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No fireworks in Ellis

ellis city logoELLIS–No fireworks will be allowed to discharge in the Ellis city limits, following a unanimous vote by council members during their June 2 meeting.

Several water issues were discussed including a report from Public Works Director Alan Scheuerman that the Kansas Water Office has submitted a request on the city’s behalf for Emergency Drought Assistance from the Bureau of Reclamation.

Council members also learned that USD 388 has received a temporary permit from the state to water the field. The school district is not using a domestic city well; therefore, the city does not have the authority to regulate usage.

The complete meeting minutes follow.

DRAFT COPY NOT OFFICIAL UNTIL APPROVED BY COUNCIL
ELLIS CITY COUNCIL  REGULAR MEETING –Minutes June 2, 2014

CALL TO ORDER
Mayor Lyle Johnston called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. Present were Council members Ron Johnson, Gary Luea, Dave McDaniel, Jolene Niernberger, Terry Redetzke, and John Walz. Also present were Public Works Director Alan Scheuerman, City Clerk Amy Burton, Police Chief Taft Yates, and City Attorney Olavee Raub.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG
AMENDMENTS TO AGENDA
None
PUBLIC PRESENT
Dave Honas, Chad Pritchett, Leonard Schoenberger, Melissa Romme, Teri Klitzke, Ryan Augustine, Glen Keller, Matea Lovato, Luke Karlin, Sophie Schippers, Dan Pyle, and James Robben.
CONSENT AGENDA
Council member Jolene Niernberger moved to approve the consent agenda containing the Minutes from Regular Meeting on May 19, 2014 and Bills Ordinance #1950. Council member Terry Redetzke seconded the motion. The Council approved the consent agenda unanimously.
PUBLIC COMMENTS
Luke Karlin inquired of Council’s interest in selling the corner lot at 9th and Jefferson Streets for private parking. Mr. Karlin also asked about any applicable noise ordinances for playing daily music in the downtown business district. Council asked Mr. Karlin for more information on both items to bring to the next regular meeting.
Matea Lovato asked for consideration for a utility billing adjustment due to a recent leak at her residence. The adjustment would bill her usage at the base utility rate rather than the higher conservation rate. The Council will consider the adjustment under the City Clerk’s report later in the meeting.
PRESENTATIONS OF AWARDS, PROCLAMATIONS, REQUESTS & PETITIONS (HEARINGS)
None
SPECIAL ORDER
General Government: Financial
Melissa Romme and Teri Klitzke, representing Adams, Brown, Beran & Ball, Chtd., presented the 2013 financial audit report. The City received an unqualified, or “clean”, opinion from the auditors, meaning the financial statements are presented fairly. Ms. Romme also reported the City did not have any statute violations or significant audit findings. Council will consider acceptance of the audit report at the next regular meeting.
Fire: Repair/Maintenance
Assistant Fire Chief Dave Honas reported the fire station roof is leaking and in need of repair. Mr. Honas believes the City has provided the Department with $500 in prior years to help offset labor and materials to repair the roof. A representative from the Fire Department will attend the next regular meeting to further discuss roof replacement materials.
Fire: Personnel
Mr. Honas then inquired of background checks on new hires. City Attorney Olavee Raub stressed that checks would need to be performed on all new hires; the Department cannot pick and choose which potential employees to perform the background checks. The Department would need to add to their personnel policy that employment is subject to a successful background check.
General Government: Special Project
Leonard Schoenberger spoke to Council about a Prayer and Action Group that will be in Ellis through the month of June performing community service projects. He is requesting free admission to the City swimming pool on Tuesday nights from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. for these volunteers helping out in the community. Council member John Walz moved and Council member Ron Johnson seconded a motion to allow the Prayer and Action volunteers to swim for free on Tuesday nights from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. through the month of June. Motion carried 6-0.
General Government: Financial – Budget Request
Glen Keller, Chairman of the Ellis Railroad Museum, presented a budget request of $16,000 for consideration in the City of Ellis 2015 budget. The Council took no action and will consider the request during budget preparation.
Parks: Event Request
Chad Pritchett, Ellis Baptist Church Pastor, respectfully withdrew his request to place a sign advertising a church event in Memorial Park.
UNFINISHED BUSINESS
General Government: Financial – Budget Request
Dan Pyle, Ellis Recreation Commission Director, withdrew the Commission’s request for funding for a new heating and cooling system for the office building owned by the City, and instead submitted a budget request of $5,000 for consideration in the City’s 2015 budget.
Water: Contract – Ellis Golf Club
Council reviewed a proposed agreement with the Ellis Golf Club. City Attorney Olavee Raub noted that the City cannot limit the Club’s water usage in total; only what is allowed at the base utility rate. Council member Jolene Niernberger moved to approve the agreement with the Ellis Golf Club with the typographical errors corrected. Council member John Walz seconded the motion. Motion carried 6-0, with Council member Gary Luea abstaining due to a perceived conflict of interest.
Special Machinery: Acquisition
Council reviewed and considered four bids for a replacement mower for the Parks Department. Discussion ensued if the old mower should be traded-in on the new mower or sold through sealed bids. It was the consensus of Council to have Carrico Implement determine the trade-in value of the old mower before the new mower is approved for purchase. This item will be revisited at the next regular meeting.
General Government: Committee
Council member Ron Johnson moved to appoint Ron Haag as the City’s representative to the Ellis Recreation Commission Board. Council member Gary Luea seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
NEW BUSINESS
General Government: Contracts
City Clerk Amy Burton presented the contract proposal from Adams, Brown, Beran, & Ball, Chtd., for 2015 budget services. Council member Ron Johnson moved and Council member Terry Redetzke seconded a motion to approve the 2015 budget contract with Adams, Brown, Beran, & Ball, Chtd., in an amount not to exceed $5,000.00.
General Government: City Code
Council member Ron Johnson moved to adopt Resolution No. 501 making it unlawful for any person to discharge fireworks inside the City of Ellis. Council member Dave McDaniel seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
Streets: Event Request
Council member Ron Johnson moved to approve the Public Property Permit Application and Event Request for Traffic Control for the Riverfest Fun Run. Council member John Walz seconded the motion. Motion carried 6-0.
