ELLIS CITY COUNCIL
March 20, 2017
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor David McDaniel called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. Present were Council members Bret Andries, Holly Aschenbrenner, 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, and City Attorney Olavee Raub.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
AMENDMENTS TO AGENDA
Mayor David McDaniel requested an Executive Session with Aaron White, Ellis County Coalition for Economic Development.
Buck Driggs, Mark Karlin, Bernice Karlin, Nancy Wright, Dale Giebler, Cheryl Kinderknecht, Glen Keller, Sylvia Kinderknecht, and Aaron White.
Council member Jolene Niernberger moved to approve the consent agenda containing the Minutes from the Regular Meeting on March 6, 2017, the Minutes from the Special Meeting on March 6, 2017, and Bills Ordinance #2017. Council member Bret Andries seconded the motion. The Council approved the consent agenda 6-0.
PRESENTATIONS OF AWARDS, PROCLAMATIONS, REQUESTS & PETITIONS (HEARINGS)
Mayor David McDaniel called for an executive session to discuss confidential data relating to financial affairs or trade secrets of second parties. A 15-minute executive session was proposed starting at 7:33 p.m. Mayor McDaniel asked for a motion to recess. Council member Bob Redger moved and Council member Dena Patee seconded a motion to recess to executive session to discuss confidential data relating to financial affairs or trade secrets of second parties with City Attorney Olavee Raub, Ellis County Coalition representative Aaron White, and City of Ellis representative for the Ellis County Coalition Sylvia Kinderknecht present. The motion carried 6-0. The Council returned to open session at 7:48 p.m. No action was taken in executive session.
Economic Development: Committee
Aaron White, Ellis County Coalition, updated Council on the Coalition’s current projects and developments. The Ellis County Rehabilitation Program and the Workforce Development Program are fairly active and there seems to be quite a bit of general retail interest for the area.
Fire Chief Dustin Vine was unable to attend as he was attending a grass fire call south of town.
Water: Special Project
Buck Driggs, Driggs Design Group, reviewed the various change orders related to the 2016 Waterline Improvement Project. The project incurred $54,953.10 in change orders to purchase additional valves, relocate several hydrants and meters, and install additional service lines. The total project, including change orders, was completed below the engineer’s estimate of costs. Council member Jolene Niernberger moved and Council member Holly Aschenbrenner seconded a motion to approve the Change Order Justification Report for the 2016 Waterline Improvement Project. The motion carried 6-0.
Street: Special Project
Mr. Driggs continued by presenting the contract documents for the 2017 Street Improvement Project. Vogts-Parga Construction was awarded the contract and may start construction as early as next week. A pre-construction meeting will be held March 22nd at 2:00 p.m. Door hangars with contact information for the contractor, Driggs Design Group, and the City will be distributed to affected residents. Council member Holly Aschenbrenner moved and Council member Dena Patee seconded a motion to authorize Mayor David McDaniel to sign the Street Improvement Project contract documents. The motion carried 6-0.
Water: Special Project
Public Works Director Alan Scheuerman reviewed a City map with the proposed locations for additional waterline replacement. Mr. Scheuerman suggests the City apply for matching Community Development Block Grant funds to facilitate the project. Council member Bob Redger questioned the replacement of the waterline on 15th Street from Washington to Monroe. Mr. Scheuerman will research the condition and age of that line and report back at the next meeting.
Council considered a Fireworks Permit Application for the Ellis Softball/Baseball Association. Council member Bob Redger questioned if the City could prohibit certain types of aerial fireworks. The Council was hesitant to approve the application this early due to the current drought conditions and recent wildfires. The County recently enacted a burn ban as well. It was the consensus of the Council to revisit the application at the May 1st Council meeting, but to offer priority to this application over any others filed later.
General Government: Licenses/Permit
Council discussed the recommendation from the Trades Board to add a “Minor Construction” class to the Limited Contractors definition. Public Works Director Alan Scheuerman and Trades Board Chair Dale Giebler explained how the proposed modification would affect current and future licensed contractors with the City. Mr. Giebler hopes the modification will give residents peace of mind that the contractors they hire have the skill set to perform the work they were hired for. Council member Bob Redger moved to direct City Attorney Olavee Raub to modify the existing ordinance for the recommendation from the Trades Board adding the “Minor Construction” classification. Council member Jolene Niernberger seconded the motion. Upon a call for the vote, Council members Bret Andries, Jolene Niernberger, and Bob Redger voted in favor of the motion, and Council members Holly Aschenbrenner, Susan Eaton and Dena Patee voted opposed. Mayor David McDaniel voted in favor of the motion, therefore the motion carried 4-3.
