ELLIS CITY COUNCIL
April 17, 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, Fire Chief Dustin Vine, and City Attorney Olavee Raub.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
AMENDMENTS TO AGENDA
Mayor David McDaniel requested an Executive Session at the end of the meeting.
Buck Driggs, Darrell Romme, Glen Keller, Westin Vine, Myles Vine, Dustin Mattheyer, Nan Brown, Kassi Brown, Pauleen Edmonds, Margie Mickelson, Justine Benoit, Cheryl Kinderknecht, and Gary Luea.
Council member Dena Patee moved to approve the consent agenda containing the Minutes from the Regular Meeting on April 3, 2017 and Bills Ordinance #2019. Council member Jolene Niernberger seconded the motion. The Council approved the consent agenda 6-0.
Dustin Mattheyer requested Council consideration to purchase a pallet of sod for him to replace the sod that was disturbed during construction with the Street Improvement Project.
PRESENTATIONS OF AWARDS, PROCLAMATIONS, REQUESTS & PETITIONS (HEARINGS)
Gary Luea, 1807 Spruce, stated he was originally placed on the agenda to request City assistance with a project on his private property; however, he instead requested that Council revisit the legality of their motion on spreading millings on the private drive commonly referred to as West 14th Street.
Fire Chief Dustin Vine presented the monthly report for the Fire Department. Hays Fire Department has used Motorola radios available for $400 each. These radios retail for $3,200 if purchased new. Chief Vine requested approval to purchase three of the used Motorola radios and to retire two of the older Johnson handheld radios. Council member Bob Redger moved and Council member Jolene Niernberger seconded a motion to authorize Fire Chief Dustin Vine to purchase three used Motorola model 2500 radios from Hays Fire Department at a total cost of $1,200 with funds to come from the Fire Department budget. The motion carried 6-0.
General Government: Insurance
Darrell Romme, Romme Agency, reviewed the City’s renewal for property, automobile, workers compensation and liability insurance. The City is in a pool with approximately 400 other cities with populations less than 17,500. This year’s premium increase is less than 1%. Dividend checks are returned to the cities depending on the pool’s loss ratio. Last year the City received a dividend check around $16,000. Council member Holly Aschenbrenner moved and Council member Dena Patee seconded a motion to approve the insurance policy as presented and to approve the invoice to Romme Agency in the amount of $98,969. The motion carried 6-0.
Swimming Pool: Special Project
Pauleen Edmonds and Nan Brown, representing the Ellis Community Foundation, gave an update on the fundraising efforts to purchase and install a swimming pool slide at the municipal pool. Just over half of the funds needed for the $48,000 project have been received through donations and a $10,000 grant from the Dane G. Hansen foundation. The Foundation is requesting a City donation in the amount of $10,000, with the Foundation unrestricted funds covering the remaining $12,000 needed. Council asked to table consideration until later in the meeting in order to discuss the repair agreement with Natare Corporation on the swimming pool liner.
City Attorney Olavee Raub presented the amended provision in the Personnel Policy for compensating Public Works Department employee’s for responding to alarm calls on their personal phones after business hours. Council member Jolene Niernberger moved and Council member Bob Redger seconded a motion to approve the amended provision as presented. The motion carried 6-0.
Streets: Special Project
Buck Driggs, Driggs Design Group, updated Council on the progress of the Street Improvement Project. Spruce and Dorrance Streets are currently under construction and then the contractor will move to Cottonwood Avenue. Council discussed Mr. Mattheyer’s request during Public Comment for the City to purchase fescue sod to replace the sod disturbed during the construction on Spruce Street. Mr. Driggs stated that generally the property owner is responsible to make repairs when property located in the City’s right-of-way is disturbed. The contractor has agreed to place dirt and grass seed; however, if the property owner requests sod, the City should be cautious in setting precedent for individual resident requests. Mr. Driggs stated he is willing to honor Council’s direction if they choose to allow individual requests from residents during the project, otherwise he will direct the contractor to follow industry practice. It was the consensus of Council to follow the general practice and not set precedent with individual requests for repairs. Council member Holly Aschenbrenner added that for the City to purchase fescue sod for a resident would go against the City’s encouragement of planting warm season grasses as well.
