December 16, 2019 Commission Minutes

December 16, 2019 Commission Minutes

December 16, 2019 Commission Minutes

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Regular Meeting

December 16, 2019                                                                                                                      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, LeAnn Taylor – Municipal Court Clerk/Judge, Mary Volk – City Clerk, and Andrew Finzen – City Manager. 

Mayor Linin led Pledge of Allegiance



  1. 12/02/19 Commission Meeting Minutes
  2. Appropriation Ordinances: 2019-24, 2019-24A, and 2019-P24
  3. Award of IFB 2019-12: Cemetery Grave Opening and Closing Contract Services to Brian Fugelberg   
  4. Approval of Library Contract 2020

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


  1. Ordinance 1730: Commission Terms, Elections and Rules and Procedures – Andrew stated, ordinance aligns commission terms and elections to first meeting in January.  This was an issue in 2017 when language in law changed for new commissioners.  Legislature came back last year and modified language so that local authority sets own installation date for commission as long as it is no later than second meeting in January.  I recommend align with first meeting in January so no special meeting is required.  In addition, there were some other items in code that did not comply to rules of procedure so those were updated.  Commissioner Garcia asked, will the new commission be sworn in January 6th?  Andrew stated, yes it will take place first meeting in January.  ON A MOTION by Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh to approve Ordinance 1730: Commission Terms, Elections and Rules and Procedures seconded by Commissioner Fairbanks.  MOTION carried on a VOTE of 5-0. 


  1. CMB Licenses 2020 – Andrew stated, Cereal Malt Beverage licenses in the City of Goodland require annual approval.  Two categories of licenses are Consumption on premises or Sale in original and unopened containers.  For Consumption on premises there are Pizza Hut and Seven C’s LLC d/b/a Gambino’s.  For Sale in original and unopened containers there are Travel Shoppe #6, Circle K, Inc., and 24/7 Travel Store, then Cowboy Corner Xpress, pending background investigation, and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and Casey’s, both pending inspection approval.  We recommend approval of all licenses contingent upon approval of background investigation and inspection approval.  ON A MOTION by Commissioner Garcia to approve Cereal Malt Beverage licenses as presented contingent upon approval of background investigation and inspection approval seconded by Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh.  MOTION carried on a VOTE of 5-0.
  2. Animal Control Contract 2020 – Andrew stated, as reviewed last meeting, contract is for 2020 for three year term and two year renewal option.  It includes $100 increase per month for $1,500 per month.  Impact on annual budget is $1,200 which was approved in budget process this summer by Commission.  ON A MOTION by Commissioner Schields to approve Animal Control Contract 2020 seconded by Commissioner Garcia.  MOTION carried on a VOTE of 5-0.
  3. Recreation Program Contract 2020 – Andrew stated, contract increases annual cost to GAC $4,000 a year which was approved in budget process.  This is three year contract with two year renewal option.  ON A MOTION by Commissioner Fairbanks to approve Recreation Program Contract 2020 seconded by Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh.  MOTION carried on a VOTE of 5-0.


