February 5, 2024 Commission Minutes

February 5, 2024 Commission Minutes

February 5, 2024 Commission Minutes

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Regular Meeting

February 5, 2024                                                                                                                  5:00 P.M.

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

Also present were Jason Erhart –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, Zach Hildebrand – Code Enforcement/Building Official, Jake Kling – City Attorney, Mary Volk – City Clerk and Kent Brown – City Manager.

Vice-Mayor Howard led Pledge of Allegiance


  1. Craig Loveless, GRMC Director provided an update to the Commission.  Craig stated, contract Labor expense was a much larger expense than budgeted.  2023 was actually a very good year for the hospital which is good for the community.  Large portion of hospital services provided are on outpatient basis. 


  1. 01/16/2024 Commission Meeting Minutes
  2. 01/29/2024 Joint Commission Meeting Minutes
  3. Appropriation Ordinances: 2024-03, 2024-03A, 2024-03B, 2024-P03 and 2024-P03A

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


  1. Bid Award: Industrial Park Street and Utilities BASE Grant Project – Kent stated, bids for project were sent out in December and we received responses from Miller Construction Services, Smokey Hill and Sporer Land Development.  Miller Construction Services was low bid.  There were three additives to project because we were uncertain how bids would come in.  The first is to move the detention pond for drainage and the other two additives were extension of water and sewer.  With bids received we recommend approval of the low bid from Miller Construction Services, with all additives.  Original estimate for project was $1,500,000.  Commissioner Redlin asked, do we know why bids received are low?  Are prices going down?  Jerry Nemechek from EBH Engineering stated, we do not feel prices are dropping but that contractors are looking for work.  Kent stated, the bid for concrete came in low and contractors could be hungry.  Commissioner Showalter asked, what do we do with extra grant money; will we have to return it to State?  Kent stated, we will contact Kansas Department of Commerce, but most likely have to return money.  We want to see if we can add other items to project.  Vice-Mayor Howard asked, what is the estimated start date for project?  Kent stated, estimated start date is June.  Commissioner Redlin asked, were start dates for other contractors sooner?  Kent stated, I do not have that information with me.  ON A MOTION by Vice-Mayor Howard to approve the bid on the Industrial Park street and utility BASE Grant project from Miller Construction Services in the amount of $890,482.50 seconded by Commissioner Showalter.  MOTION carried on a VOTE of 4-0. 
  2. Bid Award: KDOT Caldwell Ave. Cost Share Project- Kent stated, project is funded 80% grant with maximum of $401,280.  We received one bid for the project from McCormick Asphalt and Paving in the amount of $393,980.85.  Estimated start date is September 1, 2024 and project needs to be done by September 27th for Flatlanders.  Bid was less than expected.  On project we are redoing driving lanes and sections of driveways.  We may try to do more in 16th to 17th block due to truck traffic.  We are requesting permission to add additional work if grant allows.  Consensus of commission is in agreement with request.  Kent stated, we have been asked why we are not doing the street curb to curb but that request for the grant was turned down so we reapplied for driving lanes only and received award.  ON A MOTION by Commissioner Showalter to approve the bid on the KDOT Caldwell Avenue Cost Share Project to McCormick Asphalt and Paving in the amount of $393,980.85 seconded by Commissioner Redlin.  MOTION carried on a VOTE of 4-0.


