City council members recently discussed the proposed project. During the May 7 city meeting, Public Works Director Alan Scheuerman told the council the estimated average cost of materials was $2,200 per block. After more discussion, the council decided not to pursue the project.
In other business, the council unanimously voted to increase fees for lessons at the municipal swimming pool, and also an increase in the fee for private parties utilizing the pool slide.
The complete meeting minutes follow.
ELLIS CITY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING
May 7, 2018
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor David McDaniel called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. Present were Council members Bret Andries, Holly Aschenbrenner, Susan Eaton, Jolene Niernberger, Dena Patee (arrived at 7:39 p.m.), and Bob Redger. Also present were Public Works Director Alan Scheuerman, City Clerk Amy Burton, Police Chief Taft Yates, City Attorney Olavee Raub, and City Prosecutor Cassy Zeigler.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
AMENDMENTS TO AGENDA
Aaron White, Chad Pritchett, Glen Keller, Lori Miller, Julie Yarmer, Pamela Dietrich, Pat Bieker, Freda Fisher, Dennis Bollig, Jessica Shank, Joy Fischer, Adeline Henderson, Verda Flinn, Barbara Perkins, Nancy Wright, Nickole Byers, and Gary Luea.
Council member Jolene Niernberger moved to approve the consent agenda containing the Minutes from the Regular Meeting on April 16, 2018, Bills Ordinance #2044, and the March manual journal entries. Council member Bob Redger seconded the motion. The Council approved the consent agenda 5-0.
PRESENTATIONS OF AWARDS, PROCLAMATIONS, REQUESTS & PETITIONS (HEARINGS)
City Clerk: Award/Proclamation
Mayor David McDaniel read a Proclamation declaring May 6 – May 12, 2018 Municipal Clerks Week.
Mayor David McDaniel read a Proclamation declaring May 13 – May 19, 2018 National Police Week.
General Government: Financial – Budget Request
Jessica Shank, representing the Senior Companion program at Fort Hays State University, thanked the Council for their past support and presented the Senior Companion 2019 budget request. Ms. Shank requested consideration from Council for $4,086, the annual support cost of one Senior Companion volunteer. Joy Fischer presented the 2019 budget request for the Foster Grandparent program. Ms. Fischer requested consideration from Council for $1,000 to partially support one foster grandparent to serve in Ellis. The Council took no action and will consider the request during budget preparation.
Employee Benefits: Insurance
Lori Miller, Heartland Retirement and Benefits Consulting, presented renewal options for the employee’s health insurance plan. The current plan with United Health Care only increased 1.17%, whereas the industry standard health insurance increase for 2018-2019 is 12% – 18%. The Freedom Choice plan has saved the city over $60,000 each year compared to a fully insured plan. Ms. Miller reported there was no increase in premiums for the Vision Direct policy. It was the consensus of Council to table this item until the June 4th Council meeting.
Economic Development: Special Project
Aaron White, Ellis County Coalition, spoke with Council on the various types of business incentives available, including sales tax rebate agreements, Neighborhood Revitalization Plans, the Downtown Redevelopment Act, and Community Improvement Districts.
Public Works: Special Project
Mayor David McDaniel asked for a motion to recess into executive session at the request of City Prosecutor Cassy Zeigler. Council member Jolene Niernberger moved for City Council to recess into executive session for 15 minutes to discuss a City right-of-way situation pursuant to the attorney-client privilege exception, K.S.A. 75-4319 (b)(2) with City Prosecutor Cassy Zeigler present. The open meeting will resume at 8:32 p.m. Council member Bob Redger seconded the motion. The motion carried 6-0. No action was taken in executive session and the open meeting resumed.
Capital Improvement: Special Project
Public Works Director Alan Scheuerman presented a map of the area that Council is considering adding sidewalks to in the vicinity of Washington Grade School. The average cost of materials to add sidewalks and handicap ramps is $2,200 per block. After further discussion, Council decided to forgo the project.
Council member Holly Aschenbrenner moved to ratify the invoice from Weis Fire and Safety in the amount of $1,282.50 for service work at the Fire Department. Council member Dena Patee seconded the motion. The motion carried 6-0.
Swimming Pool: Fees
City Clerk Amy Burton presented a spreadsheet illustrating swimming lesson fees for other communities. The city’s fees have not increased for years and are the lowest of the communities listed. Ms. Burton also asked for council to consider increasing the fee for pool parties if the customer wants to utilize the water slide. The slide requires an additional dedicated lifeguard to be present. Council member Holly Aschenbrenner moved and council member Dena Patee seconded a motion to increase the fee for pool parties with the slide to $100.00, and to increase the fee for swimming lessons to $25.00 for the first child enrolled, $20.00 for the second child, and $15.00 for each additional child. The motion carried 6-0.
