County news

An independent tax assessment on a grain elevator in Talmage has determined that Dickinson County’s appraisal was too high.

County Administrator Brad Homman told commissioners Thursday, Oct. 31 the county and elevator owner MKC agreed to share the cost of hiring an independent appraiser that specializes in those types of structures.

MKC had appealed the county’s appraisal value.

“They would pay half and we would pay half with the understanding we would both agree with whatever that assessment is,” Homman said. “Not necessarily to our surprise, the assessment did come in lower.”

Homman related that County Appraiser Bruce Wright said the state is in the process of redefining how those types of structures are appraised.

“There’s not much guidance from the state on how to do it,” Homman said. “And the fact the elevator is no longer used has a big impact on its appraised value.

“It’s not used anymore because they do more trucking out of there and rail service than any storage in the elevator,” Homman added.

The new appraisal means the county will take an approximate $18,000 hit on property taxes, Homman said.

“It’s somewhat substantial. I think we’ll probably see some others coming in doing appeals as well, but this will also give Bruce an adjustment and some guidance on how to do them in the future,” he added.

“I guess the good news is we’re doing it accurately and I think MKC feels that’s the case. The bad news is there will be less taxes coming into the county for that,” Homman said.

CUP approved for new Vet Clinic

A conditional use permit for a veterinary clinic located north of Hope was approved Thursday, Oct. 31 by the Dickinson County Commission.

The permit is for Countryside Veterinary Services, located at 781 Kansas Highway 43, Hope, owned by Drs. Taylor and Kara Green.

Dickinson County Planning and Zoning Director Tim Hamilton told the commission the proposed use of the property is consistent with the county’s comprehensive plan. No public comments or correspondence had been received regarding the permit.

Commissioner Craig Chamberlin asked if large animals would be kept overnight at the facility. Taylor Green said if an animal needs to be hospitalized it would be kept overnight in an area built for that purpose.

Commissioner Ron Roller thanked the Greens for bringing a new business into Dickinson County and asked about state regulations regarding large animal disposal. Green said his facility did not plan to take remains; the owner would need to handle that. But in answer to the question, Green said composting is one way to handle remains.

County Administrator Brad Homman said the county’s transfer station does do large animal composting.

Law enforcement

contract

The commission approved the 2020 contract with the cities of Solomon, Hope and Enterprise for the sheriff’s department to provide law enforcement for those cities.

Homman said Sheriff Gareth Hoffman increased the contract by one percent. The annual cost for the cities of Solomon and Enterprise is $96,662.16 each, while the contract for Hope is $28,995.60 because officers are not contracted to spend as much time in that city.

All other services and provisions are the same on all three contracts. The contracts will go back to the sheriff and each community to be signed.

Commission Chairman Lynn Peterson commented that the sheriff’s department does provide countywide law enforcement, but dedicates certain amounts of time to the cities covered in the contract.

“They are required to spend so many hours a month in those communities and respond and handle all calls and school zones in those communities as well,” Homman explained.

Seized vehicles

declared surplus

The commission declared four vehicles seized by the Drug Task Force as surplus to be sold on Purple Wave, the online auction site.

The vehicles are a 2014 Volkswagen Jetta, a 2011 Nissan Altima, a 2009 Ford Fusion and a 2017 Nissan Sentra.

Peterson noted the Sentra was not a very old vehicle.

Homman noted all the vehicles had been seized through asset forfeiture provisions, meaning they were taken because of violations. Thus, they will be sold and the revenue will go into the county’s asset forfeiture fund.

“The 2017 (Nissan) is going to be a non-highway title because it’s been altered with hidden compartments and such so it will have to be a salvage title,” Homman explained. “It will be sold as parts only. It can’t be registered or titled in the state anymore.”

Other matters

• Homman told commissioners a bridge located at 3465 Sage Road in the northeast corner of the county in Fragrant Hill Township was not selected for participation in Kansas Department of Transportation’s local bridge program.

Contact Kathy Hageman at reporter@abilene-rc.com.

Contact Tim Horan at editor@abilene-rc.com.

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