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County hopeful about proposed tax

5/7/2013

By RANDY GONZALES

By RANDY GONZALES

rgonzales@dailynews.net

Ellis County Commission Chairman Dean Haselhorst expressed optimism Monday night about the chances of passage of a proposed county sales tax.

"I've heard a lot of good things; people are very supportive," he said near the end of Monday night's regular meeting at the Ellis County Courthouse. "I hope it shows in the polls."

Voters will decide at a May 14 special election whether to approve a 0.5-percent county sales tax, which would go toward construction of an EMS/rural fire building as well as expansion and renovation to the county jail, Law Enforcement Center and courthouse.

The cost of the project would be $12.3 million, with total cost approximately $14.3 million after interest. The tax would sunset after five years, or when the project is paid off, whichever comes sooner.

Ellis County Administrator Greg Sund said he "still (hasn't) heard a negative campaign, concentrated effort" to defeat the proposed sales tax.

"I think it will" pass, Haselhorst said. "I'm excited, positive."

The commissioners had a public hearing for a resolution Monday to change the boundaries of Rural Water District No. 1C.

Commissioners passed an amended resolution, excluding the southern half of section 1-14-19 until the water board receives permission from the Trego water district. The change in the district's boundaries adds 11 water meters. For the map of the new boundaries, go to hdnews.net.

In other business, commissioners:

* Heard a report on road and bridge priorities.

* Approved the recommendation from the Ellis County Joint Planning Commission to not approve any suggested changes to the comprehensive plan.

* Reappointed Dean Denning as Ellis County appraiser to another four-year term.

* Approved the March monthly financial report.

* Approved a resolution allowing the county to opt out of GAAP accounting rules.

* Approved a resolution for support of Developmental Services of Northwest Kansas, asking the governor to consider the effects of changes in Medicaid and health care on those with disabilities.

* Discussed accounting software conversion, with consensus implementation would be at a later date.

Commissioner Barbara Wasinger was not present at Monday's meeting.