Andover asking voters for increased sales tax

Chad Frey
Butler County Times Gazette

ANDOVER -- In Andover, a question for a 1 cent sales tax will be on the Nov. 2 ballot — an attempt to finance fire station renovation/construction and park projects.

In addition to the remodel of the current Fire Station #1, the construction of the new 12,000 square foot Fire Station #2, park amenities, including a splash park, will also be constructed if a one cent sales tax is approved by voters Nov. 2

According to city staff, this sales tax will sunset no later than eight years.

“I, as well as the entire Governing Body, support this sales tax initiative,” stated Mayor Ronnie Price. “We believe these projects are needed and wanted by the Community.”

The city has approved about $17 million in projects — including park renovations and new and renovated fire stations — if voters approve a one cent sales tax. The measure has been dubbed "Family Future Forward Sales Tax."

Should the measure be successful, the sales tax rate in Andover would increase to 8.5 percent — a rate charged in Augusta, Doubglass, Haysville, Newton, Goddard and Ark City. Area cities Mulvane, El Dorado, Rose Hill and Wichita sit at 7.5 percent.

On August 31, the Andover City Council approved a resolution that will submit to electors of Andover  the idea of levying a 1 percent retailers’ sales tax.

The purpose  of the sales tax is to  pay for the purchase of a second fire station; a remodel of the existing fire station; and a complete tear down and renovation of the 13th Street Sports Park.

The current 1,500 square foot Fire Station No. 1  was constructed in 1994 when the population of Andover was approximately 5,000.  As of the 2020 Census, the City's current population is 14,892.  Andover Fire-Rescue responded to 261 calls for service in 1994, and the current annual average for service are 1,700.

The second fire station is slated for south of US54, an attempt to respond a as the city continues to grow with the expansion of US54. The goal is to improve response times for fire and EMS serves. That station is to be 12,000 square feet

Following the completion of a Comprehensive Analysis of Fire Services study, Andover Fire-Rescue and multiple other City department staff evaluated multiple potential sites for the second fire station, ultimately completing the purchase of an approximately three-acre site at the northeast corner of Minneha Avenue and Andover Road.

Estimated cost for all Andover Fire-Rescue projects proposed  is  $6.75 million.

The 13th Street Sports Park reconstruction will add an additional baseball/softball diamond and provide lighting for all five diamonds at the site. It will also move and  grade the playing fields in an attempt to reduce game and practice cancellations. The plan returns the western half of the park, which is primarily in flood plain, to nature and meadows with walking trails throughout.

Following a survey, the number one request was more nature trails and walk/bike paths. The plan also includes a large splash pad, a destination playground, outdoor pickleball courts and a new Andover Community Center.

Estimated cost for the redesign and construction of the 13th Street Sports Park to be funded for the park project is $10.25 million.

For more information about the sales tax vote, visit www.andoverks.com/familyfutureforwardsalestax