  1. Review of Board Applicants – Andrew stated, there is one vacancy on cemetery board and we received two applications, Tamara Hayes and Marsha Schilling.  Cemetery Board met December 12th and recommend Tamara for vacancy.  Through discussion there may be an opening on board in near future so would like to keep second application for future appointment.  Mayor Linin stated, both applicants would be good, appreciate recommendation. 
  2. Health Insurance Renewal – Rhonda Hernandez, PIC stated, currently there are four people that have hit the $30,000 stop loss limit and BCBS has paid $105,808.07 year to date over the limit.  The City has paid $319,084.13 toward stop loss, with attachment point being $379,876.46.  Reserves for three previous years are positive so money sits in fund till use to process claims.  On the renewal you are looking at an increase of 11.7% to maintain same plan.  To assist with bringing costs down, we looked at cost shifting with employees paying 5% and City paying 95% to maintain grandfather status.  I shopped insurance with three competitive companies, for comparable plan to maintain grandfather status and BMI is the only one that got information back timely.  BMI quote is not competitive at $1,084,910.64 and I do not feel is a viable option.  Next option is BCBS with alternate options or offer duo options.  If you choose to go with a non-grandfathered plan, only a drug card is available for prescription coverage where you will see every medication while you do not with current plan.  Your prescription coverage will be an issue going forward utilizing a card.  If you offer a choice of two plans, you can offer a Health Savings Account and have City assist with seed money to start savings account.  The options get you a lower renewal amount but keep in mind the prescription plan will be a large factor in future.  On the dual option employees select option they want to take, but I feel if the City does not start seeding plan the employees will be unhappy.  It is an education process for your employees.  My biggest fear in transition is the prescription piece.  We went a step further with United Health Care bid fully insured trying to match current plan as close as can but deductible increased substantially.  They do not want to cover retirees on plan of which you have two.  I provided other companies with information to bid and they struggled with March renewal time frame.  BMI went to multiple carriers for rates.  My recommendation for this year, remain with current grandfathered plan.  I see problems going outside of it with increases of out of pocket expenses for employee.  When we set up self-insurance plan we talked about a five year plan.  Going to a third party administrator, they found information in health assessments were not favorable.  I feel it may be time to cost share with employee at 5%.  A wellness program would help for future.  We have explored many opportunities but need to be conscience of networks available for each insurance.  Many people go to Denver for healthcare but many carriers will not cover services in Colorado.  I have exhausted search for groups in Kansas under 100, it is limited.  They shy away from small groups.  All companies received health assessments.  Commissioner Schields asked, if we approve non-grandfathered plan we mess with prescription plan?  Rhonda stated, yes for all non-grandfathered plans.  Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated, is the increase to remain with current plan about $90,000?  Commissioner Schields asked, what is in the budget?  Commissioner Fairbanks stated, we budgeted a 15% increase; renewal is an increase just under 12%.  Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated, this is frustrating with a budget approved in August but renewal numbers come in after budget is approved.  Rhonda stated, only other thing we can look at is to see if they will approve changing anniversary date to coincide better with budget.  In that case, you would request a fifteen month renewal to try to align with budget.  Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated, I would appreciate if we could do that.  Commissioner Fairbanks stated, it is difficult for me to ask employees to pay a portion because they did not get the raise they should have.  If we ask them to give 5% that takes some of them backwards.  Rhonda stated, with BCBS you have an early final, and I understand you want to request an anniversary date that is more appealing for everyone.  Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated, if we have number for budget, the numbers would be where they should be.  Rhonda stated, if they will allow the extension, being self-funded they may request us to stop contract and start new contract, which is not a problem.  If BCBS cooperates with request, it is doable.  Commissioner Fairbanks stated, the 5% employee contribution on single plan is $29.06.  I want employees to have best policy we can.  Commissioner Schields stated, with the prescription plan, there is value staying grandfathered plan.  Rhonda stated, I agree until legislature changes.  Mayor Linin asked, will you get information from other companies after first of year?  Rhonda stated, I feel Aetna will, but unsure about others companies.  United Health Care will have to update their plan for March renewal.  There is an option of a captive plan from Berkley where you can remain with self-insured grandfathered plan with stop loss.  Mayor Linin asked, how does a captive plan work?  Rhonda stated, the plan would add a middle tier to stop loss for costs up to $250,000 then Berkley is responsible for costs.  With the additional tier there is more cost share to spread risk in pool; however, need to seed money as collateral in plan.  The first year will cost more with seed money to cover claims in middle tier.  BMI rates are from Berkley but if you select captive plan we will not know collateral amount needed till later.  Commissioner Fairbanks asked, so we understand, we could possibly get contract on different cycle if approved?  Rhonda stated, I would like to try if that is what you request.  Commissioner Fairbanks asked, item is under discussion can we vote on it tonight?  I do not feel it is fair to put on backs of three new commissioners.  I feel we put the 15% in budget and we are within budget.  Andrew stated, all items on the agenda can be voted on at any time.  Commissioner Garcia stated, this action is no different than any other decision the Commission makes.  Rhonda stated, we have to have information to insurance sixty days before renewal.  Commissioner Fairbanks stated, I feel we need to vote on it as we have been involved in the process.  J.J. Howard stated, I feel Commissioner Fairbanks is saying the new commission is not qualified to make decision.  The agenda shows it as a discussion item not a formal action.  