Other items of discussion and actions taken were reported to include:
* After attending mosquito school, Superintendent of Utilities Richard Hays wants to remind the public to make sure there is no water left standing outside.
* An annual pump test was performed on the city’s 1969 fire truck. Hubbard has a applied for a grant for a truck to replace it. The city will learn sometime in the fall if they are successful.
* Liz Praeger from Alliance Insurance Group presented the city policy that is due for renewal. The cost of the insurance increased from $32,077 to $32,201. The council reached consensus to renew the city insurance with Alliance Insurance Group.
* Kelly Nixon, was reappointed to the Recreation Commission for another four year term. Voting in favor Schneweis, Dan Michaelis, Doug Hubbard and Casey Hubbard. Nixon abstained.
* A portion of the fence at the sewer plant was pulled out by a farmer, who caught it with a piece of equipment. City Attorney Robert Suelter will contact him about repairing it.
* Hired Karen Hickel to clean the Community Center, at $15 an hour.
CLAFLIN — The Claflin City Council met Monday, April 11 at the city building, and City Clerk Patricia Schmidt sent minutes of that meeting to the Tribune.
Matters concerning the Claflin Police Department were discussed. Doug Hubbard moved to determine that Robert Gunder has not returned to work, is unable to carry out his duties, that there is no way to reasonably accommodate him to carry out his duties and declare the position of Chief of Police to be vacant. Schneweis seconded with all in favor.
As reported previously in the Tribune, Gunder was police chief of Claflin when nearly a year ago he was hospitalized due to complications that arose as a result of a planned surgery. After nearly three months in recovery, he was welcomed home to Claflin in September, 2015, by police escort to a community who turned out with much fanfare. Earlier in 2016, the city began advertising for the position of Chief of Police.
Later in the meeting, Council person Casey Hubbard moved to go into executive session for 30 minutes for the purpose of discussing non-elected personal, starting at 8:35 p.m., with the mayor, city council, city attorney and Rory Tillett asked to stay. Kelly Nixon seconded with all in favor. The regular meeting reconvened at 9:05 p.m. and went back into executive session for an additional 15 minutes. The regular meeting reconvened at 9:20 p.m. At that time, the council agreed to hire Rory Tillett as Chief of Police starting April 12 and on May 1 becoming full-time. Pay will be $20 an hour for the six-month probation period. Then, Tillett will be eligible for a $1 an hour raise.
In other police related news, the police car has been back in the shop for repairs. Also, due to reports of a stolen trailer, Acting Police Chief Gary Vaughn is encouraging the public to put ball locks on their trailers.
John Radenberg and Janel Rose, with the Be Well Barton County coalition group, formally presented a plan to make improvements for a bike route and a pedestrian walking route, popularly referred to as the Barton County Bike and Pedestrian Master Plan. After some discussion, Council person Kirk Schneweis moved to acknowledge receipt of the plan subject to the recommendations for improvements to be considered for funding as they are presented for consideration. Council person Doug Hubbard seconded with all in favor.
This paved the way for the city to accept a gift of bike racks presented to the city by Brandon Steinert, representing the Barton County Young Professionals. The city will install them.
Council person Casey Hubbard moved to go into executive session for 20 minutes for the purpose of discussing non-elected personal, starting at 8:13 p.m., with the mayor, city council, city attorney, city clerk and Gary Vaughan asked to stay. Schneweis seconded with all in favor. The regular meeting reconvened at 8:33 PM. At that time, the council approved hiring Karen Hickel to clean the Community Center, at $15 an hour.
The meeting was then adjourned. The next meeting of the Claflin City Council will be at 7 p.m., Monday, May 9 at the Claflin City Building.