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Ellinwood City Council approve CMB ordinances for 2018 After Harvest Festival
No coolers allowed this year
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Ellinwood Mayor Irlan Fullbright presented a 10-year Service Award to Electrical Distribution Superintendent Jon Perron at the city council meeting Tuesday night. - photo by VERONICA COONS, Great Bend Tribune

Here’s a quick look at what happened at the Ellinwood city council meeting Tuesday night:

• Heard a complaint from patron George Martin concerning a blighted property neighboring his residence. He was informed that on Monday a letter has been sent to the owner of the property giving 10 days to clean up vegetation. It is also one of several that are being considered for condemnation, City Manager Chris Komarek and City Attorney Bob Peter said.
• Heard a request from patron Rob Dove, requesting permission for the Ellinwood Chamber of Commerce to make a presentation at the June meeting concerning placement of additional signage to east and west entrances to the city on Hwy 96. Approval was given.
• Presented a 10-year service award to Jon Perron, Electric Distribution Department.
• Accepted the 2017 Audit Report from Danielle Hollingshead, CPA with Adams, Brown, Beran and Ball. Opinion-- unmodified opinion, highest quality available. Unencumbered cash at year end is $2.4 million, an increase of 1.1 million. That reflects both the Capital Improvements fund plus an additional $124,000 increase from 2016.
• Approved ordinance 2018-2, allowing for the consumption of Cereal Malt Beverages at the Ellinwood After Harvest Festival. This year, visitors will not be allowed to bring coolers into the designated area, and all CMB will need to be purchased on site. This is an effort to limit underage drinking and the presence of glass containers.
• Approved ordinance 2018-3, allowing for the sale of Cereal Malt Beverages by the Sidewinders organization at the beer garden at the Ellinwood After Harvest Festival.
• Appointed City Manager Chris Komarek as the Kansas Power Pool voting delegate, and Jon Perron as the alternate delegate.
• Ratified the decision by Komarek and Mayor Irlan Fullbright to approve additional expenses incurred last week to saturated soil found underneath the excavated brickwork at 1st Street in order to allow road work to stay on schedule.
• Approved spending up to $7,935 for engineering costs for street project staking. This cost was included in the original estimated, but overlooked during the bidding phase.
• Approved the high bid for the sale of the city’s oldest backhoe. Sylvia township offered $17,000.
• Approved the sale of a 1988 Ford Pickup truck formerly used by the Sewer and Sanitation Department, for $50 to Jayce McKinney. Bids were sought for the truck, but none were received by the deadline.
• Approved the purchase of a 72-inch Hustler Z riding lawnmower for $14,839 from Progreen of Great Bend.
• Approved the purchase of a John Deere wing mower for $12,950, including a $5,500 trade in allowance, from the John Deere dealership in Great Bend.
• Elected Ken Lebbin to serve as the Council President for 2018-2019.
• Designated both Sunflower N.A. and Community Bank of the Midwest as the official depositories for the City of Ellinwood.
• Designated the Ellinwood Leader as the City’s official newspaper, and the Great Bend Tribune as the alternate official newspaper.
• Reappointed Councilmembers James McCormick and Alan Brauer to sit on the Fire Committee for another year.
• Heard a staff report from Komarek.
• Entered into an Executive session for the discussion of job performance of non-elected personnel, pursuant to the discussion of non-elected personnel exception of the Kansas Open Meetings Act. The first session lasted 20 minutes, and upon return to regular session, two additional sessions were requested. After the third session, the council approved a 4-percent increase to the annual salary of the City Manager, and agreed to raise the monthly car allowance for that position to $500 a month. The council also tabled further discussion on the annual appointment of Department Heads until the June meeting.

ELLINWOOD — Since the Ellinwood Chamber of Commerce requested in March permission to hold the 2018 After Harvest Festival, decisions intended to deter underage drinking, the presence of glass containers and unruly behavior have been made, and they were reflected in ordinances approved by the Ellinwood City Council Tuesday night.
For many years, visitors have been allowed to bring their own beverages to the park in coolers for their own consumption. This year, that won’t be the case.
EMS Director Brittney Glenn stated the only place that alcohol will be allowed will be in the fenced area, and it will only be sold by the Sidewinders organization.
“You will not be able to bring in coolers or styrofoam cups,” she said. “You will be allowed to bring in a sealed pop or water.”
Since the Chamber of Commerce doesn’t have an alcohol sales license, only CMB will be allowed. Volunteers will be checking at the gate when attendees pay to ensure the containers have not been opened previously.
Komarek added that the those who show up with coolers and are turned away should be aware that law enforcement will enforce the ordinance in the surrounding area.
“They aren’t going to be able to just go across the street and sit down on the tailgate and enjoy the evening,” he said. “That’s not going to happen.”
The After Harvest Festival committee will begin an advertising campaign in the coming weeks to get the word out about the changes, Glenn said.
The ordinance was approved, directly followed by approval of the ordinance to allow the Sidewinders organization to sell CMB at the beer garden.
At the city council meeting in March, representatives from the Chamber, including board member Justin Nash, former director Jacque Isern and director Michelle Martin, initiated a conversation with the city concerning ways to improve security at the Saturday night dance during the four-day event. In 2017, an altercation involving two attendees occurred during the dance, and concerns were raised that some present had sneaked in and were not wearing wristbands. They also worried access to home-brought alcohol could leave the Chamber, the city or the Sidewinders liable in the event of accidents or damages.
The city agreed to pay for additional law enforcement coverage at the dance. But, according to City Attorney Bob Peter, the Chamber would be responsible for their event, and should appoint members to check identification and wristbands. Ellinwood Chief of Police Art Keffer underscored the need for more vigilance, noting that underage drinking was not so much a problem with teenagers as it was with 20 year-olds. He was concerned the city could be targeted by Alcohol Beverage Control, a division of the Kansas Department of Revenue.