October 19, 2020 Regular Commission Meeting Minutes

October 19, 2020 Regular Commission Meeting Minutes

October 19, 2020 Regular Commission Meeting Minutes

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Regular Meeting

October 19, 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 Frank Hayes – Chief of Police, Joshua Jordan – IT Director, Kenton Keith – Director of Streets and Facilities, Neal Thornburg – Director of Water and Wastewater, Danny Krayca – Director of Parks, Mary Volk – City Clerk and Andrew Finzen – City Manager via telephone. 

Mayor Garcia led Pledge of Allegiance



  1. 10/05/20 Commission Meeting Minutes
  2. Appropriation Ordinances: 2020-20, 2020-20A, and 2020-P20

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


  1. Resolution 1569: NRP Amendments and Extension – Andrew stated, as previously discussed, the NRP and Interlocal Agreement expire the end of the year.  You have reviewed changes County Appraiser approved.  I met with School Board last week; they voted unanimously to approve changes.  If we approve resolution, the plan and agreement will extend to the end of 2023.  The County Commission will need to approve amended plan.  Mayor Garcia stated, if all three entities approve plan, it does not have to need approval from Attorney General.  Andrew stated, that is correct because of the language in our plan and agreement.   If the plan lapses past December 31 we would have to go through entire process again, including approval from Attorney General.  ON A MOTION by Vice-Mayor Thompson to approve Resolution 1569: NRP Amendments and Extension seconded by Commissioner Howard.  MOTION carried on a VOTE of 5-0.


  1. Transfer of Property at 1008 Main Ave. – Andrew stated, at the last meeting the Commission was unable to reach an agreement for the property at 1008 Main purchased by the City.  Intent from previous Commission was to transfer property to Northwest Kansas Technical College.  At last meeting Ben Schears discussed plans the college had for the building.  Ben stated, from a physical aspect, there is quite a bit to be done to the exterior.  We have plans for the interior of building but as you see there is a lot of trash and damage.  When I was employed by the college I began looking for ways to have a college presence on Main Street to be downtown and have a community appearance and get students off campus.  A lot of the interior damage was due to hole in the roof that was leaking to all floors.  We did not want to demolish a downtown building but do something to improve the building.  Our electrical and carpentry departments can step in and provide practical experience.  The plan works with our curriculum and getting a presence down town.  There is a lot of history in building.  I have worked with school district for ideas to work together for community.  The plan works well with entrepreneur class to provide a storefront downtown.  We also looked at putting in an event space, taking structure back to original building.  We are seeing this more often with small communities.  The building is basically a foundation and will require a lot of work.  College is a 501(c) 3 so we have the means to apply for grants but it will most likely take three to four years to get building operational.  The event space will be multi-purpose and create office space upstairs.  Plan is similar to what Norton has done with their downtown revitalization plan.  This is an opportunity to bridge partnership between College and City.  The community is vital for college survival and vice versa.  The College does have an economic impact on community.  Commissioner Farris asked, is there enough parking in area?  Ben stated, if you look at Main Street, especially in the evening there is plenty of space.  I feel it will be fine during the day with a store front.  Mayor Garcia asked, last meeting you eluded to a building where Norton completed a similar project.  Ben stated, yes it is their downtown revitalization plan.  Commissioner Farris stated, it looks like you will spend a lot of money on something that is not worth anything the way it is.  Ben stated, that is correct, if we spend money other than grant dollars, it is not a viable opportunity.  Commissioner Howard stated, the City has put $43,000 into building and I feel we should advertise locally for a short period of time to see if there is interest from other contractors; if no interest then give building to the college.  I just feel we should try to get back some taxpayer money.  Commissioner Farris stated, no one will want to buy it the way it is.  Commissioner Howard stated, you do not know unless you advertise, but feel we need to give it a thirty day period.  Andrew stated, I feel it is a good project and Ben makes a good point that college is a driver for our community.  If you are looking at incentives for a new business, you would jump on it.  I feel we all have confidence in the college to complete the project.  They do make an economic impact on our community.  My concern if we advertise is someone will buy the building cheap and sit on it.  We need to look at the investment the college is willing to make into the building.  I do not feel the Commission will regret transferring property.  ON A MOTION by Vice-Mayor Thompson to transfer the property at 1008 Main to the Northwest Kansas Technical College for the price of $1.00 seconded by Commissioner Farris.  MOTION carried on a VOTE of 3-2 with Vice-Mayor Thompson and Commissioner Howard casting the dissenting votes. 
  2. Flatlanders Festival Payment – Andrew stated, Lincoln Wilson requested payment in the amount of $1,800 for ongoing expenses of the Flatlander Fall Festival.  The City annually budgets $2,500 and since the event is not being held this year staff needs direction how Commission wants to handle payment.  An alternate option since there is not a festival in 2020 is transfer the money to a reserve account then next year double the payment.  Lincoln stated, the alternate option is not an option as we cannot delay insurance premiums.  This is a business and expenses continue.  There are basic expenses and business items that continue so we need money.  No one planned for the pandemic and we did not want to expose the community.  I would like to ask the City to extend payment in amount of $1,800 to the committee as that is the amount we are needing.  Vice-Mayor Thompson asked, does the Flatlander Committee generate revenues from the festival?  Lincoln stated, yes and no, we are not for profit so it all goes out and we do not build a budget.  We struggle every year getting money to put on the festival.  Vice-Mayor Thompson stated, do you get fees from vendors, car club, etc.?  Lincoln stated, the only revenue the committee receives is the money we ask the public for the event.  We receive $1,000 from Chamber of Commerce to help run Picnic in the Park.  We are the only organization that does not ask the community to give us something.  We spend money in Walmart to contribute back to the community.  Commissioner Brumbaugh stated, I support our commitment of $2,500 as it is an economic boost for the community.  Commissioner Farris stated, if we do not give them the entire amount this year, we can add the remaining amount to 2021 contribution.  Lincoln stated, this is to help economic impact of 2020.  People come here because of ads they see in their travel guides.  I have an outlet for all $2,500.  I simply asked for $1,800 because of the reduction of revenue in the community.  ON A MOTION by Vice-Mayor Thompson to authorize the payment to Flatlander Fall Festival in the amount of $2,500 seconded by Commissioner Howard.  MOTION carried on a VOTE of 5-0.


