HOLCOMB — The discussion on changing Holcomb’s ordinance on allowing chickens to live in city limits continues as the Holcomb City Council once again voted to table the discussion as the full governing body was not present at Wednesday’s regularly scheduled meeting.

It's the second time the council has tabled discussion of the proposal.

“At the last meeting, we made the decision to have a full council (to make the decision), and tonight we don’t have a full council,” Holcomb Mayor Gary Newman said, referring to Councilman's Scott Homer's absence.

At their last meeting in September, council members discussed the possibility of changing city ordinance to allow chickens in city limits after resident Anthony Zukoff brought the suggestion to the council’s attention. Zukoff told the council that he would like to have the ordinance changed so he can have chickens on his property once again. He previously had six chickens on his property for about three years, until a Holcomb police officer notified him they were not allowed in city limits.

The council was split on the idea at the September meeting, with councilmen Jerry Quint and Homer saying they wouldn't have a problem with allowing chickens in city limits, and councilmen Mark Richmeier and Brian Rupp speaking out in opposition. Newman also shared concerns about the proposed change.

All had the same views at the Oct. 11 meeting, when the discussion was previously tabled because not all council members were present.

After tabling the issue again on Wednesday, Newman apologized to Zukoff.

“I just want to make sure we have a full council,” Newman said, adding that the discussion will be on the agenda for the council’s next meeting on Nov. 8.

Also during Wednesday’s meeting, both City of Garden City and Finney County officials gave a presentation on the proposed county-wide .3-cent sales tax increase that will be on the Nov. 7 ballot.

The interlocal sales tax agreement would help pay for improvements to a section of Jennie Barker Road approximate to the intersection at Kansas Highway 156; ongoing improvements to Lee Richardson Zoo; construction and operation of an 11,068-square-foot indoor shooting range intended for use by local law enforcement and the public; and construction, operation and maintenance of a 15,061-square-foot fire station on the city’s east side.

“This sales tax will generate about $2 million a year for the 15 years,” Lon Pishny, County Commission chairman said. “… About 50 percent of that revenue will come from out-of-county people, so that’s why we think the sales tax is the way to fund some of these projects rather than to burden our local taxpayers with property taxes.”

From that projected $2 million, about $85,000 of that will go to Holcomb unrestricted, Pishny said, meaning the money could be used for what Holcomb see as the best fit.

“Because it’s a county-wide tax, Holcomb will benefit from that,” he said. “That’s such an important thing for this city to understand.”

During the presentation, Holcomb Councilman Brian Rupp questioned if there have been any traffic studies to see if there is a need to update Jennie Barker Road.

County Administrator Randy Partington said county engineers would know better if there were any recent study.

Pishny, who said he lives in a housing edition in the eastern part of the county near Jennie Barker Road, said he has seen the traffic increase — particularly with vehicles with out-of-county tags — since Schulman Crossing’s shopping center was added.

Newman said personally he supports the tax increase.

“Doing it through a sales tax makes so much sense for us because we're such a hub for different things — retail and different attractions. Common sense tells me these projects are going to get done one way or another, I mean they’re going to have to be done,” he said. “As a taxpayer in Finney County, I’d rather benefit from visitors coming in and utilizing that.”

Contact Josh Harbour at jharbour@gctelegram.com.