Commissioner Fairbanks stated, no I did not say you are not qualified.  J.J. stated, you are putting the burden of unhappy employees on us with benefit approved.  I understand she needs the information but Rhonda could have brought up contract extension date last year.  Commissioner Fairbanks stated, that is not on Rhonda, the Commission should have guided her that direction.  J.J. stated, you have discussed so many different plans tonight.  I am not ever in favor of costing the employees any money for their insurance.  Commissioner Fairbanks stated, that is what I want to do.  J.J. stated, but it is up to the commission, you are only one.  Commissioner Fairbanks stated, I am saying if we make them pay for their insurance, it is taking them backwards since we did not give the wage increase we wanted and I want to request an extension in our contract to coincide with budget process.  I want to renew current plan with City paying 100%.  This does not make the employees contribute this year since they did not get raise should have received.  It is not good if you do not support your Department Heads and employees.  J.J. we are saying the same thing.  Mayor Linin stated, asking to change our renewal date does not help with this renewal and timing required for approval.  Rhonda stated, the problem is timing for renewals, many are trying to complete January renewals now where the City’s is March.  I cannot promise the extension but I will fight for it, knowing they have approved them in past.  If we change anniversary date it could solve a lot of this issue and get away from the end of year renewals.  Commissioner Garcia stated, I question your professionalism as we need to get all the numbers earlier to create little pressure in making these decisions.  I talked to an insurance expert in Wichita that will meet with us January 6th and will have plenty of time for March renewal.  Commissioner Schields stated, she has already shopped the insurance.  Rhonda stated, if you do that they will not have numbers for actual claims which I have shopped using employee health assessments.  We are an employee advocate for your group and have helped every one of the employees sitting here with questions.  The City paying 100% of premium was an issue last year so I brought you the option to have the employees pay 5% and City pay 95%.  If another carrier comes in they do not have claim information so it is not a true picture.  Claims are claims.  Andrew you can let me know what other information you need from me.  Commissioner Garcia stated, it is our job to approve the policy and Commissioner Fairbanks you are questioning the ability of the new commission to make the decision.  Commissioner Fairbanks stated, that is not what I said, we have studied the numbers in budget process and did not approve the wage increase to have employees pay a portion.  Commissioner Schields stated, I want to stay with grandfathered plan to make sure our prescription plan does not go out the roof.  I would say for new commissioners at budget time you need to determine whether the employees pay the 5% and you compensate their wages accordingly.  At this point we are not there.  We are committed by the budget we made to keep paying 100% of the benefit another year.  Commissioner Fairbanks stated, as a group we made the decision not to increase their wages to help pay insurance.  Commissioner Garcia stated, we have three commissioners coming on in January.  I have never voted not to give the employees a raise to offset cost.  I get frustrated because I know what sales are about.  I do not want to deprive incoming commissioners of making decisions that are beneficial.  Mary stated, when you get insurance agents presenting different plans you need to be aware of the fine print in the plan with claim runoff.  That happened in past with commission, the plan looked good but in the details, any claim filed after termination date of your policy was City’s responsibility.  Depending on the claims that could bankrupt a City, then the next year your premiums skyrocket.  Rhonda is not an insurance agent; she is a benefit advocate for our employees.  That is the reason she brings in options from different companies that she has shopped using the health assessment information.  Commissioner Fairbanks stated, we have the information we need to make the decision instead of putting information on the new commission.  We can make a decision that is healthy for the City.  The Commission owes Rhonda an apology.  J.J. stated, I agree with Commissioner Fairbanks, do not make employees pay for benefit when within budget but I would like it to be new commission voting on issue.  Commissioner Fairbanks stated, the vote could go either way with either commission.  J.J. stated, we have to be responsible.  Commissioner Schields stated, I resent the implication we are being irresponsible to vote tonight.  Aaron Thompson stated, the increase is just short of 12% to keep same plan.  If that is within budget I do not see the issue.  Commissioner Fairbanks stated, if a vote is made you as a commission have to stand behind the decision made by the majority vote.  As a commission we did not ask Rhonda to look into extending our policy term.  Commissioner Schields stated, this will be a concern come budget time.  Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated, it is a convenience having the numbers up front during budget process to have a better picture for budget.  Andrew stated, I have had multiple meetings with staff today.  They are here today because they are concerned about their benefit.  Staff preference is to have commission vote tonight to maintain existing insurance.  There is a concern if they have to pay a portion of insurance that raises are a wash or they go backwards.  Not that new commission cannot make same decision but that is a big first meeting for the new commission to have.  By discussion it sounds like two of the new incoming commissioners are in favor of maintaining benefits.  It sounds like there is a consensus among commission and incoming commission to stand behind benefit.  ON A MOTION by Commissioner Fairbanks to approve renewal of insurance in the amount of $848,372.64 with the City paying 100% and request extension of contact to coincide with budget process seconded by Commissioner Schields.  Vice-Mayor asked, where does the extra 3% go in budget?  Andrew stated, it will stay in each fund as balance forward, but does not have to stay within line item.  Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated, with time frame and budget approved I feel this is good for employees, but understand it will restrict us on pay increases in future.  I would like Rhonda to look into extending contract to line up with budget.  Commissioner Garcia stated, I am concerned for employees.  MOTION carried on a VOTE of 5-0.


