To the editor:

I recently attended an informational presentation by the Leavenworth County administrator. He explained to us what is being done concerning projects underway and others proposed.

It was enlightening and worth attending. I appreciate audience participation. We were able to ask questions and express concerns. Everyone was respectful and all went well. A voter being able to directly ask questions of our leaders is good. I am not in favor of writing questions on cards to be screened by a moderator.

A common concern is the condition of roads in our county. Another concern relates to the increase in real estate tax.

I realize the state regulates the appraisal process but I certainly hope the county commissioners will place a cap on the amount of taxes placed upon our property.

According to an article in the Leavenworth Times dated Feb. 28, it was stated that 263 homes were built in the county in 2018.

These homes represent millions of dollars of taxable property which did not exist in 2017, but generated a considerable amount of new revenue, also not available in 2017.

Why are the rest of us punished because some new homes were built?

The administrator explained that the county collects building permit fees for homes built outside of cities and those fees are to be spent within the townships which generated such fees.

At this time, I will again focus on the Urban Growth Management Area plan. Under this plan as I understand, the city will impose a building permit and code enforcement authority within the three-mile area outside of the city, but would provide no city services to those taxpayers not within the city.

Will the building permit fees be spent to benefit the taxpayers living outside of the city, or will that money go to the general fund of the city to benefit city residents and city projects?

For those county residents concerned about the maintenance of roads outside of the city, just think about this. Will your tax dollars go to the city and your roads go to pot?

In a previous letter to the editor, I stated a criticism of a portion of the UGMA. I have since learned the information was not accurate. 

Many of us county residents are concerned about this UGMA and its impact upon us. If information is not forthcoming from city leaders, our only alternative is to do our own research.

I have discovered updated versions of the comprehensive plan. Section 19-2908, according to the Kansas Office of Revisor of Statutes, existing buildings destroyed will not be subject to denial of rebuilding.

If I have made mistakes, I will be the first to admit it. I merely want to find out how the UGMA will affect county residents.

I discovered another section which needs to be made public – Section 19-2955. The authority of any improvement district to adopt or enforce zoning regulations under the authority of this act shall cease and terminate on the date the county in which the district is located adopts and places in effect zoning regulations affecting lands and buildings located within such district.

This is very clear. Contact your Leavenworth County commissioner and ask that a county building permit and zoning authority be implemented. This should be established before considering the UGMA. If not, will your building permit fees and other assessments go to the city and not to effectively maintain your roads?

The county roads need attention. If a resident wishes to build outside of a city, those fees should go to the county and used to benefit county residents.