Other items of discussion and actions taken included:
* A 10 year service award was presented to Ellinwood Police Sgt. Chance Bailey.
* The council approved two motions concerning memorial funds designated to the Ellwood EMT service. First, they rescinded an agreement to transfer accumulated funds to the Ellinwood Hospital Foundation, and second, the approved a motion to enter into an agreement with the Ellinwood Community Foundation to transfer 100 percent of the memorial funds and maintain a minimum balance of $1,000. A three to five-member board will be formed and will include representatives from the EMT service who will determine how the funds will be used. This was done so that the funds could be used for purposes other than simply paying the bills, such as purchasing equipment or funding educational classes for the community.
* The council approved a letter of support to MACO Development Co. LLC, which will be submitting a grant application with the state for funding to rehab the Ellinwood Heights Apartments on S. Bismark. This is the company’s second attempt at receiving the grant, and Dan Sanders, representing MACO, said that he has been informed their chances are good. The letter of support will help the company achieve a better score in the grant process.
* The council approved cereal malt beverage licenses to Ellinwood companies who applied.
* The council approved a bid from Adams, Brown, Beran and Ball for another three-year contract to provide the city with auditing services.
* The council approved changes to two elections ordinances, moving the official elections from April to November, and making them non-partisan. Previously, the non-partisan language had been left off. Council member Gaila Nielson protested both ordinances by voting no.
* The council discussed possible ways of disposing of city-owned lots. Council member Ken Lebbin requested the council have time to consider, and resume the discussion at the next meeting.
* City Attorney Bob Peter and Komarek provided an update on happenings at the Kansas Power Pool.
* The council approved moving forward with rebuilding the city’s 25 year-old digger truck at a cost of $33,649.
ELLINWOOD - The first order of business Tuesday night at the Ellinwood City Council was consideration of bids for the property at 104 N. Main St. The property was acquired by the city earlier this year after several delays in having the adjoining blighted buildings demolished caused damage to the building, and the past owners sold it to the city to avoid further damages. After the buildings were removed, the city had the exposed wall fixed and put it up for bid in September. The first round of bids included one from a private person who wished to use the property for office space, and one from Chris McCord who wanted to acquire the building in order to donate it to the Ellinwood Historical Society. The city opted to delay the sale to give the Society time to determine if it wished to accept the property. When this occurred, the bid from the first person expired, and the council learned the Society was not prepared to commit to the property. The council then decided to offer the property for bid a second time, with a decision to be made Tuesday night.
One bid, again from Chris McCord, was received for $3,500. The council approved the bid and will move forward with the sale.
Pound agreement discussed
City Manager Chris Komarek provided an update on another item of old business concerning the request from Animal Medical Center to adjust the agreement with the city to provide impounding services. After receiving direction from the council at the November meeting. Komarek sent requests to three other veterinarians and the Golden Belt Humane Society requesting bids for the service. All three veterinarians indicated that while they are available in an emergency, they were not interested in or were not set up to provide the service. The Humane Society would be willing to provide service, but the city would be responsible for paying $50 to the organization if an owner did not claim the animal. Also, once the pet is surrendered, the city would have no further involvement in the transaction.
AMC contacted Komarek, and after some discussion indicated the service could still be provided if the fee was increased to $40 plus the boarding fee. The reason was due to an increase in costs, the veterinarian explained. This is in because AMC hires part-time help to care for boarded animals over the weekend, but when they are not available, on-call veterinarians are called in to provide the service, and AMC must pay a higher rate, and so would like to pass that on to the city. The representative from AMC was expected to attend the meeting Tuesday night to explain further to the council, but was not there. Komarek said that he had conferred with Chief of Police Art, who also acts as the animal control officer, and they feel that it is in the city’s best interest to keep the impounding local. They would also like pets to be tagged before they are released to their owners. The council agreed they would continue to use AMC for at least the next month, and would be willing revisit the item at the next meeting.
During the invitation to visitors section of the meeting, one Ellinwood resident first thanked the city for its efforts enforcing ordinances, and then brought to their attention a non-compliant shed that had been built in the front yard at 508 Goethe St. Komarek assured the resident that the city would follow up with a letter to the owner of the property.
Ellinwood Chamber of Commerce Director Jacque Isern thanked the city for their donation to the Christkindlmarket raffle, and Judy Hayes thanked the city for its assistance in setting up the Gingerbread Christmas Village at Wolf Park. She also requested that they contact her when it is time to take it down so she can organize volunteers to help. A location to store the village is still needed, she also state. Komarek said the city is still working on finding a storage option.
An executive session for discussion of non-elected personnel was requested with Komarek, Peter and City Clerk Kim Schartz invited to attend. The session lasted 20 minutes. Upon returning to regular session the council approved the legal services agreement for 2017, continuing those services with Peter. They also approved an amendment to the city administrator position.
The next Ellinwood City Council meeting will be on at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, at the Ellinwood City Offices.