July 15, 2019 Commission Minutes
GOODLAND CITY COMMISSION
July 15, 2019 5:00 P.M.
Vice-Mayor Jay Dee Brumbaugh called the meeting to order with Commissioner Annette Fairbanks and Commissioner Jacque Schields responding to roll call. Mayor Brian Linin and Commissioner John Garcia were 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, Mary Volk – City Clerk, and Andrew Finzen – City Manager.
Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh led Pledge of Allegiance
PRESENTATIONS AND PROCLAMATIONS
- 2019 Flatlander Festival: Lincoln Wilson – Lincoln gave 2018-2019 Flatlander Festival report and asked for request of 2019 donation for festival. Lincoln stated, we would like to thank the City for both financial and participation support. With revenues, visitors, and Picnic in the Park, the event was a community success. The spirit of our community is reflected in event. Participation in event is down because of the weather and the fact that surrounding communities now offer their version of the event. With our changes we anticipate an increase in participation. The City of Goodland is a major supporter for the event and its success, thank you. We are holding 2019 event September 27th through 29th. Mayor Brumbaugh stated, it is a great event. I spoke to a group last year and someone came from as far as California.
- 07/01/19 Commission Meeting Minutes
- Appropriation Ordinances, 2019-14, 2019-14A, and 2019-P14
ON A MOTION by Commissioner Fairbanks to approve Consent Agenda seconded by Commissioner Schields. MOTION carried on a VOTE of 3-0.
- Economic Development Incentives for Topside Aquatics – Shannon Cure, Topside Aquatic Board Member stated, we are introducing an indoor aquatic facility that has been a dream for several years. It will benefit health and wellness for all ages. We filed for 501-c-3 status to assist with grants and financing. Location we are renting to setup the pool is the former Gears building. Our EZ pool was purchased from a swimmer that is swimming in 2020 Olympics. Our challenge is to make bills, but hope with activities we have available, community will participate in the facility. We are here to ask City for some incentives to get facility open. Commissioner Fairbanks asked, does the building have a drain in event of leaks? Shannon stated, they are being installed in the building now. Suzanne stated, to assist in keeping startup costs down Topside Aquatics is asking for the following incentives: 1. waiver of deposits and connection fees; 2. asking for electricity at cost for first six months; 3. waiver of costs to fill pool first time and cost to use fire department and equipment to fill the pool. We feel if charges cost for electricity the City is not losing money with incentive. The cost is approximately $.07 per Kwh but varies month to month. We do not have customers to compare usage for this type of business. They will be utilizing heaters, lights, dehumidifiers, etc. Cost for water to fill 56,000 gallon pool one time will be $89.64 which does not include firemen labor. A hose cannot be hooked to the fire hydrant because it would have to go across the road that Fed Ex uses throughout the day. They want to fill pool in August. Mayor Brumbaugh stated, I am in support of project but need to abstain since I am on the board. Andrew stated, this is not an ordinance matter so to pass a vote for incentives only a majority of board present is required. Commissioner Fairbanks stated, there are some unknowns in incentive package, such as labor and equipment of firemen. Suzanne stated, yes because we do not know how long it will take to fill the pool, we are estimating eleven loads with fire truck. Commissioner Schields stated, I am in favor of incentives. Commissioner Fairbanks asked, do you have instructors certified at this time? Shannon stated, yes we currently have a certified aerobics and infant/child instructor. We have swimmers that are current lifeguards that will help. Commissioner Fairbanks stated, the biggest use will be swim team to practice year around but do you have a schedule. Shannon stated, we are not that far yet. Swim team will not use it year round because the members get so busy during school, but we will have schedule during the day. We are hoping to get a certified arthritis aerobics instructor. Commissioner Fairbanks asked, is staff recommending approval of incentives? Andrew stated, that is correct, we recommend approval of package Suzanne presented. This is first time we offered this electricity incentive, the previous package offered came at a large cost to the City. This is structure Dustin recommends because it is helping the new business and does not cost the City. Utility incentives are what businesses want and with this we are still able to offer this type of incentive. Commissioner Fairbanks stated, this project works with other projects we are working on in community, like Topside Trail. Mayor Brumbaugh stated, my interest is the wellness avenue, swim team is great but for therapy, seniors are excited about it because it is both a physical and social event. It also helps children with disabilities. These incentives will be helpful to Topside Aquatics; utilities will be a big ticket item that fluctuates. We know our fixed costs. Appreciate Dustin’s input on the plan. ON A MOTION by Commissioner Schields to approve incentive package for Topside Aquatics as presented seconded by Commissioner Fairbanks. MOTION carried on a VOTE of 2-0 with Mayor Brumbaugh abstaining due to conflict of interest.
