County news

The Dickinson County Commission approved a property tax exemption for a Woodbine business that specializes in heating and cooling services.

The commission voted unanimously on May 23 to exempt certain real property owned by Red Line Development, LLC, doing business as KVK, located at 108 N. Nebraska Ave., in Woodbine.

The exemption is for a period of 10 years, based on a declining percentage each year.

“It starts year one at 100 percent, then drops down 10 percent each year — 90, 80, 70 and so on to year ten with 10 percent,” commented Commission Chairman Lynn Peterson.

County Counselor Doug Thompson said the land the business sits on is valued at $14,596.30 with improvements valued at $296,458.86. The company recently constructed a new building in the city of Woodbine.

County Appraiser Bruce Wright approved the application, Thompson said.

Dickinson County has a resolution which allows government entities to grant property tax exemptions for qualifying businesses as an economic development tool, explained County Administrator Brad Homman.

The county received an email from a Liberty Township board member expressing the board’s support for the tax abatement.

Besides Dickinson County, the city of Woodbine also granted a property tax exemption for the company, however, the Rural Vista school district did reject it, Thompson said.

Alarm monitoring

As a perk for employees who have alarm systems, the commission approved a change to county policy regarding dispatching and monitoring alarms.

Since 2000, the county’s 911 Dispatch center has monitored alarms for residences and commercial locations, providing 24/7 monitoring for those with alarm systems, Homman said.

“Over that time we have not charged emergency personnel — sheriff’s deputies, fire personnel — if they had alarms in their own personnel residences,” Homman explained. “We would like to extend that to cover every county employee. We don’t have a lot of county employees that have alarm systems, but there are a few.

“It’s just another added perk to work for the county. There’s really no revenue loss on our part,” he continued. “We have enough private alarms that pay for that system.”

Peterson commented that having Dispatch monitor the alarms is a significant savings in terms of response time.

Homman agreed, explaining that having a company outside Kansas monitoring alarms causes a delay in notifying local law enforcement.

“It all comes down to accuracy and timeliness. If you have a fire alarm, emergency or holdup alarm, seconds are critical when it comes to getting people notified,” Homman said. “In our case, within seven to 10 seconds from the time an alarm is activated, it’s on a screen in Dispatch and they dispatch the appropriate personnel.”

If an out-of-state company were doing the monitoring it could take five to 10 minutes to dispatch the appropriate emergency personnel.

“Five to 10 minutes can be a long time when you’re waiting on emergency personnel to be responding,” Homman concluded.

In other matters, the commission:

• Accepted the resignation of Deanne Caughron, Sherman Township treasurer and approved Heather Hill to serve as treasurer.

Hill was recommended by the Sherman Township board.

• Heard from Peterson that Matt Townsend, Herington city manager, and Brad Jantz, Herington city attorney, met with the commission during work session and updated them on Herington’s plans to annex land on the east side of that city.

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

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

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