  1. City Manager – 1.  City offices are closed December 23rd and 24th for the Holidays.  2.  City party went well and appreciate attendance.  3.  We received conditional approval for Airport Master Plan, just waiting on packet for signatures.  We ran into obscure items on this project with the Industrial Park and Sewer Plant.  I appreciate Darin’s assistance working through items in question.  Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh asked, where have they been the past forty years?  Those have been out by airport.  Mayor Linin asked, on the issues that have come up, will this keep coming up or are they resolved?  Andrew stated, I hope they are resolved but this shows whoever is in the seat in Kansas City will guide the process.  This has been frustrating for City staff but feel we are at the end of process and moving ahead on project for acquisition of land to follow with runway extension project.  We feel we are still on pace to get projects done.  Mayor Linin asked, is Airport Board apprised of what is going on?  Andrew stated, they are aware of some issues but the last meeting was rescheduled so they will be caught up to date at upcoming meeting.  We just got word of the conditional approval last week.  4.   Carpet cleaners were in dispatch center today, desks are coming in tomorrow, and then project is complete.  Will be glad to see finished project.   
  2. Economic Development Director – 1.  Topside Trail project is moving forward with concrete bid approved.  Dog Park is complete and we are working with NWKT College on video to assist with fundraising to work toward completion of original plan.  2.  I am a member of KREDA Board which represents fifty-five counties in western Kansas.  We are working on legislative review to present needs of our area in Topeka.  3.  We worked with Network Kansas on entrepreneurial fair and had a great turnout even with rescheduling event.  Chase Topliff is high school instructor and his students did a great job.  Sponsorships for the event grow every year.  Jessica Bonner spear headed this project.  4.  I am working with a business to utilize E-community loan funds once building details are secure.  5.  KREDA is in support of Historic Tax Credits and working to ensure funds remain intact at State and not utilized elsewhere in State budget.  We have three buildings eligible for funds.  6.  I am an advisory member of Impact Kansas Board which is a branch of Network Kansas.  They work with large project $5,000,000 and up.  We submitted for federal funds and tax credits as Kansas has been under served with these funds.  7.    Continue working with Holiday Inn Express, the IRB and CID are in place.  City crews worked hard on road and did a great job.  Thank you to City Staff, truly impressed with quality of work.  8.  On the 24/7 project the IRB and CID are in place.  It is still a tear down and rebuild project for $3,500,000.  The food vendor still relies on KDOT approval on entrances to business.  We are working hard to obtain KDOT approval.  I appreciate what Commission has done to assist with project.  Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh asked, if the food vendor does not come through will he complete project?  Suzanne stated, he has not changed his mind on project, but he will make it so they can add on to building if he finds a food vendor.  Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh asked, once project is done will KDOT change their mind?  Suzanne stated, you never know, as of now we have heard lots of no’s from KDOT.  Commissioner Garcia stated, the Secretary of KDOT was at a meeting in Colby it would have been nice if we could have known and gone over to visit with her.  Suzanne stated, Mark said today, he does not give up easily.  He and the food vendor were on the phone today so still trying to move ahead.  Andrew Brunner, EBH Engineer stated, KDOT purchased access control rights and with their purchase they choose whether or not they give you access to your property.  Commissioner Garcia stated, it is my understanding the Secretary can override KDOT decision.  Suzanne stated, she can and has in the past.  Individuals are looking at some locations in other communities but KDOT has not purchased the access control rights.  Senator Billinger is working on it and continues to work on it every day.  Mark is also continually working on it.  We can go to Topeka if we need to.  9.  I am a Board member of Topside Manor.  We hired Grace Team to manage and have made a big improvement to facility and the employees are happy.  We are still working toward getting new facility in future, it is needed and we need to give people the option to keep loved ones in our community.  10.  Topside Acquatics filled the small pool today.  There has been a lot of interest in this project.  11.  Santa School House was a huge success.  We received grant money for the reindeer and had more than 500 people come through the Museum and School House that weekend.  The reindeer were a big draw and we would like to get them back next year.  People came from all around even with the weather and putting the reindeer in the Museum.  12.  We will have two new businesses, The Bullet Hole and Black Hide Beef, on Main Street in the near future.  13.  Taco Grande news is true, news was released prematurely as they are getting building secured.  14.  I am working with a gentleman from Wakeeney for Opportunity Zone projects.  Do not have to live in county you invest in for opportunity zone monies. 
  3. Municipal Clerk/Judge – LeAnn stated, we had 481 cases for 2018, compared to 372 for 2019 year to date.  With low case load revenues are also down.  I am sorting records to image and destroy as allowed.  I am also training employees from St Francis on judicial process. 
  4. Commissioners

Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh – 1. Thankful able to come to unanimous decision on insurance. 

Commissioner Fairbanks – 1.  What is the status on 1008 Main?  Andrew stated, we are working with college to line up with their fall semester.  2.  Did we hear anything on adopt a highway?  Andrew stated, we left it that I was working with service groups and they were not interested.

Commissioner Garcia – 1.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Commissioner Schields – 1.  The lights at Pioneer Park, Main Street and around town look good.  I know it takes a lot of time to get them all done.

  • Mayor 1.  No Report.

ADJOURNMENT WAS HAD ON A MOTION Commissioner Garcia seconded by Commissioner Schields.  Motion carried by unanimous VOTE, meeting adjourned at 7:45 p.m.  Next meeting is scheduled for January 6, 2020.


ATTEST:                                                                                Brian Linin, Mayor


Mary P. Volk, City Clerk