March 4, 2019 Commission Minutes

March 4, 2019 Commission Minutes

March 4, 2019 Commission Minutes

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Regular Meeting


March 4, 2018                                                                                                                    5:00 P.M.

Mayor Brian Linin called the meeting to order with Vice-Mayor Jay Dee Brumbaugh, Commissioner Annette Fairbanks, Commissioner John Garcia, and Commissioner Jacque Schields responding to roll call.


Also present were Rich Simon – Director of Public Works, Dustin Bedore – Director of Electric Utilities, Joni Showalter-Police Chief, Suzanne McClure – Economic Development Director, Mary Volk – City Clerk, and Andrew Finzen – City Manager.


Mayor Linin led Pledge of Allegiance



  1. Bill Biermann, USD 352 Superintendent stated, I want to thank the City Crew for great job on cleaning streets and removing snow around schools to continue classes.  You have a great crew.



  1. NLC Service Line Warranty Program: Shauna Johnson – Shauna stated, the National League of City’s (NLC) is partnering with Utility Service Partners, Inc. for the service line warranty program. There are 15 City’s in Kansas and 400 in the United States participating in the program to offer affordable replacement of the unexpected expenses of water and sewer lines to their customers.  Program is no cost to City but gives residents a piece of mind knowing they make a call and get a licensed local plumber that is vetted in program to do repairs.  Utility Service Partners, Inc. does all program marketing three times a year to educate residents.  Monthly cost for program is external water line $7.50, external sewer line $8.49 and internal repair $9.99.  Citizens can sign up for any or all programs and cancel at any time.  In Kansas frozen lines are included in program.  There is a thirty day waiting period at sign up and no deductible.  I have made contact with two Cities in Kansas participating in program; they have no complaints.  The City endorses the program by adopting a resolution and signing the contract.  They have a royalty of $.50 per program, which is given back to City for utility programs.  Mayor Linin asked, how many customers do you think will sign up?  Shauna stated, I am thinking about one third.  There is an orangeburg pipe that the program does not cover, so if a customer knows they have that pipe, I would not recommend program for them.  The claim service line is 24/7, 365 days a year.  All we do is promote that we partnered with Utility Service Partners, Inc.  Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh asked, can one of our local plumbers run similar program?  Shauna stated, we discussed that today.  They can but we felt it would be difficult as they have to have revenue to run program.  Commissioner Garcia asked, how do they execute programs?  Shauna stated, they get information from City to send out mailings.  It is all done by mail and you can opt out of receiving information or citizens can start and stop program at any time.  Andrew stated, I feel it is a good program; only obligation from City is logo and addresses.  NLC is national organization with the League as subsidiary.  It is up to citizens whether they want to opt in to any or all of the programs.  I feel it is a minimal investment to benefit citizens and if they do not want it, nothing hurt.  Suzanne stated, there is another program today for appliances where customers complain about not getting paid, does not sound this is case with this program.  Shauna stated, I discussed claim payment with them also.  It is my understanding the turnaround is very quick from the insurance company.  I also understand before the work is done the customer knows whether it is covered.  Andrew stated, we just received a draft of the agreement.  I will get the draft resolution and agreement out to Commission and have on agenda for next meeting.



  1. 02/04/19 Commission Meeting Minutes
  2. Appropriation Ordinances: 2018-05, 2018-05A, and 2018-P05
  3. Reappointment of Richard Hayden to the Cemetery Board
  4. Appointment of Crystal Ragels to the Cemetery Board

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



  1. Resolution 1549: NRP Extension – Andrew sated, we discussed at last meeting to extend NRP Interlocal Agreement that is set to expire end of April. This resolution extends agreement to December 31, 2020.  Sherman County and USD 352 have approved extension.  ON A MOTION by Commissioner Garcia to approve Resolution 1549: NRP Extension seconded by Commissioner Fairbanks.  MOTION carried on a VOTE of 5-0.
  2. Ordinance 1721: Changing CID Collection Date, Amending Ordinance 1718 – Andrew stated, Doug Irvin requested an amendment to the CID collection date.  Ordinance 1718 set collections to begin April 2020, but intended date was July 1, 2019 to get process started.  They are still bound by twenty-two years or $8,000,000 collection amount in original ordinance.  ON A MOTION by Commissioner Garcia to approve Ordinance 1721: Changing CID Collection Date, Amending Ordinance 1718 seconded by Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh. MOTION carried on a VOTE of 5-0.



