December 19, 2022 Commission Minutes
GOODLAND CITY COMMISSION
December 19, 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, Jason Erhart – Assistant 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, Jeff Dinkel – Code Enforcement/Building Official, Mary Volk – City Clerk, Jake Kling – City Attorney and Kent Brown – City Manager.
Mayor Thompson led Pledge of Allegiance
- 2022 Budget Amendment: Electric Utility – Mayor Thompson opened the public hearing for the 2022 Budget Amendment at 5:00 p.m. Kent stated, as discussed last meeting, staff requested to publish a budget amendment to increase budget authority in the electric utility $200,000. The main reason is increased power costs over the last year and increase of costs for items purchased for the electric utility. We could possibly exceed budget allowed. This amendment provides City authority to spend additional amount if expenditures justify need. Our utility revenues have increased with expenditures, so no additional burden on City. We just need to be allowed authority in budget if needed. As of now we have one remaining bill for power to Prairieland. As of today, revenues are currently $6,500,000 and expenditures are $6,420,000. The end of year numbers will be very close. Mayor Thompson closed the public hearing for the 2022 Budget Amendment at 5:05 p.m.
- 11/21/22 Commission Meeting Minutes
- Appropriation Ordinances: 2022-24, 2022-24A, and 2022-P24
Kent stated, the date for the minutes being approved should be 12/05/2022 not 11/21/2022. ON A MOTION by Commissioner Redlin to approve Consent Agenda as amended seconded by Commissioner Myers. MOTION carried on a VOTE of 5-0.
- Budget Amendment: Electric Utility – Kent stated, staff respectfully asks commission approval of amendment to submit proper paperwork to the State and County. Our auditor submitted a statement and agreed to the amendment. Mayor Thompson asked, if we do not approve amendment, what happens if expenditures exceed budget? Kent stated, the auditor will submit information to the state of the budget violation and the City will get a letter. I am unsure if there is a penalty. ON A MOTION by Mayor Thompson to approve the 2022 Budget Amendment for the Electric Utility as presented seconded by Commissioner Showalter. MOTION carried on a VOTE of 5-0.
- Proposed Contract Amendment for Increased Charges: Collections and Disposal of Refuse with In the Can – Commissioner Redlin stated, I recuse myself from this discussion and vote due to a conflict of interest. Kent stated, we had a formal request from Chuck Redlin for a $3.00 increase for both residential and commercial customers. A draft of the contract changes is provided for discussion. The original contract was effective 2016, with ten year renewal. Jake stated, there is not a subtenant change to contract. Mayor Thompson asked, Chuck was here last meeting, how did you derive at the increase amount? Chuck stated, we know what we are falling short to keep operating, this is a minimum amount. As you are aware, most costs have doubled. Vice-Mayor Howard asked, can you provide an example so people understand? Chuck stated, new containers were $600, now over $600 just to repair while new containers are $1,500. Lids were $50, now they are $100. Truck tires are almost double. The company we used to get containers from went out of business so now have to go further for them which is more freight costs. Vice-Mayor Howard stated, unfortunately it is a sign of the times, everyone is experiencing increased costs. Commissioner Showalter asked, would you be open to alternative approach and have increase over two year period to help customers? Chuck stated, we have to have it all, we have gone six months and it is getting worse. I feel this is a minimum. Mayor Thompson stated, it is tough and you have added expenses, it is also tough on City side and we have to justify increases. They are already seeing increases on city bill. The $3.00 increase is about 18% increase of current contract, $1.50 would be 9% and easier to sell to residents. Chuck stated, we have not had an increase in several years. We were hoping things would level off but it did not happen. Kent asked, how many containers do you repair and replace a year? Chuck stated, we repair about 200 a year and replacement is tough and has not happened in a couple years. We purchased used containers a few years back out of Denver which has helped a lot. Commissioner Myers stated, we talked yesterday, your trucks are struggling too. Chuck stated, yes we have repairs and it is hard to get parts; when we do the cost has increased. Commissioner Showalter stated, I have been milling over this since last meeting. It is easy to discuss it among us but I think about the people trying to make ends meet. Anytime we think of increasing city bills we have to think about it a lot. That is reason asked for alternative approach. I will say that anytime we need anything after hours, Chuck helps which makes it hard because I know he needs the $3.00. It is a struggle. Commissioner Myers stated, seems to be a way of life, nothing is going down. Mayor Thompson stated, we are in 6th year of contract. If we had an increase every couple years it would have been easier for everyone. You are asking for a big increase and people are experiencing increased costs everywhere, which makes it difficult. Vice-Mayor Howard stated, we do not want a decrease in service and we want trash picked up. I do not like raising city bills for anything. ON A MOTION by Vice-Mayor Howard to approve the contract amendment for increased charges for collection and disposal of refuse with In the Can seconded by Commissioner Myers. MOTION carried on a VOTE of 4-0. Commissioner Redlin returned back to meeting.
- Approval 2024 Airport Capital Improvement Plan – Kent stated, the plan was presented to airport board at December 9th; we are required to file plan annually. Andrew is here from EBH if there are questions. Andrew stated, the list is the copy approved in 2023, other than we have grant to purchase SRE, so a building to house equipment moved to number one on list. We increased costs from last year’s plan, but there are no new projects. Board approved plan at the meeting. Kent stated, this is FY24, which seems far off but requires time for approval from Federal Government. Mayor Thompson stated, we have been fortunate we have not had to spend much money on the grants recently. ON A MOTION by Commissioner Showalter to approve the Airport Capital Improvement Plan for FY24 as presented seconded by Commissioner Redlin. MOTION carried on a VOTE of 5-0.
