Here is a quick look at what the Barton County Commission did Monday morning:
• Tabled discussion concerning a letter of support backing Rosewood Services’ application for the Kansas Department Of Commerce Community Service Tax Credit Program. If approved, the tax credit program would be used to remodel the old E&E Glass (in Great Bend) and open the Rosewood Creations Center, said Anna Hammond-Bodine, director of development for Rosewood. This would allow for the introduction of new goods and a skills-learning center. The request will be an agenda item next week.
• Authorized additional charges in the amount of $719.82 for the Treasurer’s Office improvement project. In May, the commission approved a $13,743.80 bid from Thomas Quality Homes to move two walls to expand the office space in the interior of the treasurer’s office, upgrade the electrical and install LED lighting. However, since the original bid was approved, the removal of a half wall, revisions to the lighting and insulation and the replacement of damaged ceiling tiles were added to the bid, bringing the total to $14,463.62, Treasurer Jim Jordan said.
The building where E&E Glass once operated may have a new life soon, should Rosewood Services succeed in acquiring a grant from the state to offer tax credits to fund its renovation. But, a request for a letter of support backing Rosewood’s application for the Kansas Department Of Commerce Community Service Tax Credit Program was tabled until next week in order for commissioners to look further into who exactly will benefit from the proposed renovations.
If approved, the tax credit program would be used to remodel the property at 1117 Williams St., and open the Rosewood Creations Center, said Anna Hammond-Bodine, director of development for Rosewood.
According to Hammond-Bodine, the proceeds of the tax credits would be used to remodel the old E&E Glass building on Williams Street.
“Rosewood Services hopes to move some of their production to that location, she said. “We do hope to add an additional 10 to 15 jobs in the process, so this is different from our other training locations, as it will not only help train more skills for our people that we serve with developmental disabilities, but also will bring in new jobs for community members and so it will be more of an integrated setting for our people.”
Commissioner Jennifer Schartz added that Hammond-Bodine presented information to commissioners last week for a study session.
“One of the things the public needs to know is this is a non-profit arm of Rosewood Services, and that’s what the tax credits are for,” she said.
Commissioner Alicia Straub questioned Rosewood’s potential contributions in order to receive those tax credits. Hammond-Bodine responded that efforts are underway to secure pledges from individuals and businesses in the community to donate to the tax credit program, but that if there is a difference to be made up, Rosewood may help.
“I just wanted to make it clear, so Rosewood could contribute to the foundation, and receive those 50 percent tax credits,” Straub said. “Any private entity or business could contribute to your non-profit organization.”
Straub also asked for a copy of the application, stating many items of information were presented over the past week concerning a number of different topics.
“Last week we were presented something totally different, so I’d like to see a copy of that application to the state, because this is a state community service tax credit program,” she said.
She asked Hammond-Bodine to also include a breakdown of how Roots and Wings Foundation intends to use funds received from the tax credit program, and how it will contribute to Rosewood Services and the clients they serve, and if the positions to be created will be paid positions.
Hammond-Bodine was receptive, and also reiterated what she’d presented at the study session.
“This will be a training facility, but then it will also be elevated to a position where they (the clients) can be paid,” she said. “So once they complete all their training and tasks, and they have mastered certain skills to where they can do the job or the duty independently, they do get to a paid status.”
At Schartz’s prompting, she confirmed the paid positions would be minimum wage jobs.
Then, Straub asked one final question concerning the remodeling of the building at 1117 Williams Street.
“Who would receive the benefits of renovating that building,” she asked. “In other words, who has ownership of that building?”
“Right now Rosewood Services leases it from another entity,” Hammond-Bodine replied.
“So, any improvements to that building would be retained by the owner of that property, correct?,” Straub asked. Hammond-Bodine replied in the affirmative.
“Okay, I just want to make sure the public is clear that these tax credit programs don’t necessarily benefit just the non-profit organization as they should,” Straub said. “They also benefit the private entity that owns the real estate that the improvements are being done to.”
Straub made a motion to table Rosewood’s request for a letter of support for the community tax credit program application until next week. Councilman Homer Kruckenberg seconded it.
Schartz clarified the deadline for submitting the application is Aug. 1. The motion was approved and is to be added to the agenda for the July 23 meeting.
According to a property search through the Open Records for Kansas Appraiser’s website, the Great Bend Tribune learned 1117 Williams St. is owned by New Leaf LLC, with a Great Bend post office box listed as the mailing address. A search of the Kansas Secretary of State’s business filings show that Anna M. Hammond, 2006 Broadway Suite 2A, Great Bend, is the resident agent and registered office of New Leaf LLC.