June 1, 2020 Commission Minutes

June 1, 2020 Commission Minutes

June 1, 2020 Commission Minutes

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Regular Meeting

June 1, 2020                                                                                                                           5:00 P.M.

Mayor John Garcia called the meeting to order with Vice-Mayor Aaron Thompson, Commissioner Jay Dee Brumbaugh, Commissioner J. J. Howard and Commissioner Gary Farris responding to roll call. 

Also present were Rich Simon – Director of Public Works, Joni Showalter-Police Chief, Joshua Jordan – IT Director, Mary Volk – City Clerk and Andrew Finzen – City Manager. 

Mayor Garcia led Pledge of Allegiance



  1. Northwest Tech Diesel Technology Program Explanation: Ben Schears – Ben Schears, President Northwest Kansas Technical College stated, in January the college started working with a federal grant writing agency, allowing the opportunity to expand Diesel Technology Program.  This is one of our largest programs on campus with a lot of industry support, but lack of space.  There is also a lot of over the road agriculture equipment.  We have been working with the Economic Development Agency for available grants.  With COVID-19, available grant dollars has grown.  Our project is expanding to the west with a 50×100 addition on building.  This allows room for Dyno’s for both semi-trucks and tractors, then a control booth in the shop to perform diagnostics on the equipment.  Being from a rural community, this program is beneficial to the college.  The grants are normally 50/50 match, but these grants are 80/20 so we are working hard towards the grant.  I appreciate Andrew Finzen from the City and Andrew Brunner from EBH assisting us to gain access to the building expansion.  The college also appreciates the trees along the walking path and the work of the Topside Trail committee to bring the trail through campus.  The trail assists our students in travelling around town safely.  We are on target to get back with face to face classes for students this fall.  We appreciate the partnership with the City.  Mayor Garcia stated, we appreciate the college expanding and the City assisting with vision. 
  2. Introduction of Summer Interns: Kinsey Volk and Somnath Mukherjee – Andrew stated, we have added youth to City with two college interns over summer.  Kinsey stated, I am a senior in Music Education at KSU.  My intern is made available by NEXGEN.  I will continue to promote a positive community presence on social media.  I will continue the brick bonanza and am working with Sherman County Community Foundation on a project to help local businesses that closed with COVID.  Somnath stated, I am a Graduate Student at KSU.  This is my second internship with the Dane Hansen Foundation through KSU.  I am working on a plan for business and landscaping Main Street.  Currently I am conducting a survey which has had good responses so far.  I appreciate the opportunity to work with Andrew.  Mayor Garcia asked, how are the interns funded?  Andrew stated, NEXGEN is 50/50 and Dane Hansen 100% Foundation. 


  1. County Commission Call to Order – County Chairman John Topliff called the County Commission meeting to order with County Commissioner Larry Enfield reported as present.  County Commissioner Rod Blake was reported absent.  Also present from the County is Ashley Mannis – County Clerk. 
  2. Economic Development-CVB-Chamber of Commerce Discussion – Mayor Garcia stated, I have been busy contacting municipalities with varying budgets to develop a mission statement.  I feel we have one that is very precise and you can revise as needed.  County Commissioner Enfield stated, I have been questioned why we are reverting the three entities to same organization Sherman County had in past.  I want the public to know we have learned from the past and are not structuring this like past.  The County would like to organize a board as discussed, three each from City and County, then one at large selected by the six members.  Mayor Garcia stated, that is what we discussed last meeting, then County Commissioner Blake mentioned limiting board to five members.  I have no problem either way as long as we progress rapidly.  County Commissioner Enfield stated, I am fine either way as long as there is equal representation with one at large.    Mayor Garcia read the mission and vision statement.  Mayor Garcia stated, I feel it is concise and covers all venues.  From this point we need to form a board to work on details.  Commissioner Howard stated, it is direct and to the point.  Vice-Mayor Thompson stated, the statement is broad but concise, looks good.  Bill Stoick, CVB Board Member asked, will the board be balanced?  Mayor Garcia stated, it will be even representation from the City and County then one at large.  Commissioner Brumbaugh stated, it is difficult to get a lot of members together so feel five may be more efficient, then they can delegate.  County Commissioner Enfield stated, the Hospital Board changed to five members but are having trouble getting quorums, so want to go back to seven.  I prefer seven members for the board.  Vice-Mayor Thompson stated, I prefer seven members.  Mayor Garcia stated, it appears the consensus is seven members.  County Commissioner Enfield stated, so the City and Commission each needs to get three names then those six can appoint the at large member.  Andrew stated, before you get board membership, I feel you need a document stating expectations.  County Commissioner Enfield stated, I agree.  Mayor Garcia stated, the mission and vision statements provide them a platform.  The City and County Attorney’s need to produce document of expectations using the statements.  I would also like concise information to change board members without jumping through hoops if there are conflicts.  Once the board is formed, jurisdiction goes to the board and the City and County have no decision in plan.  County Commissioner Enfield stated, there needs to be specific language to ensure funds are never comingled.  Vice-Mayor Thompson stated, yes they need a set of bylaws to operate.  Bill asked, what is the name of the board?  Mayor Garcia stated, we have not named board yet, we need them to function to operate the business.  Bill asked, but you want information to easily remove members?  Mayor Garcia stated, only in event of conflict.  Board members are most important for the organization to function.  ON A MOTION by Commissioner Brumbaugh to approve the Mission and Vision Statements as presented seconded by Vice-Mayor Thompson.  MOTION carried on a VOTE of 5-0.  ON A MOTION by County Commissioner Enfield to approve the Mission and Vision Statements as presented seconded by County Chairman Topliff.  MOTION carried on a VOTE of 2-0.  Mayor Garcia stated, we need to setup meeting to discuss board member names.  Vice-Mayor Thompson asked, is the process going to be open application or is the Commission bringing names to the table?  County Commissioner Enfield stated, we need to advertise in paper which will require more time to allow people the opportunity to apply.  Andrew stated, the first City meeting in July is the 6th.  County Chairman Topliff stated, we should have names by then.  Maybe we can see if attorney’s can get bylaws by then.  What is status of fire merger?  Mayor Garcia stated, the City has all information complete so I believe remaining is for County Attorney.  Andrew stated, they will put together information then have the Commissions review and discuss changes.  County Chairman Topliff stated, I believe they are finishing details.  Next joint meeting is scheduled at the City Commission meeting on July 6th.   County Commissioner Enfield stated, both entities need to contact attorney’s to proceed. 
  3. County Commission Adjourns – Adjournment of the County Commissioner was had on a motion by County Commissioner Enfield seconded by County Chairman Topliff.  Motion carried by unanimous vote.