Employee Benefits: Insurance
Ms. Burton presented the 2018-19 renewals for employee dental, life, and accidental death & disability insurance. It was the consensus of Council to table consideration until the June 4th Council meeting.
Special Machinery: Acquisition
Public Works Director Alan Scheuerman presented two bids for a new bat-wing mower for the Parks Department. The 2016 John Deere Z915 mower will be traded-in on the purchase. Mr. Scheuerman believes the larger 104” mower could reduce mowing cost and labor by up to sixty percent. Council member Dena Patee moved to approve the purchase of a Hustler Super 104 RD mower from Gottschalk Equipment Sales in the amount of $21,061.00, net trade-in, with funds to come from the Special Machinery Fund. Council member Jolene Niernberger seconded the motion. Upon a call for discussion, Council member Holly Aschenbrenner expressed concerns about the cost effectiveness of the mower. Upon a call for the vote, the motion carried 5-1, with Council member Holly Aschenbrenner opposed.
Special Parks: Acquisition
Mr. Scheuerman presented two bids for the purchase of pea gravel to place under the play equipment at Creekside Park and Playworld Park. Council member Bret Andries moved to approve the purchase of 175-ton of pea gravel from APAC in the amount of $7,000.00 with the cost to be split between the Special Parks fund and the General-Parks fund. Council member Bob Redger seconded the motion. The motion carried 6-0.
Swimming Pool: Acquisition
Council member Holly Aschenbrenner moved to approve the purchase of 55 – 50 lb. drums of Pulsar II Calcium Hypochlorite from D. Gerber Commercial Pool Products in the amount of $6,545.00 with funds to come from the General-Swimming Pool fund. Council member Bob Redger seconded the motion. The motion carried 6-0.
Council member Holly Aschenbrenner moved and Council member Dena Patee seconded a motion to approve the purchase of 9 – 145 lb. drums of hydrochloric acid from Southwest Brenntag in the amount of $848.25 with funds to come from the General-Swimming Pool fund. The motion carried 6-0.
General Government: Special Project
City Clerk Amy Burton reviewed local options available for rebuilding the City’s website. Both the Hays Daily News and Eagle Communications offer similar packages using templates. Hays Daily News offers 30 minutes of free support per month, but doesn’t specify the hourly fee if that time is exceeded. Council directed Ms. Burton to find out that hourly fee before further consideration. This item will be tabled until the next Council meeting.
Public Works: Special Project
Last fall, the Public Works Department cleared out culverts in the southeast part of town and replanted grass on the affected properties. The properties were not in the city’s right-of-way, and the city obtained easements from the homeowners to perform work on the property. Two homeowners have petitioned Council for an allowance on their water bill to establish the Bermuda grass seed. After consideration and discussion, Council member Dena Patee moved to provide a one-time allowance for up to 3,000 gallons of water over the normal usage from May 10th – June 10th for the properties at 404 E. 15th and 410 E. 15th Street. Council member Bob Redger seconded the motion. The motion carried 6-0.
REPORTS FROM CITY OFFICIALS
Public Works Director Alan Scheuerman presented the Comparative Water Report for the period March 10 – April 10th.
Last summer several city properties received hail damage. Mr. Scheuerman would like to obtain cost estimates to make the repairs. Council directed Mr. Scheuerman to provide cost comparisons for metal versus asphalt shingles.
Police Chief Taft Yates presented the Monthly Activity Report for April and the May staff calendar. The DARE graduation at Washington Grade School is May 11th at 10:30 a.m.
City Clerk Amy Burton reminded the Governing Body to complete and return their annual Statement of Substantial Interests. The draft minutes from the recent Planning Commission/ Board of Zoning Appeals meeting were reviewed. Ms. Burton presented the March financial statements consisting of the Statement of Accounts, Treasurer’s Statement, and Security Deposit Worksheet. The staff members for the 2018 swimming pool season have been hired.
City Attorney Olavee Raub noted that City Prosecutor Cassy Zeigler will attend the May 21st Council meeting in her absence.
Mayor Update and Announcements
Mayor David McDaniel reported the deadline for filing with the County Clerk for the three open Council seats is June 1st at noon.
Council member Holly Aschenbrenner updated Council on the progress of the Community Block Party. The event will be held June 9th at 5:30 p.m. in Play World Park. Bids are being obtained for a pulled pork option and a hamburger/hot dog option. Bids will be presented to Council once received. The planning committee will meet again on May 17th at 2:00.
Council member Dena Patee presented a state sales tax business incentive program used in Seward, Nebraska.
Council member Jolene Niernberger congratulated Mayor David McDaniel on being elected President of the Kansas Mayor’s Association and for achieving his Level 2 MTI training certificate.
Council member Dena Patee moved and Council member Holly Aschenbrenner seconded a motion to adjourn the meeting. The motion carried 6-0. The meeting adjourned at 10:02 p.m.