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Ellinwood City Council to sell salvaged brick
‘Pledge of Allegiance’ observed
In this April 10 photo, brick streets near Ellinwood’s power plant were carefully dismantled in order to salvage the decades-old bricks for future uses. Ellinwood’s city council have agreed in addition to saving some for future street projects, they will sell a limited amount of the salvaged brick to Ryder Brick Inc., Bixby, Okla. They are still considering how to make some brick available to residents. - photo by photo by Veronica Coons

ELLINWOOD  —  At the July 10 Ellinwood City Council meeting,  councilman Ken Lebbin asked the council to consider opening the meetings with the Pledge of Allegiance as has been the tradition of other councils in the county.  He pointed out this observation following his attendance of a Barton County Commission meeting.  Mayor Irlan Fullbright and other council members were agreeable to including the pledge at future meetings. Tuesday night, Fullbright invited the council and patrons to join him in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance at the opening of the meeting.  

Following the pledge, it was noted that while a quorum was in attendance, the absence of two councilmen, Alan Brauer and Jon Prescott, would make it impossible to consider a proposed charter ordinance concerning the mayor’s responsibilities in the appointments of personnel by the governing body.  The agenda item was, therefore, tabled until September.  

A hearing for the proposed 2019 Budget was quickly conducted, with no objections from patrons present.  The only comment came from Joe Schulte, whose unhappiness with the small print size in the Ellinwood Leader’s publication was echoed by others. Schulte suggested the next time publication is required, the city consider options to ensure patrons can read the text.  Following the closing of the hearing, the council voted on and approved the budget as presented.  

Salvaged brick to be sold

The question of what to do with brick salvaged during the replacement of city streets near the power plant in April was answered, at least in part, Tuesday night. In June, council member Jon Prescott proposed the city look into selling brick through a salvage company, rather than simply giving it away to city residents free of charge. In July, he returned with data on how much one salvage company, Ryder Brick Inc., Bixby, Okla., would pay per brick.  The company cuts the bricks lengthwise to make antique brick pavers for a variety of uses.  The council, having had a month to consider, agreed to sell two lots of bricks to the company for 16-cents each, or $5,000 per lot.  They also agreed that setting aside what the city might utilize for future repairs of the remaining brick streets was a definite must, but were uncertain how to proceed with making brick available to city residents. 

City Manager Chris Komarek said individuals had approached him, asking about the brick with small patio projects and the like in mind.  While Fullbright and others on the council were at first in favor of letting residents take bricks for free, Lebbin pointed out that may open the door to individuals taking more than they need in hopes of profiting. Following some discussion, the council members present agreed to table the discussion until Brauer and Prescott could weigh in.  

Here’s a quick look at what happened at the Ellinwood City Council meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 14

•  Conducted a hearing on the proposed 2019 Budget.

• Approved the 2019 Budget.

• Approved the sale of two lots salvaged brick to Ryder Brick, Inc., Bixby, Okla. for $5,000 per lot, and to sell salvaged brick to residents on an honor basis for 16-cents a piece for home projects. 

• Approved an ordinance setting the speed limit on a portion of East E Street. 

• Michelle Martin, director of the Ellinwood Chamber of Commerce, announced Ellinwood would be hosting a meeting of the South Central Kansas Tourism Region, Aug. 22 at 10 a.m. a the Wolf Hotel. 

• Rob Dove presented a proposed design for way-finding signs to be posted throughout the city.  The signs will be printed by Mark’s Sings, Great Bend.  The council approved the design.  

• A patron inquired about enforcement of ordinances on junk vehicles, overgrown grass, and pit bulls in town.  She also inquired if building permits would be required on additions that did-not require foundations, to which Komarek replied that all additions required a permit. 

• Approved voting delegates for the League of Kansas Municipalities conference happening in Topeka in October.  Chris Komarek will be the voting delegate, and Irlan Fullbright will be the alternate. • Heard an update from Mark Chesney, Kansas Power Pool.  Chesney also issued an open invitation to council members to attend the upcoming KPP retreat happening Sept. 14-15 in Wichita.

• Approved the purchase of a new Ford Explorer with police package to replace the Ellinwood Police Department’s 2011 Charger which currently has 135,000 miles at a cost of $28,992 from Marmie Motors, Great Bend. 

• Heard a staff report from Komarek.  The police department has been conducting interviews for open positions and will make hiring decisions soon.  The 2018 After Harvest Festival was a success with no reported incidents. The zoning board members are currently recruiting new members, and new employees at the power plant will be training on generating power over the coming days. After the Sunday closure of the pool, work will begin on updates by the baby pool. Komarek also gave updates on street projects finishing up and also one project being held over until spring to avoid freezing temperatures.