Southwest Topeka’s proposed Wheatfield Village development and electrical service upgrades at Shawnee County’s North Annex are among topics local governing bodies plan to take up this coming week.
The Shawnee County Commission will meet at 9 a.m. Monday in its chambers in Room B-11 of the County Courthouse, 200 S.E. 7th, while the Topeka City Council will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday in its chambers at 214 S.E. 8th.
The city’s governing body, consisting of the nine council members and Mayor Larry Wolgast, will take up three measures Tuesday regarding 29 Fairlawn LLC’s proposed $100 million Wheatfield Village development on 14.7 acres at the northwest corner of S.W. 29th and Fairlawn Road.
That body plans to discuss a planned unit development master plan, discuss establishing a community improvement district and accept public comments on whether to approve a redevelopment project plan for the development, which would include a 70- to 90-room Marriott hotel, a 150- to 180-unit apartment complex, a nine-screen movie theater with bar and food service, a Johnny’s Tavern, a PT’s Coffee and a SPIN! Pizza.
The governing body’s options include voting on any or all of the measures, or postponing action on any or all of them until later.
Votes from seven of the 10 governing body members are needed to approve the project plan, which includes implementing tax increment financing. The governing body voted June 26 to form a TIF district for the area, then had a public hearing on the project plan Sept. 12 and continued it Oct. 3, when members voted to resume that hearing Tuesday.
Topeka’s city government is legally empowered to establish TIF districts to encourage economic growth. Such districts are created at the request of developers to help offset development costs. Developers agree to pay off TIF bonds issued by the city over a period of up to 20 years, using the increase in property tax and sales revenues collected from the properties after the project was constructed versus the taxes those same properties generated before the development.
Votes from seven governing body members are needed to approve the PUD master plan, which would make zoning changes needed to accommodate the project. A public hearing on the matter was held, and closed, on Oct. 3.
Votes from six governing body members are needed to authorize the CID. It would implement a 2 percent sales tax, which would be levied only upon customers of businesses in the district. The tax would be assessed in addition to other sales taxes levied in Shawnee County. Revenue from the tax would be used to reimburse private investment in the project.
The county commission plans Monday to revisit the topic of Topeka-based CD Electric having asked the county to pay an additional $4,500 in materials costs after commissioners voted Oct. 23 to award it a contract to carry out a project involving an electrical service upgrade at the north annex.
County facilities management director Bill Kroll said the company told him it had forgotten while submitting its bid to include those materials costs. He asked commissioners this past week to award the project instead to Topeka-based Torgesen Electric, which put forth a bid that was initially $299 higher than CD Electric’s.
Commissioners responded last week by deferring action on the matter until Monday’s meeting, while asking Kroll to contact CD Electric to see if the situation could be remedied before they moved forward with awarding the bid to Torgesen.
Commissioners also plan Monday to consider:
— Contracting with CivicPlus to provide a recreation management software system for the parks and recreation department at a cost of $82,000 for 2018 and $50,000 annually thereafter.
— Arranging for the county to continue to offer a flexible benefits “cafeteria” plan to county employees while continuing to provide the county’s current employer contribution in the amount of $672 a month. The plan provides benefits, including health and vision insurance, that the county isn’t required by state law to provide to employees.
— Entering into contracts with Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Kansas to be the county’s third-party administrator for its major medical health benefit plan, ASI Flex to administer the dependent care and medical flex plan, Tria Health for medication management services and Medtrax for the prescription drug plan for employees.
Contact reporter Tim Hrenchir at (785) 295-1184 or @timhrenchir on Twitter.