Part of the 2012 uncommitted sales tax will be going toward a sidewalk project on Sixth Avenue and a fund for the tennis courts.
The El Dorado City Commission approved allocation of the money during their meeting Monday evening. Mayor Tom McKibban was absent.
In all, the city collected $2,341,040.93 in sales tax for 2012, with the excess after property tax reductioned, street rehabilitation and economic development totaling $341,040.93. Sales tax totaling $280,784.46. was used to further reduce property tax.
“I think that’s pretty important right now to be talking about,” said Randy Wells, chair of the Sales Tax Advisory Committee. “It is imperative everyone gets out and votes on sales tax. It’s a pretty good thing; it’s done a lot of good things for the community.”
Wells said their recommendation for the additional money was to use $100,000 for the second half of the Sixth Avenue sidewalk project.
Then a new project this year was to benefit the tennis courts.
“A group from the tennis association wants to see us add to and improve the tennis courts,” Wells said. “They’re committing some of their money to put into it.”
The commission approved allocating $25,000 to the fund.
The goal is to put down a pre-stressed concrete base that won’t crack and add two more courts, as well as a small building to hold tennis equipment.
Wells said the city was also talking to USD 490 about the project.
“What I understand is we really need a six-court complex to put on good tournaments,” Wells said, “and the high school needs that to put on good tournaments or meets.”
During the summer, they have been using the courts at Butler Community College for tournaments, but Butler no longer has a tennis program and may be turning their courts into a parking lot, according to Wells.
It was estimated by the tennis association the project would cost about a quarter million dollars.
Herb Llewellyn, city manager, said in the interim they are working on the cracks, but when they get it done although it is a good recreational facility, it’s not a competitive surface for any length of time.
“El Dorado has a pretty rich history of tennis programs,” said Commissioner Nick Badwey.
“I think our committee likes the fact our excess sales tax can go to projects that will enhance the quality of life in El Dorado,” Wells said.
Commissioner Shane Krause pointed out there was $1.6 million in property tax reduction from the sales tax.
Page 2 of 2 - “It is pretty important to property owners in town,” he said.
Following a public hearing during which no one spoke, the commission approved 4-0 the allocation of the money.
In other business, the commission:
• issued a proclamation promoting Problem Gambling Awareness Week March 3 through 9 and they heard about free help to people in Kansas with a gambling problem.
• heard about a change in the temporary notes they approved at their last meeting. The amount was reduced from $3,307,250 to $2,978,500 because of an error in calculation. In addition, if the city refinances some of its bonds, this funding may be added into that rather than issuing temporary notes.
• approved a supplemental resolution for the Sixth and Main project making the wording of the original resolution from 2007 more direct.
• heard an update on the house at Washington and Olive that burned. The city is expecting a fax to tell them who the owner is, then they can move forward with getting it torn down. It has been difficult to get resolved because a bank is involved and a private property owner. In addition, the city is working to resolve to other properties on Emporia Street.
• heard that crews are back working on the turf at McDonald Stadium now after the snow. The work to put turf down should be completed this week.
• heard an update on the wind turbine. One tip is in route and the other will be shipped March 8. The team to do the repairs will be here on the 15th and it should take nine days to repair it, although they can’t work if it is too windy.