City of Tonganoxie Newsletter - Fall 2022

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Citizen Newsletter City of Tonganoxie, KS October 2022

FY 2023 Budget Adopted

The City Council adopted the FY 2023 Budget on September 6, 2022. In accordance with the new provisions set forth in SB 13, The City Council held public hearings on both the Revenue Neutral Rate and the Proposed Budget . The City Council kept the City ’ s mill levy flat, but the Library proposed a slight mill decrease which allowed the City ’ s total mill rate to drop to 44.695 from last year ’ s rate of 45.233. Budget expenses were built upon three broad investment areas: Local Infrastructure, Operational Support and Community Support and Development.; a breakout of specific funding items is provided in the three graphics on this page.

We are excited to announce we have two Car Seat Technicians with the Tonganoxie Fire Department. Fire Fighters Alexis McNeill and Mickaela Tilman will be doing installs on an appointment only basis. Call the station at 913 - 845 - 2620 x1200 to schedule an appt.

Mayor Frese’s message As we prepare to start construction on a new Church Street bridge soon, it seemed like a reasonably good time to go over how part of it was financed. The Church Street bridge is on a “ wish list ” of the City ’ s Capital Improvements. It ’ s a list where the City keeps track of big - ticket items that the public or staff have deemed priorities but the funds are not readily available. To help finance some of those projects, voters in 2017 approved by a ⅔ margin a 1/4 - cent sales tax. Part of the tax is being used to finance the construction of our fantastic new library. The rest is being used to address the Capital Improvements list. In the past, those projects would have been financed by issuing debt. Thanks to sales taxes of residents, travelers, and others, the City is able to pay–at least in part–for some of these projects up front. From the list the City circulated during the election in 2017, Staff, Fire, Police, and Public Works have addressed several items already. A major task checked off included reconditioning or resurfacing in some way most of the major streets in town, the last being the Main and Pleasant Street resurfacing. The Tonganoxie Water Park, now already 15 years old, has needed resurfacing, repainting, and repairing. Public Works also has been able to repaint and recondition the water slides with the sales tax funds. The Church Street bridge, which can no longer sustain the weight of our heaviest of equipment, has been a priority for City Council for many years, and in 2021 we were finally able to get it on the budget for this year. We have been promised by the contractor construction will begin this fall. Of course this will mean temporary detours because Church is one of only two through streets in the central part of town. We ask for your patience as this long - needed project is completed. The Capital Improvements list is ever - growing. Some other major projects include a replacement of the Fourth Street bridge, which we hope includes a walking bridge. An important part of this funding process is to shop locally when possible. When shopping online, have your items delivered to your home in town. A municipality ’ s tax rate is what companies use to charge sales tax to customer (if a package is delivered to Lawrence, it ’ s taxed at Lawrence ’ s higher sales tax rate; if delivered to Tonganoxie; it ’ s taxed at our lower sales tax rate). It ’ s also necessary for City Council and Staff to keep Tonganoxie open for businesses, which generates more revenue for capital improvements. With some exciting new businesses opening and looking for space in Tonganoxie, in time we can reduce our dependence on property taxes. Tonganoxie has kept its mill rate at the same level for at least the last five years. It takes a mix of options to finance the City ’ s upkeep -- not just property and sales taxes but grants, awards, and other options. By approving the Infrastructure Sales Tax, voters showed how much they want to keep the City moving forward. Residential Development In addition to the single family development in Jackson Heights and Stone Creek, the City has approved a final plat for 27 additional homes in Timber Lake, adjacent to Timber Hills; and a preliminary plat for 45 new homes in Deer Creek, a new subdivision proposed for just south of Twin Cedar St on Smiley Rd with a connection to the NorthStar subdivision. Also, leasing has begun for the West Village Villas and construction on the 36 unit apartment building is expected to begin this Fall. This $7M capital investment was partially funded by a Moderate Income Housing grant from the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation and from a Rural Housing Incentive District as approved by the Kansas Department of Commerce and Tonganoxie City Council.

