January 18, 2022 Commission Minutes
GOODLAND CITY COMMISSION
January 18, 2022 5:00 P.M.
Mayor Aaron Thompson called the meeting to order with Vice-Mayor J. J. Howard, Commissioner Jason Showalter, Commissioner Ann Myers and Commissioner Brook Redlin responding to roll call.
Also present were Dustin Bedore – Director of Electric Utilities, Frank Hayes – Chief of Police, Sami Windle – Museum Director, 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 Kent Brown – City Manager.
Mayor Thompson led Pledge of Allegiance
Approval of Agenda – ON A MOTION by Commissioner Showalter to approve Agenda as presented seconded by Commissioner Myers. MOTION carried on a VOTE of 5-0.
PRESENTATIONS & PROCLAMATIONS
- SCCD Update: Julica Oharah – Julica, SCCD Director stated, we are excited for the continuing partnership with City and County to move our community forward. The board met to discuss events for 2022 and discuss the housing issue in Sherman County. The 2021 holiday event went well. We tied the event with Santa School House and had about 600 people participate. The event will continue to grow each year. We have created a 2022 calendar to track events. During the first quarter, we have scheduled restaurant week February 21st through 26th. We continue hosting business workshops, having fifteen to twenty people at each workshop. Through Strategic Doing a business incubator committee was formed to address business concerns. We plan to grow the group so that it is run by the businesses to build on the chamber of commerce concept. Our next meeting is January 26th. January 31st we will have a special joint meeting with the City and County Commission to review results of housing assessment. Our focus right now on the study is Goodland, then we will spread out into county. February 2nd we are hosting an open house at the Welcome Center. We are inviting the community to ask questions of the board from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. We are working on housing and business incentives, but waiting to create any plans until after the meeting on 31st. Commissioner Showalter thanked SCCD for the work they are doing for Goodland.
- 01/03/22 Commission Meeting Minutes
- 01/10/2022 Special Commission Meeting Minutes
- Appropriation Ordinances: 2022-02, 2022-02A, and 2022-P02
ON A MOTION by Vice-Mayor Howard to approve Consent Agenda seconded by Commissioner Showalter. MOTION carried on a VOTE of 5-0.
- Renewal of Health Insurance: IMA – Jalaa Miller IMA representative stated, the City’s 2022 renewal with Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) is an overall increase of 3.2% or estimated $24,157 increase. This falls within the City budget and below current renewal trend of 6.2% for self-funding groups. Administration costs are remaining flat and guaranteed for 3 years. Stop loss premiums are seeing increases of 12.8%. This is a good renewal. Expected claim factor is a decrease of 2.2% so they feel you will bring in less claims over next few years. We requested four options from BCBS to compare the current plan to market. We requested two grandfathered options to review stop loss deductible and two non-grandfathered options to review benefit design. The non-grandfathered options show significant disruption for both the City and employees. The City is on a self-submit prescription plan which is incredibly low and we do not feel an outside source will be able to underwrite the plan properly. We are going to track claims going forward. The four options we reviewed were grandfather renewals at both $40,000 and $50,000 individual stop loss levels, then non-grandfather design with $500 deductible compared to a high deductible plan. Costs for all options were based on forty seven plans. We recommend renewal of current grandfather plan, funding at expected levels, as the renewal is under budget and will avoid disruption the other plans show. City prescription plan is $4.07 per employee per month compared to a government benchmark of $177.62 per employee per month or nationwide of $189.02. Your prescription plan is a protective plan for you, as 99% cost of your costs are going to medical where 1% is to the prescription plan, unlike other clients. Kent asked, can costs change if the employees start submitting more prescription claims? Jalaa stated, that is correct, but the way your plan is set up, if someone is taking a specialty medicine, doctors are setting employees up with prescription discount cards so may not see higher costs come through the plan. The options for non-grandfathered plans assume everyone will enroll in the $500 deductible plan. These options expose the City with prescription costs as they become self-pay costs in the plan, not employee submit claims. The other non-grandfathered plans had a $500 deductible, $1,000 co-insurance then the employee copay costs begin. The high deductible health plan is a big change for employees because the employee is responsible for upfront costs. This plan requires a lot of education before it is put in place. A big impact on this plan is that chiropractors are considered specialist so increased costs for employee. City is under budget on renewal and maintains a good reserve to pay claims so feel renewal is good. When showing benchmarks of the City with other clients, the City has done well against other sectors. We recommend continue funding health plan at expected levels which we feel will keep reserves at adequate levels. For renewal recommend employee share at $0 and City pay for health plan as currently stands and keep benefits as exist. Mayor Thompson stated, thank you for the clear presentation. Kent asked, does the Commission understand that it is hard to get a quote from another company because of how the prescription plan will react in plan and other companies cannot estimate the risk; it is a lot of risk. Rather than give an estimate they chose not to submit a bid. Commissioner Showalter stated, I appreciate IMA and the work the Benefit Committee has done to look at the plans. No one gets in public service for the money and feel we need a plan to take care of employees. Mayor Thompson stated, I appreciate all the work the committee has done. Their review has saved a lot of stress and I am beyond ecstatic that we can continue the plan with only a 3.2% increase. ON A MOTION by Commissioner Redlin to approve renewal of the current health insurance plan, funding at expected levels with at 3.2% increase seconded by Vice-Mayor Howard. MOTION carried on a VOTE of 5-0.
