City Commissioners unanimously approved the 2021 Legislative Policy Agenda during Tuesday’s meeting, setting Atchison priorities for the state and federal legislatures. The agenda is given to state and federal elected officials as a guide on issues that impact Atchison residents directly.
Home Rule principals are of chief concern when it comes to municipalities in regards to state politics. Home Rule allows local elected officials – the most direct voice of local residents – decide on policy that most impacts this community. Highlights of the policy specific to Atchison include protecting the current countywide sales tax distribution method, calling for countywide transportation funding equity, asking for state support of highways in city limits to be fully funded, equitable alcohol laws and regulations when compared to neighboring states, a statewide look at housing issues, and US Highway 59 flood aversion measures east of the Amelia Earhart Bridge.
“Our elected officials use our policy agenda to help them determine what most effects constituents from Atchison,” City Manager Becky Berger said. “With the sheer volume of legislation that is discussed each year, the policy agenda helps narrow the focus on issues that impact our residents.”
A copy of the policy agenda is here.
In addition to the policy agenda, commissioners also approved an amendment to the Arbor Lane Agreement, set a show cause hearing for demolition of two residential garages that are in disrepair, approved the employee COVID-19 policy update extending leave allowance through July, re-appointed Justin Bottorff to the Airport Advisory Board for another four-year term, heard a weeds enforcement program update and discussed an ordinance that would establish a vacant property registry.
The vacant property registry ordinance would charge fees to property owners who have vacant property that is not up to code or owe back taxes. That ordinance was discussed with the promise of more discussion at the Feb. 1 meeting with the goal of considering the measure for adoption at the Feb. 16 meeting.
In other business, commissioners approved a resolution supporting the creation of a Kansas Main Street chapter in Atchison, approved a lease agreement with Evergy and approved a resolution that allows the redemption and payment of Industrial Revenue Bonds for Atchison Hospitality Group.
The next regular city commission meeting is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 1.