- Approval 2023 Renewal of BCBS Health Insurance – Jalaa Miller, IMA Account Executive, stated, overall this is a favorable renewal for City of Goodland with a net decrease of .2% due to good utilization over last thirty-six months or a $1,309 decrease. Administration costs remain flat for second year in a row. Stop loss decreased 5.6% because Blue Cross Blue Shield does not anticipate more than 3 employees exceeding stop loss limit and the self-funding pool is running low. Medical trend is 3.6% increase which is in line with trend of self-funded plans. Dental increase is 24% which is approximately $700 and trend seeing with increased utilization. In conversations with City, we feel self-insurance reserve is healthy to fund stop loss so recommend keeping employee contribution at $0. Commissioner Showalter stated, thank you to employees to ensure costs stay down. Jalaa stated, you have grandfathered plan and your prescription plan helps keep costs down. You are managing claims very well. Mayor Thompson stated, I am excited this is same plan with slightly lower cost. Jalaa stated, this is one of the best renewals I have seen, not typical of plans this year. ON A MOTION by Commissioner Showalter to approve the health insurance plan renewal from Blue Cross Blue Shield as presented by IMA seconded by Commissioner Redlin. MOTION carried on a VOTE of 5-0.
- Tantalus Hosting Services – Kent stated, we have a situation with our electronic meter reading system that is currently hosted on our local server. We are not allowed to continue in that manner. Mary stated, we have been provided three options to host the system beginning January 2023: 1. KMEA hosting which appears to be a little more expensive but as more cities utilize the service, our cost with KMEA will decrease. Currently they serve four cities. 2. Virtual on premise host which will require purchase of hardware because they will not provide updates to system on the server we currently use. 3. Host in the cloud, which in my experience with my current software there are a lot of hidden costs. Kent stated, system is beneficial to staff to work with customers addressing issues with water and electric. We end up with software that does great things and we rely on it but unable to host on our server. Commissioner Showalter stated, it sounds like KMEA option is better and more comfortable for staff. It may be more now but I feel costs will decrease and it will be more beneficial. Mayor Thompson stated, I agree with Commissioner Showalter, it is more and we have possibility to decrease costs when increase pool. We need to consider future of program. ON A MOTION by Commissioner Showalter to direct staff to enter into an agreement with KMEA to host the City of Goodland services for the Tantalus system seconded by Vice-Mayor Howard. Mayor Thompson stated, I would like clarification from them on whether we will have a contract or not. MOTION carried on a VOTE of 5-0.
- Wallace Hansen: Planning Commission Application – Wallace stated, I have been in Goodland for thirty three years, same property, really like the community. Kent and Mary asked me to apply to the planning commission. Mayor Thompson stated, looks like you have been on Planning Commission in past. Wallace stated, I believe so, many in this room are my former students. I would be glad to serve on planning commission. Commissioner Showalter stated, I appreciate willingness to serve. Mayor Thompson stated, we currently have three of five members appointed to the board. ON A MOTION by Commissioner Redlin to approve the appointment of Wallace Hansen to the Planning Commission seconded by Commissioner Myers. MOTION carried on a VOTE of 5-0.
- City Manager – 1. Manager memo is included in the packet. 2. City offices are closed December 23rd and 26th, as well as January 2nd for the holidays. 3. Next Commission meeting will be held January 3rd due to New Year holiday. My intentions are to be back that evening but there may be a possibility I may be delayed. 4. Police monthly report information is included in packet. 5. We will hold free animal license day at City Hall on January 17th. 6. Employee holiday party is January 14, 2023 at Price Convention Center (Elks) 7. National Weather Service is responsible for ASOS (automated surface observing system) at the airport that is down. They are waiting on parts to repair the system. It provides information to pilots in bad weather as they start their approach for landing. They are hoping will be delivered next couple weeks. 8. Staff met with engineer and representative on standpipe in Memory Park. We have been asking for them to address the standpipe roof and structure for over a year. There are concerns and we are asking for a plan of action. We finally got a response and should have a report soon. 9. Next meeting we plan to have a follow-up and plan of action to complete more repairs with the sewer system. We utilize a company to clean and provide camera services of our system, they have addressed parts that need attention.
- City Commissioners
Vice-Mayor Howard – 1. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone.
Commissioner Showalter – 1. While working on project last week I talked to several department heads that stated the salary plan has assisted to recruit and maintain employees. I need to talk to the rest of them, but glad to hear plan has benefited the city.
Commissioner Myers – 1. Stay warm this week and have a good holiday season.
Commissioner Redlin – 1. I apologize to the commission and police department for my tone last meeting in my report. I did not mean to have a harsh tone, I just wanted the situation addressed. Mayor Thompson stated, you were passionate about the issue.
- Mayor Thompson– 1. I work the Topside Tipoff tournament last week, thank you to everyone for volunteering. We had a lot of city volunteers. 2. Merry Christmas, stay safe and warm.
- Under the Authority of KSA 75-4319 (b) (1) for Personnel Matters for Nonelected Personnel – Mayor Thompson made a motion at 5:58 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 City Commission be present. Commissioner Showalter seconded the motion. MOTION carried by a VOTE of 5-0. Meeting resumed at 6:08 p.m.
ADJOURNMENT WAS HAD ON A MOTION BY Commissioner Redlin seconded by Vice-Mayor Howard. Motion carried by unanimous VOTE, meeting adjourned at 6:09 p.m. Next meeting is scheduled for January 3, 2023.
ATTEST: Aaron Thompson, Mayor
Mary P. Volk, City Clerk