Tax sale writes off around $100,000

LYNDON — The Osage County Commissioners received a request to consider a resolution finalizing the results of the last tax sale. The sale, which sold delinquent properties from tax years leading up to 2010, regained some money for the county, but left an estimated six figures on the table.

“The amount of the taxation that was written off was basically, about $100,000,” said Shari Weber, county treasurer. “We need to write off the taxation for the part that wasn’t paid. We do that with a resolution. Technically, the interest has not been collected, and the fees, we’ve already taken out as an expense.”

Commissioners, along with Rhonda Beets, county clerk, discussed specifics of the resolution. Commissioners noted the audit of the sale, which is being conducted by Scott Loyd, or Swindoll, Janzen, Hawk & Loyd, LLC, set to take place after April 15.

“It’ll take us a while to put the document together, I just wanted you to know it’s pending,” Weber said.

Pat Walsh, county attorney, said he wasn’t aware that a resolution had been used before to balance the delinquent payments.

“The ones I’ve looked at, we’ve never seen,” Walsh said. “I’m not saying it’s not right.”

“This just abates what we didn’t get?” Beets said. “This just writes it off. I don’t know why we didn’t do it in the past. I don’t think we’ve lost money like this before.”

Walsh indicated the county loses money with each tax sale.

“This would be for eternal book keeping purposes?” Walsh asked.

Gaylord Anderson, commissioner, also asked if the resolution was required.

“I guess it’s a policy,” Weber said, noting she got a copy of the resolution filed by Lyon County.

“It makes you wonder if Lyon County is doing it,” Anderson asked.

Commissioners planned to defer to Loyd for the requirement of the resolution.

“If he needs this to get it off our books permanently, then I’m fine with it,” Walsh said.

“I’ll talk to Scott tomorrow, make sure we need to do this before anyone spends any time on it,” Beets said.

Runoff requirements

Bruce Boettcher, project engineer for BG Consultants, discussed requirements for managing runoff at the Osage County Transfer Station with commissioners.

“I asked Bruce to come in, and give an update on the storm water waste plan over at the landfill,” said Glen Tyson, public works supervisor.

“The industrial storm water permit, that’s required for solid waste facilities, has been sent in with an update,” Boettcher said. “It’s something that has been on the books, but unenforced. (Kansas Department of Health and Environment) is hearing from (The Environmental Protection Agency) and enforcing it more and more.”

Boettcher said the permit has already been sent in on behalf of the county.

“Once you receive it back to the county, you’ll receive a notice of intent permit,” Boettcher said.

He said the county will be required to perform erosion control on disturbed surfaces, referred to as bio fencing, similar to requirements for highway sites and new commercial construction.

“New regulations are coming out,” Boettcher said. “You’re going to have to manage it more. Every two weeks, every quarter inch of rain.”

Boettcher said BG is working on a cookie-cutter solution to reduce the impact on several sites working on the issue.

“The EPA came down and gave Franklin County a $25,000 fine over this,” Boettcher said.

“People keep asking why their property taxes are going up,” Kuykendall said. “It’s because EPA.”

“It’s to keep clean water, and the waterways,” Boettcher said.

“That’s a long ways from where the lake is,” Kuykendall said.

“You have a year, from what I’m being told, to keep your plan in place,” Boettcher said.

“Most of these drain into our holding pond,” Anderson said.

“We’re doing the responsible thing to start with,” Kuykendall said. “It’s not like the water is running down the creek. It’s all just a load of BS.”

“We’re trying to do this as cost effective as we can,” Boettcher said. “It’s just another management thing we’ll have to do.”

In other business, the council:

• heard from Lori Dunn, sheriff, that medical services at the jail are set to begin May 4, with training the days prior.

“We’re having two (sessions) so we can get everybody in,” Dunn said. “Deputies will be attending also. They’ll have 20 per session.”

Dunn also said she is still waiting on updates on the recent vehicle purchases.

• approved $13,396 to replace overhead doors at the transfer station, and heard from Tyson about a need to replace the concrete surface on the tipping floor.

• heard a request from Stephanie Watson, to include a $150 fee for large event rentals, in order to pay for a staff member to remain on site.

“The car show and craft show…the building was left in a disaster,” Watson said. “There were several issues.”

Commissioners suggested retaining the $150 deposit to cover cleanup.

“In the future, the way you state it is, we’re having a big public thing, you’re paying this, and you would not get the janitors portion back,” said Ken Kuykendall, commissioner. “If they don’t like it, tell them they can come here next Monday.”

• approved the retirement of Carl Winans, road and bridge department.

• approved a special event permit for Brenda Grimmett, B&C Equine Rescue, for a horse ride related to a rescue event on April 23.

• approved a cereal malt beverage renewal for Lamont Hill Golf Course.

• approved Purchase Order 3237 for $85 to National Child Passenger Safety CTCS.

• approved Purchase Order 3242 $618 to Sam’s Club, Topeka, for the purchase of an iPad for use with the sheriff’s department drone, and approved $1,468 for a new Toughbook laptop.

• conducted a 10-minute executive session to discuss attorney-client matters with Pat Walsh, county counselor; and 10 and 20-minute sessions to discuss non-elected personnel with Watson and Walsh.

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