General Government: Fees
Council then considered the Trades Board’s recommendation to increase the fees for new contractor licenses to $75. Renewals of current licenses would remain at $50. Both licenses are for a 2-year period. The license fees have not increased for over fifteen years and the fees charged are considerably less than surrounding areas. Council member Holly Aschenbrenner moved and Council member Bob Redger seconded a motion to direct City Attorney Olavee Raub to modify the existing contractor licensing ordinances to reference the licensing fees to the Fee Schedule as set by resolution, and to modify the Tree Trimmer License to a biennial renewal. The motion carried 6-0.
Public Works Director Alan Scheuerman proposed a small street seal project for 2017. The areas proposed would be the dirt and sand streets that the Department spread millings on a few months ago. The seal would cost approximately $14,000 with Ellis County assisting the Department with labor and equipment. Council member Holly Aschenbrenner stated the streets should be left as is, as the roads were already improved by adding the millings. It was the consensus of the Council to revisit the project later in the summer to determine funding available after the completion of the Street Improvement Project.
REPORTS FROM CITY OFFICIALS
Mr. Scheuerman reviewed a report illustrating the gallons per minute for each of the City’s water wells and the current well depths.
Swimming Pool: Repair/Maintenance
Mr. Scheuerman reported that the municipal swimming pool has lost approximately 150,000 gallons of water over the winter. A representative from Natare, the company that sold the City the pool liner, was supposed to be in contact with Mr. Scheuerman to discuss the problematic leaks, but has not contacted him to date. The Council will await the Fort Hays State University Leadership 310 report to review the costs of the options available.
Police Chief Taft Yates provided an update from his Department. The Department has participated in Law Enforcement Trauma training, and the Department, along with the Ellis Fire Department, provided Stranger Danger and Ident-a-Kid programs for pre-school children.
City Clerk Amy Burton presented draft minutes from the February and March Tourism Committee meetings.
The wrap on the billboard at mile marker 211 has been replaced to reflect the correct exit.
The City has advanced to Round 4 of the League of Kansas Municipalities Hometown Showdown Photo contest. Voting for Round 4 will begin at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow.
Ms. Burton updated Council on the status of legislative bills affecting local governments.
Ellis County Clerk Donna Maskus announced that the entire City of Ellis has been changed to Ward 1 for election purposes. Voters will not notice any change, but the modification will reduce costs and time for the election officials.
The Courthouse Preservation Committee has announced the ribbon cutting and rededication of the building will be May 12th at 10:00 a.m.
City Attorney Olavee Raub gave an update on outstanding code violation cases. The properties on Washington will go to trial April 7th. The 10th Street property complaint has been remediated. A complaint has been filed for 600 Jefferson and Ms. Raub offered options for the City regarding the property on Fauteux.
Ms. Raub updated Council on the drainage issue at 21st Street and Walnut. She has spoken to the landowner of the property to the east of 2013 Walnut. The landowner also has property to the south of the area. The landowner is willing to modify the terracing of the field to help divert the drainage another direction. This may not completely alleviate the issue but should help with the drainage occurring from an average rainfall.
Mayor Update and Announcements
Mayor David McDaniel reported approximately fifteen individuals attended the Town Hall Meeting with Senator Rick Billinger, and Representatives Ken Rahjes and Eber Phelps.
The League will hold a Management Training Institute on public finance on March 30th in Russell.
The new concrete parking lot at Love’s Travel Stops has increased the amount of water draining onto the D&B Body Shop property. Council member Bob Redger questioned if the City could widen the draw to accommodate the increased water. The draw belongs to the State so Public Works Director Alan Scheuerman offered to contact the State to see if they would be willing to work with the property owner.
The Tourism Committee has two vacancies since Holly Aschenbrenner and Josh Eaton have stepped down. Mayor David McDaniel requested Council members bring him names of individuals to contact to see if they would be willing to serve.
Council member Bret Andries moved and Council member Holly Aschenbrenner seconded a motion to adjourn the meeting. The motion carried 6-0. The meeting adjourned at 9:40 p.m.