HOLCOMB — The Holcomb City Council has yet to appoint a liaison to the Finney County Economic Development Corp.’s board, even as they dispute the level of funding requested by the agency.
Holcomb Mayor Brian Rupp said during Wednesday’s meeting that he has a candidate in mind who works "in the accounting field." In the meantime, he said, he is considering attending the meetings as a liaison himself, but he would not be an official member of the board and would be left out of executive sessions.
Former Holcomb Mayor Gary Newman served as the previous liaison before his resignation in January, when he moved to eastern Kansas.
The discussion Wednesday was broached during a review of the FCEDC’s quarterly report, which suggested that the agency still anticipates Holcomb to pay $25,000 to supplement its 2018 budget. There were no representatives of the FCEDC present at Wednesday's meeting.
Holcomb council members approved a $25,000 payment in January but revised that decision at the next meeting and reneged to $15,000, an amount they feel is more proportionate to the per capita difference between Garden City and Holcomb.
For fiscal year 2017, Finney County paid the largest portion at $150,000, Garden City paid $130,000, Holcomb paid $25,000 and Garden City Community College paid $15,000.
But Rupp contended before the January approval that the assessment of FCEDC member contributions left Holcomb with a rate 2.5 times higher per capita than Garden City. He said that under the going rate, Holcomb residents pay $11.66 per person while Garden City residents only pay $4.66.
When council members walked back approval of the payment at the following meeting, City Administrator Robin Lujan said the council would need to meet with FCEDC officials to apprise them of their intentions to lower the rate to $15,000 after all.
Rupp called the FCEDC’s quarterly report “fairly vague” before reasserting the $15,000 payment agreed upon in January with backing from other council members.
Lujan said the FCEDC has requested a meeting with Rupp and another council member, and Councilman Ron Schreibvogel agreed to accompany him.
“Those are dollars that we’re sending to them,” Rupp said. “We’re responsible for our community’s tax dollars, so we need to keep a little oversight on that.”
Contact Mark Minton@gctelegram.com.