The work will be done by Driggs Design Group and Wilson & Company, not to exceed $3,800, with funds to come from the Capital Improvement – Water Exploration Fund, contingent on the city receiving the water rights.
Public Works Director Alan Scheuerman told the council the Kansas Department of Water Resources believes Ellis is likely to receive the water rights being pursued.
In another water-related item, City Clerk Amy Burton reported Ellis has received approval from the Chief Engineer at the Kansas Department of Agriculture to require private domestic well owners within the city limits to comply with the city’s water conservation measures outlined in the Water Conservation Plan.
The complete minutes of the Nov. 2, 2015, meeting follow.
ELLIS CITY COUNCIL
November 2, 2015
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor David McDaniel called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. Present were Council members Holly Aschenbrenner, Gary Luea, Heather Luea, Jolene Niernberger, Bob Redger, 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
AMENDMENTS TO AGENDA (if needed)
City Attorney Olavee Raub stated she will need two executive sessions at the end of the meeting – one for property acquisition and one for non-elected personnel.
Terri Fischer, Glen Keller, Michelle Rauch, Cheryl Kinderknecht, Bernice Karlin, Tim Stanton (arrived at 7:39 p.m.), Tim Zahn (arrived at 7:39 p.m.), and Faith Scheck (arrived at 8:05 p.m.)
Council member John Walz moved to approve the consent agenda containing the Minutes from the Regular Meeting on October 19, 2015, Bills Ordinance #1984, and the September 2015 manual journal entries. Council member Holly Aschenbrenner seconded the motion. The Council approved the consent agenda unanimously.
PRESENTATIONS OF AWARDS, PROCLAMATIONS, REQUESTS & PETITIONS (HEARINGS)
Water Exploration: Contracts
Council considered proposals from Driggs Design Group and Wilson & Company for preparation of the preliminary engineering report for improvements to the City’s water supply. The report is necessary to pursue funding options related to the new water source. City Attorney Olavee Raub has reviewed both proposals and both appear satisfactory. This proposal is solely for preparing the preliminary engineering report, and does not automatically tie the City to the same engineer for project construction and completion. Council member Jolene Niernberger moved to accept the proposal from Driggs Design Group for engineering services in the amount of $3,800, with funds to come from the Capital Improvement – Water Exploration Fund. Council member John Walz seconded the motion. Upon a call for discussion, Council member Gary Luea questioned the need to prepare the preliminary engineering report when the City has not been granted the water rights yet. Public Works Director Alan Scheuerman reported the Kansas Department of Water Resources believes the City is likely to receive the water rights being pursued. Funding agencies have funding available now, but it will become less likely as the year goes on. Mr. Luea stated if the City doesn’t receive the water rights, then money
would be spent unnecessarily on the report. Ms. Niernberger then amended her motion to make the acceptance of the engineering proposal contingent on the City receiving the water rights. Mr. Walz amended his second of the motion. Upon a call for the vote, the motion passed 4-2, with Council members Holly Aschenbrenner, Jolene Niernberger, Bob Redger, and John Walz voting in favor of the motion, and Council members Gary Luea and Heather Luea opposed.
Cemetery: City Code
Council again considered a proposed ordinance amending the current code specifying monument placement in Mount Hope Cemetery. Council directed City Attorney Olavee Raub to change the maximum foundation depth in the Cemetery expansion to 24” to agree with the maximum depth in the original portion of the Cemetery. Council also would like a provision added for an appeal process, whereby the Cemetery Sexton and the Mayor would act as an intermediate appeal, and if the issue remained unresolved, then Council would hear the appeal. Council member Bob Redger suggested monument placement only on the western boundary of the cemetery plots. Council also discussed requiring flat monument stones in the Cemetery expansion. Many cemeteries are now requiring flat monuments to help with cemetery maintenance. Council directed Ms. Raub to also provide for revisions for placement of the monuments on the western boundary, and for the use of flat monuments in the Cemetery expansion. Council will review all of the suggested revisions at the next Council meeting.
