Augusta City Council discusses utility abatements for non-profits

AUGUSTA, Kan. The fate of some Augusta non-profits was a topic of concern Monday night during a city council meeting. At the meeting, council members discussed the more-than $77,000 in utility abatement request for next year. It's a number that is growing.

Non-profits like the Augusta Senior Center say the utility abatements help them financially. The city says non-profits request credits at the beginning of the year for utilities. The credits are then applied to the accounts.

If a non-profit request is $4,000 in utility costs and it uses exactly that amount in utilities, it essentially does not have to pay for utilities.

Some non-profits on the list request about half of the amount used for utility costs, so they still pay for the rest. Some request more than what their utilities end up being by the end of the year, but they don't get the extra money and it can't be carried over to the next year.

Augusta's city council Monday agreed it was too late in the year to make changes when many organizations depend on the abatements for their budgets.

The future of the program hangs in the balance as council members are concerned the program has exploded. There will be discussion in April to decide the fate of the program.