The budget hearing at the Ellinwood City Council meeting Tuesday night, Aug. 11, was short with no public comment. The council then adopted resolution 8115, a new requirement by the state legislature of municipalities seeking to increase their mill levy, and unanimously approved the 2016 budget as presented for publication.
City Manager’s report
Newberry reported that Don McMichan, a structural engineer from Kansas City, will be in Ellinwood Monday to examine the Main Street buildings the city halted demolition on last fall. He will provide a third opinion to the city on what the next step should be. He plans to speak both with a representative from Stone Construction and with Mark and Cassie Batchman, who own the adjacent buildings.
“When he is done, the city will need to make decisions,” Newberry said. “Hopefully we’ll be able to accomplish something here before long.”
Newberry updated the council on arrangements for paying contractors working on the proposed KDOT project. After considerable time on the internet and the phone with KDOT representatives McManaman and Winger, he felt reassured the city will not need to pay contractors working on a proposed project out of city funds. Bid documents will specify invoices will be paid “net 30.” When an invoice is received, the city will turn it over to KDOT, and funds will be transferred in time for payment.
“I was glad to get that information,” he said. “KDOT has really changed a lot in the last few years, and are making themselves easy to deal with for small cities. They’ve made it very easy for small cities to do these projects.”
The money will carry with it an obligation to meet the auditing requirements for federal funding. Kim Schartz, the city treasurer, will teleconference with an auditor to ensure the city is complying with state statues and prepare for the audit in advance. The city conducts a regular audit, but the federal funds will require an additional single audit, which could carry a substantial fee to the city, she said.
The question of whether or not to remove ‘no parking’ signs from a stretch of 7th Street was discussed. At one time, signs spanned a larger stretch of the street, but were taken down and not put back up when Midwest Energy was doing past work in the area. Prior to that, there had been a problem with individuals parking n the ditch along the right-of-way, something that is illegal by ordinance in the city.
Rich Meyer, Ellinwood, is the patron that brought the request. He was at the meeting, and pointed out that it was in front of his property the signs are present, and it seemed unfair that he should be singled out when others along the street had more room to park.
While the council members were agreeable to taking down the signs, City Attorney Bob Peter pointed out that the removal of the signs did not change the ordinance. It still would not be okay to park in the ditch right-of-way. The council approved a motion to remove the remaining signs, but leave the ordinance intact.
During visitor’s comments, Rob Dove, a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association, then announced plans for a fly-in scheduled for Sept. 13 from 1 -4 p.m. at the Ellinwood airport. Three area classic car clubs have been invited to participate, so visitors will be able to see vintage and newer aircraft and cars at the same location, he said. He thanked City Manager Bud Newberry for helping make sure portable restrooms would be available for the event. Another patron spoke up at that time to remind the council that the water hydrants at the airport had not been tested for portability, and should be labeled ‘non-potable’ before the event.
Other items of discussion and actions taken included:
• The council approved the contract allowing T-Mobile to place an antennae on the water tower.
• The council approved completing the purchase of a lot from Dennis Lebbin near an acreage bordering Kennedy Street that was completed earlier. The property does not border the street, but a city water main runs through it, making it a strategic benefit to the city. It may be used for fill material for city projects. The city will purchase the land from Lebbin for $2,000.
• A group from Lyons has approached the city to request permission to set up a tent in the city park on Saturday, Sept. 26, for a check-in point for a poker run. It will benefit the Kids Safety Camp. The city approved their request.
• Appointed Newberry to the KMGA Board of Directors. He will replace Bob Peters when his term ends Sept. 1.