The Parsons City Commission ended its year by approving a 2019 budget amendment adding $149,000 in expenditures from an economic development fund during a special meeting Monday.
The meeting also was the year-end meeting, and the commission approved payment of a couple of bills, but City Manager Debbie Lamb said the city will continue paying 2019 bills until probably the end of January. The commission also previewed the agenda for next Monday’s regular meeting, eliminating the need for its usual work session on the Thursday before the meeting.
The commission amended the city budget for this year to reflect additional spending of about $149,000 in economic development. The fund had enough money to cover the additional expenditures, but they were not included in the budget that was approved in August 2018. Lamb said none of the additional expenditures could have been predicted during budget preparation.
Commissioner Tom Shaw said the three projects involved are all worthy.
“This isn’t an amendment to make up for some mistake. These are good things,” Shaw said.
The additional money was spent from the sales tax partly devoted to economic development. Commissioner Jeff Perez reminded the public that the extra spending did not affect the property tax mill levy.
The largest expenditure was $91,000 in bond attorney fees for Parsons Hospitality Holdings LLC. The city commission had agreed to give the company incentives for construction of the Parsons Conference Center adjacent to a new Holiday Inn Express. Later the agreement was changed so that instead of Parsons Hospitality Holdings collecting the sales tax and room tax associated with the hotel the company received a 10-year property tax abatement on improvements to the land at Cattle Drive and North 16th (U.S. 59). The tax rebates required the issuance of industrial revenue bonds, and the commission agreed to pay the bond attorney fees. The city originally thought the fees would be about $60,000, but the actual cost was $91,000.
Another project was the installation of a new roof on the former Sullivan’s Furniture building at 1707 Main St. The Parsons Community Development Corp. bought the building after the furniture store closed in order for repairs to be made so the empty building doesn’t deteriorate. The PCDC hopes to sell the building to a business eventually. The city commission agreed to pay the estimated cost of $42,000 for the new building, but the bid came in at $33,000.
The city commission also agreed to give $100,000 over four years to aid Mike Carpino Ford in buying land from JOBS Inc., a private economic development group, at the northwest corner of the U.S. 59/U.S. 400 junction. The city staff recommended the incentive so that Carpino would buy the former Green Country Ford dealership, with the fear that the city would lose its Ford dealership for good if no company bought it. Carpino plans to build a new facility on the land near the two highways at cost of $1.5 million to $2 million.
In other business Monday the commission approved two payments for a runway improvement project and the purchase of a new beacon light at Tri-City Airport, which is owned by the city. The Federal Aviation Administration is paying for 90% of the work.
The commission approved a payment of $104,705.40 to Interstate Sealant and Concrete and $11,255.38 to Burns and McDonnell Engineering for design services.