- Amended Cemetery Rules and Regulations – Andrew stated, a copy of the rules were distributed last meeting. Jan Lohr, Board Member is present if there are questions. The major change is Section G Ossuarium which outlines policies and procedures for Ossuarium. There are certain urns required for ossuarium niches and we want inscriptions to be consistent. ON A MOTION by Commissioner Fairbanks to approve Cemetery Rules and Regulations as amended seconded by Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh. MOTION carried on a VOTE of 3-0.
- 2018 Audit Report – Harold Mayes CPA from Agler and Gaeddert reviewed audit report. Harold stated, the City received a clean opinion with no statutory violations. ON A MOTION by Commissioner Schields to accept the 2018 Audit Report seconded by Commissioner Fairbanks. MOTION carried on a VOTE of 3-0.
- Approval of FY 2020 Budget for Public Hearing – Andrew stated, we need to know if there are revisions to the 2020 proposed budget as the summary needs to be to paper by July 19th for publication. Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh asked, last year when wage increases were distributed was it 2% across the board and is the 2020 budget increase treated different? Andrew stated, no increase is automatic; the employee is evaluated by their department head annually who recommends an increase that requires my approval. The 2020 increase is the same process as last year other than the budget recommendation is $1.00 per hour instead of 2%. It will be more than last year but the $1.00 has a greater impact for lower wage earners, which was the concern you were trying to address. Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh asked, have there been any changes from budget originally presented? Andrew stated, there have been no changes or modifications since original budget meeting. Commissioner Fairbanks stated, I would like to have discussion to set aside $5,000 a year for signage to get people to our community. If they do not know what we have, what incentive do they have to stop in Goodland? We have a lot of new amenities to promote. We have talked about it for a long time and I feel we need to start somewhere. Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh asked, does that fit under Economic Development, it is advertising and promotions. Suzanne stated, I am happy to help out but my budget has also been cut back. Commissioner Fairbanks stated, that is the problem with every department, their budgets have been cut so far and if we do not increase a little at a time each year we will be behind the eight ball and have to make a large increase which will upset the community. Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated, I am in favor of promoting Goodland and our biggest asset is I-70 which is free sales tax money if we can get people to pull off interstate. We are in competition with our neighbor’s. Commissioner Fairbanks stated, there is a lot of traffic and we need to capture people and entice them to stop in our community. Suzanne stated, the billboards work because there are never any available. We have a way to put up a sign we just need the money to get it done. I am happy to contribute but I have other projects coming down the pike that also need funding. Commissioner Fairbanks stated, I do not like draining other departments to fund these projects. Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated, I feel this is economic development and would have liked to have tag teamed with CVB but our timing was not right. Suzanne stated, we are not going to get everyone but we need to do something to get people to stop in our community. Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated, we need to compete and be out there. What can we do? Andrew stated, what amount do you want to put away for signs and how do you want me to structure request with mill levy presented in proposed budget? Commissioner Fairbanks stated, I am not in favor of taking from other departments; we already make them cut so far and they have to be able to operate. Only way I feel we manage is add an amount to levy presented. Andrew stated, the City has been in the 49 to 50 mill levy range since 2011 so have not had a substantial tax increase in years. If you request an additional $5,000 it would be a minor increase in mill levy to 50.125. Commissioner Fairbanks stated, we have to decide if we are going to sit back or start asking for a little more. Commissioner Schields stated, we are working on projects other than what is in budget with grants like Topside Trail. I do not see where we can skim from departments when we have cut their budgets both last year and this year. Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated, I feel whatever the number is Suzanne would be able to do. Suzanne stated, I do not have $25,000 in my budget to fund a sign, which I believe is the amount for one of the signs. Commissioner Fairbanks stated, I feel sometimes you need to spend money to make money and I feel the City would reap rewards down the road. Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh asked, on the transfer to CIRF from Street and Alley for roof repair, are we thinking we will get more life or we just waiting longer to finance? Rich stated, we are still having trouble with leaks. Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated, I do not want to keep kicking the can down the road. I understand advertising is important but we have equipment and improvements that need to be addressed and we do not have money to pay for them. Andrew stated, we are stretching out time when improvements get done. No one has a crystal ball, you put away for improvement or equipment but it is an educated guess. Commissioner Fairbanks stated, I do not understand what the answer is, but if we keep cutting departments to keep same mill levy it is going to catch up with us. It is our responsibility to make good decisions to keep City moving forward. The continual cutting is already catching up with us. There is no good answer but have to continue to work on sales tax issue. We go through this every budget season but we have to face people with issues that are not easy. Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh asked, the decrease in water line maintenance reserve was significant, how will that affect water utility? Rich stated, it is ongoing and we have to continue making repairs. Andrew stated, yes we continue to make improvements and just completed the bond issue for water lines. Commissioner Fairbanks stated, my suggestion has been to increase taxes a little each year, we should have started a number of years ago. I do not know what amount or how to start process. Everything that has been cut out of budget is important, some have been cut totally while others by just a small amount. I feel one day we will have to make a major leap when should have been doing it all along. We are not alone, these are problems for all communities. Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated, taking care of what we have and having money to take care of what needs to be purchased is important. Advertising and billboards are important but have to take care of what we have. Commissioner Fairbanks stated, I agree with you to a point but we need to get people off highway to help us pay expenses. Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh asked, what were Mayor Linin and Commissioner Garcia’s ideas from discussion last meeting. Commissioner Schields stated, there was minimal discussion last meeting. Andrew stated, our request tonight is to agree on budget for publication to meet time line for public hearing. Once budget is published the Commission can only reduce mill levy. Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated, I do not like that we do not have everyone here for discussion. I want more discussion but we cannot hold it up. We need to have consensus of Commission for something as important as the budget. We are going to have things that are going to hit us outside the budget, other than the billboards. We have them every year. If we keep on same path as some things in past, they are not paying for themselves. Commissioner Fairbanks stated, we have had this on our calendar for some time and know we are in a time crunch. Mayor Linin is in harvest so is unavailable. Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh asked, when will final vote take place? Andrew stated, after public hearing on August 5th. Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh asked, what is the value of a mill? Andrew stated, $33,193, if you increase budget $5,000 it increases mill levy presented from 50.1 to 50.125 mills. Commissioner Fairbanks stated, I feel bad lobbying for $5,000 when everyone has cut their budget so far and that amount will not fund the sign for a number of years. Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated, people complain because they do not see where economic development money goes, what if one time we spend $25,000 from economic development for the sign. I cannot think of better use of the money. Suzanne stated, I will do if Commission requests but it will cut into future projects I have already been working on. Commissioner Fairbanks stated, I do not want to take from what a department already has in motion. Andrew stated, it is not fair to put any department on the spot, if you want to make it work in the budget or you want to add to the budget that is on my shoulders rather that asking department heads to fit it in their budget. Suzanne stated, part of the challenge with incentives is that there is not money for incentives to make it attractive. We saw that with the EZ Pool, but if you have a big business that wants more incentives, we do not have them to give. Commissioner Fairbanks asked, are there grants for signage? Andrew stated, not specific for signage, other that Dane Hanson or Sherman County Community Foundation grants. Commissioner Fairbanks stated, the most important thing on the table is to take care of our people because we are nothing without them. Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated, it goes back to CVB having a lot of money and no reason they cannot put City of Goodland on a billboard. I have a hard time going back to tax payers when I know they have money sitting there. Suzanne stated, that is very frustrating for me also. Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated, there is advertising just not for City of Goodland. Commissioner Fairbanks stated, there is no pressure on the CVB from the County Commission to help advertise for the City. A good example was when we redid the VanGogh painting, they use the image because it represents Goodland. CVB and Economic Development have separate niches yet overlap but need to work together on efforts. Andrew stated, as a reminder the County used to assist funding Economic Development, we do not just grow Goodland but the entire county. It is not common for a City to be sole administer of an Economic Development program. Suzanne stated, there is not one Economic Development Director in Northwest Kansas that is only funded by the City except Goodland. Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated, I just feel the bed tax should be used to help fund advertising for our community, we need to focus on that with the County. The two entities need to work together. Commissioner Fairbanks asked, the budget presented has the $1.00 increase in it? Andrew stated, that is correct. Suzanne stated, there is nothing in country that has stayed same price for eleven years. Commissioner Fairbanks stated, putting signage aside, I still would like to see us start process to increase mill a little each year to take care of what we have. We are not taking care of what we have when we keep cutting. Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated, knowing we cannot increase after publication, can we publish with a small increase to help somewhere? After the hearing we can back it down a bit if we need to. Andrew stated, the maximum the City can levy is $1,702,537 without exemptions. I do not feel comfortable going into hearing with so much uncertainty; I feel need to make decisions before then. Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated, I stand with budget presented and feel with our discussions on consolidations we may see some savings. Commissioner Fairbanks stated, I am not in favor of that and feel it is time we do something to take care of what we have. I am in favor of working with County and we can keep asking but we have been down that road and it does not help us right now. Commissioner Schields stated, we can always decrease after publication but cannot increase, where we need more money I do not see a way around it. I feel it is justified, the money is not there. I agree we need to increase a little each year. At consolidation meetings they stressed we should not bank on the idea saving us money. We need to move forward instead of backwards. With a 2-1 consensus, with Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh not in agreement, Commission agreed to publish the budget at 51.1 mills, which is a one mill increase from proposed budget. Andrew asked, do you want to tell me where increase should be allocated or do you want me to make that decision? Consensus of Commission is they are comfortable with Andrew making decision. Commissioner Fairbanks asked, will one mill make a difference in any area? Andrew stated, it will come from items on the list that were cut. Commissioner Fairbanks asked, do we need to go a full mill? I do not want to raise it just too just raise it, I want to know it will help. Andrew stated, neither a half or whole mill are transformative, department heads have made valid requests but we have cut budgets back so far. Commissioner Fairbanks asked, what is the effect of a one mill increase on an individual’s taxes? Andrew stated, one mill increase on residential home valued at $100,000 would be about $11.00 or $7.40 on a home valued at $65,000. Consensus remains 2-1, to publish budget with a one mill increase.