General Government: Special Project
City Clerk Amy Burton presented the Comprehensive Plan Goals and Objectives as approved by the Planning Commission at their May 27th meeting. Council member John Walz moved and Council member Terry Redetzke seconded a motion to approve the Comprehensive Plan Goals and Objectives as presented. Motion carried unanimously.
REPORTS FROM CITY OFFICIALS
Public Works
Capital Improvement – Streets: Repair/Maintenance
Public Works Director Alan Scheuerman requested ratification of the Craftco invoice dated May 20, 2014. The Council approved purchasing crack patch material at an amount not to exceed $19,000.00 at the April 7, 2014 meeting. However, the actual invoice exceeded the approved amount by $1,587.85. Council member John Walz moved to ratify the Craftco invoice dated May 20, 2014 in the amount of $20,587.85. Council member Terry Redetzke seconded the motion. Motion carried 6-0.
Capital Improvement – Water Exploration: Financial
Mr. Scheuerman informed Council that the Kansas Water Office has submitted a request on the City’s behalf for Emergency Drought Assistance from the Bureau of Reclamation.
Water: Repair/Maintenance
LiquiVision Technology Services has completed the inspection of the water tower and the storage tank at the Wastewater Treatment Plant. One item needing immediate attention is the output screens at the storage tank as they rated very poorly. All other inspection items appear to be in good condition. Utility Service is in the process of repainting the exterior of the water tower.
Public Works: Training
Mr. Scheuerman reported that four staff members will be attending KRWA training in Larned this month and four staff members will be also be attending Confined Space training.
Personnel
The Public Works Department will be converting to summer hours effective June 9, 2014. All non-emergency regular duties will be performed during the hours of 7:00 – 3:30 p.m., with the exception of a 30-minute lunch break.
Industrial Development: Meeting
Public Works Director Alan Scheuerman and Police Chief Taft Yates will meet with management at Love’s Travel Stops this week to discuss the parking lot east of the main store.
Police
Police Chief Taft Yates presented the June officer calendar and the May Report of Activity. The Department will have a full staff working June 14th for Riverfest activities. On June 9th the Department will be conducting interviews for potential candidates to fill the open position in the Department.
City Clerk
City Clerk Amy Burton reviewed the 2013 USDA Management Report.
General Government: License/Permit
Ms. Burton reported that at the May Planning Commission/Board of Zoning Appeals meeting, the Board held a hearing regarding a special use permit application submitted by Christy Schoenthaler for a mobile dog grooming business. After further discussion, the Board determined that a special use permit was unnecessary due to her performing services in her mobile trailer and not her home. Ms. Burton is requesting permission to refund Ms. Schoenthaler’s application fee. Council member Dave McDaniel moved to refund Christy Schoenthaler $75.00 for her special use permit application fee whereby a permit was not required by the City Zoning Ordinance. Council member Terry Redetzke seconded the motion. Motion carried 6-0, with Council member John Walz abstaining due to a perceived conflict of interest.
Water: Acctg/Billing
Council discussed the request from Matea Lovato for a utility billing adjustment due to a leak at her residence. Council member John Walz moved and Council member Ron Johnson seconded a motion to adjust the utility bill for Matea Lovato to charge all of the water used at the base utility rate of $3.58 per thousand gallons. Motion carried 6-0. Council member Terry Redetzke recommended modifying the City’s utility policy to allow the City Clerk to approve utility billing adjustments due to leaks.
Campground: Repair/Maintenance
City Clerk Amy Burton reported that the invoice pulled from the Consent Agenda at the last meeting has been voided by the vendor.
Industrial Development: Repair/Maintenance
Ms. Burton reported that only 3 of the 7 business owners have expressed interest in participating in a survey to correct the legal description of the building in the 1000 block of Washington Street. Owners have until June 12, 2014 to respond. City Attorney Olavee Raub noted that one owner has contacted her office and that all owners need to agree to participate for the survey to be performed.
Ms. Burton reminded Council of a work session with Aaron White from the Ellis County Coalition on June 4, 2014 at 7:00 p.m.
Museum: Repair/Maintenance
Responding to a question brought up at the previous Council meeting, Ms. Burton reported that the Railroad Museum does contain a clause in their lease agreement that the City will be responsible for major maintenance and repairs. If the City is responsible for these items, the City should then partake in the bid process and approve the repair prior to work being performed.
Personnel: Exit
Ms. Burton informed Council that Brittany Sheehan, Pool Manager, is moving to Salina to accept another position. Her last day will be Saturday, June 7th.
Ms. Burton continued by reporting that no applications have been received for the Clerk II position recently being advertised.
General Government: Special Meeting
Ms. Burton requested Council come to the work session on Wednesday with a list of dates available to hold budget work sessions in the next 4-6 weeks.
Attorney
City Attorney Olavee Raub reminded Council she will be absent from the June 16, 2014 Council meeting.
MAYOR/COUNCIL
Council member Dave McDaniel inquired of the pond on West 10th Street. City Attorney Olavee Raub has requested a status update from the Special Prosecutor, but has not received a response. Kansas Division of Water Resources is aware of the situation and since it is a violation of a City ordinance, the County does not have jurisdiction over the case. Mayor Lyle Johnston will contact the Special Prosecutor and invite him to come to Council to provide an update.
Mr. McDaniel also inquired of reports of USD 388 watering the football field. Ms. Raub explained that since it is not a domestic well, the City does not have the authority to regulate usage. The District has received a temporary permit from the State to water the field.
Council member Ron Johnson asked Public Works Director Alan Scheuerman to remind the Public Works employees to wear their seat belts when operating City equipment.
Council member Gary Luea expressed concern over the lack of security at the pond on West 10th Street. City Attorney Olavee Raub will inform the Special Prosecutor of Council’s concerns and possibly research the City’s health and welfare codes for any possible violations.
ADJOURNMENT
Council member Terry Redetzke moved and Council member John Walz seconded a motion to adjourn the meeting. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 9:58 p.m.