- Upgrade Servers & IT Equipment: Joshua Jordan – Joshua gave Commission a background on IT services and roles with City. Joshua stated, the City has nine servers and twenty-five virtual servers. Many operating systems are becoming end of life. IT does not have a fund budget. It is budgeted through MERF by department transfers to go toward the backbone network of the City. The line item was established in 2020 and makes purchasing simpler. Before then it was funded within individual departments. I am requesting fully license operating systems for two servers. My ultimate goal is if one server needs maintenance to migrate information to second server to maintain operations. If I can license two servers that will retire three old servers. Licensing for one server is $5,557.99 and two servers is $9,564.50. This purchase is using funds currently in IT line item in MERF. Commissioner Showalter asked, what is the life expectancy for existing servers? Joshua stated, the operating systems end of life is December 2023. We could get by running for two to three years but would rather not because of security with financial and personal data on servers. Mayor Thompson stated, more and more what we do relies on current technology, but this is going to strap IT funds. Joshua stated, this request will expend half of funds budgeted through 2022 and we have nothing else major planned to purchase. The servers I am going to update are less than three years old. Commissioner Redlin asked, you are asking to update both servers? Joshua stated, yes I would prefer. The update will take a while. Commissioner Showalter stated, the City maintains a lot of confidential information, we need to do what can to protect data. ON A MOTION by Commissioner Redlin direct Joshua to purchase the equipment necessary to upgrade two servers seconded by Commissioner Myers. MOTION carried on a VOTE of 5-0.
- Police Vehicle Bids – Frank stated, we presented purchase of one vehicle during budget. We received one bid from Dan Brenner Ford for either one or two vehicles. I would like to present the option to purchase the first vehicle and have a lease purchase on the second vehicle with payment due 2023. Kent stated, this became a part of the discussion when Dan Brenner was discussing delivery time on vehicles was a minimum of six months. It is unknown if there will be further breakdowns with supply. One vehicle is budgeted and we have lease purchase option on the second vehicle. Frank stated, we need to set a standard for rotation of vehicles. Colby rotates every four years but their vehicles are constantly moving and not taken home. We need a standard to gauge vehicles in rotation. The two vehicles we would like to replace are 2013 Chevrolet and 2014 Ford F150. Mileage shown is as of today then we are looking at a minimum six month delivery. The Chevrolet will be well over 100,000 miles. We are driving it to the academy for fourteen weeks, then we have a second officer to send to the academy. We have a full staff so the vehicles will be on the road when officers are on shift. Once we receive vehicles we still have to equip them which takes additional time. There is no guarantee when the vehicles will be ready, it will depend upon delivery of vehicle and equipment. I would like the Commission to set a standard for vehicle rotation so there is no confusion. KHP rotates vehicles at 50,000 miles, which I think is a little early. It is important to understand mileage on these vehicles are hard wear and tear with additional idle time. I would also ask to order both vehicles, using the lease purchase option on second vehicle with payment in 2023. The last vehicle we purchased was in 2018. If we get out of rotation, we will still be behind. On the three explorers we had to change water pumps within a two month period. Commissioner Showalter asked, what standard are you looking for? Frank stated, something I can use as a gauge to rotate vehicles, whether it be mileage or age. Commissioner Showalter asked, what is your recommendation? Frank stated, we need to start looking at rotating about 80000 miles because by the time we order, delivery miles will be at 90,000 miles. Commissioner Showalter stated, on lease purchase when we rotate out 2016 models you are going to have four vehicles on lease. Frank stated, with the lease you can extend it when purchase new vehicle if you would like. If we set a standard, eventually we will catch up. What happens to the used vehicles? We would offer one to another department, like Parks Department, then sell one to offset costs to outfit vehicle. A lot of equipment from current vehicles can be reused. The cages are year specific. Vice-Mayor Howard asked, what is price of cage and graphics? Frank stated, graphics are less expensive than before and cage is about $600. Mayor Thompson asked, what are details for lease? Mary stated, we will not initiate lease until receive vehicles, then setup on annual payment in 2023. Mayor Thompson stated, I appreciate you looking at the lease purchase option. It is hard to promise continuity of a rotation due to changes in commission. Personally I like budgeting in MERF, looking ahead to determine what you need. Commissioner Showalter stated, I agree and feel as