and what that allows us to do is to be transparent and show (the) true picture of our financial position in the city. And when we go out for bonds, that helps us get the best interest rates for those.”
The commissioners approved items under the consent agenda, which included the request submitted by Angie Hadley, Program Coordinator for the Restorative Justice Authority of Crawford County, to reappoint Stacy Kratz to an additional three-year term as a member of the Juvenile Corrections Advisory Board (JCAB) and to appoint Bill Howell to his first three-year term as a member of the Juvenile Correction Advisory Board.
In other city business, commissioners approved a contract with Earle’s Engineering & Inspection for the company to serve as city engineer on an as needed basis to complete engineering duties following the recent departure of Cameron Alden, the city’s former public works director.
The commissioners followed the Economic Development Advisory Committee’s recommendations to grant tax abatement renewals to Millers Inc., Pinamonti Physical Therapy, Kendall Packaging Corporation, Dharma Properties, LLC., and Rallison, LP.
The commission approved entering into an engineering services agreement with Olsson, Inc. for an odor control study at the city’s water treatment plant at a cost not to exceed $67,267. The commission also approved partial mortgage releases for two lots at Silverback Landing where homes are now being built.
The last order of business was a public hearing held to consider a request submitted by E & J Investments, LLC, for renewal of the tax abatement for their new ReNu Medical & Spa facility 909 E Centennial Dr, #6, Pittsburg. The spa opened last fall and is a $1.3 million investment in the community. Director of Economic Development Blake Benson said when people hear a business is receiving an abatement or exemption, they assume they are not paying any taxes at all.
“The property tax exemption is a commonly used economic development tool here in our community,” Benson said. “It is really more of a property tax freeze…the taxation value is basically frozen at the pre-construction level. It’s an incentive tool…a way that the city can help projects like this.”
After closing the public hearing, commissioners voted to approve the property tax abatement.
City commission meetings are broadcast live on the City’s local government access channels (Cox channel 6 and Craw-Kan channel 406) and on YouTube. To subscribe to the City’s YouTube channel, go to http://www.pittks.org/youtube. To learn more about the Pittsburg city government, city commissioners, or to view meeting agendas and minutes, visit pittks/city-government/city-commission.