KSK CHRISTMAS
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  • resident

    why should the city fund a the heating/Air project after the rec dumped the operation of the swimming pool back on the city because the rec was “losing money” operating it? yet they lose money on the baseball program…..hmmm…. maybe they should take care of their own heating & AC

  • backhoe

    Well imagine that the school board doing whatever they want. First the “wrestling room” got shot down by the voters. Guess what, they built it anyway then pleaded that the community donate 80,000 dollars to equip it. The city is experiencing the worse drought that’s been seen in 60 years and they apply and are using a permit to water grass. I truly hope that the City of Ellis obtains some other legal representation to correct some of these problems. Building codes have not been prosecuted for years. Buildings downtown need tore down due to years of neglect. Not long ago a widow flew out of one and hit a parked car in front of several open and active business’s. The building still sits there untouched. Turning your head and collecting a check is not doing your job!

  • Thankful for Sports

    Let’s just eliminate all sports and see how many citizens remain in the City of Ellis. The new wrestling room is tiny and the weight room will be utilized by All students in the District. I guess we could just allow our kids to play video games 24/7 instead of activity.

    • Resident

      Then have all the students in the district pay for it :) I have a lot of hobbies and interests, but I don’t ask others to pay my way. Society now a days is too full of projects that need taxpayer funding. Taxes were originally started to fund ‘required and necessary’ items. Now it’s become any little pet project or desire or fantasy a person can get passed thru.

      • thankful for sports

        The new building was a necessity, build it or eliminate wrestling and football at the district. That is how bad are facilities are! Education costs money and survival of small western Kansas towns depend on tax payers to make our school district attractive for new residents to call it home. We also need more space at our grade school!!!!!!!!!!

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