April 18, 2016 Commission Minutes

April 18, 2016 Commission Minutes

website_admin Minutes


Regular Meeting


April 18, 2016                                                                                                                    5:00 P.M.

Meeting was called to order by Mayor Brian Linin with Vice-Mayor Annette Fairbanks, Commissioner Gwen Mai and Commissioner John Garcia responding to roll call.  Commissioner Gary Farris was reported absent.


Also present were Rich Simon – Director of Public Works, Dustin Bedore – Director of Electric Utilities, Joni Showalter-Police Chief, Suzanne McClure – Economic Development Director, Joshua Jordan – IT Director, Sami Philbrick – Museum Director, Alex Weis – Code Enforcement, Brian James – Fire Chief, Shauna Johnson – Utility Billing Clerk, Mary Volk – City Clerk, Gerry Bieker – City Manager and Jake Kling – City Attorney. 


To kick off the Junior City Commission program, Mayor Linin welcomed members to meeting, asking member to introduce themselves.  Members present are Chelsea Phillips, Natanya Ordonez, Emily Whisnant and Erin Floyd.  Reported absent was Margaux Thompson.


Commissioner Farris reported to meeting.


Mayor Linin led Pledge of Allegiance







  1. 04/04/16 Commission Meeting Minutes
  2. 04/13/16 Commission Special Work Session Minutes
  3. Appropriation Ordinances, 2016-08, 2016-08A, and 2016-P08

ON A MOTION by Commissioner Garcia to approve Consent Agenda seconded by Commissioner Mai.  MOTION carried on a VOTE of 5-0.



Vice-Mayor Fairbanks stated, I feel Mayor Linin has done a good job and should have a second term.
ON A MOTION by Vice-Mayor Fairbanks to appoint Mayor Linin as Mayor for another year seconded by Commissioner Garcia.  MOTION carried on a VOTE of 5-0.  ON A MOTION by Commissioner Mai to appoint Vice-Mayor Fairbanks as Vice-Mayor for another year seconded by Commissioner Farris.  MOTION carried on a VOTE of 3-2 with Commissioner Farris and Commissioner Garcia casting the dissenting votes.







