Manhattan’s sales tax revenue is off to a strong start this year. It saw an 11.3 percent increase from January 2018 to January 2019.

The city had $1.01 million in sales tax revenue, according to the January sales tax report from the state, which reflects revenue distributed from November sales.

This is an increase of $103,077 from January 2018’s sales tax revenue of $910,179.

In particular, the revenue levels saw the biggest gains in retail trade ($35,863 increase), wholesale trade ($26,776 increase) and food service ($12,703 increase).

The city also received $104,464 over the budgeted amount for January. This comes after a year in which the city consistently struggled to reach the targeted amount of revenue.

In 2018, the city generated $11.13 million in sales tax revenue, a 1.6 percent increase compared to 2017. However, the revenue generated amounted to $189,313 less than budgeted for the year.

Sales tax revenue has increased eight of 12 months in 2018. At the same time, revenue declined compared to the budgeted amount during nine of the 12 months.

City administrators set the 2018 budget by using 2016 receipts in its projections.

In 2016, the city set a sales tax revenue record with nearly $11.2 million generated.

Theater opening

The Flint Hills Discovery Center is reopening its Horizon Ranch Immersive Theater next week.

The center is hosting a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 2 p.m. Tuesday.

The center renovated the theater last month after receiving a $417,950 donation from Marty Vanier.

Vanier’s donation funded the purchase of four laser projectors from Communications Electronic Design of Louisville, Kentucky, and a two-year agreement with nWave of Los Angeles for additional films to show in the theater.

In addition to the traditional “Tides of Time” showing, the Discovery Center will also show a new short feature film, “Robinson Crusoe.”

Questions

Who’s ready for another survey?

The city government will conduct its biennial community survey in March to gauge the community’s satisfaction or dissatisfaction with city services and quality of life issues.

The survey also will ask about the level of support for future growth initiatives.

For the first time, the survey will be completely online. The city mailed surveys in previous years.

This year, the city will use the email addresses of utility billing customers to send the survey link to a random sample.

City servants

The Manhattan City Commission approved the following board appointments during its Tuesday meeting:

  • Misty Opat, 308 Highland Pointe Drive, has been appointed to fill the unexpired term of Jarrod Laudemann on the Aggieville Business Improvement District Advisory Board. Her term began immediately and will end Dec. 31.
  • Scott Sieben, 2233 Buckner Drive, has been appointed to fill the unexpired term of Stacy Lambert on the Aggieville Business Improvement District Advisory Board. His term began immediately and will end Dec. 31, 2020.
  • Nicholas Dyer, 1113 South Mill Point Circle, has been appointed to fill the unexpired term of Darren Baker on the Cemetery Advisory Board. His term began immediately and will end Dec. 31, 2021.
  • Patrick Schutter of Wamego has been appointed to fill the unexpired builder term of Ron Hageman on the Code Appeals Board. His term began immediately and will end May 31.

The commission also approved the following board appointments during its Jan. 29 meeting:

  • Nichole Proffitt, 2509 Nutmeg, has been appointed to a two-year term on the Downtown Business Improvement District Advisory Board. Her term began immediately and will end Dec. 31, 2020.
  • Usha Reddi has been appointed to the city commissioner alternate position on the Flint Hills Area Transportation Agency Board. Her term began immediately.