Property values along McCall Road to rise with appraisals

By The Mercury

Commercial businesses along McCall Road east of Manhattan and ag land owners countywide will see a significant increase in property values this year, according to Lois Schlegel, county appraiser.

Buildings in the McCall Road “neighborhood” will be appraised at $6.50 per square foot rather than the current $4.50 per square foot, Schlegel told Pott County Commissioners Monday.

“It’s going to make some dramatic changes in the valuation of that neighborhood,” she said. “We pretty much anticipated that with Menard’s going in.”

Too, the value of agricultural land will increase statewide this year, because of increasing commodity prices, according to Schlegel.

Non-irrigated crop land will increase an average of 13 percent, while native grass will increase an average of five percent, and tame grass, an average of three percent, she said.

The state uses an income approach to appraise agricultural land and bases the valuations on an eight-year average.

“Their main quick answer (for the increase) was the increase in commodity prices,” Schlegel said of the State Property Valuation Division.

The state determines land values for varying soil types in Kansas, which are determined by conservation districts. There are 84 different soil types in Pott County, with varying percentage increases in value scheduled for this year.

“The only thing our county is in charge of is to determine the land use — crops, native grass or tame grass,” Schlegel said.

She said there is talk at the state level of re-evaluating the method of determining the land use value of agricultural land.

In other business Monday:

• County Counselor John Watt said he has scheduled a conference call for Feb. 6, with District Judge Jeff Elder to file a journal entry and notice of sale for a county tax foreclosure sale. The date of the sale will be established shortly afterward.

Watt said there are currently 11 parcels included in the tax foreclosure, and he anticipates three of those will either be paid or disposed of prior to the sale.

• Chris Trudo, emergency management director, said he is arranging for specialized training for first responders after a semi tractor-trailer accident on Maple Hill Road.

The semi was carrying 42 head of fat cattle, some of which were killed in the accident. With two sale barns in the county, the specialized training is needed, Trudo said.

• Bruce Brazzle, fire supervisor, reported 46 structure fires in the county in 2011, resulting in a total loss of $1,580,525.

There were a total of 1,277 fire and EMS responses in 2011, he said.

So far in 2012, there have been three structure fires with a total loss of $280,000, Brazzle said.

Brazzle also said two incorporated cities — Onaga and Westmoreland — have expressed an interest in being included in a countywide consolidation of fire districts, “if and when it happens.”

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