  1. Unfit Structure: 408 West 6thGerry stated, owners are working on property and making progress.  Summer Sharon property owner stated, we are tearing siding off west side and putting in new windows.  Mayor Linin asked, is staff satisfied with progress made on property?  Alex stated, I have new pictures to show progress they have made.  Commissioner Garcia stated, I feel they are making best effort they can to improve property and feel Commission should allow them another month for improvements. ON A MOTION by Commissioner Garcia to allow owners of 408 West 6th another month for improvements on property seconded by Commissioner Farris.  Mayor Linin stated, I appreciate the work you are doing and encourage you to maintain communication with Alex on property.  MOTION carried on a VOTE of 5-0.   
  2. Unfit Structure: 316 East 2ndGerry stated, this property was resolved by the Commission and should not have been an agenda item.
  3. Unfit Structure: 515 West 9thGerry stated, this is the house that caught fire; the contractor informed us a down payment has been made for the demolition. Demolition should be complete in next month.  ON A MOTION by Commissioner Farris to allow property owner another month to complete property demolition seconded by Commissioner Mai.  MOTION carried on a VOTE of 5-0.
  4. Credit Card Limits – Gerry stated, we have been experiencing problems with credit cards being at their limit while employees are away at school. All administrative cards have a $4,000 limit and all other card limits are $2,000.  We are asking that limits for each City credit card through Astra Bank be changed to a limit of $4,000.  ON A MOTION by Commissioner Garcia to authorize the limit of $4,000 for each City Credit Card through Astra Bank seconded by Vice-Mayor Fairbanks.  MOTION carried on a VOTE of 5-0.
  5. Approval of Locating Police Department to Armory Building – Gerry stated, the Commission discussed the relocation of the Police Department to the Armory Building at the work session. Commissioner Mai stated, I would like Joni to give an overview of proposal.  Joni reminded the Commission of deficiencies and security issues at current location.  Cost for relocation is minimal compared to a new facility since City owns building.  Mayor Linin asked, would the department be using the Assembly Hall for daily use or just special events.  Joni stated, we train all the time and currently use it for physical agility.  Commissioner Mai asked, with the layout, dispatch is not moving?  Joni stated, no they are staying at their current location.  Mayor Linin asked, we are providing an office upstairs for Communication Director, can the office be located downstairs by Dispatch?  Joni stated, the plan is that they would be located next to Dispatch; Emergency Management has also expressed interest in an office downstairs.  Gerry stated, we will maintain an office downstairs for the police department for convenience.  Vice-Mayor Fairbanks stated, we have known for a number of years they need more space; it fits their needs and frees up space we need so I see it as a win-win situation.  Good job putting information together.  Mayor Linin asked, what are you doing with the kitchen?  Joni stated, we will keep it functional for overnight training or City employee meetings.  Commissioner Mai asked, what is time frame for the transition?  Joni stated, we have some construction that needs done but there are some events scheduled this year that we need to honor.  Gerry stated, we would not start on any major improvement until after Run for the Wall in May.  Mayor Linin stated, I would like some consideration to continue hosting Run for the Wall at building.  I agree they cannot stay overnight but they need a place to have their meetings.  Gerry stated, we have discussed that issue, it comes down to logistics and man power.  We have agreed to allow them to use facility for event this year.  Vice-Mayor Fairbanks stated, we have a year to find them another spot which we need to do because we enjoy hosting the event.  Commissioner Garcia stated, the total cost is $51,000 with $20,000 in costs covered by seizure money.  I appreciate what has gone into proposal but feel this is the only viable building near airport to market for economic development.  I have not had enough time to make the best decision that I need to make.  We have been able to administer department in current location and moving to the Armory will require additional money to accommodate.  Vice-Mayor Fairbanks stated, this is a major decision but the building has been sitting out there and we have only had a couple groups interested, but none seriously.  No one is knocking down doors to buy or even inquire about building.  I feel this is a great use for the building.  Commissioner Mai stated, I feel the police department is raising the bar when they want to utilize the building as a regional training center that will bring people to our community.  I appreciate the points Joni made to host training instead of sending employees out of town.  Mayor Linin asked, how long has Armory been deeded to the City?  Brian James stated, at least five years.  Mayor Linin asked what if an Economic Development need arises in the future and they need building.  Gerry stated, the building is not going away, City will own building.  Vice-Mayor Fairbanks stated, we can do a lot of what if’s but we have a use for the building.  