  1. Land Bank policy recommendation: Housing Collaborative Committee – Kent stated, the City of Pittsburg utilizes a good program that works.  The Land Bank is tool to take dilapidated properties and move them so someone else can use property.  In response to the Commission’s request, the Housing Committee submitted a letter requesting the City move ahead with development and implementation of a comprehensive Land Bank Policy.  Staff needs direction on adopting and enforcing program.  Many communities use the program in small ways.  Commissioner Showalter stated, I would like to have an ordinance for the commission to review.  Consensus of the commission is in agreement with Commissioner Showalter.  Vice-Mayor Howard stated, with structures being torn down it is a good way to utilize lots.  
  2. Drainage issue: 1200 E. Hwy 24 – Kent stated, staff has received complaints regarding the drainage that flows to the 1200 and 1300 blocks of E. Highway 24.  This does not have a simple answer and drainage is not entirely from the City.  Drainage that is collected in Pioneer Park and pumped out is part of the drainage to that location.  The drainage heads down Eustis Avenue to the railroad tracks then heads east to the properties in question.  The issue was brought up a few years ago; but no project moved forward at that time.  The complaint is that some of the water goes on these properties.  Engineers have reviewed the area and staff has looked at property when there is a lot of rain.  To have a solution that does not affect these properties will take time and work to look at different options.  The dam that causes the water to sit there is because of the railroad.  We do have some water that ends up at this location.  Staff will look at requests but wanted to ensure commission is aware.  Vice-Mayor Howard asked, was there a culvert under the railroad?  I understood there was one someplace in that area.  Kenton stated, if there is, water would flow from the north to south side of tracks.  Uncertain they will even allow you to put one in, but I would be hesitant to do so.  Vice-Mayor Howard stated, this was brought up about three years ago and because of the natural flow there is not a lot we can do.  Kent stated, the concern is we built a detention pond and pump it out to that area.  Commissioner Showalter stated, I would be nervous putting in a culvert because of the problems it could cause.  Kent stated, we have a small detention pond to catch drainage further north and drain on to the field. 


  1. City Manager – 1.  Manager memo is in the packet.  2. As a follow-up on the request from the child care coalition, before the commission can make a decision there needs to be an entity that meets financial and legal obligations with an agreement to transfer property.  There are many items that need to be addressed in an agreement with an entity.  The request is from an advocacy group and people concerned with the issue, not an entity.  Considerations have been relayed to citizens presenting request.  The City cannot address anything further at this point.  3.  I felt the joint meeting with the Planning Commission went well with the summary of her report. They are putting together a final report for next meeting.  Commissioner Showalter stated, I felt it was a good meeting and feel positive with the changes as we move ahead.     4.  There is an example of a proclamation passed in neighboring counties and understand our county may also approve.  I want to know if you want to approve the proclamation.  It pertains to the different issues with immigration and Texas.   5.  Received responses on naming the loaders and snow plow contests.  Staff from street department voted on the names and Kent presented results.  The names were solicited from the 4th grade class. 
  2. City Commissioners

Vice-Mayor Howard – 1.  No Report

Commissioner Showalter – 1.  At a previous meeting we discussed Sunday alcohol sales.  I reached out to all liquor store owners and there are mixed emotions on the idea.  I invited them to come speak to commission on topic. 

Commissioner Myers – 1.  No Report

Commissioner Redlin – 1.  With the information we worked through at joint meeting I thought it might be interesting to reach out to contractors to make sure we are fair in fees we charge.  We are making changes we need to address everything.    

  • Mayor Thompson1.  Absent, No Report


  1. EXECUTIVE SESSION – Under the Authority of KSA 75-4319 (b) (2) for consultation with an attorney for the public body which would be deemed privileged in the attorney-client relationship – Vice-Mayor Howard made a motion at 5:44 p.m. to recess into executive session under authority of K.S.A.75-4319 (b) (2) for consultation with an attorney for the public body which would be deemed privileged in the attorney-client relationship not to exceed fifteen minutes.   I request the City Commission, City Attorney and City Manager be present.  Commissioner Showalter seconded the motion.  MOTION carried by a VOTE of 4-0.  Meeting resumed at 5:59 p.m. 

ADJOURNMENT WAS HAD ON A MOTION BY Commissioner Redlin seconded by Commissioner Showalter.  Motion carried by unanimous VOTE, meeting adjourned at 6:00 p.m.  Next meeting is scheduled for February 20, 2024.


ATTEST:                                                                               J J Howard, Vice-Mayor


Mary P. Volk, City Clerk