ELLIS CITY COUNCIL
March 18, 2019
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor David McDaniel called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. Present were Council members Bret Andries, Holly Aschenbrenner, Steve Ferland, Martin LaBarge, Jolene Niernberger, 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.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
AMENDMENTS TO AGENDA
Glen Keller, Guy Windholz, Doreen Timken, Barbara Perkins, Susan Schlichting, and John Walz, and Darin Myers (arrived 7:52 p.m.).
Council member Jolene Niernberger moved to approve the consent agenda containing the Minutes from the Regular Meeting on March 4, 2019 and Bills Ordinance #2065. Council member Steve Ferland seconded the motion. The Council approved the consent agenda 6-0.
PRESENTATIONS OF AWARDS, PROCLAMATIONS, REQUESTS & PETITIONS (HEARINGS)
Mayor David McDaniel read the Proclamation from Governor Laura Kelly proclaiming March 4-10, 2019, as Flood Safety Awareness Week.
Due to the severe flooding in Nebraska, Fire Chief Dustin Vine inquired if the City had a stockpile of sand bags available to residents in case of flooding in the area. It was the consensus of Council to allow the Fire Department to solicit bids for a flat-bottomed boat for training. Chief Vine encouraged Council to consider establishing an “emergency” route, to include both snow removal and debris cleanup in the case of other types of storms.
Glen Keller, Tourism Committee and Ellis PRIDE Committee member, presented proposals to replace the deteriorated banners on Washington Street and 10th Street. “Welcome” banners will be placed traveling south down Washington Street; “Come Back Soon” banners will be placed traveling north up Washington Street; and “Railer” banners will be placed on 10th Street. The proposals are for the purchase of seventy-seven banners and the Committees are requesting use of Transient Guest tax funds to pay for the project. Council member Bob Redger moved to approve the purchase of seventy-seven banners from Rupp Arts and Signs in the amount of $4,700.32, with funds to come from the Tourism Fund. Council member Bret Andries seconded the motion. The motion carried 6-0.
Capital Improvement: Special Project
Darin Myers, Ellis County Emergency Manager, reported the new outdoor warning sirens have been installed and are being tested. The old sirens were omnidirectional – meaning the sirens sounded in all different directions at the same time. The new siren system is 12 decibels higher and sounds in one direction at a time on a rotating pole. The sirens are sounded either manually by Hays Dispatch or automatically when Ellis falls within the National Weather Service polygon alerting our area of an impending storm. Chief Myers and the Council reminded residents that this is an outdoor warning system – its purpose is to alert those individuals outdoors to seek shelter.
City Attorney Olavee Raub reported that letters have been sent out to the two property owners affected by the Cedar Lane lift station project. One property owner has requested additional information and the other property owner has not responded. It was the consensus of Council to continue to pursue the right-of-ways to facilitate the project.
Council again discussed establishing an emergency snow route. Public Works Director Alan Scheuerman presented a proposed map detailing primary and secondary snow removal routes. City Attorney Olavee Raub questioned if the objective was to clear the roads of vehicles to expedite snow removal, or to establish protocol of what roadways will be cleared first. Council agreed with Chief Vine’s recommendation to establish an “emergency” route, versus just a “snow” route and discussed drafting a removal plan instead of an actual ordinance. Ms. Raub will draft an Emergency Plan for the next meeting.
General Government: Policy
City Clerk Amy Burton discussed the City auditor’s recommendation to adopt a donation policy. Donation requests must comply with the Public Purpose Doctrine. Council reviewed the sample policies provided and directed Ms. Burton to draft a hybrid of the policies for further consideration. Council would prefer an application be submitted for consideration.
General Government: City Code
On April 1, 2019, the State’s liquor laws expand to allow grocery stores to sell strong beer. To accommodate this change, cities need to modify the definition of cereal malt beverages in their ordinances to now include language allowing up to 6% alcohol by weight. City Attorney Olavee Raub reviewed the proposed modifications needed to the City’s existing ordinances. Council discussed several provisions within the proposed ordinance regulating the sale of cereal malt beverages and beer, including increasing the license fee for retailers. City Clerk Amy Burton will inquire of other cities regarding license fees charged. Council member Holly Aschenbrenner moved to adopt Ordinance No. 1437 modifying the definition of cereal malt beverages. Council member Bob Redger seconded the motion. The motion carried 6-0. Council will further consider the proposed ordinance regulating the sale of beer at the next Council meeting.
Public Works Director Alan Scheuerman discussed the repairs needed to many of the City’s streets due to the extensive moisture received this fall and winter and the numerous freeze/thaw cycles. The Department has limited inventory of crushed concrete but definitely would need to purchase asphalt. Council suggested Mr. Scheuerman contact Ellis County or the City of Hays to gauge interest in partnering together to order bulk material at a more favorable price. Mr. Scheuerman believes the repairs could cost $40,000 - $60,000. It was the consensus of Council to move $15,000 from two other projects in the Capital Improvement – Street fund to help pay for the unexpected expense. Council member Holly Aschenbrenner moved to authorize Public Works Director Alan Scheuerman to speak on the City’s behalf to negotiate buying power with other Ellis County entities and to refer back to Council for further direction. Council member Bob Redger seconded the motion. The motion carried 6-0. Council member Bret Andries then moved to approve the purchase of a truckload of street patch material not to exceed $1,400, with funds to come from the Capital Improvement – Street fund. Council member Martin LaBarge seconded the motion. The motion carried 5-1, with Council member Holly Aschenbrenner voting opposed, and Council member Steve Ferland abstaining due to perceived conflict of interest.
REPORTS FROM CITY OFFICIALS
Mr. Scheuerman presented the Comparative Water Report for January 10th – February 10th. With the wet weather and varying temperatures, Mr. Scheuerman expects an increase in waterline breaks this spring.
At the last Council meeting, Council approved a bid from Utility Maintenance Contractors to camera the sewer line in the area of 10th and 11th Streets from Spruce to Monroe. Upon further investigation, the line was nicked by a contractor working for Golden Belt Telephone Association. Therefore, the utility company will compensate the residents for any damage claims filed and also pay for the City’s camera work.
Police Chief Taft Yates reported the Department will attend training on the new emergency alert system at Ellis High School and Washington Grade School. Officers will also receive emergency firearms training.
City Clerk Amy Burton presented the Health Insurance Savings Report for February. There will be a public hearing for the swimming pool Community Development Block Grant application on April 1, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. The Kansas Department of Commerce has announced that the Low-to-Moderate Income surveys will expire at the end of the 2019 CDBG application period. The City will then need to conduct a new income survey to be eligible for future CDBG opportunities.
Mayor Update and Announcements
Mayor David McDaniel encouraged Council members to attend the League of Kansas Municipalities 2019 Leadership Summit and Mayors Conference in Salina April 12th – 13th.
Council member Martin LaBarge moved and Council member Holly Aschenbrenner seconded a motion to adjourn the meeting. The motion carried 6-0. The meeting adjourned at 9:51 p.m.