This is the best offer we have since the building became empty.  Commissioner Garcia asked, has there been a study of costs versus the money it will bring in?  I have not had a lot of time to do a lot of research but I do not feel the building has been marketed to the extent it could be.  Vice-Mayor Fairbanks stated, you have a valid point but we have to do something with the building sooner or later.  We talked about moving the department before last week; they just brought the formal plan to us last week.  I feel it would be a good location for the department.  We could have someone want the building tomorrow or it could sit empty for another five years.  This is the first plan I see someone wanting to utilize the building wisely.  It is for the community and City.  Gerry stated, we have a responsibility to provide security for the department, and a new facility will be more than $50,000.  You have valid points but we have building and structure they can use.  Commissioner Farris asked, with the amount of room how many more people are we hiring?  Joni stated, I am not interested in hiring new employees but providing existing employees room and security.  Mayor Linin stated, only the front of building is climate controlled so I feel this is a good use for the department.  I do not disagree with anything that has been said but I have always thought this would be a good use for the building, realizing there will be ongoing costs to use facility.  My experience is if no one occupies a building it will deteriorate.  The basement is a Mickey Mouse set up for the department.  Joni stated, I feel the department and community deserve a secure law enforcement agency.  Commissioner Mai stated, this provides them a means to grow with the different programs she wants to implement in facility.  Commissioner Garcia asked, can the programs be implemented in Wolak Building; they have a lot of room.  Joni stated, it would take up space and they do a lot of training in their facility.  ON A MOTION by Vice-Mayor Fairbanks to approve relocation of Police Department to the Armory Building seconded by Commissioner Mai.  MOTION carried on a VOTE of 3-2 with Commissioner Farris and Commissioner Garcia casting the dissenting votes.
  6. Approval of Regional Rescue Team Locating in the Old Fire Bays – Gerry stated, the Fire Department is housing rescue equipment for the Regional Tech Team in Armory Building. We recommend the equipment be moved to fire bays at City Office when Police Department utilizes Armory Building.  Vice-Mayor Fairbanks asked, what are the pros and cons?  Gerry stated, we currently are paying for utilities in area and I do not see a negative side.  Brian stated, the Kansas State Fire Marshall has changed requirements for regional response team.  Hays Fire Rescue used to be the regional team and have opted out so Sherman Rural Fire has opted to complete training required.  All equipment for the team is acquired by FEMA grants and our responsibility is to be deployed to the site for any kind of rescue.  We are the largest region.  Justin Stasser Assistant Fire Chief stated, our region is anywhere west of Salina.  The other team is located in Salina and we are splitting region.  Commissioner Garcia stated, Hays is still a rescue team they just opted not to operate under State Fire Marshall requirements of a regional rescue team.  Mayor Linin asked, why did they opt out?  Brian stated, as we discussed at work session, Chief Brown and his crew did not want to go through training required by State.  Mayor Linin stated, it is wonderful we have firemen that want to do training.  Brian stated, we have required training and they want to complete further training.  ON A MOTION by Commissioner Garcia to authorize Regional Rescue Team to locate equipment in the Fire Bays at City Office seconded by Commissioner Mai.  MOTION carried on a VOTE of 5-0.
  7. Approval to Place Fire Department Training Structures on Wolak Building Parking Lot – Brian stated, we are waiting for drawings of a Rope Tower and Confined Space Facility to be used for training.  We have made contact to purchase three containers for live fire, search and rescue training.  The facilities will be funded by grant funds from the community. Vice-Mayor Fairbanks asked, what is total cost for two facilities?  Brian stated, we are getting $32,000 in community grant money for the facilities.  The trailers are $6,000 to deliver.  We are getting blue prints for local contractors to set them up.  Gerry stated, they are planning these facilities without additional funding from City.  Brian stated, that is correct, no additional funds from City or County.  We want to get the trailers bought to move forward on project.  Gerry stated, the Commission is approving to put the facilities on the parking lot.  Justin stated, we have instructors in the department, five which are associated with KU Fire.  We will have ability and opportunity to provide training for neighboring departments.  Commissioner Mai stated, if he can get grant money it is a win-win for the community.  ON A MOTION by Commissioner Mai to authorize placing the two training structures on the Wolak Parking Lot seconded by Commissioner Farris.  MOTION carried on a VOTE of 5-0.