  1. 05/18/20 Commission Meeting Minutes
  2. Appropriation Ordinances: 2020-11, 2020-11A, and 2020-P11

ON A MOTION by Vice-Mayor Thompson to approve Consent Agenda seconded by Commissioner Farris.  MOTION carried on a VOTE of 5-0. 


  1. COVID-19 Planning – Andrew stated, City Office and the museum were open today, plans are to open pool Friday; this has been a moving target.  I have been working with Barb Bedore and Jennifer Cure on the pool.  The baby pool will not open immediately as we found a leak that we fixed and concrete will not be cured by Friday.  Does the Commission have any questions?  Vice-Mayor Thompson asked, when will transportation van begin operating?  Andrew stated, we are in a wait and see mode.  Concern is the ability to regular disinfect and the close quarters for predominantly at risk members of the community.  We would not want an event under the van.  I feel this is a prime target where we need to exercise caution.  Mayor Garcia asked, do you have a target date?  Andrew stated, we are anticipating the end of June.  It is a vital service but dealing with some of the most vulnerable citizens in the community.  Vice-Mayor Thompson asked, you think that is more risky than gathering at the pool.  Andrew stated, I do because at the pool people are outside and you have the chlorination.  People are more at risk inside and in close quarters.  Commissioner Howard asked, how many ride the bus at a time?  Andrew stated, it varies depending on the time of day.  Lunch hour and first thing in the morning are busy times.  Mayor Garcia stated, I have visited with the manager at Walmart.  We talked about gathering volunteers to drive bus but unsure about liability.  It is a crucial service to our community.  The Governor stated it was imperative to keep public transportation operating.  Commissioner Howard asked, can we require masks and have temperatures taken by drivers?  The riders can sanitize as get on and off bus.  Andrew stated, temperature gages symptoms have developed and have virus but the virus has a dormancy period so not always effective.  There is a question of enforcement, who will be the one monitoring and what consequences are of non-compliance.  Does commission feel we should open operations or give additional time?  Vice-Mayor Thompson stated, I feel if everything else is open the van should be open.  We can have guidelines for drivers and riders but I feel we should operate.  Mary stated, the van is a federal funded where the drivers are subject to random testing, so volunteers cannot drive the van.  Commissioner Brumbaugh asked, do we have a driver?  Andrew stated, we will have to check their availability.  Last time I spoke to the drivers, they are both interested in returning.  Mayor Garcia stated, I believe the Commission can give Andrew some latitude to see if the van can start operating next Monday.  Commissioner Howard stated, we have to make sure drivers are comfortable.  Vice-Mayor Thompson asked, what kind of guidelines are we expecting?   Mayor Garcia stated, Andrew can work out details with drivers.  Commissioner Brumbaugh stated, by next week other things will open up.  We need to walk gingerly but we can proceed.  What did we decide to do with pool admissions, are prices remaining the same?  Andrew stated, we went back to original plan to operate pool hours in three different sessions with thirty minute breaks for cleaning.  The daily admittance was cut in half and we are reducing rates for summer passes.  Mayor Garcia asked, will there be a number limitation at pool.  Andrew stated, not at this time as there are currently no restrictions.
  2. FY 2021 Budget Priorities – Andrew stated, I would like to receive Commission input for 2021 budget and ensure Commission is available for special meeting June 22nd at 5:00 p.m. to present budget.  Vice-Mayor Thompson asked, how long do we anticipate meeting to last?  Andrew stated, it will depend on questions from Commission.  That will not be the only meeting we will have on the budget.  The budget process is one of the most important things Commission does to formalize priorities.  To present a budget that will get approved, we need to know priorities Commission would like to fund.  Mayor Garcia stated, the Commission gave direction for some categories, have you been approaching in that manner.  Commission will be making some tough decisions.  Andrew stated, we have been working the information you provided into the budget.  This is time for additional considerations.  Commissioner Brumbaugh stated, we need to start funding airport projects and road maintenance.  We have been asking staff to help with new roads but need to maintain existing and fund airport cross wind runway project.  Vice-Mayor Thompson stated, I agree.  Commissioner Howard stated, I would like all departments to determine equipment will need in future and where money will come from, for example the media at water treatment plant.  Commissioner Farris stated, it appears income will be tight so we have to worry about potential income. 


