CORONAVIRUS: City commissioners weighing potential options for remaining 2020 appropriations Featured

CORONAVIRUS: City commissioners weighing potential options for remaining 2020 appropriations KVOE News File Photo

With transient guest tax revenues estimated to decrease by $400,000 due to COVID-19, Emporia City Commissioners will have some hard decisions to make regarding the remaining 2020 appropriations.

Commissioners were presented with this information during their recent study session Wednesday morning during which time city treasurer Janet Harouff explained some of the 2020 payments have been made, however, three appropriations still remain for the Granada Theatre, Emporia Arts Council and Red Rocks State Historic Site. According to Harouff if the city decided to move forward and make the remaining payments it could significantly impact the transient guest tax fund both currently and in the future.


Harouff says current projections show paying the total amount would drop the fund from $500,000 to around $300,000. She adds that the commission also has the option to either prorate the appropriations, deny them or dip into reserve funds with the knowledge that in future years they may not be able to fund as many entities as they do now.

Commissioner Rob Gilligan says before the city can make any of these decisions he would like to see a plan of how each organization would utilize these funds if they were provided as planned.


According to Harrouff, as of now, the city has fulfilled its allocation to Emporia Main Street and its yearly contribution to Emporia State University's Welch Stadium. The Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce receives a portion of the transient guest tax as it comes in and so far has received $193,000.

Additionally, the city has decided it will not be making its appropriations for certain special events this year such as the Glass Blown Open and Junior Worlds disc golf tournaments due to the cancellation of both events. The city is currently withholding an allocation for the Dirty Kanza as they wait to see if the event will take place for certain according to Harrouff.

In other business, commissioners unanimously approved an agreement with the Emporia Recreation Commission for the operation of the Jones Aquatic Center for the 2020 season during a special action session. A condition was added to the contract that if the ERC decided not to open the pool this year, which they did unanimously during a special meeting Wednesday evening, the contract would be "null and void."

Before the ERC's decision not to open the aquatic center, commissioner Jon Geitz stated that if ever there was a year the pool needed to be opened it is this year.


In other business, commissioners discussed two requests for alterations to ordinances regarding fluoridation at the city's water plant and service pipes. Those items will be on the city's action agenda for potential approval next week. Additionally, commissioners reviewed the city's Community Improvement Plan, utility payment, a contract extension for Hamm Waste Services and the Emporia Farmer's Market opening.

The city commission will convene for an action session next Wednesday. The meeting will be viewable on the city's Facebook page.

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Last modified on Wednesday, 27 May 2020 18:15