October 5, 2020 Commission Minutes
GOODLAND CITY COMMISSION
October 5, 2020 5:00 P.M.
Mayor John Garcia called the meeting to order with Vice-Mayor Aaron Thompson, Commissioner Jay Dee Brumbaugh and Commissioner J. J. Howard responding to roll call. Commissioner Gary Farris was reported absent.
Also present were Frank Hayes – Chief of Police, Joshua Jordan – IT Director, Kenton Keith – Street Superintendent, Danny Krayca – Parks Superintendent, Mary Volk – City Clerk and Andrew Finzen – City Manager.
Mayor Garcia led Pledge of Allegiance
PRESENTATIONS AND PROCLAMATIONS
- Introduction of Police Officers: Chalee Luther and Tanner Feasel – Frank introduced new officers of the Goodland Police Department: Chalee Luther and Tanner Feasel. Frank stated, it is an honor to represent Goodland as Police Chief. Our new officers will be going to the academy November 9th. It is a long process but worth it and will be a pleasure to watch them grow in serving the community.
- Health Insurance Presentation: Robert Langhofer – Robert, representing USI Insurance was present along with Sally Tatro via Web-ex. Robert stated, the background on how I came to City of Goodland starts in 1994 when I was working Ben Schears at Cowley Community College. When Ben became President of NW Kansas Technical College he asked for help with benefits. Employee Benefit programs, in particular health insurance, is what USI helps you shop, but we also help manage risks under your employee benefit program. There are many different stake holders in program with associated risks. Employee risk is co-insurance or the deductible and what comes out of their paycheck, but need to understand how insurance operates. There is additional stress with health care so need to understand benefits and out of pocket. Human Resources have associated risks to ensure communication is compliant, even when an employee terminates employment. They understand costs associated and the Commission has to balance cost of program and the people who pay program, which is tax payer. We shop for insurance and ensure contracts are structured appropriately. As result of COVID it has been difficult from a revenue perspective to be able to manage benefits when health insurance costs continue to go up. Recognized as one of America’s best major employer’s, we work with NW Kansas Technical College, City of Manhattan, Topeka School District, among many other public entities. We have been asked to be here because of your current program and services provided. We ultimately want to develop more stability for insurance program, the employee, Human Resources and the City. We understand methods to capture every dollar to get the most from your program. The cost of pharmaceutical drugs have increased with the American Health Care Act because of rebates back with drug manufacturers. We can drive rebates back to plan to capture all of them that you can. You have to balance risk strategies for participant and the City. Managing risk has to involve your Grandfathered status which was your plan in force in 2010, that without certain changes would cause your plan to lose grandfather status. How is Grandfathered status lost: 1. if eliminate all or substantially all benefits to diagnose or treat a particular condition; 2. increase the percentage of cost share requirement; 3. increase fixed amount of cost sharing by more than medical inflation plus 15%; 4. increase copay by the greater of medical inflation plus 15%; 5. decrease employer contribution more than 5%; or 6. any increase to annual dollar limits on benefits. Losing grandfather status is fearful because of things that are not true. It does not mean your deductible will go up. If you lose grandfather status all preventive care is covered 100% so there is additional coverage. You have to evaluate what you gain in plan if you lose the status. Have to look at what you can do to keep plan sustainable in long run. When you evaluate the plan, you look at whether it makes sense to change and how disruptive the change is for staff and their out of pocket costs. We are going to look at plan from a business perspective with comparable size businesses and the local market. If additional costs are pushed on employees, what is right strategy to take? Is it unsustainable to continue with the increased costs of benefits? At the college it worked well to sit down with a benefit committee and Human Resource Department to get best benefit and. Vice-Mayor Thompson stated, I appreciate the presentation. Mayor Garcia asked, you will get numbers late October? At that time will you be able to get accurate numbers or do you have to have current health status on all employees? Robert stated, no USI goes to Blue Cross to get data that would tell us history of your plan. We are interested in health conditions and whether they are resolved. ACA has protected health information so when we get data we have type of claims, prescriptions and whether received rebates, in addition to outstanding medical conditions with plan. From there we will know whether plan can be marketed to other entities. If so, there is nothing wrong with having good competition. What is unique about Blue Cross is they tell us how they calculate the renewal. We can get level of data from Blue Cross to get what we