  1. Review of Board Applicants – Andrew stated, we received two applicants to fill vacancies on two boards.  Dr. Norman Means is requesting the Airport Board and Marlene Whitaker requested the Cemetery Board.  The applications have been reviewed and approved by both boards.  If Commission approves the appointments, they will serve three year terms on respective board.  Mayor Garcia stated, I know both applicants and they will be committed.   


  1. City Manager – 1.  Staff has discussed planning the employee Holiday party.  With COVID and the unknown, consensus is to cancel the employee party.  2.  The tennis court resurfacing is complete and nets are back up.  This is a big improvement to courts and probably the first time they have been resurfaced.  We were able to complete project with a grant from the Dane Hansen Foundation and a donation from USD 352.  3.  I completed staff evaluations for the year.  4.  The City is dealing with a rise in COVID cases and the impact on personnel.  Many are quarantined because of a spouse or children which makes it difficult to plan.  We continue evaluating policies and procedures, adapting for COVID but there is only so much we can do.  As we continue to work through this, many projects will depend on staff availability to complete.  We will have disruptions and delays on projects.  Vice-Mayor Thompson asked, was their discussion what we do for staff in lieu of Holiday party?  Andrew stated, in the past the City usually gave staff a $100 bonus; this year I recommend a $150 bonus to compensate staff.  Consensus of Commission is to allow a $150 bonus for employees issued as we have in the past.    
  2. Police Chief – Frank stated, we have a lot going on.  Our two new hires started the academy today instead of November 9th as they had openings.  We have been recruiting an officer from Pennsylvania.  It has been a challenge but he signed final offer letter last week and has until December 1st to report for work.  He is certified so would only require one week for reciprocity training.  The black explorer driven by previous assistant chief is being made road ready for officer use.  We are selling the black pickup driven by previous chief on purple wave.  A part time administrative assistant has been hired and works approximately fifteen hours a week.  This was a current position so we filled the vacancy.  We were working with Cheyenne and Kit Carson Counties on multi-jurisdictional cases, which has been interesting.  We are going to start participating in DUI and seat belt enforcement next week through March 2021.  By participating in program we get free equipment so it will save money.  I am working with a representative from Central School to get an officer in the school to read stories or play with the children.  The Commission thanked Frank for the good job he is doing.
  3. Director of Water and Wastewater – Mayor Garcia congratulated Neal on promotion.   Neal stated, we recently hired Shan Weber in Water Department but still need to fill two positions.  We continue normal daily operations, state samples, equipment checks reading meters, etc.  Well six was having issues, Woofter repaired the well and it is back together.  We replaced a smart valve at water treatment plant and moved a heater in well eleven.  We continue to replace meters.  At the sewer plant we are short an employee that is on a leave of absence, which makes operations difficult.  We continue to haul sludge, equipment maintenance and cleaning and maintenance of facilities.  I appreciate the help I have received from other staff learning my new position.    
  4. Director of Street and Facilities – Mayor Garcia congratulated Kenton on promotion.  Kenton stated, we installed sidewalk at Steever Park to complete the trail and finished the GAC alley, which was a big project.  We are finishing up right of way mowing, equipment checks, and winterized sprayers.  We hired one new employee and then Joey will move from Water Department to fill remaining position.  We are patching and painted parking lines painted at 10th and Broadway.  We are training employee on sweeper since regular employee is on leave of absence.  We bladed 19th and Colorado and started work in alley behind Hallmark and completed a couple curb cuts.  Our Mechanic has repaired light on sweeper, continues to work on City equipment and working to get patrol vehicle ready for work.  When he is not doing mechanic work he is helping in the field. 
  5. City Commissioners

Vice-Mayor Thompson – 1.  No Report 

Commissioner Brumbaugh – 1.  Tennis courts look good; I like the cowboy logo and how we worked with the school district.  I appreciate what staff is doing.  I realize it has been a difficult year with all the losses and challenges but I feel everything is coming together.  The parks, Topside Trail and everything looks good

Commissioner Howard – 1.  Tennis courts look good. 

Commissioner Farris – 1.  It is nice to be back. 

  • Mayor 1.  I echo Commissioner Brumbaugh comments, we are moving in right direction.


  1. Executive Session – Under the authority of KSA 75-4319(b)(1) for personnel matters for nonelected personnel –   Mayor Garcia made a motion at 5:55 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 ten minutes.   I request only the Commission be present. Commissioner Brumbaugh seconded the motion.  MOTION carried by a VOTE of 5-0.  Meeting resumed at 6:05 p.m. 

ADJOURNMENT WAS HAD ON A MOTION Commissioner Farris seconded by Commissioner Brumbaugh.  Motion carried by unanimous VOTE, meeting adjourned at 6:05 p.m.  Next meeting is scheduled for November 2, 2020.


ATTEST:                                                                               John Garcia, Mayor


Mary P. Volk, City Clerk