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Hoisington council hears variance issue
The Hoisington City Pool is set to close for the season on Aug. 14. The splash pad is scheduled to remain open to the public until October.
As shown, the placement of the garden shed on Keith Kennon’s property establishes an allowable setback for proposed garage construction on the lot line.

HOISINGTON — While City Manager Jonathan Mitchell anticipated the Hoisington City Council discussing the budget for most of the meeting, public comments led to a lengthy discussion. Keith Kennon spoke for his three minutes of allotted time concerning a variance request for his property on North Vine in Hoisington. He is planning to build a garage on his property with the back of the garage to sit on the lot line and requested a variance to place the garage over the easement. 

Mitchell’s reply was “We have a legal process. It is required by law.” Kennon had visited with Mitchell earlier about the variance request but was not able to have absolute dates for construction. He was waiting for the concrete contractor to set a date. Suddenly, the contractor called, ready to set up and make the pour. Kennon said, “I don’t have the 45 to 60 days to wait for the zoning commission and the publication process.” His building also needs to be delivered and set up in the near future for a discount to apply. Kennon presented photos and Google maps of other structures around Hoisington that were built over easements but without variances. 

Councilmember Darren Reinert said, “precedent has been established to do this, how can we say no to him?”  Councilmember Duane Reif said, “We’ve got to follow the law.”  Councilmember Karen Van Brimmer added, “We need to do it the right way.” 

As Mitchell reviewed the photos and maps, he noted that a backyard shed on Kennon’s property had been placed on the lot line. That placement established an allowable setback, he said,  effectively grandfathering a variance for the placement of the backyard garage on the lot line and onto the easement with no further need for council action.

The bulk of Monday’s meeting time was spent discussing the proposed 2023 budget. Discussion focused on the levied funds. City Manager Mitchell noted, “City staff provided an overview of the proposed budget for these funds and also laid out a proposed schedule to address the utility funds and the remaining portions of the 2023 Budget document.”

The Council will meet on Aug. 15 to discuss uility funds and then on Aug. 22 for a work session and approval of the budget for publication. The budget and Revenue Neutral Rate (RNR) hearing is scheduled for Sept. 12 with the intention of filing the budget with the County Clerk by Oct. 1.

Requested revenues to the general fund were $2,554,010 showing a 16% increase over actual 2021 revenues. Property and motor vehicle taxes provided the majority of the increase of funds. General fund expenditures requested for 2023 reflect a 30% increase over 2021 actual expenditures.  Distribution of the Pathways Blue Cross and Blue Shield grant as well as salaries for a fully-staffed police department account for much of the increase. Emergency Medical Service (EMS) salaries also show a sizable increase in hopes of attracting more staff for the ambulance services.  General Fund line items for the Municipal building, the Swimming Pool and Economic Development all showed a decrease.

The consent agenda  held the bulk of the proposals voted on by the City Council. Included was the reappointment of Jonathan Mitchell and Darren Delzeit as Kansas Municipal Gas Association (KMGA) representatives for the City, 

Also included were Cereal Malt Beverage Consumption Permits for the Class of 1963, Labor Day Community BBQ, Labor Day Street dance and Demolition Derby,  three CMB Sale Permits for various Labor Day activities, the approval of a $2,500 Transient Guest Tax request from the Hoisington Chamber of Commerce for marketing Hoisington’s Labor Day Weekend.

Lastly, were five ordinances updating Hoisington building codes to the 2018 Edition of codes from the International Code Council. 

City Updates

In his report to the city, Mitchell noted that the façade improvements for Hoisington businesses continue. At Kindscher’s Mule Barn, a paint contractor was located and painting is complete.  Window replacement is next. Cates Carquest Auto Parts have completed most of their work and The Tap Room and Mi Tierra are still waiting for contractors to start their projects. 

The swimming pool has some final adjustments to be made by the contractors as well as train City staff in winterization of the pool andsplash pad. An electrician is scheduled to work on the splash pad controls. The hand activator and timer still need work so that they are available after the main pool closes for the season.

City-wide cleanup is scheduled with Stutzman Refuse Disposal for Sept. 22-23.