Cemetery: City Code
Council considered a proposed ordinance providing for the decoration of grave spaces. City Clerk Amy Burton presented handouts of ordinances and regulations from other cities for Council to review. It was the consensus of Council to table this agenda item to give Council time to read the other cities’ regulations.
Streets: Special Project
City Attorney Olavee Raub reported the City is in the process of obtaining easements from the property owners in order to construct the sidewalk on the south side of 18th Street from Monroe Street to Walnut Street. City Clerk Amy Burton reported the City has received $1,000 from both Midwest Energy and Golden Belt Telephone Association to help with the project.
General Government: Building Code
Council discussed a recommendation from the Trades Board Committee to revisit Ordinance No. 1382 allowing work on commercial property by non-licensed property owners. Council member Holly Aschenbrenner questioned why Ellis has to mirror the City of Hays’ inspection regulations and feels restricting non-licensed property owners from working on their own commercial properties would slow growth in the downtown area. Public Works Director Alan Scheuerman stated inspections are more stringent for commercial properties and the City is required to perform inspections to maintain certification in the Community Rating System for flood insurance premium reductions. The Council discussed having a commercial building inspector from the City of Hays perform the commercial inspections, rather than prohibiting non-licensed property owners from performing the construction work. Council member John Walz asked Mr. Scheuerman to find out how much notice the City of Hays would need to provide commercial inspections for Ellis, and how much it would cost. Mr. Scheuerman will visit with the City of Hays and report at the next Council meeting.
Public Works Director Alan Scheuerman and Police Chief Taft Yates have reviewed the signage for the semi-truck route on the north hill. Both Mr. Scheuerman and Chief Yates recommend additional signage and increasing the fines for violators. Council member John Walz moved and Council member Jolene Niernberger seconded a motion to purchase and install seven additional truck route signs, with the money to come from the Special Highway Fund. The motion carried 6-0.
Campground: Special Project
Public Works Director Alan Scheuerman reported the Kansas Department of Agriculture has grant funding available to dredge Big Creek. The City must pay for the preliminary engineering report and then KDA would pay 50% of the actual costs to dredge the creek bed. Mr. Scheuerman estimated 25,000 cubic yards would need to be dredged at a cost of $5 – $10 per cubic yard, depending on the composition of heavy metals present in the soil sample. The area to be dredged would be from the Washington Street bridge to the dam. The cost would be less if there was little or no water in the creek bed. Council took no action at this time.
Council member Bob Redger moved to authorize the old cemetery carillon be sold through electronic means. Council member Holly Aschenbrenner seconded the motion. The motion carried 6-0.
General Government: Licenses/Permits
City Attorney Olavee Raub presented ordinances amending contractor licensing requirements. The Trades Board recommended review of the ordinances in order to match the City of Hays’ minimum provisions for contracting requirements, as many contractors are licensed in both cities. Consideration of the ordinances will be tabled until the next Council meeting in order to give Council more time to review. This will serve as the first reading of the ordinances.
General Government: Zoning
Council member John Walz moved to approve Ordinance No. 1391 changing the zoning of 806 Washington from C-1, Central Business District, to R-1, Single Family Dwelling District. Council member Bob Redger seconded the motion. The motion carried 6-0.
City Clerk: Accounting/Billing
Council member Jolene Niernberger moved to approve the purchase of 20,000 press and seal utility billing forms from Hamlin Creative Consulting at a cost of $2,019, with the cost to be allocated between the Water Utility, Sewer Utility, and Sanitation Funds. Council member Bob Redger seconded the motion. The motion carried 6-0.
Special Machinery: Acquisition
City Clerk Amy Burton presented two bids for a new computer server for the Clerk’s office. Council member John Walz moved to accept the low bid from Sicoir Computer Technologies in the amount of $4,915.76 with funds to come from the Special Machinery Fund. Council member Jolene Niernberger seconded the motion. The motion carried 5-1, with Council member Heather Luea opposed.
REPORTS FROM CITY OFFICIALS
Public Works Director Alan Scheuerman reported all of the water well houses have been painted inside and out.