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Commercial Development Activity

We are pleased that the recent trend of spurred economic development activity, particularly within the Commercial segment, has continued. We wanted to highlight some of the projects you may have seen taking shape around town. In the Urban Hess Business Park, DL Granite & Design has started construction on a 6,000 square foot showroom and warehouse. Owner Dan Lungu is a local resident, and we were thrilled to have Dan choose Tonganoxie as a place to continue to grow his business. DL Granite & Design continues the local ownership presence in the Park by joining locally owned Wilson Glass LLC and Industrial Services Technologies (IST). You may have also noticed the new DG Market, located at US 24/40 and Smiley Rd. The DG market will offer an expanded fresh produce and meat selection, in an all new market format within an approximate 12,500 square foot store. Per company officials, the new store has a target opening date of November 20th. Progress continues on the Hill ’ s Pet Nutrition manufacturing plant in the Tonganoxie Business Park. Hill ’ s investment of over $325M in the plant represents the largest private capital investment in Leavenworth County history, and the company has already begun to invest as a community partner by participating in community and USD 464 events. They ’ ve also begun the hiring process for key positions at the plant, which expects to be operational by the Spring of ’23. You can view job openings at, select Tonganoxie as location.

Currently available positions at the Tonganoxie Hill ’ s Pet Nutrition facility as provided by Hill ’ s with hourly wages listed

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How to Contact your Council Members

David Frese

Jake Dale Term expires in 2024

Chris Donnelly Term expires in 2026 Loralee Stevens Term expires in 2026 Mayor Term expires in 2024

Jennifer McCutchen Term expires in 2024

Matt Partridge Term expires in 2026

In Memoriam

In July, City Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem Rocky Himpel unexpectedly passed away. Rocky served this community with a strong sense of loyalty and civic engagement intended to “ leave things better than we found them. ” We will miss him. Below is his obituary: Arthur W. “ Rocky ” Himpel, 69, of Tonganoxie, formerly of Oskaloosa, died Sunday, July 17, 2022 at St. John Hospital in Leavenworth. He was born September 4, 1952 at Lawrence, the son of John Francis “ Jack ”, Sr. and Margie Lois Colburn Himpel. He was raised in Tonganoxie and was a 1970 graduate of Tonganoxie High School, after graduation he served two years in the U.S. Air National Guard. He worked 37 years for Century Building Solutions Supply from 1977 until retiring in 2014. After retirement, he worked three years at Orscheln ’ s in Basehor. A long life of service, Rocky serves as a Tonganoxie City Councilman and is a member of the Leavenworth County Planning and Zoning Board and Leavenworth County Development Council. He formerly served as the Mayor and a City Councilman of Oskaloosa for many years. He was a member of Oskaloosa American Legion Post 36. He married Mary Elizabeth Ragan on July 22, 1972 at Sacred Heart Church in Tonganoxie, she survives at home. Survivors include a daughter, Jill (Carlo) Shaw, Scottsdale, AZ, a son, David (Katie) Himpel, Basehor, three brothers, Jack Himpel, Jr, Tonganoxie, Mark (Debbie) Himpel, Basehor, Jeff (Jacki) Himpel, Basehor, five sisters, Georgina Bellman, Winslow, AZ, Beverly (Sam) Wiles, Susan (Jim) Herrstrom, Diane (Jerry) Bretthaur, Bobbi (Mike) McClellan, all of Tonganoxie, six grandchildren, Kevin Shaw, Ethan Shaw, Owen Shaw, Henry Shaw, Paisley Himpel and Nolan Himpel. He was preceded in death by his parents.

• Spooktacular, October 28th, 6 - 8pm, Downtown 4th St. Kids can trick or treat along 4th St with local businesses and community groups participating to pass out treats. • Mayor ’ s Christmas Tree Lighting , November 19th, parade on 4th St begins at 5pm, tree lighting follows parade at the Public Library. Please note the change of venue. For more information on parade entries, contact Diane Bretthauer at 913 - 645 - 4726,

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