The direction of sales tax revenues offers one window on a community’s economy. In 2017, Lindsborg sales tax collections went up 8.78 percent as compared to 2016 -- and that's welcome news.
City administrator Greg DuMars reminds us that sales tax alone is an imperfect window — mostly because such a range of factors influence it, among them energy use and food purchases. However, Greg said it is reasonable to believe that an increased number of visitors to Lindsborg accounts for some of this sales tax increase.
Because sales tax collections from people outside the community help pay for city services that residents use, we’re certainly glad for this particular 2017 report. It also means we're on the right track in attracting dollars to Lindsborg.
Also of note:
• Lindsborg makes an appearance another list on the website of a national organization that studies and ranks small- and mid-sized cities. Livability.com just included Lindsborg on its current list of eight cool places that differentiate themselves through their European feel. We believe that everyone who reads this newsletter contributes to that feel, and many beyond that. So we thank you for helping bring distinction to our town. https://livability.com/topics/community/8-us-towns-that-make-you-feel-like-youre-in-europe
• From 1-4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20, the City of Lindsborg will throw open the doors to our new emergency medical services building, just south of the Lindsborg Safety Center. We encourage you to tour it if possible and learn more about these vital services. The new building allows perishable and expensive medicines and medical equipment on the City’s two EMS rigs to be stored at proper temperatures in a cleaner environment. The building also allows for overnight stays by EMS personnel serving Lindsborg but who live in other communities, thus allowing the City to throw a wider net for staffing and avoid EMS burnout. Finding and training volunteers and properly equipping emergency rigs will be an ongoing challenge for small cities like Lindsborg, just as public safety as a whole will be. If you meet someone who works with Lindsborg EMS or another public safety element, please shake their hand and thank them.
• Volunteers who have been exploring the possibility of a VikeFest for Lindsborg early next month are refocusing on 2019 for the inaugural event, including Vikes on Bikes running along the Meadowlark Trail. It should be worth waiting for. Meanwhile, please keep your inner Viking on tap.
• If you want visual exploration for yourself or your family on a wintry weekend, please consider dropping by the Birger Sandzen Memorial Art Gallery. For those who like to explore chamber music, the Sandzen hosts a concert at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 14, with tenor Scott Wichael and pianist J. Bradley Baker.
• Bethany College professor Nelson Smith and KSU art professor Geraldine Craig are seeking donations of sewing patterns for a piece of art they have been asked to create for the KU Med Center-Salina. The piece, titled "Pulse," will use layered pattern pieces to build a surface suggesting the architecture of the body. Drop any patterns, any number, by the Sandzen Gallery or at the Smith-Craig home studio in Lindsborg at 314 N. 1st. Warm congratulations to Dr. Smith and Dr. Craig on receiving this commission.