  8. Approval of Communication Contract (Phone/WAN) – Gerry stated, the bids were discussed in our work session. The project started as phone system and ended with wide area network project with voice over IP.  We have representatives present from both S & T and Eagle Communications to answer questions.  Josh stated, I have provided information for three options to either host or lease services and equipment.  Commissioner Mai asked, what are the benefits to own versus lease?  Josh stated, if you own you have unlimited control and have to pay to update equipment.  When lease you are limited to service number provided by lease.  Gerry stated, if you never have problems it is easier to own but if lease and have problems they have to repair.  Mayor Linin stated, the lowest cost is to own equipment but there are no maintenance costs built in.  Marty Melia, Eagle Communications stated, if there are issues with fiber our people are located in Hays and respond as soon as possible.  Our last experience they were on location within two hours.  The nice thing with a lease is City does not have to maintain when problems occur with the phone system or fiber.  Gary Slough, S & T Communications stated, if we have an issue there is no down time because our system has redundancy; we just flip a switch and you are up and running.  Commissioner Garcia asked, what is City currently using?  Josh stated, the City has a 15 Megabyte modem with over one hundred internet devices. We have a total of four modems with modems for the sewer plant, museum and water treatment plant.  Overall this is the system we need to have proper backup.  Commissioner Garcia stated, I feel like this is quite a sophisticated system and no one I know uses technology like this.  Gary asked, how does the City plan for another facility in their bid when the facility was not approved for use until tonight?  You did not approve using the Armory until tonight; how do you do that?  Mayor Linin stated, you are right but needed in the bid in the event we utilize the Armory.  We want to look at total cost then adjust down if need to.  Marty stated, Eagle Communications has a lot of customers using this technology: hospitals, schools and businesses.  Gary stated, fiber technology is prevalent and I will say the City needs a new phone system.  Marty stated, it is nothing new and is growing in need.  Don Newell, S & T Communications stated, I do not understand the ten-year plan for a phone system; no technology lasts that long.  S & T promotes Economic Development and we constantly are giving back to our community.  We are local while Eagle uses a company in Missouri which is not local.  Marty stated, Eagle Communications has been in community for over fifty years and have a solid established presence in Goodland.  Commissioner Garcia asked, how much would a phone system cost without having our costs go so high using fiber?  Gerry stated, we have looked at that as we have an outdated system and have to have connectivity to each location.  Josh stated, our first quote was only for a phone system which was over $27,000.  Gerry stated, I would like to know what we could have done different to bid system; I feel we made every effort to make sure we were bidding what we need and apples to apples.  Gary stated, I feel bidding the band width on a ten-year system is not good.  Tim Brewer, S & T Communications stated, we discussed that the Police Department will need a separate connection at the Armory, is it still the case?  Gerry stated, yes the parallel network as discussed.  Tim stated, we do not have parallel network built into our bid because it was only a discussion point until tonight.  Commissioner Garcia asked, can you bid the system on a three year cost versus ten-year?  Gerry stated, we used ten to show what expense was for ten years, it probably does not need to be there.  Commissioner Farris asked, is S & T fiber  underground?  Gerry stated, yes and most of Eagle fiber is above ground.  Vice-Mayor Fairbanks stated, my main concern is that we are comparing apples to apples with product and services of two vendors.  If that is the case, there is a large difference in the per month cost.  We have to be accountable to those we serve.  Commissioner Garcia stated, we continue to face increasing costs in every element so I am unsure a sophisticated phone system is the way to go.  It is a big decision.  The dollars will have to come from somewhere.  Vice-Mayor Fairbanks stated, we have to do something and would not like to do a short term patch job then wish down the road we did it different.  Not an easy fix with existing system.  This is a significant cost increase and a lot of money but I do not want to go backwards.  Mayor Linin stated, we cannot just upgrade phone system because want voice over IP.  Gerry stated, we need connectivity.  If you look at a new phone system, it is basically an extra $1,000 per month for twenty-four months which covers the increase in costs for two years.  Then is when you will see the change in costs.  Commissioner Mai stated, we need to move forward; Commission is in a difficult position to make final decision but we need to make the decision.  Commissioner Farris stated, our community depends on agriculture, they are not going to make money this year so how can we spend the extra money.  ON A MOTION by Commissioner Garcia to table the bids for more research to determine a more feasible phone system for City needs.  