December 5, 2022 Commission Minutes

December 5, 2022 Commission Minutes

December 5, 2022 Commission Minutes

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Regular Meeting

December 5, 2022                                                                                                                 5:00 P.M.

Mayor Aaron Thompson called the meeting to order with Vice-Mayor J. J. Howard, Commissioner Jason Showalter and Commissioner Brook Redlin responding to roll call.  Commissioner Ann Myers was reported absent.

Also present were Dustin Bedore – Director of Electric Utilities, Frank Hayes – Chief of Police, Joshua Jordan – IT Director, Neal Thornburg – Director of Water and Wastewater, Danny Krayca – Director of Parks, Mary Volk – City Clerk, Jake Kling – City Attorney and Kent Brown – City Manager.

Mayor Thompson led Pledge of Allegiance


  1. Craig Loveless: GRMC – Craig stated, our last board meeting focused on budget.  The Board agreed to start quarterly finance meetings followed by board meeting.  We renewed our contract with ER providers; they have been good for the community.  We discussed the economy, inflation and the need to look at a 3% increase for employees January 1 to help keep up with inflation.  We will evaluate additional increases during the year to take care of our employees.  Craig discussed year to date financials for hospital.  Salaries remain our largest expenditure.  Patient admissions has increased this year compared to transfers, which is good because we are limiting transfers.  In 2023 budget numbers we have budgeted to begin looking at site plan development for a new building, along with capital outlay items.  Mayor Thompson asked, the phone system has been a problem, do you have a solution?  Craig stated, we have a team working with our vendor to fix problems.  We had a resolution, then the system rebooted and erased update, so reprograming to correct problem.   Commissioner Showalter asked, what are you budgeting for the new building?  Craig stated, we budgeted about $75,000 for feasibility study only to determine our needs and a site plan.  Commissioner Showalter asked, will this be released to public?  Craig stated, the community will be involved in study for it to be viable.  Commissioner Showalter asked, what is the timeline?  Craig stated, the feasibility study can be completed within first half of year. 


  1. 11/21/22 Commission Meeting Minutes
  2. Appropriation Ordinances: 2022-23, 2022-23A, and 2022-P23

ON A MOTION by Commissioner Redlin to approve Consent Agenda seconded by Vice-Mayor Howard.  MOTION carried on a VOTE of 4-0. 


  1. Resolution 1608: Unfit Structure 1523 Colorado Avenue – Kent stated, this is a redo of previous resolution approved by Commission in August.  The hearing was not included on the November 21st agenda, so this resolution sets hearing for January 17th.  There have been no material changes to the property.  Mayor Thompson stated, that is disappointing, sounded like there would be improvements.  ON A MOTION by Vice-Mayor Howard to approve Resolution 1608: Unfit Structure 1523 Colorado Avenue seconded by Commissioner Showalter.  MOTION carried on a VOTE of 4-0.


  1. Animal Control Operation Agreement – Kent stated, item has been in discussion for some time.  During discussions it was decided not to have a three part agreement with Sherman County.  The City and County should have separate bi-lateral agreements.  Jake stated, we are unsure why this was a joint agreement.  We believe having individual contracts by each entity is more efficient for services provided.  This gives us the freedom to work with her for the services she provides the City.  It is not necessary to have a joint agreement for services.  Mayor Thompson stated, this seems to be a cleaner manner to proceed.  Kent stated, the agreement is for service in the amount of $25,200 per year or $2,100 per month.  ON A MOTION by Mayor Thompson to approve Animal Control Operation Agreement with Paw Wash in the amount of $25,200 per year or $2,100 per month seconded by Commissioner Redlin.  MOTION carried on a VOTE of 4-0. 
  2. 2023 CMB Licenses – Kent stated, in packet is list of CMB Licenses for renewal.  For consumption on premises, Pizza Hut application is pending inspection approval and Mom’s Kitchen is approved for renewal.  For sale in original and unopened containers not for consumption on the premises, Corner Market and Casey’s General Store are approved for renewal and 24/7 Travel Store, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Dollar General and Travel Center are pending inspection approval.  We recommend approval of all licenses presented, contingent upon approval of inspection.  ON A MOTION by Commissioner Showalter to approve 2023 CMB licenses as presented, contingent upon inspection approval seconded by Vice-Mayor Howard.  MOTION carried on a VOTE of 4-0.
  3. GAC Renewal – Kent stated, the City contracts with the GAC for general recreational services, including maintenance of fields.  The contract allows the City to approve a two year extension of the contract.  We have checked with Tess and she agrees with extension in amount stated in contract.  Commissioner Showalter stated, Tess provides a good service to community.  ON A MOTION by Commissioner Showalter to approve two year extension to the GAC Contract seconded by Commissioner Redlin.  MOTION carried on a VOTE of 4-0. 
  4. Grave Opening and Closing Contract Renewal – Kent stated, the contract with MLO Inc. (Brian Fugelberg) allows the City to extend contract for a two year term.  There have been no situations of concern so we would like to renew contract.  ON A MOTION by Commissioner Redlin to approve two year extension to the contract with MLO Inc. (Brian Fugelberg) seconded by Commissioner Redlin.  MOTION carried on a VOTE of 4-0. 


