Parkville hikes sewer bills by 10 percent

Parkville sewer customers will see a 10 percent bump in their bills after board of aldermen actions last week.

At the Tuesday, Jan. 16 regular meeting, the board of aldermen approved an increase in sewer fees. Over the last two years, fees have been bumped by 20 percent to offset costs of repair and increases in city costs to operate the sewer system. The average residential customer will see an approximately $4.17 increase per month. A public hearing was held, with no comments made.

According to director of public works Alysen Abel, the sewer fund has recently experienced several emergency expenditures at the sewer plant and sewer pump stations. Additionally, the city is in the middle of a five year capital improvement project to complete annual closed-circuit television inspections and sewer cleaning.

Abel said rates are calculated based on average water usage per household during December, January and February. Residents can control their monthly bills by conserving water.

In the area, other sewer districts are also increasing rates. The City of Kansas City has increased rates 13 percent and Platte County Regional Sewer District has also approved a rate increase, with its annual monthly bills coming out higher than Parkville’s.

The board will hold a special meeting at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 24 to discuss and potentially approve the development plan for Apex Plaza, which could include tax abatement incentives.

Last week, the board added Apex Plaza to an existing tax increment financing (TIF) district, but temporarily shelved the actual terms of the TIF proposal to further investigate options, in part due to outcry from the Park Hill School District and Mid-Continent Public Library (MCPL).

CBC Parkville, the developer of Apex Plaza, which is an approved commercial development located at Highway 45 and Melody Lane, has asked for abatement of all taxes for the maximum time period allowed under law — 23 years.

Representatives from Park Hill, MCPL and the Parkville Special Road District spoke at the Jan. 16 meeting, stating the terms of the proposed TIF would negatively impact their organizations. Additionally, they feared it would set a dangerous precedent for other developers to seek similar deals.

Park Hill assistant superintendent Dr. Paul Kelly said 75 percent of the district’s revenue is from local tax dollars, the estimated hit the district could take over the 23 year lifespan of the TIF would negatively impact the district’s ability to function and serve its patrons.

“This amounts to an involuntary contribution from the school district that equals the removal of 75 teachers from the district’s payroll,” Kelly said.