The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 6, 1997 · Page 12
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 12

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Salina, Kansas
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Tuesday, May 6, 1997
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Page 12
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B4 TUESDAY, MAY 6, 1997 GREAT PLAINS THE SALINA JOURNAL V LEGISLATURE WRAP-UP SESSION T SAUNA CITY COMMISSION Late agreements lead to adjournment cit Y OKs zoning for rental complex Abortion bill fails to pass in final hours of annual legislative work By LEW FERGUSON c Associated Press TOPEKA -- The Legislature sent the omnibus appropriations bill and a child support collections measure to the governor Monday night, then adjourned its 1997 session just before midnight. Final, ceremonial adjournment was set for $ May 27. A final effort to resolve differences be- LEOISLATURE tween the Senate and House over a ban on late-term abortions failed. A conference committee met nearly an hour after the last two bills passed without reaching agreement. House approval of the final funding bill of the session, 64-61, completed work on a record $8 billion state budget for the fiscal year that begins on July 1. The Hous,e rejected multiple amendments that would have killed the child support bill or crippled its effectiveness during a nearly four-hour debate, then passed it, 68-57. The Senate then concurred in House committee amendments an hour later, 24-16, sending that measure to Graves as well. Efforts to reach agreement on b'ills to ban third trimester abor- tjkms and to create a private authority to operate the University of Kansas Medical Center hospital continued after the two big bills went to the governor, but to no avail. Another bill doomed to be carried over to the 1998 session would have made a multitude of changes in administration of the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System. T LEGISLATIVE ACHIEVEMENTS The Associated Press The House begins a session Monday afternoon as Reps. Doug Spangler, (center) D-Kansas City, and Ted Powers, R-Mulvane, finish a round of cards. Rep. Bob Tomlinson, (left) R-Roeland Park, waits to get his seat back from Spangler. The child support bill requires the state to establish a directory of newly-hired workers. The change is designed to make it easier for government officials to track down parents fleeing from their child support obligations. Everyone who takes a job, even those who do not make child support payments, would be listed in the directory, which would be kept at the Department of Human Resources. Other states would have access to it. The 1996 federal welfare reform law, which mandates state action, limits an individual to five years on public assistance. Increased collection of child support is part of the government's effort to reduce the number of people on the welfare rolls. SRS officials estimate that the welfare rolls in Kansas could be cut by one-third if all child support were paid. Opponents argued that the bill violates constitutional rights Tax issues, school finance dominate session Property owners and schools benefit from actions of lawmakers By LEW FERGUSON The Associated Press TOPEKA — Tax relief and school finance dominated the agenda of the 1997 Legislature, with home owners, businesses and education the beneficiaries. Those issues were made a focal point from the outset of the session by Gov. Bill Graves. The intense attention paid them from opening day on Jan. 13 probably is the reason they were resolved before the closing of the wrap-up session. In some legislators' view, the greatest failure of the session was the loss of a bill allowing licensed citizens to carry concealed handguns. After Graves vetoed the bill, neither house could get close enough to the two-thirds vote needed to override to even offer a motion. Graves said he was not con- vinced the law was needed or that a majority of Kansans supported it. A package of tax cuts that passed will save Kansas citizens and businesses some $119 million next year and $171 million in the following year. Graves proposed in his State of the State speech that the pz'operty tax levy imposed under the 1992 School Finance Act be reduced from 35 to 25 mills over two years — a reduction that would have saved the owner of a $50,000 home $57.75 a year in school property taxes by 1998-99. The Legislature opted for an 8- mill reduction to 27 in one year, and also allowed a $20,000 homestead exemption on residential property. That combination will save $108.35 a year in taxes on a $50,000 home in 1997-98. Property owners will double those savings if they have a $100,000 home or triple them if they have a $150,000 home. Businesses also will benefit from the 8-mill reduction from the 35-mill levy that was in effect last year, with the total in property tax reduction pegged at nearly $94 million in 1997-98 and at $139 million in 1998-99. Single taxpayers will see their income tax rates equalized with those of married couples over a four-year period, saving them $16 million next year. Also, those who adopt children will get an income tax credit to help defray those expenses, a $2 million break. School districts also got a $12 million bump in the state aid they receive. The tax relief-school finance law increases to $3,670 from $3,648 the per-pupil base budget for elementary and secondary education. Increased funding for at-risk students, large school districts and those with declining enrollments added $22 million in the school finance bill. Additionally, the Legislature on Saturday sent Graves a bill allowing school districts to renew their local option budgets at 100 percent next year, and to keep them there permanently in future years if voters approve. LOB renewal and a provision to allow districts that receive federal impact aid to keep most of it added nearly $8 million to the increases in state aid to public education this