Other items of discussion and actions taken at the Hoisington City Council meeting included:
* Approval of Higgins Family Reunion CMB Consumption Permit for a reunion on June 4-5 from noon to 10 p.m. at the Bicentennial Park West Shelter.
* Approval to work with Barton County Young Professionals to install donated bike racks in Hoisington
* Approval of attendance and leave policy revision for EMS
* Approval of a transient guest tax request for $200 to go toward advertising in the 2016 Kansas Fall Hunting Guide.
* There will be a meeting of the Cow Creek watershed committee on May 3. Contact the city office for details if you would like to attend, Mitchell said.
* The city has hired two new personnel to the power plant staff. One staff member will retire at the end of June.
* The US 281 KDOT project that was planned to start this spring continues to face challenges, and at this time, Mitchell anticipates it will have to wait until after Labor Day to start. This could also mean state funds promised for the project may not be available in the fall, and the project could be delayed indefinitely.
* At the request of Mayor Clayton Williamson, the city will look into purchasing equipment with which to fix the concrete streets in the city, all of which Williamson says are cracked and deteriorating.
* VanBrimmer requested Mitchell consider setting aside money in the budget to work on sidewalks where children take part in the walking school bus.
* Mitchell will meet with HOI contractor Eddie Price this week to discuss what can be done about the entrance to parking for the duplex at Fourth and Maple.
* The preliminary meeting with heating and air conditioning consultants for the replacement of the Municipal Building’s outdated and inefficient boiler and HVAC system was conducted, and the estimate for the cost of the project is much higher ($200 to $275 thousand) than anticipated ($100 to $150 thousand.) The city will meet with consultants again in a few weeks and look for ways to decrease the cost of project, possibly by using local contractors.
The Hoisington City Council met Monday night and approved an annexation request from Kenny Schremmer for a property he owns located just south of the railroad tracks near Railroad Ave. and US 281. A developer has expressed interest in the property, and has conducted a variety of tests including water and soil tests, as well as a traffic assessment in recent weeks. At this time, Schremmer said, he is under contract with the party who intends to bring a Sonic Drive-in restaurant to the location.
Noting that the city recently approved a bond issue for $11,500,000 for the building of a new elementary school and renovations to existing school buildings, Councilman Brian Wilborn expressed his support for the annexation.
“I think we have a duty to raise the tax base to pay for that,” he said. After some discussion, the rest of the council voted unanimous approval.
The council also considered and approved a request by Jeff and Marcia Williams to drill a private well on their property, despite the fact the most viable location was within the setbacks outlined by city ordinance. It was determined a variance was not required, but only permission by the council.
City Manager Jonathan Mitchell shared a request by Hoisington business owner Rod Harms to do away with the city’s transient guest tax. Harms is the owner of two Hoisington lodging establishments, a four-unit micro motel and another property which accommodates both long-term and nightly guests, Mitchell said. He asked the city provide a breakdown of what the transient guest tax has been used for since its inception. Mitchell went back to 2013, he said. It was Harms’ wish that the money currently in that line-item account be used to promote lodging. Harms was not present at the meeting, but Mitchell said he had promised to bring the matter before the council.
Members of the council commented that the tax had been used to promote several Hoisington activities, including the Labor Day parade. They opted to leave the tax in effect.
Prior to the meeting, the Hoisington Land Bank met and approved an application for a Lot 5 of McKenna Meadows for Chris and Kylie Kinman. They plan to build a new three-bedroom home in Hoisington.