department head Frank needs to set his goals for rotation. What you are doing to try to correct vehicle rotation is a good plan but am concerned about the rotation with the three 2016 vehicles. Mayor Thompson stated, I understand what you are doing to replace vehicles, but cannot guarantee rotation in future. Frank stated, I understand and would like to set standard at 80,000 miles, then I know when I need to present another vehicle. We started putting money in MERF this year at direction of the Commission, previously it was budgeted in new equipment line item. Kent stated, when you miss a few years and get out of schedule, it hurts because you have several vehicles needing replaced at one time. Mayor Thompson stated, it would be ideal to get a vehicle in and out before it has any major issues. Frank stated, before we receive these vehicles, existing vehicles will have a lot of miles. That is a concern when we take an older vehicle out on the road. Mayor Thompson asked, your idea with lease is to put payment for second vehicle in budget for next year? Frank stated, yes once we have total cost we will know what to budget in 2023. Commissioner Redlin asked, does the warranty change with a police vehicle? Frank stated, I do not believe so. ON A MOTION by Commissioner Showalter to approve the purchase of two police vehicles from Dan Brenner Ford in the amount of $82,500, paying for one vehicle with money in MERF budget and the second vehicle with a lease purchase seconded by Vice-Mayor Howard. MOTION carried on a VOTE of 5-0.
- Cemetery Board Application: Richard Hayden – Kent stated, Richard Hayden submitted an application for reappointment to cemetery board. Richard has served since 2013 and as Chairman for the Board for a number of years. ON A MOTION by Commissioner Showalter to approve the reappointment of Richard Hayden to the Cemetery Board for a three year term seconded by Commissioner Redlin. MOTION carried on a VOTE of 5-0.
- Museum Board Application: Molly Witzel – Kent stated, Molly completed an application to serve on the Museum board to complete unexpired term of Jason Showalter. ON A MOTION by Commissioner Showalter to approve the appointment of Molly Witzel to the Museum Board to fill the unexpired term of Jason Showalter seconded by Commissioner Redlin. MOTION carried on a VOTE of 5-0.
- Prepare for City/County Joint Meeting – Kent stated, we will meet with County Commission in February. The City Commission needs to come together on road sales tax discussion for the question that failed to pass in November election. The County Commission asked to continue discussions with new commission for support on issue. Is there any information the Commission would like staff to prepare. Mayor Thompson stated, I feel everyone needs to determine what they feel the city needs are as far as roads and cost per block, for both asphalt and concrete, so we know what we are looking at for next twenty years. We need to understand our needs to discuss with County Commission. Kent stated, comments made previously were that sales tax should be used for major projects that cannot be handled through street budget. We do well maintaining streets, but it is difficult to handle arterials and main routes around town in the budget. A rough estimate for a concrete street 45’ wide by 400‘ long is $300,000. We may want the arterial streets wider. I estimate in three to five years the costs to be $390,000. If you consider 8th Street from D’Lao to Main Street, that estimate would be about $4,000,000. In last project the City did a mill and overlay on Caldwell from 10th Street to the airport, now we need to complete 10th Street to 17th Street. Truck traffic really requires concrete to hold up better. Part of 17th Street will be completed later this year but we will need to complete 17th Street with truck traffic. Previously it took about seven to eight years to seal every street in town, with costs now the timeline is twelve to fourteen years. In 2017 the Commission replaced streets in concrete and did not seal streets. That delays maintenance. Sealing streets twice in twenty-five years will catch up with you. The City cannot afford to do big projects in addition to street seal projects. We have several blocks of brick streets that need replaced similar to what has been done using grants. Sales tax was a good way to finance street projects and the County is paying the current issue off early. Part of the discussion will be the number of years and how to split the tax. Vice-Mayor Howard stated, the County Commission will bring up pay as you go, which will put us behind the eight ball. Kent stated, I agree, as total costs for the streets will be higher with time and inflation. It may work for the county but it does need to be voted on. Andrew Brunner, EBH Engineer stated, the $300,000 cost was based on 2021 bid tabs for 17th Street project. It is only an estimate. Kent stated, we also discussed whether engineering costs are included. Commissioner Redlin stated, when roads are torn up need to replace infrastructure. If 8th Street costs $4,000,000 and we ask for ¼ % that would take almost eleven years to pay off 8th Street at current estimate. With inflation in three to five we will be short on total cost.
