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City to discuss sales tax for river

Salina Journal


Salina Journal

The Salina City Commission on Monday will take up the issue of a 0.25 percent sales tax question that would be used to fund the $27,736,000 first phase of the Smoky Hill River redevelopment project.

If approved by the commission at Monday’s meeting and then again on second reading at a special meeting sometime before Aug. 30, the sales tax question would appear on the November general election ballot.

Martha Tasker, Salina’s director of utilities, estimated at Monday’s commission meeting that the sales tax could bring in between $25 million to $28 million over a 10-year-period.

While the cost for the entire project is estimated at $74.27 million, Friends of the River Foundation president Troy Vancil told the Journal that the full project could take up to 50 years to complete.

City staff and members of the Friends of the River Foundation have said that federal grants and donations possibly could be used to help pay for the redevelopment.

According to information from the city of Salina, the question on the November ballot possibly could read:

“Shall the City of Salina, Kansas be authorized to: (1), impose a one-fourth percent (1/4%) city-wide retailers’ special purpose sales tax (the “River Project Sales Tax”), the proceeds of which shall be used only to finance the costs of construction and implementation of improvements to the Smoky Hill River, including but not limited to ¬ studies,¬ engineering,¬ design,¬ land¬ and¬ easement¬ acquisition,¬ river¬ channel¬ improvements,¬ recreational¬ trail¬ and¬ riverwalk¬ construction¬ and¬ improvements,¬ creation¬ and¬ improvement¬ of¬ adjacent¬ parks,¬ road¬ and¬ bridge¬ improvements,¬ storm¬ drainage¬ and¬ utility¬ improvements¬ and¬ all¬ other¬ improvements¬ and¬ expenses¬ necessary¬ and¬ appropriate¬ to¬ implement¬ the¬ intent¬ of¬ the¬ Smoky¬ Hill¬ River¬ Renewal¬ Master¬ Plan,¬ as¬ well¬ as¬ costs¬ of¬ maintaining¬ all¬ such¬ improvements and related appurtenances thereto (the “River Project”); the collection of such River Project Sales Tax to commence on April 1, 2011 or as soon thereafter as permitted by law and shall terminate ten years after its commencement; and (2) issue sales tax revenue and/or general obligation sales tax bonds in a principal amount of not to exceed $27,800,000 to pay the costs of the River Project and associated financing costs; all pursuant to the provisions of K.S.A. 12-187 et seq., as amended and K.S.A. 10-101 et seq., as amended?”

nReporter Chris Hunter can be reached at 822-1422 or by e-mail at [email protected].

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