year — for a total of $42 million. Another touted bill was one creating the Kansas Tax Equity and Fairness Act of 1997, a massive revision of Department of Revenue policies and procedures designed to make the big tax agency more "consumer friendly." Probably the most noticeable change as far as individual taxpayers are concerned is a new property tax statement counties will be required to send out. Starting in the 1998 tax year, the new statements will list prior and current year information on appraised valuation, taxes levied, mill levies for each taxing unit and the change in those mill levies. The new law also streamlines the tax appeal process, replacing the formal hearing with an infor- mal conference and expedited decision. Appeals must be decided within nine months. Other legislation approved this session will: • Delay until July 1,1999, implementation of water quality standards adopted in 1994. A commission appointed by Graves will study the scientific basis for those standards and recommend whether they should stand. • Implement requirements of the Kennedy-Kassebaum federal health insurance law, designed to help more people obtain or retain coverage. Attached was an amendment that requires physicians to provide information to women who seek abortions and to meet with them to answer questions. • Restrict the fund-raising of candidates for state offices while the Legislature is in session. Also, candidates for the Legislature and statewide offices will not be able to accept or solicit contributions from businesses, unions, lobbyists or political action committees. SAUNA CITY COMMISSION ACTION The Salina City Commission: • Approved phase two of vehicle and equipment bids of a total of $129,690 for a half-ton pickup for the fire department, two mid-size pickups for the Permits and Inspections Department, a 4-wheel drive utility vehicle for the police watch commander, a pickup for the Health Department, a minivan for the Information Services Department and a wheelchair lift for the Bicentennial Center. • Tentatively approved an application by Mowery Clinic requesting a change in zoning to allow an expansion of the clinic. The clinic is planning to build on to its building at 671 Elmore. The addition would extend south to occupy the site at 713 E. Crawford. • Approved an ordinance request- ing rezoning of lots in the GICO addition southeast of the intersection of Ohio and Crawford streets. • Approved the removal of city ordinances pertaining to public dances and the operating and licensing of dance halls. • Approved amending an ordinance on fireworks to include the ban of possession of certain fireworks in the city. • Approved vertical expansion of the Salina Landfill. The cells would be increased by 15 to 20 feet. The extension could extend the life of the existing cells by nine months into mid-1998. • Approved plans and specifications for subdivision improvements in the Woodland Hills Estates Addition east of Seitz Drive in east Salina. Property owners would be assessed the full $426,000 for street and utility improvements. • Awarded a $217,826 contract to Shears Construction for storm drainage improvements. • Awarded a $335,783 contract to Shears Construction for Magnolia Road improvements. $150,000 for the project will come from the city. The rest will be paid by Warmack Partnership, Central Mall owners. Neighbors don't want apartment complex on west Republic Street By CRISTINA JANNEY ; * The Salina Journal Tentative approval was given Monday to zoning that would allow a 28-unit apartment complex to be built at 1000 W. Republic despite protests from neighbors. " Timberline Property of Assaria requested a change in zoning from residential suburban to multi> family residential. ; The residential suburban zoning would have allowed the owner to build only a single home on the 1.9 acres of former railroad land, said Roy Dudark, director of planning and community development. City staff reports said the apartment complex would make a good buffer between residential development and the railroad. Twenty-one residents of the area signed a petition opposing the change in zoning. Residents<also attended planning commission meetings and expressed concerns about traffic, drainage and other effects on the neighborhood. City officials said the apartment complex would not significantly increase traffic in the area. The city also is requiring the builders to create a detention pond as a part of the development and pay to extend utilities to the housing complex. ' Members of the city planning commission expressed concerns about the density of the housing. The owner's plans called for four, two-story, eight-unit buildings. " The planning commission finally recommended zoning thatiis slightly more restrictive than the developers sought. That zoning would allow the developmenfr'df up to 28 units, rather than 32, : on the property. ;" f ;,";'' The property owners would have to come before the planning commission again, and more hearings would be conducted, if the owners request a conditional-use permit to build the maximum of 28 apartments on the property. None of the residents of the area were on hand Monday night to speak to city commissioners about the issue. .