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Ellinwood City Council approves 2017 budget
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ELLINWOOD - The Ellinwood City Council met Monday night, and began the meeting with a brief public hearing of the 2017 budget which was published earlier in the Ellinwood Leader. The mill levy will remain virtually the same as last year, City Attorney Bob Peter summarized. No public comments, so the hearing was closed. Ken Lebbin moved to approve the budget, seconded by Kirk Clawson. The council approved the budget unanimously.
Interim City Manager Chris Komarek reported on an upcoming pre-construction meeting between KDOT, the city and contractors to be held the next morning. Work on the Santa Fe project was anticipated to start later this week.
Komarek also said City staff started work on the Splash Pad Tuesday, burying electrical line to site. Water line would be installed later in the week, and he was hopeful the pad would be placed in the next couple of weeks.
Nearly 100 weed notices have been sent out, he said. The city crew has mowed more yards this year than in recent years with fewer people in compliance.
The Board of EMS recently inspected the Ellinwood EMS department, and another perfect score was awarded. The starting date for the upcoming new EMT training has been set for Aug. 22, and there is still time for those interested to apply, Komarek added.
Following his report, Council member Gaila Nielsen asked that thought be put into either fixing or tearing down the brick marquee located adjacent to the west end of the city offices. She stated that the weathered wood and unclear glass needed attention.

Executive sessions
Two executive sessions were requested. The first, to review delinquent accounts under consideration for writing off. This was necessary because the information pertaining to the accounts is not public record, City Attorney Bob Peter said. The council , Komarek , Schartz and Bob Peter entered executive session for 10 minutes, and upon resuming regular session, approved the writing off of several accounts.
According to Peter, the city will still continue with collection efforts including referral of the accounts to the state of Kansas to offset against tax refunds or funds.
“Our percentage of bad debts is very low and generally does not exceed one-half of one percent,” he said.
A second executive session was then called for the purpose of discussing possible acquisition of real estate. The council met in executive session for 20 minutes, and upon reentering regular session, no action was taken.

Other items of discussion and actions taken included:
Chelsey Doll was presented a service award for 10 years with the Ellinwood Ambulance Department. “Thank you for keeping me, and investing so much in me,” Doll said.
Approved the renewal of the lease for a postage meter with Pitney Bowes. The lease period is 60 months and will cost $1,188.00 per year, with no change from the previous lease.
Approved an amendment to the KDOT agreement, changing it to the amount of $658,200.
Approved a $40,000 lease purchase agreement with Community Bank of the Midwest for the city’s new ambulance which will be delivered sometime in September. Other financing comes from the city’s own contribution fund and private donations.
Heard a report from librarian Sheri Holmes concerning activities and acquisitions at the Ellinwood School/Community Library from the past year.

The next meeting of the Ellinwood City Council will be at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 13 at the city offices.