I feel we only need a new phone system.  MOTION died for lack of a second.  Marty stated, fiber is the future; we are working with other communities for same system.  You will eventually have to have the technology.  You are paying for a new phone system and modern fiber technology.  Gary stated, the City has fiber to all but a few facilities but I am unsure if the fiber is more of a want than a need.  As a tax payer I do not feel you need fiber at all locations, such as your well.  Tim stated, I can get a new phone system at a reasonable cost with your existing structure.  Gerry stated, we keep wanting to do more with less but if we drop backwards it becomes more difficult.  Commissioner Garcia stated, you say you are dropping calls with existing system.  Gerry stated, we are dropping calls with our system every day.  I feel the water plant needs to have fiber in the event there is a problem.  We researched the option to only purchase a phone system, that is how our project began.  Josh stated, it is hard to maintain security when you have different segments instead of one network.  Mayor Linin stated, one network is a huge step in cost but you do it to increase security and efficiency on the network.  Vice-Mayor Fairbanks stated, both are good companies and have served us well; if we are getting same service and product it boils down to cheaper cost per month.  We have a responsibility to our citizens on the cost.  ON A MOTION by Vice-Mayor Fairbanks to approve Option B from Eagle Communications to lease the fiber and equipment for $2,884.50 per month seconded by Commissioner Mai.  MOTION carried on a VOTE of 3-2 with Commissioner Farris and Commissioner Garcia casting the dissenting votes.  Mayor Linin stated, I appreciate both companies and the service provided.
  9. Approval of Meter Reading Program and Contract – Gerry stated, in the work session we discussed transferring to a grid network with Tantalus, allowing meters to be read more efficiently.  The system utilizes network the Commission just approved.  Cost is substantial but the payout is fairly quick because the meters are more efficient.  System is approximately $135,000 which includes 500 electric meters. The system will require another $60,000 for remaining electric meters. We will pay for this from the Water and Electric Reserve Funds.  We will use additional $250,000 for water meters in Phase II of the water project financed with upcoming bond issue.  We verified with Dustin Avey from Piper Jaffray that an additional $1,500,000 bond issue will work with the rate structure set last year.  We have old water meters where we are losing revenue now.  Mayor Linin asked, what is the total amount of the bond issue we are looking at?  Gerry stated, Phase I was $2,000,000 and we anticipate Phase II to be $1,500,000 with the meters.  Gerry went over the spread sheet provided by Dustin, showing revenue coverage for the bonds.  Dustin feels very comfortable with the $3,500,000 issue.  We are proposing to bid Phase II to know where our bid will come in.  The $250,000 will get water meters 90% complete, so we want to see where bids end up.  Commissioner Garcia stated, where we are doing Phase I now, I feel it is appropriate time to do Phase II.  I like that our rate structure is adequate for the total bond.  ON A MOTION by Commissioner Garcia to approve the purchase of the Tantalus Meter Reading Program and additional meters from Water and Electric Reserve Funds seconded by Commissioner Farris.  MOTION carried on a VOTE of 5-0.
  10. Approval of Shelters for Chambers Park – Gerry stated, in work session we discussed putting shelters in Chambers Park on half the tennis courts.  The proposal is for two thirty-six foot shelters with a twenty foot connecting shelter. We want to get rest rooms operable again to make park more family friendly.  We got a bid from Rasure Lumber for $65,000.  We are going to apply for a $10,000 Dane Hansen Grant from Community Foundation.   ON A MOTION by Commissioner Garcia to approve the purchase of shelters from Rasure Lumber for $65,000 seconded by Commissioner Mai. MOTION carried on a VOTE of 5-0.  Gerry stated, we need to select the roof color before we order.





  1. City Managers Report- 1. The water project is moving forward.  2. The Buxton presentation is scheduled for May 10th at 6:00 p.m. in the Commission Room.    I will be out of office Tuesday and Wednesday.  4. I appreciate everyone’s input tonight, I know is was not an easy meeting. 


  1. Commissioner Reports

Commissioner Mai – 1.  I would like to thank Gerry and Staff, there was a lot of work that went into putting information together for tonight.

Commissioner Farris – 1.  No Report 

Vice-Mayor Fairbanks – 1.  I would like to thank Junior Commission for coming tonight, pleasure meeting you.  2.  I appreciate the good open discussion tonight. 

Commissioner Garcia – 1.  No Report 

  1. Mayors Report – I would like to welcome the Junior Commission.  2.  I appreciate everyone’s discussion tonight; it takes everyone to make Commission work.  It was not an easy meeting.




ADJOURNMENT WAS HAD ON A MOTION Commissioner Garcia seconded by Vice-Mayor Fairbanks.  Motion carried by unanimous VOTE, meeting Adjourned at 7:00 p.m.






ATTEST:                                                                                Brian Linin, Mayor





Mary P. Volk, City Clerk