Barton County Commission meeting at a glance
Here is a quick look at what the Barton County Commission did Monday morning:
• Tabled voting on 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.
• Approved an agreement with the City of Claflin under which the Barton County Road and Bridge Department will assist the city in sealing roads within the city limits.
• Approved a system to improve the county’s internet filters, email spam filters and email archiving.
The Barton County Commission once again tabled voting on a letter of support backing Rosewood Services’ application for the Kansas Department Of Commerce Community Service Tax Credit Program. This marked the second time commissioners delayed acting on the matter as they seek more information on Rosewood’s plans for the former E&E Glass building at 1117 Williams St.
However, Rosewood Executive Director Tammy Hammond said Rosewood’s deadline to have the letter approved was last week and she had requested the matter be removed from the commission agenda. Hammond said she had contacted county officials via phone, email and face-to-face.
“I am a little disappointed that we haven’t received a copy of that application,” said Commissioner Alicia Straub. “Who benefits from this?”
And, she said, these credits involve tax dollars and may impact other county residents.
“Any time we request additional information, we do it for a valid reason,” commission Chairwoman Jennifer Schartz said.
If approved, the tax credit program would be used to remodel the downtown Great Bend building into the Rosewood Creations Center, Anna Hammond-Bodine, director of development for Rosewood told the commission last week. This would allow for the introduction of new goods and a skills-learning center.
But, the matter was tabled until this week after commissioners requested a copy of the application and more details on how the project benefited Rosewood clients. However, the additional information had not been provided to the commission as of Monday morning. No one from Rosewood was present Monday either.
Hammond said neither she nor her daughter Hammond-Bodine were present Monday. But, after her communications with the county, Hammond was under the assumption the request would not surface this week.
“We didn’t go because we were told it would be taken off the agenda,” Hammond said. The deadline for the application is Aug. 1, but the support letters had to be done by July 19, meaning this week was too late for the commission to act on it.
“We didn’t see this happening,” Hammond said.
However, just the removal of a tabled item being requested doesn’t make it so, County Administrator Phil Hathcock said.
When the commission tabled the matter, they tabled it to a specific date, this Monday. So, under the rules governing the commission, it had to appear on this week’s agenda and Hathcock said Hammond was told this.
This week, the request was tabled, but not to a set date. Hathcock said this means that, unless the commissioner who made the motion brings it up again, the issue is dead.
Hammond-Bodine also presented information to commissioners during a study session the week of July 9.
The Great Bend City Council approved a similar letter when it met last Monday night.
Last week’s meeting
According to Hammond-Bodine last week, the proceeds of the tax credits would be used to remodel the structure. The agency hopes to move some of this production to that location, adding 10-15 minimum-wage jobs.
“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,” she said last week.
The tax credits are being sought by the Roots and Wings Foundation, a non-profit arm of Rosewood Services, she said.
Straub last week asked one final question concerning the remodeling.
“Who would receive the benefits of renovating that building,” she asked. “In other words, who has ownership of that building?”
Rosewood Services leases it from another entity, Hammond-Bodine replied.
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.