City of Kahoka Moves Forward With Tax Collection Agreement
By Mike Scott
The City of Kahoka moved another step closer to contracting the Clark County Collector’s Office to collect personal property and real estate taxes. At the Monday evening, August 8, meeting of the Kahoka Board of Aldermen, board members voted to move ahead with an agreement with Clark County.
The proposed agreement would give the county five percent of the money collected, by Kahoka officials hope that the county could collect more tax money, because all the taxes would be on the same statement. Residents will not be able to avoid paying city taxes because they could not license their motor vehicles if all the taxes are not paid.
“I re-read the statute, and again came up with no set percentage they are allowed to charge,” said City Attorney April Wilson. Wilson added that Memphis pays Scotland County 4.5 percent for the service.
Wilson further clarified that the 5 percent fee includes the current 1.5 percent fee charged for the tax assessment, so the added cost would be 3.5 percent.
While some contract language remains to be resolved, the board voted 3-0 to proceed with the measure. Mayor Wayne Blum will take the proposed contract to the Clark County Commissioners this week.
The question arose about what to do with the current city employee whose duties include tax collection.
“She’ll keep busy with back taxes thru April, and then it’s something we’ll have to address at that time,” said Alderman Jeff Wood.
The board also reviewed a proposed water rate contract with the City of Wayland.
“We need to look at this and make sure it’s what we want before it’s presented to Wayland,” Attorney Wilson told the board.
The contract would replace a contract with Wayland which expired in 1999, and will result in a water rate increase for Wayland.
“Kahoka customer have had several rate increases in that time,” said Wood.
Board members will review the contract this week, and give comments to Mayor Blum before he presents it to the Wayland City Council.
Board members were not happy with information received concerning downtown enhancement grant. Last month, members voted to reject all bids and seek new bids.
City Assistant Jim Sherwood reported that, according to MECO Engineering, the cost to re-bid the project would b e about $4500. Among those charges were expenses for preparing specifications and plans.
“I cannot believe they’ll bill us $2000 for specs and plans that won’t change since the last bid,” said Alderman Curtis Mack.
Sherwood also reported that the reason that project bids were so much higher than the engineer’s estimate was that the footage of the sidewalks inside the park was measured incorrectly. Had they been measured correctly, the city may have received more grant dollars for the project.
“Who was running the tape measure?” asked Mack.
Sherwood stated that the engineering crew did all the measurements.
“Is it our fault they miscalculated the linear feet of our sidewalks?” asked Mack.
Sherwood continued that the engineer conceded that bids were higher that a similar project in Unionville, and that a city requirement to complete the project in 90 days may have contributed to the higher costs.
“Who’s idea was that?” asked Mack. “We didn’t decide that in here?”
The board agreed to ask MECO Engineering to attend a meeting next Monday to discuss the project.
In other business, the Board of Aldermen:
--Approved building permits for Richard Wilson, Whiston Construction (Clark County Courthouse) and Pat & Kim Schantz.
--Approved the low bid of $3892.56 for lighting improvements at O-Mak-O-Hak Park. The low bidder was Van Meter Electric.
--Approved the renewal a franchise fee of three percent on cable and electric department revenue, payable to the general fund. Also, a 0.5 percent fee on electricity, with revenue going to the Fire Departments Capital Purchase Fund.
--Approved a Conflict of Interest Ordinance governing elected officials and city employees, with three readings. ?The ordinance is required to be passed every two years.
--Passed an ordinance approving the city budget, which was passed on March 31.
--Adopted an ordinance approving the increase in water and sewer rates that went into effect July 1.
--Discussed the liquor license procedure with Mr. Cochenour, who is purchasing Froggie’s Tavern.
--City Attorney Wilson reported on training received at the Missouri Municipal League meeting.
--Police Chief Bill Conger reported that the number of crimes occurring is stay about the same, but they are getting more serious. Last months arrests included five felony assaults, two statutory rape cases, and one sodomy case.
--The board approved the purchase of a 2011 Ford Ranger from Kahoka Motors to use as a police vehicle. The cost of the truck was $15,258.
--Alderman Mack suggested that pool maintenance take place this fall and over the winter, to be better ready for next season.
--Alderman Larry Young reported that several people are upset with the cemetery mowing not being consistent, and the weed-eating and cleaning stones off is not being done properly. Alderman Mack added that the contract requires low, wet spots to be push mowed or weed-eatered, which has not been done.