ELLIS CITY COUNCIL
April 16, 2018
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor David McDaniel called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. Present were Council members Bret Andries, Susan Eaton, Jolene Niernberger, Dena Patee, and Bob Redger. Also present were Public Works Director Alan Scheuerman, City Clerk Amy Burton, Police Chief Taft Yates, Fire Chief Dustin Vine, and City Attorney Olavee Raub. Council member Holly Aschenbrenner was absent.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
AMENDMENTS TO AGENDA
Mayor David McDaniel requested discussion of business incentives as an addition to the agenda under Old Business.
Myles Vine, Westin Vine, Barbara Perkins, and Glen Keller.
Council member Dena Patee moved to approve the consent agenda containing the Minutes from the Regular Meeting on April 2, 2018 and Bills Ordinance #2043. Council member Bret Andries seconded the motion. The Council approved the consent agenda 5-0.
PRESENTATIONS OF AWARDS, PROCLAMATIONS, REQUESTS & PETITIONS (HEARINGS)
Fire Chief Dustin Vine announced the City’s ISO rating improved from a “5” to a “4”. Council directed City Clerk Amy Burton to inquire with the City’s insurance provider to see if any financial adjustment is available on the City’s insurance package. Chief Vine also reported the Department received $251.30 from Ness County for relief aid received from FEMA for the Department’s mutual aid efforts for the large grass fire in Ransom in 2017.
Capital Improvement: Special Project
Public Works Director Alan Scheuerman discussed several options for adding sidewalks between 14th Street and 15th Street in the area of Washington Elementary School. At the last Council meeting, Council member Bob Redger relayed concerns from a School Board member regarding the lack of sidewalks for children walking between the elementary school and the high school. The City would bear the costs to add the sidewalks and handicap accessible ramps, but then each property owner would become financially responsible for maintaining and keeping the walkways clear. Council requested tabling further discussion until the next meeting in order for Council members to personally view the area. Mr. Scheuerman will prepare a rough map illustrating the options discussed, including cost estimates.
Public Works: Special Project
Mr. Scheuerman requested discussion on designating a location for the City’s stockpile of asphalt and concrete. Most of the City’s land is currently under various lease agreements, and Council agreed it would be the most cost effective to use land the City already has available. Therefore, Council member Dena Patee moved and Council member Jolene Niernberger seconded a motion for the Public Works Department to create a dirt berm at the old temporary sludge pit to use as the location to stockpile concrete and asphalt for future crushing. The motion carried 5-0.
Mr. Scheuerman announced that Ellis County Commissioners have approved the maintenance work on Washington Street from 3rd Street to the Bridge. The County will pay to perform the maintenance work on the center driving lanes; however, the City will be responsible for the eight feet of parking lanes on each side. The County has provided an estimate of $24,007.28 to perform this maintenance work. Mr. Scheuerman recommended Council approve the project as Washington Street is shaped like a “W” and the work will even out the street and improve drainage. The City will have additional costs in lowering three manholes and three valves for the work to be performed, and then raised again once complete. Also, the County plans to seal the roadway in the fall, and the City would pay for the costs to seal the parking lanes. Council member Bob Redger moved and Council member Bret Andries seconded a motion to approve Ellis County performing maintenance work on Washington Street at a total cost not to exceed $28,000, with funds to come from the Capital Improvement – Street fund. The motion carried 5-0.
General Government: Economic Development
Council once again discussed incentives to bring new businesses to downtown. Ideas discussed included the sales tax rebate program presented in March, Neighborhood Revitalization Plans, and Community Improvement Districts. Council would like to invite Aaron White, Ellis County Coalition, to a future meeting to provide ideas and explanations on the various incentive plans available.