- Battling Batting Noise During their study session; fig- fore their regular meeting, cbln- missioners heard from a resident angry about noise being created by batting cages on Ninth Streejt in south Salina. C;* Glenn Goodwin, 2566 Highland^ said he and other residents near the batting cages wanted the ciiy to take action to stop the noise. :£ The noise is so loud at times re£ idents can't hear their televisioifc for the sound of balls smackihjj the back stop, Goodwin said. •£;*.,,' He said the company that the cages, the Sonic Drive- 2615 Market Place, has stopped;«£- sponding to neighbors' request^tp do something about the noise. •'>; Kissinger said the city could not take any legal action against the company because the noise \#a* being created in the operation bfSi legitimate business. ~~ The city will continue to wo>$ with the company to decrease ihj noise, he said. •'*•«•. " STUDENT ACHIEVERS South speech students place at state Salina South High School students placed in the State Class 5A State Speech Championship Saturday with three students finishing as state champions. The state champions are Kristina Von Fange in prose and Michelle Vignery and John Henningsen in improvised duet acting. Also placing in the top sixth of their event were: Micah Catlin, third in Lincoln-Douglas debate; .Josh Morris and Mike Temple, iixth in improvised duet acting, jjjouth students who advanced info semi-finals were: Molly Chamoff in oration; Leslie Ahlvers in dramatic interpretation; Jana Nichol in informative; and Derek Bonin in poetry. South students also participated in the State Speech and Drama Festival where students are rated on their performance instead of ranked. South students receiving the top ratings were: Adam Martin in extemporaneous speaking, Matt Gerry in humorous interpretation, Julie Quackenbush in prose, Vincent Nguyen in prose, Andrea Ring in prose, Alexis Jones in prose, Amara Anderson in prose, Shaun Morrell in poetry and Megan Weaver in poetry. Vo-tech students sweep state contest Salina Area Vocational-Technical School students captured eight first-place, six second-place and seven third-place awards at the Kansas Vocational Industrial Clubs of America last month. The first-place students qualify for the national competition in June in Kansas City, Mo. The club's contests involve written examinations and hands-on tests related to the students' area of interest. The Salina school was recognized for having the largest increase in memberships in the organization and for having the third largest membership in Kansas. Students competed in high school and post-high school divisions in their various subjects. The winning students were: Susie Hunsecker, Lindsborg, first in post-high school advertising and design; Justin Hopp, Marquette, first place in high school diesel mechanics; Travis Robinson, Moundridge, first in post-high school diesel mechanics; Adam Musfelt, Salina, first place in high school air conditioning; Chris Dove, Great Bend, first place in post-high school air conditioning; Joe Freeman, Minneapolis, first place in high school welding; William Venn, Salina, first place in post-high school welding; Gerald Mindrup, Windom, first in post- high school VICA knowledge; Lisa Bobbitt, Great Bend, second place in post-high school advertising and design; James Farrington, Minneapolis, second place in high school diesel mechanics; Kelly Wright, Santanta, second place in post-high school architectural drafting; Anthony Harding, Salina, second place in high school air conditioning; Jeremy Jones, Salina, second place in post-high school welding; Gerald Mindrup, Windom, second place in post-high school safety; Curtis Wellbrock, Victoria, third in post-high school collision repair; Travis Longford, Brookville, third place in post- high school advertising and design; Jon Balch, Rossville, third place in post-high school diesel mechanics; Nathan Conley, Assaria, third place in high school air conditioning; and Jeremy Jones, Salina, third place in post- high school calculator math. Central students place in speech tourney Salina Central High School students hosted the Class 5A and 1A State Speech Championship on Saturday, where one of their own finished second in her category. Laura Beth Hyberger won second in Lincoln-Douglas debate. Other Central students who advanced to semi-finals in the competition were: Garrett Gottschalk and Dan Ireton in duet acting; Sarah Beth Blakey and Rachel Olson in duet acting; Kate Mclntyre in prose and Jasmine McGee in serious solo acting. At a National Forensic League qualifying tournament last Wednesday, Central students placed in student congress and individual events. Students placing were: Erin Elwick, fifth in House I; Joe Sanders, fourth in House 11; Jason Regnier, fourth in Senate; Matt Bartlett, fourth in House III; Jasmine McGee and Matt Hoppock, fifth in duo interpretation; Chris Gebhart, fifth in humorous interpretation; and Justin Meier, eighth in foreign extemporaneous speaking. Bennington, Tescott students rate superior Music students from Bennington and Tescott competed at the state music contest in April and received the top superior ratings. Tescott students were: Amy Rupurt, Jeana Nelson and Summer Lee in a saxophone trio, and Dee Ryan, Sara Fischer, Travis Rider, Sam Clark and Eric Winebrenner in the percussion ensemble. Bennington students with the top superior ratings were: Jodi Cobb in a vocal solo and Jill Wierman, Magen Mutschler, Stephine Cleveland and Jodi Cobb in the clarinet quartet. Central vocal students get superior ratings Salina Central High School vocal music students rated superior at state with the highest rating for their performances. The musical groups were the Free Spirit, Free Spirit Men and Free Spirit Women ensembles. Michelle Basye also received a superior rating for her vocal solo. 1 Solomon math students equate Solomon junior high and ele-C* mentary students competed in _£* April in the Kansas State Univjeis! sity Invitational Equations tou|j$ nament and two of the school's^>5 teams won their division. :^ The eighth-grade team of >£!* Kasey Lamb, Donnie O* Whelchel, Kathy Jungel, Bell and Wyatt Immel outscored students from ManH$t* tan and Junction City. >.,S Also winning their division ."*.£ was the team of seventh-graded^ Carissa Tracy, fifth-grader MJfcj Teel, sixth-graders Kyle \£j» Kohman, Jesse Whelchel anC> Brian Heller. -;<•*' Logan student wins ;|f poster contest :|| Kathy Noel, a fifth-grader v £ from Logan, was the state winner" of a poster contest about U.S. Sav» ings Bonds. As the state winner, Kathy's erf try will be entered in the national contest. For her state prize, she. * received a $1,000 savings bond.,., * From Staff Report!

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