Five things to know from this week’s Pittsburg City Commission meeting

Staff Reports / news@morningsun.net

1. Commissioner Cheryl Brooks was not at the meeting. 

2. Several people spoke during public input. Topics discussed included Evergy’s customer service compared to the city’s and the idea of the city incentivizing Braum’s to expand its Pittsburg location. Other speakers questioned the legality of procedures during this week’s Planning Commission/Board of Zoning Appeals meeting and whether Rural Housing Incentive Districts are beneficial to taxpayers, and thanked the city for the temporary warming shelter it provided during recent cold weather. 

3. The commission held a public hearing on the establishment of the Villas at Creekside - Phase I Rural Housing Incentive District (RHID) in an area west of Pittsburg High School and south of Fourth Street and the adoption of a plan for the development of housing and public facilities in the district. Local resident Bill Strenth spoke during the hearing, again questioning the legality of the recent Planning Commission/Board of Zoning Appeals meeting, but City Attorney Henry Menghini said it did not affect the decision to establish the RHID, which the commission proceeded to vote unanimously to do. 

4. The commission also approved an Economic Development Advisory Committee recommendation to provide JMAC QOZ Business II, LLC, up to $250,000 to support infrastructure improvements for the RHID in which the company will design and build the road into the neighborhood and later be reimbursed for the cost of completing the road, and to provide a $750,000 loan to the company to be repaid over five years at 1% interest beginning in 2022.  

5. Under non-agenda reports and requests, Public Utilities Director Matt Bacon asked the commission to approve a loan agreement addendum to name Earles Engineering as contractual consultant for a Kansas Department of Health and Environment loan, and also noted that another engineering firm, Olsson, has submitted a traffic study for Villas at Creekside to the Kansas Department of Transportation.