Streets: Special Project
Mr. Driggs continued by presenting two change orders for the Street Improvement Project. The first change order is to replace 50 linear feet of sanitary sewer line on Spruce Street at the Good Samaritan Center. The Mayor approved the request prior to the meeting due to time constraints on the progress of the project. Council member Dena Patee moved and Council member Jolene Niernberger seconded a motion to ratify Change Order #1 for the Street Improvement Project in the amount of $1,500. The motion carried 6-0.
Mr. Driggs then presented Change Order #2 expanding the project on Cottonwood Avenue through the intersection at 12th Street. This will maximize additional grant monies available due to the contractor’s bid being under the engineer’s estimate. Council member Jolene Niernberger moved to approve Change Order #2 in the amount of $19,331.50. Council member Bret Andries seconded the motion. The motion carried 5-1, with Council member Holly Aschenbrenner opposed.
Streets: Special Project
Justine Benoit, Grant Administrator with the Northwest Kansas Planning & Development Commission, presented the first set of pay applications for the Street Improvement Project. Council member Jolene Niernberger moved and Council member Holly Aschenbrenner seconded a motion to approve Contractor’s Pay Estimate #1 to Vogts-Parga Construction, LLC in the amount of $32,492.25 for the Street Improvement Project. The motion carried 6-0.
Ms. Niernberger then moved to approve the invoice to Northwest Kansas Planning & Development Commission in the amount of $4,875.00 for grant administration services for the Street Improvement Project. Ms. Aschenbrenner seconded the motion. The motion carried 6-0.
Council member Bob Redger moved and Council member Dena Patee seconded a motion to approve Request #1 for Payment of CDBG Funds in the amount of $22,745.74 for the Street Improvement Project. The motion carried 6-0.
Ms. Aschenbrenner then moved to authorize the Mayor to sign the related documents for the Street Improvement Project. Mr. Redger seconded the motion. The motion carried 6-0.
General Government: Fees
City Clerk Amy Burton presented the updated fee schedule for approval. The various types of contractor licenses have been increased to $75, per recommendation from the Trades Board. The fees have not been increased for almost ten years. Also, police reports have been increased from $4 to $5 to match the fee charged for accident reports. Council member Jolene Niernberger moved and Council member Bob Redger seconded a motion to approve Resolution No. 535 adopting the Schedule of Fees. The motion carried 6-0, with Council member Bret Andries abstaining due to a perceived conflict of interest.
Swimming Pool: Repair/Maintenance
City Attorney Olavee Raub reviewed correspondence received from Scott Calwell, Field Operations Manager for Natare Corporation. The company is requiring a signed repair agreement and a 50% deposit in order to inspect the liner at the swimming pool. Once inspected, if the liner is determined to be under warranty, the company will refund the deposit. The City has had issues with Natare Corporation since the liner was purchased in 2009 regarding the company not following through with repairs and correspondence. Council members expressed frustration that there was no choice but to sign the agreement in order to even have the company come inspect the liner. Council member Bob Redger moved and Council member Dena Patee seconded a motion authorizing the Mayor to sign the Service, Inspection, Maintenance & Repair Agreement with Natare Corporation, to pay the deposit required in the amount of $1,666.48, and to pay the remaining portion of the total cost estimate of $3,732.96 if needed. Funds not exceeding $3,732.96 will be paid out of General-Swimming Pool account. The motion carried 6-0.
Swimming Pool: Special Project
Council revisited the donation request from the Ellis Community Foundation for the pool slide. Council member Holly Aschenbrenner asked if the $10,000 request could be part cash and part in-kind services for labor and materials. Ms. Edmonds replied the Foundation would prefer the full requested donation, in addition to the Public Works Department providing assistance in the construction of the concrete pad and additional fencing. Once all the funds for the project are committed, the Foundation can call the company and schedule installation of the slide, preferably for this pool season. Council member Bret Andries moved and Council member Holly Aschenbrenner seconded a motion to approve a $10,000 donation to the Ellis Community Foundation for the pool slide, contingent on the slide being installed before May 30, 2017, with funds to come from the Special Machinery fund. The motion carried 6-0, with Council member Dena Patee abstaining due to perceived conflict of interest.
