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COLUMBUS — Columbus is looking to grow its property tax base by grabbing land from industrial areas currently considered outside the city limits.

The city will ask the Platte County Board of Supervisors to review 13 properties within three different industrial areas to determine whether they meet the state requirements for industrial use.

City Administrator Tara Vasicek believes all of the properties can be removed from the industrial tracts, which fall under the county’s jurisdiction, and annexed by the city. That move would boost the city’s property tax revenue.

The industrial tracts are all within or adjacent to the borders of Columbus — with one just northwest of Platte County Agricultural Park, another between Howard Boulevard/U.S. Highway 81 and 26th Street from 53rd to 55th avenues and a third south of the Union Pacific Railroad tracks near Third Avenue.

Among the properties identified by Vasicek, eight are owned by individuals, three by limited liability companies, one by Westside Ind. Corp. and another by Sapp Bros., although it’s not the truck stop.

State law allows a city to request a county review of industrial areas every other year, but Vasicek said that hasn’t been done locally since 2010.

Properties can be removed from those tracts if they aren’t being used for industrial purposes, haven’t been improved for seven years or don’t meet local zoning regulations.

According to Vasicek, the 13 properties identified either aren’t being used for industrial purposes or have been vacant for at least seven years.

In other business, Columbus City Council voted Monday night to pay $49,600 to update the city’s Americans with Disabilities Act transition plan.

The Schemmer Associates Inc. of Omaha will review numerous city facilities to identify any “deficiencies” when it comes to handicapped-accessibility and provide options and estimated costs to remedy these issues.

The plan, which is required by the Civil Rights Act, hasn’t been updated in Columbus since the mid-1990s.

City Engineer Rick Bogus said there isn’t a specific timeline for when any of the issues identified would need to be resolved.

“We just have to keep following the plan,” he said.

The review will cover City Hall, Columbus Public Library, Columbus Aquatic Center, the airport administration building, central maintenance facility, pro shops at Quail Run and Van Berg golf courses, parks department building and Wilderness, Gerrard, Centennial, East Pawnee and West Pawnee parks, including the baseball and football stadiums.



Tyler Ellyson is editor of The Columbus Telegram.

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