Draft Copy Not Official Until Approved by CouncilELLIS CITY COUNCIL



February 3, 2020



Mayor David McDaniel called the regular meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. Present were Council members Steve Ferland, Martin LaBarge, Jolene Niernberger, Sam Polifka, Tricia Pritchett, and John Walz.  Also present were Public Works Director John Leiker, City Clerk Amy Burton, Police Chief Chris Krom, and City Attorney Olavee Raub. 





Kellie Crnkovich, Glen Keller, Joleen Fisher, James Bell, Verda Flinn, Pauleen Edmonds, Barbara Perkins, Doug Williams, John Fischer, Nick Keller, Nickole Byers, and Tammy Leiker (arrived at 8:07 p.m.).


Council member John Walz moved to approve the consent agenda containing the Minutes from the Regular Meeting on January 20, 2020 and Bills Ordinance #2086.  Council member Sam Polifka seconded the motion. The Council approved the consent agenda 6-0.








Tourism: Contract

Glen Keller, Tourism Committee, reported the Committee discussed the advertising opportunity with the Ellis Recreation Commission for banners at the K-18 and Co-ed Softball field and determined the banners did not fit in with the Committee’s overall advertising plan.   Council took no further action.


Sewer/Sanitation: Accounting & Billing

Council member Jolene Niernberger moved to approve the Application for Local Incentives for Gigi’s Café.  Council member Tricia Pritchett seconded the motion.  The motion carried 6-0.

Tourism: Contracts

Joleen Fisher, Tourism Committee, presented the 2020 advertising contracts for consideration.  The Committee proposes renewing the contracts with Eagle Radio, Hays Post, and Central Brochure Distribution, and to add a google search campaign with Nex-Tech.  Council member Steve Ferland moved to accept the 2020 advertising proposal in the total amount of $5,688.00, and to authorize Mayor David McDaniel to sign the accompanying contracts: Eagle Radio ($2,448.00); Central Brochure Distribution ($600.00); Hays Post ($1,200.00); and Nex-Tech ($1,440.00).  Council member Martin LaBarge seconded the motion.  The motion carried 6-0.

General Government: Committee

Mayor David McDaniel recommended the appointment of Council member Jolene Niernberger to the Ellis Alliance Board.  The vacant position was previously held by Council member Holly Aschenbrenner.  Council member Martin LaBarge moved to approve the appointment of Jolene Niernberger to the Ellis Alliance Board.  Council member Steve Ferland seconded the motion.  The motion carried 6-0, with Council member Jolene Niernberger abstaining.

Campground: Acquisition

Council member John Walz moved to approve the bid from Jamestown Advanced Products in the amount of $1,694.00 for ten (10) fire rings for the Campground Expansion Project, with funds to come from the Campground Fund.  Council member Tricia Pritchett seconded the motion.  The motion carried 6-0.

General Government: City Code

Police Chief Chris Krom and City Clerk Amy Burton provided numerous sample ordinances for Council to consider regarding allowing UTV/ATV’s on City streets.  City Attorney Olavee Raub stated that most of the ordinance provisions are statutorily mandated by the State, however, the City has the ability to determine registration fees, inspection requirements, and the types of utility vehicles allowed.  In addition to the modifiable provisions, Council also discussed whether the utility vehicles should be allowed on the truck route, if golf carts should be allowed, and whether to restrict use to agricultural or allow recreational use as well.  After further discussion, Council decided to continue to review the research provided and to bring more concrete ideas to the next meeting in order for City Attorney Olavee Raub to begin drafting an ordinance. 

Water Exploration: Special Project

The Water Advisory Committee recommends Council continue to move forward with the project.  The next step is to hire an engineer to determine the feasibility of the City partnering with Trego Rural Water District No. 2 or completing the project on its own.  Council member Jolene Niernberger stressed the importance of hiring an engineer that has the City’s best interests in mind, and expressed concern that hiring the engineer already working with Trego RWD #2 may create a conflict of interest.  Council member Sam Polifka moved to authorize Public Works Director John Leiker to solicit bids from engineers for the Water Exploration Project.  Council member Jolene Niernberger seconded the motion.  The motion carried 6-0.


Public Works

Public Works Director John Leiker reported he met with Brian Spano, Wilson & Company, regarding modifications to the Water Treatment Plant and repairs needed to 13th Street.  At first glance, the engineers believed the road would be safe to work on without risk of the retaining wall collapsing.  Mr. Spano will attend the February 17th Council meeting to further discuss both issues. 

Public Works Foreman Joe Kreutzer recently attended training on cross connections and backflow prevention.  Mr. Kreutzer successfully completed the certification test. 


Police Chief Chris Krom presented the Monthly Activity Report for January and the February Staff Calendar.  He reported this past weekend was extremely busy with the Department handling five major incidents – aggravated battery, an injury accident, interference with law enforcement, an unattended death, and burglary.  Chief Krom also reported the new patrol car could be delayed as far out as the 3rd quarter.

City Clerk

City Clerk Amy Burton presented the minutes from the recent Campground Committee, Water Advisory Committee, and Safety Committee meetings.  The City received notification that they will receive a Community Development Block Grant in the amount of $412,113 for waterline improvements.  Ms. Burton will attend the required workshop on February 5th to receive the grant contracts.  Ms. Burton also presented several 2019 summary reports, including the Catastrophic Sick Leave Summary, the Safety Committee Accident Report, and the City Car Savings Report.  The Swimming Pool Project has been put out to bid and bids will be opened on February 25th at 1:00 p.m.  The City has three land leases expiring on February 28, 2020.  All three lessees have been notified by certified mail and the bid notices will be advertised for the next two weeks.  Council will review the bids at the February 17th Council meeting.


City Attorney Olavee Raub reported that Brent Jaynes, Leisure Real Estate Advisors, informed her that he has found a potential buyer for the Days Inn.  Ms. Raub asked whom Council would like to hire as bond counsel.  The City has previously used both Don Jensen, sole practitioner, and Gilmore & Bell.  Ms. Raub requested direction by the next meeting. 

Mayor Update and Announcements

Mayor David McDaniel added the 2020 Census to the list of Governing Body goals for 2020.  The Census is very important to Ellis and significant federal dollars are at stake.

Mayor McDaniel also reported that he and Council members Jolene Niernberger and Sam Polifka, and City Clerk Amy Burton recently attended the Northwest Kansas Planning & Development Commission board meeting in Hill City.  The board agreed by consensus to adhere to the bylaws of the organization, which state that in order to receive assistance from NWKP&DC, membership dues must be paid in full.  The same participants also attended the Ellis County Commission meeting prior to the City Council meeting.  Mayor McDaniel stated he didn’t feel that Ellis County appeared open to paying the membership dues, but County Commissioners did ask the Ellis County Attorney to draft an amendment to the NWKP&DC bylaws to determine if a fairer dues structure could be negotiated.  County Commissioner Butch Schlyer has been invited to the February 17th Council meeting.

Council member Jolene Niernberger invited the public to the February 17th Council meeting to hear the discussion with Commissioner Schlyer.

Doug Williams, Grow Hays, expressed sentiments regarding the situation between the County Commission and Northwest Kansas Planning & Development Commission.  Mr. Williams is hopeful that an agreement will work out once cooler heads prevail, and that the Commissioners come to realize the value that NWKP&DC brings to the Northwest Kansas region.  He also added the NWKP&DC needs to do a better job at selling themselves and addressing their own issues, such as property management.


Council member Martin LaBarge moved and Council member Steve Ferland seconded a motion to adjourn the meeting.   The motion carried 6-0.  The meeting adjourned at 8:38 p.m. 








City Clerk