SE Topeka Church's Fate Delayed 2 Weeks

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)__The future of a long standing church on Topekas Southeast side weighed on city council members shoulders Tuesday evening, plus the city saved big on the refinance of debt...

The fate of a century old church at 708 SE Lime St., was supposed to be decided Tuesday night, but the entire city council, with the exception of District 6 Councilman Chad Manspeaker, voted to defer the decision to May 7th. Councilman John Campos, who represents the district the church resides, supported the deferment and believes the community never got a chance to rally behind the church.

Campos said, "There was no community input. It is a historic building and the input of the people near the building is important and re-use is a viable option."

The Topeka City Council received a pleasant surprise when they found out the city will be able to refinance an existing debt of $36 million at a rate of 2.76%, saving ratepayers $3.4 million dollars over the next 18 years.

Principal of Columbia Capital Municpal Advisors, said, "This is similar to refinancing your home mortgage, you have a high rate and refinance to a low rate and you pick up those savings every month you make your payments. The city makes only two payments a year but it works exactly the same way."

Fresh off a successful neighborhood summit, City Manager Jim Colson says he wants to do the same with the county-wide half cents sales tax. "We want to have an open house forum that we can have public input as to what is important to them. Whether they want to see the extension of the sales tax go forward. We would gather that information and come back to the governing body and allow them to review it and provide direction as to how to proceed."

History was also made tonight as Councilman Manspeaker noted the board appointed Stephanie Mott, its first openly transgendered woman, to the city's Human Rights Commission.