Other items of discussion and actions taken included:
• The council tabled an agenda item brought by the Ellinwood Historical Society concerning maintenance and replacement of the brick streets. The item will be on the October agenda. Members of the EHS were out of town, unable to attend, Komarek said.
• Approved the sale of the city-owned airport office to Mike Yagel, Raymond, for $1,200. The city invited bids for the sale, and Yagel’s was the only bid.
• Approved renewal of the City’s health insurance policy which turns over on Nov. 1.
• Approved the purchase of a computer and PLC upgrade at sewer treatment plant for $6,547.
• Adopted a Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act Ordinance, designating the Kansas Power Pool, of which the city is a member, as the responsible party to purchase power from a Qualifying Facility located in the City of Ellinwood service territory as required under the Act. The ordinance contemplates that KPP will be responsible for any fees and costs associated with compliance with the Act. A qualifying facility refers to a customer who acquires power through an alternative means, i.e. solar cells or a wind turbine.
• Discussed issues concerning replacement of concrete and planters, as presented by Sunflower Bank’s Becca Maxwell. Further research will need to be conducted before the council is prepared to take action on the requested variance to the existing code.
• Considered and rejected bids for remodeling the city offices. Komarek said he would like to create a new specifications sheet so bidders can have a clearer idea of what the city is requesting. The council then reauthorized a new round of bidding with newly prepared specifications.
• Heard a brief City Manager’s report, with updates on the KDOT project, which will still likely be done by the end of the year. City projects underway or scheduled to start soon include street repairs planned around town, the start of Christmas light installation, and tree trimming starting in October. Work will begin on a six-week project to replace a water main downtown by the end of the week. A new Verizon cell tower will be installed in the a few months.
ELLINWOOD — A small quorum of three Ellinwood City Council members met Monday night in regular session, and took action on a number of business items. However, all three present, Gaila Demel, Ken Lebbin and Alan Brauer, opted to table action concerning options for payment of a proposed bond and authorizing the resolution for bond sale until a full council can be present. That meeting is tentatively planned for the first week of October, and the city will announce the date through the media as soon as it is set.
A brief public hearing for Ellinwood’s proposed Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP) was conducted. The program provides property owners a tax rebate incentive for making improvements of at least $10,000 and increasing the appraised value of their property at least 10 percent for residential, and $20,000 and an increase in value of at least 20 percent for commercial. Depending on if the property sits in the primary or secondary target areas, the amount of the rebate varies, and could continue from five to eight years. Application must be made within 30 days of receiving a building permit.
One patron inquired if the benefit would pass to future owners, and was informed that it will not. With no further questions, the council closed the hearing and approved the plan. An interlocal agreement was also approved, and the agreement will now be presented to Barton County, Barton Community College, Ellinwood District Hospital, and USD 355, asking for their participation in the NRP. The program will be retroactive to Jan. 1, but application must be made for these retroactive projects within 30 days of the program’s adoption.
The discussion of changes to the city’s trash pick-up schedule was reopened. At the August meeting, City Manager Chris Komarek proposed the city could save revenue if during the summer, pick-up was cut back to once a week. But, after further consideration, Monday he told council members the savings would not outweigh the benefit to residents of year-round twice weekly pickup.
“There might be a small amount of savings with that, but I think it creates a lot of other issues,” he said. If a resident forgets or is out of town, for instance, they could end up having to store their trash for up to two weeks. Plus, this could result in having more trash outside the cans, he said.
What the city would like to do is find a way to not have to utilize the rear loader as well as the side loader for trash pick-up twice each week. So, Komarek instead proposed only running the side loader, and informing patrons that all trash must be in cans for pickup. Enforcement will have to be stepped up, with a warning tag placed on the can the first time excess trash is left by the can. After that, trash not in a can will not be picked up.
This will free up man hours that can be devoted to other projects around the city. It was also noted the city charges $12 per month for pick-up of one can twice a week, but an additional can be added for $3.