- City Manager – 1. They have finished work on 4th Street and anticipate opening it Monday. 2. On Main Street Brick project water lines on west side are being tied in, then will do east side. They are working on getting brick layers to the location. Dispatchers will be moved to the remodeled area then contractor will demolish current dispatch area. 4. The Little Free Libraries have been put up. 5. City crews are working on the sand volleyball pit. Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh asked, did we increase size? Andrew stated, yes, we extended twenty feet to west to add a ten foot buffer on each side. We did not extend toward Arcade since there were concerns on location. 6. Equipment for second pickle ball court came in today. 7. City employees helped hospital with a community assessment today, offering input on community needs.
- Economic Development Director – Suzanne stated, they are completing the houses with NWKTC and the first one is in process of having a contract signed to be sold. We worked on Big Kansas Road Trip, using the Welcome Center for registration. Highway 24 garage sale was a success. Goodland hosted the 45th Anniversary for Bike Across Kansas and the Model T tour. Renner Field has been chosen as sight for Fly Kansas Air Show on September 27th. We partnered with college for the new sign on Highway 24. I have been asked to set on board for Impact Kansas which is a community development entity seeking funds for low income communities. In an upcoming meeting Triplett, Inc. will visit with Commission about needs for new building. Colby location has been put on hold and Goodland is priority. My understanding is it will be a complete demolition and rebuild. It is a $3,500,000 project that he will not do without a restaurant. I am excited about Topside Aquatics and the success of Buds and Blooms. I have been appointed to the board for Topside Manor, formerly Good Samaritan. Grace Team from Topeka has been hired to manage facility. Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated, I have heard costs for new building would go to County. Suzanne stated, yes if we need new building will go to County and looking at options with Rural Development. I feel one of the biggest economic development projects in our community is to keep the facility here. Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated, I hope they will consider a dementia wing; which is a concern of many families that have to send family member’s somewhere else. Suzanne stated, I am also working with Matt and Jena McKenzie on hotel building. The Holiday Inn Express project is moving ahead. Kinsey Volk is back as an Intern for social media. I am also a board member for KREDA and am working with the committee on Topside Trail. The Dog Park has been used a lot this year. We spend a lot of time talking to people to get them downtown. In regards to CVB, I am happy to work with them but I hope Commission understands the funds of CVB and Economic Development cannot co-mingle.
Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh – 1. We have experienced a few pools this summer; one pool we swam at was very cloudy. Barb Bedore and her staff do a great job in our pool and I appreciate how nice our facility is and the people doing the work.
Commissioner Fairbanks – 1. Thank Rich for fire hydrants at Dog Park, we are working to get them painted. 2. Are we on track with college for property at 1008 Main? Andrew stated, yes, next step is agreement with College on needs to move forward.
Commissioner Garcia – 1. Absent, No Report
Commissioner Schields – 1. No Report
- Mayor – Absent, No Report
ADJOURNMENT WAS HAD ON A MOTION Commissioner Fairbanks seconded by Commissioner Schields. Motion carried by unanimous VOTE, meeting adjourned at 7:40 p.m. Next meeting is scheduled for August 5, 2019.
ATTEST: Jay Dee Brumbaugh, Vice-Mayor
Mary P. Volk, City Clerk