need to evaluate risk. Mayor Garcia asked, so if Blue Cross is not competitive, you reach out to other three entities in the state? Robert stated, yes the other three main entities Mayor Garcia is referring to are Signa, Aetna and United Health, but we may want to access other networks which may give you more flexibility. Mayor Garcia stated, for a clear understanding we care for our employees, in November when we look at plan there is possibility insurance we currently have may be affected very little. Robert stated, if Blue Cross comes in with a 10% increase but if we know there are three specific medicines being taken where we can get assistance to cut rate increase it helps, yet nothing has been mentioned to change deductible or contributions to plan. We want to look at all scenarios to determine best plan want to offer. Mayor Garcia stated, we try to be conscientious would you recommend we set up committee where employees are involved with coming up with numbers. Robert stated, we encourage that process to ensure transparency to employees. If we provide a multiple benefit program you may find it better suits your employees. Then the employee can select the plan that fits their situation. Dakota Roubideaux, employee stated, do the plans you looked at work with Colorado or are the plans out of network? Robert stated, when we do the analysis, we review the disruption report from Blue Cross that lists all doctors and hospitals employees have used in past year to determine preferred network. Being able to have dialogue with employees is beneficial to determine plan needed. Dakota stated, where we go now they take our plan. Robert stated, even with Blue Cross there are different circumstances that can happen, but we will help to manage risks like this. We help manage risk because we know it is important. Vice-Mayor Thompson asked, what kind of commitment does City have with USI? Robert stated, we want you to value what we do. We ask that you give us a year, then you can cancel anytime with thirty-day notice. We ask you to give us the first year because of additional work needed in first year. Mayor Garcia stated, thank you for presentation we will be in touch. The Commission will continue to discuss presentation.
- 09/21/20 Commission Meeting Minutes
- Appropriation Ordinances: 2020-19, 2020-19A, and 2020-P19
ON A MOTION by Vice-Mayor Thompson to approve Consent Agenda seconded by Commissioner Brumbaugh. MOTION carried on a VOTE of 4-0.
- Transfer of Property at 1008 Main – Andrew stated, it was recommended at our last meeting we invite Ben to discuss his plan for the property and evolution of the plan. Ben stated, since my arrival at the college, my plan has been for the college to have a presence in the community other than just on campus, and to make an impact. This building is one that has history. It was the first hospital in town, with a pharmacy downstairs. I contacted Andrew when the situation occurred with the roof and wanted to know what we could do. There was discussion what to do with the building in this condition. Looking at the current state of the building, you wonder why we would get involved. We enjoy old buildings. The City completing the roof was a good move by the City. It is not a good plan when a City tears down buildings on its Main Street. I have had a good relationship with Andrew and he has worked with the college to build bridges. I have a carpentry and electrical program that I can bring to the table. It will not be a project we complete overnight. This building has brought conversations with the high school to bring entities together for the betterment of the community. We felt this was a way to connect with the City and put the building back to being a viable building in the community. The success of the community is a success with the college. I want to work with the high school to put something in the building that could make building beneficial to the community. From a structural standpoint we would like to remove the plaster and clean out the building to expose original brick. We would like to have a hardwood floor and open the rafters for a classy event space. I would like to work with the high school entrepreneurship program for a storefront downtown. State education stresses offering experience for our youth through the programs. An event space can be rented out and we would like to house our foundation office in the building. Upstairs we would like to take the approach as Norton and create space for non-profit businesses to house offices in suites then have a conference area. We do not want the building to fall into further disrepair or to fall into the hands of someone from out of town for a tax write off. We are looking at a three to five year project utilizing students from the college. I would like to see support from the City to partner with the college to make this happen. Everyone needs to think outside the box. The college is not a taxing entity so we would tackle project from an institutional level plus assistance from the Foundation. The College is a big economic impact for the community and this gives us a way to be part of the community. Mayor Garcia asked, will you be utilizing all three floors? Ben stated, yes, the basement gives us the ability for storage. We want to