- City Manager – 1. Next joint meeting with County Commission is January 31st at 5:00 p.m. at Wolak Building to discuss results from the housing study. We will also discuss Flatlander Festival and SCCD taking over event. 2. We need to schedule next planning work session. Consensus of commission it to schedule for January 24th at 5:00 p.m. 3. Today was free animal tag day. It was successful, 399 tags were distributed. 4. Tractor on 12th Street will be moved Sunday, it has been purchased. 5. Jeff Dinkel has completed first certification for residential inspections. He passed the test and is heading back for commercial inspections or plan review certification. We are happy the certification was within two months of being hired. 6. Holiday party went well and appreciate attendance.
- City Attorney: Open Meeting Act Information – Jake stated, I represent the Commission on civil side. I do not make decisions but inform you about ramifications and what is in the rules. The department heads and Commission make policy decisions. Any felonies goes through District Court. My role is to make sure you stay within your role. Communication with Commission should be directed through the City Manager or City Clerk to ensure everyone hears the same thing. They will report information back to the commission. Kansas has specifically set out guidelines for open meetings. You as elected officials and anyone appointed by you are subject to the act. A meeting is any gathering or assembly that allows for interactive communication by a majority of the body. For Goodland majority is three, and it can be a meeting, email chain or text. With an email or text, if one commissioner replies to all, it begins the meeting, which is a violation. After meeting or recess talk discussing meeting topics or affairs of the City are also violations. Serial conversations exist when one commissioner discusses with another commissioner, then discusses with a third commissioner indicating what others have said. These are considered a meeting and are violations. Kent asked, if an email or text are sent by staff to commission and someone replies back, is it a violation? Jake stated, not unless they reply all. Meetings have to have notice and anyone requesting notice must be notified. Documents provided in a meeting are considered open records to the public. Information in your packet for the meeting is open record and can be requested by public. Only in executive sessions can you discuss things privately. However, you must state in the motion justification per statute, subject matter and time to reconvene. When discussions are private in nature, keep the purpose of discussion generic. In the session you can speak freely about topic stated. If you have to discuss a different topic you need a separate executive session. You cannot take any binding action in session. On your meeting agenda you do not have to take action on an item under formal action, you can table item if needed. Be certain what you are doing. If someone has a complaint or suspects a violation they file it with the County Attorney or Attorney General, who in turn will gather information concerning violation. Keep your City stuff separate, especially in City email. If it is mixed, it is available for subpoena. If violation occurs it is subject to civil penalty of $500 per violation. Always error on side of having discussion in a meeting. Commissioner Myers asked, what happens if three of us show up to an event? Jake stated, if three of you are talking about stuff unrelated to City but someone asks you about city business, you can listen and hear them, then refer them to City Manager if they want you to talk about it so you can get item on the agenda. Kent stated, Flatlander Festival is an example. We do not have to publish notice you will be at event. Jake stated, you do not, some take the cautious effort and announce event, but not required to just because three are in attendance.
- City Commissioners
Vice-Mayor Howard – 1. Thank you to the employees and what you do.
Commissioner Showalter – 1. No Report.
Commissioner Myers – 1. Appreciate what everyone does. 2. Appreciate community involvement SCCD has generated.
Commissioner Redlin – 1. I appreciate the City employees and work they do. 2. I would like Kent to verify warranty on police vehicles for clarification.
Mayor Thompson – 1. Thank the staff, the party was good time. 2. Thank the Commission for continuing planning sessions. 3. I recommend everyone get on email list for community events.
ADJOURNMENT WAS HAD ON A MOTION BY Commissioner Redlin seconded by Commissioner Showalter. Motion carried by unanimous VOTE, meeting adjourned at 7:15 p.m. Next Commission planning session is scheduled for January 24th. A joint meeting with the County Commission is scheduled for January 31st. Next regular meeting is scheduled for February 7, 2022.
ATTEST: Aaron Thompson, Mayor
Mary P. Volk, City Clerk