Cemetery: Special Project
Penco Engineering has been contacted regarding re-platting the expansion area at Mount Hope Cemetery. Mr. Scheuerman hopes to have more information for the next meeting.
The Public Works Department, along with help from the Stockton Correctional Facility inmates, cleaned out the dead trees and brush in the area between Big Creek and the old high school.
Sanitation: Special Project
Mr. Scheuerman thanked Ellis County for the use of a truck during the City-wide Cleanup. He also thanked the Ellis High School students for the great work they did on their Community Service Day. The City provided trash bags for the project and then collected all of the trash bags later. The City was able to use the County’s truck to move dirt to the High School to help fill in around the school’s foundation.
Wastewater Treatment Facility Operator Steve Homburg recently met with the new inspector at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment regarding the City’s wastewater treatment facility. The inspector reported the City may no longer store the sludge at the current location because the containment site is only 30’ from the creek. Mr. Scheuerman stated Council could direct Wilson and Company to revise the engineering design of the required facility upgrade to include a new sludge containment site. Another option would be to purchase a spreader truck to haul off the sludge periodically. Mr. Scheuerman will try to obtain cost estimates for different alternatives for the next Council meeting.
Police Chief Taft Yates presented the Monthly Activity Report for October and the November staff calendar. There were 52 training hours inadvertently omitted on the activity matrix. The officers have all completed their annual firearms qualification. Trunk or Treat went very well. Eight businesses and two churches participated in the event.
City Clerk Amy Burton presented the September financial statements consisting of the Statement of Accounts, the Monthly Treasurer’s Report for September and the third quarter, and the Security Deposit Worksheet. Liabilities and Obligations have been reduced by $250,000 due to payment on the 2006 General Obligation and 2006 Revenue Bonds.
The City offices will be closed November 11th in observance of Veteran’s Day.
General Government: Policy
Ms. Burton reported the City has received approval from the Chief Engineer at the Department of Agriculture to require private domestic well owners within the City limits to comply with the City’s water conservation measures outlined in the Water Conservation Plan.
Mayor David McDaniel called for an executive session to discuss property acquisition. A 10-minute executive session was proposed starting at 9:46 p.m. Mayor McDaniel asked for a motion to recess. Council member Jolene Niernberger moved and Council member John Walz seconded a motion to recess to executive session to discuss property acquisition with the City Attorney and Public Works Director present. The motion carried 6-0. The Council returned to open session at 9:56 p.m. No action was taken in executive session.
Mayor David McDaniel called for an executive session for personnel matters of non-elected personnel. A 5-minute executive session was proposed starting at 9:57 p.m. Mayor McDaniel asked for a motion to recess. Council member John Walz moved and Council member Gary Luea seconded a motion to recess to executive session for personnel matters of non-elected personnel with the City Attorney and Public Works Director present. The motion carried 6-0. The Council returned to open session at 10:02 p.m. No action was taken in executive session.
City Attorney Olavee Raub reported that with Greg Saindon’s retirement, the law firm has been changed to Raub and Zeigler, LLC. Cassy Zeigler will be present at some of the Council meetings and they will share prosecutorial responsibilities. Ms. Raub stated the new firm will honor the City’s current agreement with Saindon Law.
Council member Jolene Niernberger stated the City needs to start advertising for the special election in April for renewing the one cent sales tax expiring September 30, 2016. The sales tax pays for the 2006 General Obligation bond principal and interest payments.
Council member Bob Redger asked why the City does not contact local contractors when cemetery monuments are disturbed. Mr. Scheuerman responded he is not aware of any monuments disturbed and that the City doesn’t take care of the monuments, the family would have that responsibility.
Council member Holly Aschenbrenner reported the Ellis Alliance had a good meeting with the three local museum boards, and they hope to continue the meetings and work together for the good of the community.
Council member John Walz reported he left information with Ms. Burton regarding a free pool assessment with Larkin Aquatics.
Council member Bob Redger moved and Council member Heather Luea seconded a motion to adjourn the meeting. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 10:12 p.m.