General Government: Contract
Public Works Director Alan Scheuerman presented two invoices from Flatlander Dirt Works for the demolition and removal of the properties at 208 W. 12th Street and 1309 Fauteux. The invoices are slightly higher than the approved bids due to the increased municipal waste present in the properties that had to be disposed of. Mr. Scheuerman explained that the contractor’s submitted bids based on a street assessment of the property; they were not allowed to enter the property to evaluate the contents. Council member Dena Patee moved and Council member Bob Redger seconded a motion to ratify the invoices from Flatlander Dirt Works in the amount of $5,740.35 and $6,329.50 for the removal of the two condemned properties, with the funds to come from the Capital Improvement – Special Projects fund. The motion carried 5-0.
Council member Bob Redger moved to approve the bid from Brenntag in the amount of $1,095, plus hazardous materials fees, for the purchase of chlorine for the Water Treatment Plant, with funds to come from the Water Utility fund. Council member Jolene Niernberger seconded the motion. The motion carried 5-0.
City Clerk Amy Burton requested authorization to sign an agreement allowing Freedom Claims Management, Inc. to solicit employee health insurance bids on the City’s behalf. Council member Bret Andries moved to authorize the City Clerk to sign the Consultant of Record Agreement and to authorize the Clerk to sign similar type agreements in the future. Council member Dena Patee seconded the motion. The motion carried 5-0.
Mayor David McDaniel proposed Council approve a policy allowing local non-profit groups, such as the Boy and Girl Scouts, to use the Lakeside Campground free of charge. Currently, the groups must appear before Council to obtain approval. Mayor McDaniel would like for Council to adopt a policy allowing the groups to use the campgrounds free of charge without having to petition Council for approval. City Clerk Amy Burton explained that her office is currently not authorized to grant free stays at the campground, and that the groups have petitioned Council for approval in the past because it is forgiveness of revenue for the City. Council discussed the pros and cons of granting blanket authority to allow these local non-profit groups to use the campgrounds at their discretion, but came to a consensus that the groups should still appear before Council to request approval. Therefore, no action was taken.
REPORTS FROM CITY OFFICIALS
Public Works Director Alan Scheuerman presented the Comparative Water Report for the period February 10th – March 10th and the current water well levels.
A resident has filed a medical claim regarding an injury due to the uneven asphalt and curb and gutters on 14th Street from Monroe to Walnut St. Mr. Scheuerman added that 14th Street from Monroe to Madison has the same issue. The areas could be patched to avoid further injuries; however, Mr. Scheuerman stated the patches won’t hold as the underlying asphalt and concrete are broken up. It was the consensus of Council to have the Public Works Department patch the areas as needed and to budget for the proper repairs in 2019.
Police Chief Taft Yates reminded Council of the DARE graduation in May. All officers have completed their required 40 hours of training for the fiscal year.
City Clerk Amy Burton presented the Health Insurance Savings Report for March. Blue Cross Blue Shield has submitted their renewal proposals for employee dental and term life and disability insurance. Ms. Burton will include the proposal for consideration at the next Council meeting.
Interviews for summer swimming pool help will begin this week. Ashley Rohleder and Alyssa Dawson have agreed to co-manage the pool again this year.
Council then entered into a lengthy discussion regarding the City’s website. Tourism Committee member Dena Patee reported that efforts to obtain a grant to build a new website appear to have fallen through. Council directed Ms. Burton to contact our current web host provider to gather more information about the City’s current site.
Mayor Update and Announcements
Mayoral committee appointments are to be made by the first of May. Mayor David McDaniel asked for Council members to offer possible names for consideration.
Mayor David McDaniel asked for a motion to recess into executive session at the request of Police Chief Taft Yates. Council member Jolene Niernberger moved for City Council to recess into executive session for 5 minutes to discuss staffing in the Police Department pursuant to the non-elected personnel matter exception, K.S.A. 75-4319 (b)(1) with Police Chief Taft Yates present. The open meeting will resume at 9:17 p.m. Bob Redger seconded the motion. The motion carried 5-0. No action was taken in executive session and the open meeting resumed.
Police Chief Taft Yates announced that he will begin advertising for the soon-to-be vacant position in the Police Department.
Council member Bob Redger moved and Council member Bret Andries seconded a motion to adjourn the meeting. The motion carried 5-0. The meeting adjourned at 9:20 p.m.