March 7, 2022 Commission Minutes

March 7, 2022 Commission Minutes

March 7, 2022 Commission Minutes

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Regular Meeting

March 7, 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, Joshua Jordan – IT Director, Kenton Keith – Director of Streets and Facilities, Neal Thornburg – Director of Water and Wastewater, Jeff Dinkel – Code Enforcement/Building Official, Danny Krayca – Director of Parks, Mary Volk – City Clerk and Kent Brown – City Manager.

Mayor Thompson led Pledge of Allegiance



  1. 02/22/22 Commission Meeting Minutes
  2. 02/28/22 Special Commission Meeting Minutes
  3. Appropriation Ordinances: 2022-05, 2022-05A, and 2022-P05

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


  1. Ordinance 1744: Water Rates – Kent stated, this ordinance increases customer charge $1 and usage $.05 per one hundred cubic feet up to 4,000 cubic feet.  The increase for usage above 4,000 cubic feet is $.20 per one hundred cubic feet.  Information on water rate study was presented last meeting.  As of 2020, we are using up reserves on an annual basis.  We have rebound a little because of personnel change.  Going forward and requirements coming with water; we recommend small increase as directed by Commission last meeting.  Mayor Thompson asked, do you remember what the increased average user cost was?  Kent stated, for wintertime the average user cost is $2.00 increase per month, but will be more in summer with watering.  Customer average in winter is about 5,000 gallons but about double that in summer.  Commissioner Showalter stated, I appreciate KMEA completing study.  It was well planned and very detailed.  When you look at the numbers, we have no choice.  I know no one likes an increase in utilities.  I appreciate that there is no increase for low-income customers.  Kent stated, the way our current code reads, there will be a small increase for low-income, but if you would like to change that, we can.  Commissioner Showalter stated, I would like to go that direction, as I do not want to see an increase for low income.  Mayor Thompson stated, I agree and our low-income level is $18,000 regardless of household size.  In general, I think we need to discuss guidelines for low-income.  Kent asked, how many customers are on low-income rate?  Mary stated, less than twenty customers.  Kent stated, with minimal number of customers it would not make a big difference.  Consensus of Commission is to discuss low-income guidelines next meeting.  A MOTION by Commissioner Redlin to approve Ordinance 1744: Water Rates seconded by Commissioner Myers.  MOTION carried on a VOTE of 5-0. 
  2. Resolution 1585: GAAP Waiver – Mary stated, many municipalities approve this resolution annually.  We follow GAAP requirements except we are on cash basis and the asset tracking.  Kent stated, a few years ago GASB 34 put additional requirements to track and depreciate assets including all streets, water lines, electric lines, etc.  That is why most cities go this route.  Resolution must be approved annually for audit purposes.  It seems strange but most municipalities approve the resolution.  Bigger cities would be those that conform to GAAP.  Mayor Thompson stated, I have asked the purpose for this for a number of years.  I appreciate it is simpler for the City but feel we need to look at it both ways.  I still would like to have a good explanation on the pros and cons.  ON A MOTION by Commissioner Showalter to approve Resolution 1585: GAAP Waiver seconded by Vice-Mayor Howard.  MOTION carried on a VOTE of 5-0.
  3. Resolution 1586: Designating Depositories – Mary stated, the City is required to designate depositories annually.  The resolution is the same as in the past, stating funds are deposited in BANKWEST and destination institutions using Insured Cash Sweep (ICS), with investments in FNB, Western State Bank, BANKWEST and Peoples State Bank.  At the current time Peoples State Bank has elected not to hold investments, but are permitted if would like to.   ON A MOTION by Commissioner Redlin to approve Resolution 1586: Designating Depositories seconded by Commissioner Showalter.  MOTION carried on a VOTE of 5-0.  
  4. Construction Board of Trades/Appeals New Appointments: Jonathon Payne and Kort Hawks – Kent stated, Jeff continues to make contact for members to serve on board.  We have received a couple applications.  Jonathon Payne agreed to appointment; however, he is not a city resident.  We have reached out to other individuals that do not want to give time.  Kort Hawks agreed to an appointment.  We still need a plumber, but have not received an application.  Commissioner Showalter asked, is Payne considered member at large?  Kent stated, Jeff would like to have him as resident of the county.  Current code requires members to be residents of city.  Through discussions with City Attorney and Jeff, we recommend changing requirement in code, especially for this board.  You do not want an individual from another community but someone from our community.  They may reside in County but have a business in the City.  This will also help in finding members to serve on the board.  Since board is not meeting yet, we could change that portion of the code.  Another requirement to look at is having master plumber or electrician status.  Some have experience but may not have master certification and would serve well on board.  Mayor Thompson stated, the code states we can make alternative appointments as needed.  If we do change where members reside in code, I feel it should be before appointment.  Consensus of Commission is to consider allowing members residing in county.  Vice-Mayor Howard stated, we could add some discretion in code that we prefer city resident but allow appointment of county resident.  ON A MOTION by Commissioner Redlin to approve the appointment of Kort Hawks to the Board of Trades/Appeals seconded by Commissioner Showalter.  MOTION carried on a VOTE of 5-0. 
  5. Stainless Steel Piping: Wastewater Treatment Plant – Kent stated, Neal is looking to change to stainless steel piping in system at wastewater treatment plant, which will have longevity and cause less problems.  He has changed ten of them because aeration is not good.  We should have an even level of bubbles over water and we are not there.  In order to move forward, he is trying to change out pipes that do aeration.  Kent stated, each pipe is 14’ long with a T at bottom to feed oxygen in water and feed good bugs.  The cost estimate from our normal pipe supplier, Salina Supply, $11,798.32.  Mayor Thompson asked, what is thought process for new belt system?  Neal stated, we are putting the belt system on hold because we may not be able to utilize like believed.  Kent stated, it is also a big-ticket item to maintain.  We are correcting problems at plant and need to see if the belt system would even benefit us.  This process has changed because of a review from KRWA and the wastewater operator from Colby.  We are heading in right direction and may not have to expend the money for belt press.  It is not guaranteed at this point, but that is what we are trying to determine.  Mayor Thompson asked, are the pipes original or have they previously been replaced.  Neal stated, they previously were replaced.  We do not have enough oxygen to keep system working how it was designed.  We are testing it every day to measure progress.  Mayor Thompson stated, it is good to see progress but we do not want to spend money on belt press if do not need to.  Neal stated, I feel we are headed in right direction at this point.  Commissioner Myers asked, what is cost for belt press?  Neal stated, $1,500,000, which includes equipment and items needed to operate press.  Kent stated, there have been other things breaking down at plant and we need to continue to maintain.  We need to get to an operational level so we know what it can produce.  We need to know what performance is at peak proficiency before make that decision.  Commissioner Showalter stated, I appreciate work doing to get things in line and we need to make sure you have tools to get work done.  ON A MOTION by Commissioner Showalter to approve the purchase of pipe from Salina Supply in the amount of $11,798.32 seconded by Vice-Mayor Howard.  MOTION carried on a VOTE of 5-0. 
  6. Termination of Airport Lease: Barker Farm Services, Inc. – Kent stated, termination is for lease approved last year.  Barker’s intention was to use lots one and two at Renner Field and build a hangar.  Things have not worked out for him.  Danny has discussed property with another entity who is interested.  Barker’s agreement states the property cannot be subleased so he is voluntarily terminating his lease.  Danny is ready to sign termination of lease.  ON A MOTION by Vice-Mayor Howard to approve termination of airport lease with Barker Farm Services, Inc. seconded by Commissioner Redlin.  MOTION carried on a VOTE of 5-0.


