BELOIT CITY COUNCIL – Wednesday, December 20, 2023

By Terry Bailey
The Beloit City Council conducted their bi-weekly meeting at City Hall on Wednesday, December 20, 2023. The Councilors noted this was the last meeting for the year 2023. It was also the first meeting of the Council with the now reduced number of Councilors with five at-large members.
Beloit Police Chief Chad Lackey updated the Council on activities of his department. He said he is still waiting on the NARCAN supplies to be delivered. The order is still being processed by the vendor and will be shipped when that is completed. Lackey acknowledges the recent resignation of Becky Snook as the County Communication director. Activity is ongoing to find her replacement. He told the Council that he will have three officers on duty for New Year's Eve and they will maintain an active presence throughout the night.
Economic Development Director Emily Benedict informed the Council she had received news the City had been awarded a $25,000 grant to apply to the signage project. There will be six entry signs. She is still working on an easement for the sign at the old Gabel farm. Because it is a historical site, permission must be granted from the State to locate a sign on that property.
The majority of the focus was directed to a Zoom presentation regarding the development of Senior Citizen Housing for the City of Beloit with the Mennonite Housing in Wichita. Representatives of their group visited Beloit last Friday and looked at land south of Highway 24 as a possible location for housing development.
Byron Andrian and Bill Canton were present via Zoom to discuss the process of developing the land that has sat vacant since 2011. City Clerk/Interim City Manager had received the name of their group from Joe Walter as a possible resource to develop the area for much needed senior citizen housing. Housing is one of the top identifiable needs for Beloit, especially for those 55 and older. Many folks of that age group want to downsize, no longer needing a three-bedroom home, but there are no housing possibilities in Beloit. Some chose to move out of town for housing that meets their needs.
Andrian said his group works as an intermediary between cities and the Kansas Housing Resource Corporation. Their group collects information and submits applications to that group for housing development. He said they were projecting a development of 20 housing units consisting of duplexes. They would be available to people 55 years old or older. He said there is always a conflict between market value housing versus affordable housing. Their group's focus is on affordable housing.
The housing project is directed toward affordable housing and would be income qualified. To qualify, a person's annual income would need to be below 60% of the annual median income for this area. He said some might qualify at 80% of the median income figure. A one-person duplex apartment income qualifying number would be $32,400 or lower at 60%. A two-person figure would be $37,020. The 80% qualifying income numbers would be $43,200 for a one-person duplex and $49,360 for a two-person duplex.
Andrian said last year 16 projects were submitted to the Kansas Housing Corporation and only six were approved. He said the approval process was very competitive and was based highly on a point system. Points are awarded on a variety of factors such as tax incentives, fee waivers and other considerations. He said it is important for a city to have added factors that raise their application above the mediocre applications. He said 95% of the mediocre applications do not qualify. He said two or three points might make a big difference.
Local resident Dennis Lutgen asked about the square foot cost for the duplex departments. Andrian said the projected development calls for a two bedroom, 850-1,000 square foot slab duplex residence with a safe room would be in the area of $180 per square foot. He said the buildings would be highly energy efficient.
The submission date for applications is mid-January 2024. The Council agreed to take the matter under consideration and make a decision on whether or not to formally approve the application for additional senior citizen housing for Beloit at the January 3rd meeting. Comments regarding the project from Beloit citizens would be highly appreciated.
A pawn broker and precious metals dealer license was approved for Big Bad Gun and Pawn.
Cereal Malt Beverage licenses were approved for: Arlyn Mead dba as Beloit Bowl, Joe Kindscher dba Pump Mart, Mitchell County Fair Association, Ana D. Leon dba El Puertos, Casey's General Stores #2739 and #2079, Bubba Q's, Floersch IGA dba Ray's Apple Market and Dollar General Store, LLC dba as store #2469.
The Council approved Ordinance 2341 raising municipal court costs from $100 to $125. The last action on court costs was taken in August of 2015 raising the fees from $75 to $100.
The Council revisited the topic of purchasing the DigiTicket system for issuing tickets for the Beloit Police Department. This is a computerized system that would allow computer generated tickets as opposed to handwritten tickets. This would provide fewer errors and allow for a quicker time frame for officers to issue tickets and get back to patrol work. The cost of the system is a purchase price of $25,622 and an annual fee of $3,664.
Beloit resident Dennis Lutgen addressed the Council saying, "Honestly, things like this drive me nuts. I appreciate the desire to the Council to improve the Police force's ticketing process, but I view this expenditure as totally unnecessary. It is a ‘want' but not a need. I urge the Council not to approve this action. There are many other needs where the City can spend this money."
Mayor Nassz thanked Lutgen for his comments and expressed the Council's desire for more people to attend meetings and express their thoughts to the Council.
Councilor Todd Adolph made a motion for the Council to approve the purchase of the Digi-Ticket system. Mayor Nassz asked for a second to the motion. There was none. Nassz asked twice more for a second, as is required by Parliamentary procedure. No seconds to the motion were given. Nassz declared the motion dead for lack of a second.
The Council approved the 2024 fee schedule, the 2024 Pay Structure Adjustment and the Fire Department Officer pay.

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Beloit, KS 67420, USA