Council delays decision on business owners claim

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A downtown Topeka business owner is claiming a small victory after the city council decided to hold off on voting to deny his claim against the city.

"It's defiantly a step in the right direction and it's not a blanket no,” said Chris Schultz.

Schultz is fighting the city after he says his business along historic downtown Kansas avenue was damaged when the city did improvements to the roads and sidewalks.

'There is proof that there has been mishandling that was done on the project. Let's not dwell on it. Let’s fix it,” he pleaded.

A large crack formed in in building during the project, and he filed a claim for $116,000. City attorney's say their is no evidence to support that the work caused the damage and recommended the claim be denied even though Schultz provided details showing it was caused by the project.

"There is nothing new in this information is not going to change. We're going to recommend denial,” city attorney , Lisa Robertson.

But some council members were not comfortable making a decision Tuesday night without more time. The problem is, the city has to make a decision before the next council meeting to meet the statutory 120 day deadline.

"I wish that I had one more week to talk about it and to review this pack of information,” said councilman Aaron Mays.

Mays also criticized legal staff for not bringing to the council sooner so they could make an informed decision. But the council voted to make special arrangements, and voted to hold a special meeting before their budget meeting on Saturday, at 9am.

"I'm overjoyed that they, as much as I can be in this case, that they are giving us a little more time and consideration,” said Schultz

The city also heard plans for the proposed sales tax increase to make the half cent sales tax, a 3-quarter cent sales tax.

They city says they need about a million more dollars to complete the projects they have set for the future of the city's infrastructure.

The council has not said when they will vote on if they want to put it before the voters in November.