restore building to original status. Vice-Mayor Thompson stated, I would like to see the college do this but what if there is an independent contractor that would like to address the City to restore building, would that be fair? Ben stated, I guess the Commission needs to decide what is best for the community. It is a building that if it goes on the market, we will not bid on it because it would dig us into a hole. Commissioner Brumbaugh stated, this project has gone over several Commissions. The roof was about $32,000 under previous Commission; another Commission bought the building for $8,000. I have no problem with the college getting the building as a gift back to the college. In reality, should government be buying property, no. However in small towns we have to look at what is best for the community and I feel this is a good opportunity for the college. Commissioner Howard stated, I think the college would do a good job but I feel the property should be up for sale for a short period of time for local people only, to see if there is interest. If there is none, then give it to the college. The City spent tax payer money on the building. Vice-Mayor Thompson asked, did the City buy the property to abate roof costs? Andrew stated, the original purchase was because the building was in a perpetual cycle. The building had deteriorated, sold on E-bay, and then sold again with no improvement. This is an example of the government stepping in when the private sector failed. The City had already invested in roof which gave City autonomy to control what will be done with building. This was at a time no one was beating down the door to improve a downtown building. The model to make money on the building failed and this is a feel good plan for college. This project will put the College and City on the map with the joint project. You worked together to save the building. It crafts a story of good public relations and marketing for community. Mayor Garcia stated, looking at it from different angles, several Commissions have worked on this project. There are temperament changes with different Commissions when you are not educated on the issue. This is one means to deepen our relationship with the college which helps the community. We will get our money back through utilities or we may create new jobs. Anytime opportunity rises for future growth in community, we may have to give a little to gain. We are not giving anything away. We are putting a building into operation and created venue for economic gains in community. Commissioner Howard stated, a new owner will pay utilities just like the college. Mayor Garcia stated, we have to consider we have an entity that has all components in place to make project work. I feel better served by making an agreement with him. Commissioner Howard stated, new owners will do the same. Mayor Garcia stated, yes I understand, but how long will it take. Commissioner Howard stated, Ben indicated three to five years so give someone else same opportunity. I am looking out for tax payer dollars that we spent on building and see if there is local interest to recoup some costs. ON A MOTION by Commissioner Brumbaugh to transfer ownership of 1008 Main to NW Kansas Technical College for $1.00 seconded by Mayor Garcia. MOTION failed on a VOTE of 2-2 with Commissioner Howard and Vice-Mayor Thompson casting the dissenting votes. ON A MOTION by Commissioner Howard to advertise for local bids on the property at 1008 Main for thirty days with the requirement the project must be complete within three to five years. If no interest in property then property transfers ownership to College for $1.00. Vice-Mayor Thompson stated, I do not feel we should make a second motion until we can determine what we want in the motion. Commissioner Howard rescinded motion. Commissioner Howard stated, I feel we should give local bidders a chance to bid on building. Mayor Garcia stated, we will bring back for action at next meeting.
- IFB 2020-05: Demolition of Unfit Structure at 1521 Kansas – Andrew stated, demolition bids received for 1521 Kansas were B & K Pumping in the amount of $4,825 and Goody’s in the amount of $6,500. The remaining balance in Professional Services line item is $16,955.07. Staff recommends approval of low bid. ON A MOTION by Commissioner Howard to approve the bid from B & K Pumping for the demolition of 1521 Kansas in the amount of $4,825 seconded by Commissioner Brumbaugh. MOTION carried on a VOTE of 4-0.
- IFB2020-06: Removal of Dead or Diseased Trees – Andrew stated, bids received for the removal of dead or diseased trees at 522 W. 13th Street, 509 W. 10th Street and 1004 Kansas Avenue were from Earthscapes Unlimited of Burlington in the amount of $5,355 and Cynthia Welsh in the amount of $9,500. Staff recommends the low bid since the local bid was outside the 5% threshold. All trees in the bid were complaint driven. Mayor Garcia asked, is low bidder licensed? Andrew stated, they are licensed and will provide insurance. ON A MOTION by Vice-Mayor Thompson to approve the bid from Earthscapes Unlimited of Burlington in the amount of $5,355 for the removal of dead or diseased trees at 522 W. 13th Street, 509 W. 10th Street and 1004 Kansas Avenue seconded by Commissioner Howard. MOTION carried on a VOTE of 4-0.