  1. Rate Change for Solid Waste Contract – Kent stated, staff received a request from In the Can wanting to begin discussion for a rate change as part of the contract for solid waste services for the City.  Chuck Redlin owner of In the Can stated, we are proposing a $3.00 increase on both residential and commercial customers with increased costs of fuel and tires.  Mayor Thompson stated, operating expenses have increased recently and the fuel adjustment has been implemented.  The request is a $3.00 increase on the base?  What kind of increase would that be annually?  Kent stated, it would be 20% increase on residential and about 12% on commercial customers.  There has not been an increase since 2017.  Mayor Thompson stated, with the economy I feel request is reasonable.  Vice-Mayor Howard stated, I understand with wear and tear on equipment.  Chuck stated, everything has doubled.  Consensus of commission is to bring request to next meeting with additional information.  Kent stated, contract states contractor can request rate adjustments within sixty days prior to year-end.  This was not done, so request will not be effective January 1. 
  2. City Property: Direction for Farming – Kent stated, City contracts with Greg Sederstrom to farm land around the water treatment plant.  Greg asked whether the City wants him to look into options for the land.  Neighboring properties are changing operations to CRP.  Greg stated, originally request was due to community feedback regarding corn shucks in yards.  Neighboring properties are going into CRP but City cannot go into CRP because it is a government agency, same with Topside Manor.  With Topside Manor it becomes tough to spray the crops.  I am asking whether City is interested in me putting land into grass or CRP or do you want me to continue farming property.  Vice-Mayor Howard asked, how many acres are there?  Greg stated, about twenty-one acres; it is not much but want to discuss options with City.  Topside Manor is becoming difficult with dirt blowing.  I am willing to farm if commission requests.  Kent stated, it will become harder to farm.  Greg stated, I feel this gives you options.  Mayor Thompson stated, it is a tough section to determine what to do with it.  I feel farming is not the answer and buffalo grass could be difficult and expensive.  Greg stated, I know there have been complaints about the tall weeds in area, but the Federal Government did not allow us to spray it, but area will turn into grass.
  3. 2022 Budget Amendment: Electric Utility – Kent stated, we have mentioned increased electric costs received from our provider, especially last half of this year, in addition increase cost to procure equipment.  We are going to be close to budget authority with these increased costs.  The electric utility has authority of $6,800,000; and as of end of November we are at $6,100,000 with two months of expenditures to pay with encumbrances.  Our expectation is to end up less than our authority, but it will be close.  If there are any extraordinary costs that arise we do not want to be that close.  Staff recommends publish a budget amendment hearing to increase budget authority to $7,000,000.  The expenditures have had revenue to offset it, but on expenditure it is better to have additional authority, if needed.  If we do not need to expend we will not, this just provides authority if needed.  Amendment has to be approved within the calendar year and we need publication this week for hearing at next meeting.  Mary contacted auditor and he replied, based on his discussion with Mary and obvious price increases, the amendment makes sense for 2022.  Commissioner Showalter stated, I appreciate having auditor opinion for amendment.  Consensus of commission is to publish budget amendment for hearing at next meeting.  Mayor Thompson stated, this makes sense with costs.  Commissioner Redlin asked, where do we get the $200,000?  Kent stated, from increased revenue from customers on cost adjustment.  We are receiving revenue throughout year to provide the authority. 