  1. Discussion of proposed ordinance to allow people to maintain or keep one type of fowl (chickens) within the City limits – Kent stated, this is information previously presented to Commission.  The last couple of times discussed, there were some objections from animal control officer and a couple citizens.  Staff has reviewed information and provided list of different objections with potential ordinance addressing objections and what to do for compliance.  There will be an application and inspection required.  This does not mean there will not be problems.  Like other ordinances, there can be complaints filed and an inspection completed.  The proposed ordinance states no roosters and the maximum number of chickens allowed with penalties involved.  This ordinance is a starting point for discussion.  The proposed ordinance has maximum of four chickens, outlines guidelines for coups including proximity to neighbors and whether enclosed.  This does not allow other fowl, only chickens.  This may not be perfect solution but presented for discussion.  Commissioner Showalter asked, the Animal Control Officer is not in support?  Kent stated, in general she has concerns.  The biggest concern is dogs going after chickens and maintenance of coups.  Meghan Weis, citizen stated, the other day there were two foxes playing in my front yard.  We have raccoons and other wild life come into town.  If you maintain coups, you will not have problems.  I do not feel you should allow chickens on vacant lots.  It is good for children to see where food comes from.  Farm Bureau has agreed to put on a class to help people learn how to maintain coups.  Commissioner Showalter stated, I have had phone calls and texts on this issue, so I know people are in favor of it.  I appreciate the research and information.  Mayor Thompson stated, people have strong feelings about chickens.  Meghan stated, there have been questions about bird flu; people are not a major threat to get bird flu.  Commissioner Showalter asked Meghan how she feels with information in proposal.  Meghan stated, I agree no roosters but chickens are social birds so feel need to allow four to six.  Requiring distance for coups is sufficient but they do not smell as long as you keep them clean.  Chickens are cheap and eat leftovers.  Chickens are affectionate and can be raised as a pet.  You will not have to worry about chicks if do not allow roosters.  Commissioner Myers asked, how many eggs would you get from four to six chickens?  Meghan stated, in warm weather they lay at least an egg a day but slowdown in winter.  You can clip their wings so they cannot fly over fence.  Commissioner Redlin stated, the trash man said disposal of waste from coups could be in yard waste dumpsters; however, disposal of dead carcass cannot go in any dumpster.  Vice-Mayor Howard stated, I feel disposal is no different than Thanksgiving at that point.  Mayor Thompson stated, lots of good discussion and feel proposed ordinance covers majority of conversations I have had.  I feel everyone should think about ordinance and bring back to discuss next meeting.  Mary stated, I feel we should put copy of information on website so people know what is being proposed.  Commissioner Showalter stated, I want to hear what people say.  I appreciate people coming to meeting as we represent you.  Mayor Thompson stated, when post information, make sure it states information only.
  2. Joint City/County Work Session – Kent stated, joint work session is scheduled for March 14th at 5:30 at Wolak Building.  Discussion is to follow-up on housing study and routes to pursue from study, and then main topic is to discuss how to move forward on sales tax ballot issue.  Is there anything the Commission would like discussed or information need from staff?  Mayor Thompson stated, I would think main roadways we are looking at and cost, which we have that information.  Does it have to be strictly for road or infrastructure?  Can it be used for other improvements?  I just do not think we should narrow our focus because there are other items sales tax could benefit.  Commissioner Showalter stated, hopefully discussion will set a good relationship between City and County.


