Letters (March 3, 2010)


Pipeline will generate almost $60 million

 

In a recent letter to the editor, former state representative candidate Harry Bennett requested support of Rep. Brookens’ efforts to take back the property tax exemption granted to Keystone-TransCanada.

Bennett also stated that Sen. Barnett and I voted for this exemption in 2006 and that the 10-year loss of property tax could have generated $1.9 million to Marion County.

In an effort to draw businesses to Kansas and encourage expansion of existing Kansas utilities, the exemption bill was an economic development package that granted tax exemptions to a combination of utility/energy-related enterprises: (1) the $500 million expansion of a bio-energy processing plant in Hugoton, (2) a liquefied natural gas pipeline from Wyoming to Bushton, (3) construction of another nuclear power plant, i.e., Wolf Creek II, (4) a pipeline through several counties in northern Kansas to southern Illinois, and (5) the KTC pipeline bisecting Kansas from North to South.

If the tax incentive had not been granted KTC, they most likely would have bypassed Kansas and gone through Missouri to Cushing, Okla., as originally planned.

To qualify for this tax exemption KTC had to guarantee they would supply oil to Kansas refineries. This KTC plans to do this by pumping oil from Cushing to refineries in McPherson and Coffeeville and possibly El Dorado.

Fifty years ago, Kansas had 20 refineries. Presently, Kansas produces only enough oil to keep the remaining three plants operating at one-third capacity and refines 100,000 barrels of oil per day.

It is estimated that at least half of the gas put into one’s tank is imported from out of state. It would be advantageous to Kansas taxpayers if Kansas could sell energy to other states rather than importing it (money coming into the state versus money going out).

It is estimated that over the lifespan of the KTC pipeline, it will give Marion County slightly under $60 million in tax revenue. Figure it out. Without the 10-year exemption, the pipeline was planned to go south through Missouri with no monies to Kansas or Marion County; with the exemption, around $60 million to Marion County alone.

It is interesting to note that some of the same people who are criticizing this tax-exemption vote and decry the loss of non-existent money to Kansas and Marion County are the same ones who praised Gov. Sebelius and Sec. Bremby for their bogus carbon dioxide standards based upon fraudulent global-warming statistics. This hoax cost Kansas millions of dollars in that only half of the planned Holcomb plant will be built, and the construction of a new oil refinery was scared away from St. Marys to South Dakota.

I would suggest that people who care about the long-term economic prosperity of Marion County and Kansas should urge Rep. Brookens to not support any measure that would rescind (or renege on) the tax exemption granted KTC.

This type of action is extremely destructive and would most likely result in an expensive lawsuit that Kansas would eventually lose. More importantly, it sends the negative message to “start-up” enterprises or companies that might move to Kansas that our state cannot be trusted: “To avoid expensive litigation, don’t do business in Kansas; they don’t honor their contracts.”

Donald L. Dahl

Hillsboro

 

More appreciation for HCF grants

 

The Hillsboro Police Depart­ment D.A.R.E program would like to thank the Hillsboro Community Foundation for selecting us as a grant recipient. The $500 grant will provide educational materials and supplies for the semester-long program.

D.A.R.E. teaches USD 410 fifth-graders how to resist peer pressure and the dangers associated with alcohol, tobacco, drugs and violence. I appreciate the generosity and support from the Hillsboro Community Foundation.

Additionally, I would like to thank those of you who contributed to the Hillsboro Area Impact Fund.

David Funk, D.A.R.E. officer

Hillsboro Police Dept.

 

• Big Brothers Big Sisters of Marion County would like to express its appreciation to the Hillsboro Community Foundation donors and board of directors for the $750 award made to our agency through the Hillsboro Area Impact Fund.

This donation will make a real, lasting and significant difference in the lives of children in the Hillsboro area who are participants in our Bigs in Schools program.

The children, kindergarten through eighth grade, in this program are referred to our agency by their schools to be matched with carefully screened mentors. The children’s needs may be academic, social or emotional. Their mentors meet with them once a week at their school to provide tutoring, encouragement and support.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Marion County is an agency of Kansas Big Brothers Big Sisters, which in turn is an agency of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. But Big Brothers Big Sisters of Marion County does not receive direct financial support from either agency. Each local agency is charged with raising the funding necessary to support its program.

Awards like the one we received from the Hillsboro Community Foundation increase the availability of our program to those children in need of mentoring services.

Mentoring makes a difference. Outside research has shown that children in the Bigs in School program have improved academic performance, better relationships with peers, improved self confidence and an improved attitude toward school. These improvements increase a child’s ability to be successful.

We feel that when every child has the opportunity to reach his or her full potential the entire community benefits.

We believe this donation is an investment in the lives of these children and an investment in future of the Hillsboro area. We want to applaud the foundation for its vision of that future, its generosity and its support.

Jackie Rice, director

BBBS Marion County


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