  1. City Manager – 1.  Manager memo is included in packet.  2. November month end fund balances are included in packet.  We reviewed other departments for amendments and do not feel amendments are necessary.  3.  Look at your calendars for a joint meeting with Planning Commission after January 1.  Mayor Thompson stated, I feel that is a good idea.  4.  I will send the Commission a progress report for the strategic planning completed in first quarter of 2022.  We will schedule a follow-up work session early next year.  Mayor Thompson stated, I feel the session was good and I am anxious to see where we ended up and where we need to reassess.  5.  Thriving Communities grant application will be submitted in coordination with SCCD for housing and transportation issues through KDOT.  This will be a letter of support at this time.  6.  Dustin provided the commission an update on electric department.  Dustin stated, in production we are down one employee but tested for replacement today.  We continue maintenance on engines in plant.  KDHE inspected plant and indicated this was the easiest and cleanest inspection completed.  Chris is enlisted in APPA public management program by KMEA.  Only three from the state are selected for program and most expenses are reimbursed by KMEA.  We have assisted other departments with projects.  The line Crew has rebuilt some allies and primary services, completing phase two of Highway 24 lighting project by installing decorations on poles to lead into town.  We are working on a project for the College.  Costs for transformers are up about four times and lead time has been extended to receive equipment.  We continue replacing poles around town as they are aged but with increased costs we are limited on number able to replace.  We hope costs come down.  I have been working with Shauna, Mary and Kent on solar ordinance to clean it up.  We feel two of our six customers have overbuilt their system.  Kent stated, we may be looking at a grant application that is looking at resilience of your system to address manner northeast part of town is currently fed in our system.  We have been working with an engineer on a project to change voltage in that area rather than building an additional substation to help that area.  That is where growth in Goodland has been happening.  Commissioner Showalter asked, with the work of salary and benefits schedule, have you noticed change with recruitment.  Dustin stated, we started apprentice program several years ago and we were required to adjust wages in program.  Power plant is different as we do not run engines as much and it is harder to retain employees there.  There is same program on plant side but have not had requests to go through program.  It is tough, we are lucky to have employees we have.  Commissioner Showalter sated, I appreciate Chris taking step to better education.  Dustin stated, we want to make sure our employees are taken care of.  Our power contract will be coming up for renewal in a few years and I believe we will have some competition on negotiations. 
  2. City Commissioners

Vice-Mayor Howard – 1.  No Report

Commissioner Showalter – 1.  No Report

Commissioner Myers – 1.  Absent, No Report.

Commissioner Redlin – 1.  A situation at the cemetery has been brought to my attention.  We recently adopted hours for cemetery, has there been a miscommunication.  The individual was asked to leave or threatened with arrest.  We need to inform officers of new hours.  Kent stated, communication occurred to resolve complaint.  Vice-Mayor Howard asked, are new hours posted? Kent stated, we are in process of getting signs changed.    

  • Mayor Thompson1.  No Report


  1. Under the Authority of KSA 75-4319 (b) (1) for Personnel Matters for Nonelected Personnel – Mayor Thompson made a motion at 6:27 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 City Commission, City Manager and City Attorney be present.  Vice-Mayor Howard seconded the motion.  MOTION carried by a VOTE of 5-0.  Meeting resumed at 6:37 p.m. 

ADJOURNMENT WAS HAD ON A MOTION BY Commissioner Redlin seconded by Vice-Mayor Howard.  Motion carried by unanimous VOTE, meeting adjourned at 6:38 p.m.  Next meeting is scheduled for December 19. 2022.


ATTEST:                                                                               Aaron Thompson, Mayor


Mary P. Volk, City Clerk