Swimming Pool/Sewer: Acquisition
Public Works Director Alan Scheuerman presented two bids for the purchase of calcium hypochlorite for the Sewer Plant and Swimming Pool. Council member Bret Andries moved to accept the low bid from D. Gerber Commercial Pool Products in the amount of $7,445, with $6,845 coming from Swimming Pool funds and $600 coming from the Sewer Utility Fund. Council member Jolene Niernberger seconded the motion. The motion carried 6-0.
REPORTS FROM CITY OFFICIALS
Public Works Director Alan Scheuerman updated Council on the numerous projects currently underway. Work continues on the Sewer Plant sludge pit and tree and branch cleanup work was completed around various sites around town.
Police Chief Taft Yates gave an update on his Department. Chief Yates invited Council members to attend the DARE graduation at Washington Grade School on April 21, 2017 at 10:30 a.m.
City Clerk Amy Burton presented the Health Insurance Savings Report for March. Blue Cross and Blue Shield has submitted the renewals for the employees’ dental and life insurance policies with a 1% decrease in premiums. Midwest Energy has contracted with TMD to change out the electric meters in Ellis. The TMD trucks will be in town in late April and the work will take several weeks.
City Attorney Olavee Raub reported there have been no changes in the status of pending code violation cases. Council entered into a discussion regarding a letter Ms. Raub submitted offering ways to reduce the amount of time spent on City business. Some of the suggestions included reducing the number of Council and committee meetings that Ms. Raub attended, requesting Council to stop micromanaging the department heads, which leads the department heads to confer with her office, asking Council members to be well prepared for meetings, and to use caution in airing grievances regarding the City and its employees on social media. After much discussion, it was the consensus of Council to have Ms. Raub continue to attend all Council meetings, but to only attend committee meetings upon request from the Committee Chair. Council also suggested Ms. Raub redirect employees’ concerns to the Mayor, unless a legal issue is present. Finally, Council asked Ms. Raub to push the Council to give her more direction in developing policy or drafting ordinances to reduce the number of revisions needed for Council to approve the final document.
Mayor Update and Announcements
Mayor David McDaniel requested discussion on a letter received from the property owners on the private drive referred to as West 14th Street. Several council members felt the letter expressed ungratefulness of the City’s willingness to help and were concerned with some of the questions the letter posed. The Council’s motion clearly stated the City would spread the millings at no charge; however, the residents questioned if the City would now be providing the millings and if they needed to appear at future Council meetings to propose further work. Ms. Raub noted that she contacted property owner Ross Wichman to inquire of his willingness to allow the City to spread the millings; however, Mr. Wichman never responded. Council member Bret Andries expressed concerns of encountering legal problems in the future with possibly being responsible for maintaining the millings since the City spread the material. After further discussion, Council member Holly Aschenbrenner moved and Council member Bob Redger seconded a motion to withdraw the previous motion made on April 3rd to spread millings on a portion of the private drive referred to as West 14th Street after further reconsideration. The motion carried 6-0.
Mayor David McDaniel called for an executive session to discuss personnel matters of non-elected personnel. A 30-minute executive session was proposed starting at 9:41 p.m. Mayor David McDaniel asked for a motion to recess. Council member Dena Patee moved and Council member Bret Andries seconded a motion to recess to executive session to discuss personnel matters of non-elected personnel with City Attorney Olavee Raub and Public Works Director Alan Scheuerman present. The motion carried 6-0. The Council returned to open session at 10:11 p.m. No action was taken in executive session.
Council member Dena Patee moved and Council member Bob Redger seconded a motion to adjourn the meeting. The motion carried 6-0. The meeting adjourned at 10:12 p.m.