By ELLY GRIMM
• Leader & Times
The Liberal City Commission took on a short agenda at its most recent meeting Tuesday night with only two official items on the agenda up for discussion.
The first of the two agenda items was an update from director Ivanhoe Love Jr. and officers of Adolescent Support Services about their truancy program. They had given similar presentations at recent USD 480 Board of Education and Seward County Commission meetings about how the program is going.
The truant officers each had a student with them to tell how the program has helped them since they started working with their respective officers.
“I’ve got a firsthand look at how unique our program is, and I’ve seen how beneficial it is to our community,” said Jennifer Harvey, one of the three truancy officers in attendance.
“Once I started, it was difficult, but I think it was helpful for me to be in the truancy program because it pushes you, it pushes you to go further than what you expect,” added Jennifer Cuevas, one of the students who was enrolled in the program. “I actually enjoyed being in there because the truancy teachers always check up on your grades and are reminding you to keep up with your work.”
During the update on the program, Love said while there was an increase in the amount of students going through the program, there was also an increase of the number of students graduating from both the truancy program and high school. The other students in attendance talked about how being with the program helped them improve in school and got them motivated again.
The commission moved on to the other item up for discussion, a tax increment financing (TIF) policy proposal. TIF is a method of financing public costs associated with a private development project. TIF provides a means of encouraging public investment in underdeveloped areas, which will allow the city to use future property tax collections to finance development costs. The commission unanimously approved the proposal.
Jeff Parsons, director of economic development, emphasized this proposal would not result in increased sales taxes or property taxes and any upcoming projects could be funded by revenue bonds, general obligation bonds or on a pay-as-you-go basis.
He added there would be no private financing, and the tax revenues would go back to paying off those bonds.
After discussion of the TIF proposal, City Manager Mark Hall gave his report during which he talked about the work staff was doing around the city due to the recent rains. He also talked about how he was pleased at the recent landing of Alina the learning jet and the opening of the gun range.
After Hall’s report, items from commissioners, including commissioner Janet Willimon talked about an upcoming anniversary softball game at Rosel Field and the other commissioners thanked city staff for their work.
After the approval of the vouchers, Mayor Joe Denoyer declared the meeting adjourned at 7:21 p.m.
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