- Design Contract for Reconstruction of Airport Runway 5/23 – Andrew stated, this contract is design engineering of reconstruction of runway 5/23. Darin Neufeld, EBH Engineer stated, FAA has given permission to begin this project that will extend runway 500 feet and replace last phase of asphalt. Contract is design only, not construction engineering as the FAA wants the project broken into two projects. Geotechnical is a substantial portion of this contract. We are not under a long timeline but there are milestones we have to hit. FAA wants project bid out and a contractor selected by May 1, 2021 so we need to proceed to stay on their timeframe. When we did Masterplan, data was input in AGIS System, so anytime we make changes we have to update information with FAA. I need contract in place to schedule surveyors. FAA has set aside money for this project as long as we meet FAA guidelines. FAA owns and maintains NavAids for main runway and Pappies on crosswind runway. The Kansas City office did not allow us to work with Tech Op’s until project was certified to proceed. The Tech Op’s cannot review until October 2021, which is going to cause problems but Kansas City wants us to proceed. If we do not get Pappies included with this project they will work with us to get the Pappies moved. Until we get their blessing we cannot move them and it is their project. Mayor Garcia stated, this is a 90/10 grant and extends runway for bigger aircraft. ON A MOTION by Vice-Mayor Thompson to approve design contract for the reconstruction of airport runway 5/23 with EBH Engineering in the amount of $84,500, contingent upon approval of the FAA seconded by Commissioner Brumbaugh. MOTION carried on a VOTE of 4-0.
- Neighborhood Revitalization Plan Amendments and Renewal – Andrew stated, we previously had a joint meeting where County Appraiser Rachelle Standley reminded the City, County and School District our plan expires at the end of the year. She is primary individual enforcing the plan and was proposing some amendments. Her recommended changes are in packet. Most are logical and straight forward. There are a few substantial changes, one being the grace period to pay taxes. Some applicant’s in program in past have paid property taxes late by one day so it kicked the application out of program and they lost rebate. On the flip side, if you are in program, this is a special program and you need to be paying taxes on time. Recommendation was to remove language so there is no grace period. Either you pay taxes on time or you are not in program since others have to pay taxes on time. Intent is to bring plan back to approve at future meeting. When submitted in past it required review and approval from Attorney General. Since our Interlocal Agreement and plan are active, the plan can be extended because our wording in both does not require plan to go back to Attorney General. Mayor Garcia asked, can each entity approve amendments separately? Andrew stated, if all are good with plan presented they can approve individually. If there is disagreement, then would need to get everyone back together. Mayor Garcia stated, all three entities worked together and conveyed changes wanted. Andrew stated, that is correct, they all agreed to review changes. Mayor Garcia asked Andrew to contact School and County to see if there are concerns on changes or if the City can approve plan.
- Fall Cleanup – Andrew stated, in years past City had a spring cleanup. With COVID we postponed until fall and have not held yet. Does Commission want to proceed? I did meet with staff and received overwhelming feedback that they have a lot on their plate with staffing changes and working through fall work, so not ideal for staff with work load. I recommend you postpone cleanup and maybe look at ways to retool cleanup. There are frustrations that a lot of stuff could go in dumpster instead of people taking it to the curb for staff to clean up. When program started City went through alleys to clean up City, now we have people hoarding things for us to haul. This is good service but labor intensive. There are ways other communities have changed process like have certain items on a select date. In the past, some have torn down a trailer and had us clean it up. A recommendation by staff was to work with County to open landfill a week without fees so still helping public. Vice-Mayor Thompson stated, that sounds good.