  1. Kansas WorkforceOne Lease Agreement – Andrew stated, this is office space lease agreement discussed last meeting. They agree to terms and agreement is in effect until December 2021 with two year renewal.  ON A MOTION by Commissioner Fairbanks to approve Kansas WorkforceOne Lease Agreement seconded by Commissioner Garcia.  Mayor Linin asked, does rent cover expenses?  Andrew stated, they are only here two days a week so I feel it is justified.  MOTION carried on a VOTE of 5-0.



  1. Sales Tax – Andrew stated, I have included sales tax numbers in packet.  Base figures show one percent sales tax raises about $1,200,000 and want to have cooperation with County.  The Commission has agreed to look at unfit structures, infrastructure then economic development. This would bring County back to funding economic development without raising mill levy.  We need to have a plan to consider by May 1st, which is first opportunity to look at sales tax.  Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated, can we have on agenda for next joint meeting along with couple other items.  The County discussed using the entire one percent for Highway 24.  Commissioner Fairbanks stated, we need to work with them to benefit the entire community and have a united effort.  Commissioner Garcia stated, the City and County are each entitled to 50% of tax.  I ran into County Commissioner Enfield who feels it would work better to get on the agenda at their regular scheduled meetings and vice versa.  We have to find middle ground with sales tax and if May is goal, we need to get working on it.  Commissioner Fairbanks stated, we used to meet at regular meetings but decided the individual items needed more time and attention for discussion.  Mayor Linin stated, that is correct; we have to come together.  Having a separate joint meeting, we work only on the agenda items.  Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh asked, are we limiting ourselves with dollar amount?  We do not want to spend money if do not need too.  I agree with Suzanne we need a permanent tax to fund economic development.  Andrew stated, Cities can assess up to 2% sales tax for general purposes without a sunset date, and a 1% tax that sunsets for special projects.  County may be bound by different rules.  I guarantee you can spend money for infrastructure without a sunset.  Commissioner Fairbanks stated, if money is spent on infrastructure it frees up other money in general fund.  Andrew stated, the current bond began March 2012 with maturity of 2023 but they indicated tax revenue is producing more which would allow early payoff.  Mayor Linin stated, it will be a challenge to get us both on same page to determine options to pursue.  I feel we will always have infrastructure issues.  Extending the current tax is easier than implementing a new tax.  I believe promoting a slight decrease will be easier to sell with a sunset.  Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated, I feel we should leave it at one percent but not go above it.  Mayor Linin stated, it will help if state can go down a little bit.  Commissioner Garcia stated, the point of focus is to find a way to compliment what each entity would like to complete.  We have to move beyond the personal wants and get two entities to blend together.  Andrew stated, funding economic development brings discussion where service is not under City umbrella but an independent organization with independent board.  Currently we are funding infrastructure through economic development.  Does Commission feel ready to discuss sales tax issue with county again?  Mayor Linin stated, I feel we need a firm plan but then again if we are going to work together, we need to build plan together and be open to ideas.  Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated, they need to compromise on the idea that the full one percent needs to be used for Highway 24.  Mayor Linin stated, I would expect our goals to be that future infrastructure funding should be from property tax like we do in our budget.  County is looking at April 16th for next joint meeting.  Commissioner Garcia stated, I feel need to start earlier with May deadline.  Mayor Linin asked, what if Andrew goes to their meeting to discuss our thoughts and have open conversation with County?  Commissioner Garcia stated, time is important; I feel we would be better served if Commission goes to County with Andrew to answer questions.  Mayor Linin stated, I feel we should get on their agenda even if we do not have everyone present.  Commissioner Garcia stated, I agree, we need to look at their meeting March 19th.  Consensus of Commission is for Andrew to request the Commission be on County agenda March 19th and keep April 16th date open for later discussions.
  2. Unfit Structure Incentives – Andrew stated, may be moot point this year with Motel 7 demolition but want to discuss whether the Commission would like to look at incentives for unfit structures. I am considering a program to offer a partnership on demolition and maintenance costs for property on unfit structure list.  Do you have any interest for alternatives of the property going through the unfit structure process?  Commissioner Garcia stated, I feel it would be pro-active and shows we care.  Mayor Linin stated, I agree and would like us to have such a program that is not always so negative.  From experience we know costs on most demolitions are minimal and it is feasible to split costs unless you have a big property like the motel.  Commissioner Fairbanks stated, I feel it’s a good idea; have we discussed what makes property valuation change with appraiser?  People use that as an excuse.  We need to know what is going on if we help people.  Mayor Linin stated, if we are shouldering some of costs and values increase, it helps cover some of tax increase if there is one.  Commissioner Garcia stated, it is an incentive for the property owner.  Andrew stated, I feel it would be beneficial to invite her to a meeting to go over appraisal process.  Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated, I feel it will save some money in long run and get ahead of unfit structures.  Andrew stated, I understand Commission wants me to draft a policy for review.  Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated, if we use our entire budget for Motel 7, can we begin work on other properties so when year turns we can use following years budget?  Andrew stated, has to work within the 120 day time period and go within fiscal year you are in.
  3. Joint Meeting Scheduling – Discussed under Sales Tax item.