  1. City Manager – 1.  Vice-Mayor Thompson requested I check with Legal Counsel regarding live stream comments.  Legal Counsel indicated our process is adequate since we have developed a platform and structure where we allow public comment, are consistent on enforcement and do not allow comment on other platforms.  I cannot locate the specific case asked about.  We have outlined where public comment is allowed.  2.  The street project is progressing.  They opened up a portion of 15th Street and have moved to 15th Street between Main and Broadway.  3.  Last two weeks my time has been spent on the pool and budget.  We should have valuation information from County Clerk this week.  3.  Advisory boards are beginning to meet again.  Airport Board meets Friday, Cemetery Board next Thursday and Parks & Recreation/Tree Board will meet the end of month.  Commissioner Howard asked, I saw we hired some part-time employees?  Andrew stated, we have hired two seasonal employees as the full time employees are overwhelmed with projects and need assistance catching up.  Andrew Wood filled Parks vacancy after he finished school.  Vice-Mayor Thompson asked, is City wide cleanup rescheduled?  Andrew stated, not yet, we are trying to get projects caught up.  We hope this fall to allow time for things to get back to normal and on schedule.  Vice-Mayor Thompson asked, any news on rehabilitation program?  Andrew stated, been delayed, hope to have information in near future.    
  2. Commissioners

Vice-Mayor Thompson – 1.  No Report 

Commissioner Brumbaugh – 1.  Cemetery looked nice for Memorial Day; feel we are making progress.  Commissioner Howard stated, the grass is filling in, Joni is doing good job.

Commissioner Howard – 1.  The house that recently burned recently, Shawn’s mother asked if there was anything City can do to help them out on house.  Joni stated, we cannot comment on situation as it is still under investigation.  Commissioner Howard stated, the family is upset as to the number of people it tool to take care of one individual.  2.  Are patrol vehicles required to be marked for identification?  We have some that are not which gives appearance we are waiting to catch someone doing something wrong.  Joni stated, we have two administration vehicles used for specific purposes; they are not patrol units.  All patrol vehicles are properly marked.  Commissioner Howard stated, so you are just looking to jump on someone doing something wrong.  Joni stated, these are administration vehicles not used primarily for patrol.  The State has a program allowed by Statute which allows the unmarked vehicles, but I cannot discuss details in open meeting.  I will get Andrew information to forward to Commission.  Mayor Garcia stated, I see Commissioner Howard’s concern.  It is better to have vehicles labeled to encourage citizens to follow law.  Commissioner Farris stated, I feel they should be marked.  Vice-Mayor Thompson asked, the administrative vehicles are not for patrol but allowed because of program we are involved in and you cannot provide information in public meeting.  Joni stated, yes, I will get information to Andrew.  Vice-Mayor Thompson asked, back to the house that burned, until investigation is complete nothing can be done.  Joni stated, once investigation is complete the Fire Marshall will be in touch with Shawn, as owner of house.  The Police Department has informed Shawn of services available to him.

Commissioner Farris – 1.  No Report 

  • Mayor 1.  I concur with Commissioner Brumbaugh on the cemetery.  People are satisfied.  Thank you to Joni Guyer and staff.  2.  Did you have any more conversation with Ashley on the CDBG funds available?  Andrew stated, yes, the County has applied but waiting for grant award.


  1.   Executive Session – Under the authority of KSA 75-4319(b)(6) for preliminary discussions relating to the acquisition of real property –   Mayor Garcia made a motion at 6:06 p.m. to recess into executive session under authority of K.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 City Manager be present. Commissioner Brumbaugh seconded the motion.  MOTION carried by a VOTE of 5-0.  Meeting resumed at 6:16 p.m. 

ADJOURNMENT WAS HAD ON A MOTION Commissioner Brumbaugh seconded by Commissioner Howard.  Motion carried by unanimous VOTE, meeting adjourned at 6:16 p.m.  Next meeting is scheduled for June 15, 2020.


ATTEST:                                                                               John Garcia, Mayor


Mary P. Volk, City Clerk