  1. City Manager – 1.  We received an offer from T-Mobile on cellular devices.  Frank stated, the program is a free service for ten years for law enforcement.  Two years have passed so we will get free service for eight years.  They say there is no catch as they received a grant for program.  This will save $4,500 a year.  After program is over, we will have to start paying again, but still cheaper than Verizon.  Will the Commission allow us to sign contract with them?  We get priority service with this.  Commissioner Showalter asked, is coverage sufficient for our area?  Frank stated, we got a test phone and service is comparable to Verizon.  We will keep same phones, just change out sim cards.  Commissioner Showalter asked, could you switch back if you want to after eight years?  Frank stated, the contract is for this program only.  There would be a new contract at that time.  This contract is a month-to-month service if we are not pleased.  Mayor Thompson asked, would we incur any penalties from Verizon.  Frank and Joshua stated, no.  Mayor Thompson stated, if coverage is good and this is what we need, I have no problem.  Consensus of Commission is to direct staff to sign agreement.  2. Monthly fund balance report for February is in packet.  3.  Airport pre-construction meeting was this afternoon.  Project start date is April 4th, weather permitting.  Project will continue until end of August.  During project the main runway will be shut down for a short time.  4.  KDOT announced we received another aviation grant to replace joint seal for 50% of main runway and taxiway.  Grant is a little more than $400,000.  Earliest project will begin is October, but could carry over until next year.  Will have agreement at later meeting.  5.  Would like to schedule a tour of facilities.  Consensus of Commission is to schedule, giving a little notice of dates and times.  Vice-Mayor Howard asked, when is 17th Street project set to start?  Kent stated, I understand April but have not had pre-construction meeting yet.  Contractor has been approved. 
  2. City Commissioners

Commissioner Showalter – 1.  If anyone has thoughts about chicken’s we want to hear what you have to say.  Please contact us.  2.  Congratulations to girls’ basketball team heading to state.  Good to see support from community. 

Commissioner Myers – 1.  Agree with Commissioner Showalter on chickens, positive or negative comments.  2.  I appreciate people attending meeting tonight. 

Commissioner Redlin – 1.  I agree on chicken comments.  2.  Glad to get a member appointed to the board.

Vice-Mayor Howard – 1.  I agree on chicken comments.  2.  Thank you to City patrons and staff for what they do.  3.  Appreciate people signing up on boards.

  • Mayor Thompson1.  I feel the information from Commission work sessions is important.  Kent has an outline of items discussed and we will prioritize items.  We value staff input of information and how it pertains to your department.


ADJOURNMENT WAS HAD ON A MOTION BY Commissioner Redlin seconded by Commissioner Myers.  Motion carried by unanimous VOTE, meeting adjourned at 6:15 p.m.  Next joint City/County meeting will be March 14, 2022 and next regular meeting is March 21, 2022.


ATTEST:                                                                               Aaron Thompson, Mayor


Mary P. Volk, City Clerk