- City Manager – 1. On the sewer smell from the plant, I talked with staff and believe it is two items. First, it is a sewer plant. This has been a wet year where additional water contributes to reactivating bacteria in the plant, disrupting the natural process. Second, we have had staffing issue at plant. One employee has been on extended FMLA leave so when only have one employee, it disrupts the process where you do not have ability to do normal operations to remove sludge frequently. Vice-Mayor Thompson stated, so nothing that is malfunctioning? Andrew stated, no we continue our routine tests and a malfunction would get caught in process. 2. Mary and I have had a conversation with KMEA. They will do electric and water rate study at no cost since we are members. It is a timely process with documentation required from City. We will start to get them documentation. 3. Tennis court resurfacing is in process; should finish this week. Project is funded by Dane Hansen Foundation, then USD 352 contributed $5,000 to project. 4. Park and Street crews are working on extension of Topside Trail path. We received funding from the Community Foundation to complete. We are extending west side to eight foot so loop is complete. 5. Received SPARK funding from the County. We actually received $54,187, which included items for the work from home capacity if we experience another COVID flare up. 6. We installed the first niche in Osuarium, hopefully this will drive more sales when people see it being used.
- City Clerk – Mary stated, on behalf of City Staff I would like to offer condolences to the families of Suzanne McClure, Rich Simon and Joyce Sanderson. The losses were part of our City team and has impacted employees. Would like families to know they are in our thoughts and prayers. Our office has been updating information for KDOT random testing to be compliant with new Federal law, we continue to catch up scanning of documents, and Crystal has been working with KPERS and other benefits for employees. She is also working with other departments on advertising, interviews, new employee information and information for employees that have left City. Electric crews have completed a lot of meter change outs where we input meter information and are verifying information in billing system. We are starting the process to file for the next transportation grant and have a couple employees attending webinar on process. We continue training new employee and employee transitioned to new position. I have been working on FAA Grants and getting information ready for yearend report filing. I have contacted vendors to inquire about utility rate studies. If Commission chooses to have rate study, our office will be submitting information required for study. We continue to maintain day to day operations. Also, on behalf of Staff would like to wish Andrew best of luck. We have appreciated your support and hard work to move our community forward. You will be missed by staff.
- City Commissioners
Vice-Mayor Thompson – 1. Thank Andrew for all you have done, good luck.
Commissioner Brumbaugh – 1. Thank Andrew for your work and always responding to my lengthy emails.
Commissioner Howard – 1. Alley behind GAC looks good and is about complete. Sidewalk to complete trail looks good. 2. I Appreciate what all employees are doing and appreciate what you have done Andrew, good luck.
Commissioner Farris – 1. Absent, No Report
- Mayor – 1. Appreciate Andrew and what you have done for community. At times we agreed to disagree. 2. Agree with Mary for employees we have lost. They are missed and played a big role.
3. Appreciate what the employees are doing. It is never easy being on Commission side. 4. Any action on the meter for Topside Aquatics? Has anyone talked to owner? Vice-Mayor Thompson stated, I talked to Michael Borgmann, he was going to contact owner and discuss what needed to be done and get back with me. Mayor Garcia stated, Dustin should follow up. 5. Any update on pickle ball lights? Andrew stated, we are working on those and skate park.
- Executive Session – Under the authority of KSA 75-4319(b)(1) for personnel matters for nonelected personnel – Mayor Garcia made a motion at 7:02 p.m. to recess into executive session under authority of K.S.A.75-4319 (b)(1) for personnel matters for nonelected personnel not to exceed fifteen minutes. I request only the Commission be present. Commissioner Brumbaugh seconded the motion. MOTION carried by a VOTE of 4-0. Meeting resumed at 7:17 p.m. Mayor Garcia made a second motion at 7:19 p.m. to recess into executive session under authority of K.S.A.75-4319 (b) (1) for personnel matters for nonelected personnel not to exceed five minutes. I request the Commission and City Manager be present. Commissioner Howard seconded the motion. MOTION carried by a VOTE of 4-0. Meeting resumed at 7:24 p.m.
ADJOURNMENT WAS HAD ON A MOTION Vice-Mayor Thompson seconded by Commissioner Brumbaugh. Motion carried by unanimous VOTE, meeting adjourned at 7:25 p.m. Next meeting is scheduled for October 19, 2020.
ATTEST: John Garcia, Mayor
Mary P. Volk, City Clerk