  1. City Managers Report- 1. Mayor Linin stated, I asked Andrew to discuss Commission terms.   Andrew stated, Linin, Fairbanks and Schields are up in November election this year.  Next election is in two years with Brumbaugh, Garcia and individual that gets least number of votes in 2019 election.  Commissioner Garcia stated, all Commissioners stay in office after election until January.  Andrew stated, that is correct, the newly elected Commissioners take office in January.  A primary election is in August if the number of individuals filing are more than three times the number of open positions.  Mayor Linin stated, I feel this should be a reminder on the agenda first of each year.  2. Still have requests for bids out for dispatch remodel, trucks, pest control, contract mowing and Austin Park.  We are asking for the pest control and contract mowing services to be a two year agreement.  The FAA is requiring us to submit a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for airport engineering services. They require this about every five years.    NWKTC endowment is in March, City donates one pool pass and one month utilities on one residential account.  4. Anticipate Sporer to return March 18th, but it will depend on the weather.  We will also begin work at cemetery when it warms up.
  2. City Clerk – Mary updated the Commission on her department. Shauna recently became a certified administrator with Tantalus system which is beneficial for the City.  The system has proven to be beneficial for both billing and electric crew.  Shauna and Dustin have been asked to give a presentation to KMEA on the system.
  3. Commissioners

Commissioner Schields – 1.   I would like to thank City crews for good job on snow removal.  They do a good job.

Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh – 1.  Echo Commissioner Schields comments for City crews.  2.  What is status on letters for junk yard permits?  We need to follow up if we sent information out.  3.  We need to determine what we are going to allow for garages and vacant lots.  Andrew stated, I have a draft ordinance for accessory structures that will most likely be on agenda for next meeting.  I will follow up on junk yard permits.

Commissioner Fairbanks – 1.  Echo Commissioner Schields comments for City crews.  Commissioner Garcia – 1.  Echo Commissioner Schields comments for City crews.

  1. Mayors Report – Echo Commissioner Schields comments for City crews.  There have been some positive comments around town on snow removal.



  1. Executive Session – Under the authority of KSA 75-4319 (b)(6) for preliminary discussions relating to the acquisition of real property – Mayor Linin made a motion at 6:20 p.m. to recess into executive session under authority of S.A.75-4319 (b)(6) for preliminary discussions relating to the acquisition of real property not to exceed ten minutes.   I request the Commission and Andrew be present. Commissioner Garcia seconded the motion.  MOTION carried by a VOTE of 5-0.  Meeting resumed at 6:30 p.m.


ADJOURNMENT WAS HAD ON A MOTION Commissioner Shields seconded by Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh.  Motion carried by unanimous VOTE, meeting adjourned at 6:30 p.m.  Next meeting is scheduled for March 18, 2019.






ATTEST:                                                                                Brian Linin, Mayor





Mary P. Volk, City Clerk