OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- The Overland Park City Council will be considering several issues that will affect residents in their wallets on Monday.
Council is hearing public comment about a proposed mill levy increase to help rebuild streets and add more police positions to that department. Also on the agenda, a plan to breathe new life into Metcalf South shopping center.
First, the mill levy increase.
The original budget plan for 2017 in Overland Park had no tax increase. But as the budget moved through several committees, city leaders decided the city needs to raise about $3 million more per year.
That money will come from a property tax increase where a home that’s worth just over $286,000, homeowners will pay $32.00 more each year in property tax, which is now almost $430.
The council is also adding a $6.00 increase to the storm water utility fee.
While it might not seem like a lot of one year, some are concerned that at this point the increase would be permanent, carrying over to years ahead.
Frank Strada who lives in Overland Park says he doesn't quite know how he feels about the increase,
"You know I don’t know at this point. I am retired, I’m on a fixed income and what the state of Kansas is doing in Topeka is just a total shame that we have to rely in property taxes and sales taxes to rely on stuff that we need. In principle I am for it, but I have not decided for sure yet,” he said.
Of the $3.1 million that would be raised, $2.6 million would be spent on the neighborhood street reconstruction program, essentially doubling that budget. The rest would be spent to hire more police personnel.
Council is hearing public comment on the matter August 1 and on August 15 at its meeting, which begins at 7:30. The vote is expected to take place August 15.
The plan to rehabilitate Metcalf South is also of great public interest.
The plan proposed by Lane 4 Development calls for 15 commercial buildings on the land north of Sears. Lowe's has signed on to be the anchor store of the new development, and three spaces are reserved for fast food restaurants.
The remaining 11 buildings have not been designated to any category of retailer. The developer has not asked for any public money, and the Overland Park Planning Commission is recommending the council approve this preliminary plan.
Some residents in overland park don`t like the idea so much.
Strada compares it to what he calls 'the fiasco going on in Mission with the Walmart in the Mission Gateway Center.'
"We have got a Home Depot right across the street. It is another big box. With all of the multi-use retail combined with shopping and apartments, why are they not doing that? That’s what they should be doing there,” he said.