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Hoisington City Council discusses grant hurdles
new vlc City of hoisington pic courtesy

Hoisington EMS Director Scott Fleming shared news with the city council Monday evening concerning the status of a grant requested from the Kansas Board of EMS to replace a monitor on the city’s second-out truck. The original application was for the purchase price of a Zoll M-Series monitor for $31,804.77. The grant application requested a split of 75-25, with the city’s share to be $7,915.19. Fleming reported the Board of EMS had contacted him to determine if the city would be willing to accept a reduced grant of $20,000 if it were offered, making the city’s responsibility $11,804.77.
Prior to the meeting, Fleming had inquired if Zoll would accept the city’s monitor now in use as a trade in. After some discussion, the council unanimously agreed that they would be willing to do the trade in and purchase the monitor for a maximum payment of $11,804.77. Fleming will report at a future meeting if these concessions succeed in the Board awarding the grant to Hoisington.

CDBG funding at risk
City Manager Jonathan Miller then shared concerns over the city’s application for HUD Community Development Block Grant funding for the wastewater lagoon project. Recently, the city learned it was awarded $500,000 to go towards the mandated lagoon repairs and the installation of a new wetland cell. But now, a technicality has raised some red flags. Residents were surveyed during the application process, and each survey had an identifier code. However, some survey takers scratched off the code and wrote in the address, which is contrary to the desires of the CDBG which wanted each survey unaltered. There is a chance now that the city could be inelligible for the funding if the surveys are found unacceptable. This could set the city back a year, and require a whole new grant application.
Mitchell visited with the city’s consultant hired to oversee the grant application, and was assured it sounds worse than it is, he said. “This is something that has happened before with other communities they have worked with, and they assure us this can be smoothed over.”
In light of this, Mitchell suggested the city continue moving forward as though this were the case.  The state requires the city to have two signatures for all grant paperwork, and suggested four be designated in case one or two are unavailable for any reason.  The board approved a motion to designate Mitchell, Mayor Clayton Williamson , City Clerk Donita Crutcher and City Treasurer Sharon Ferranti as official signers on the CDBG project.  

Other items of discussion and actions taken included:
* Heard an update on power plant maintenance. A heat exchange unit will need to be replaced soon. The power plant manager is looking into the benefits of repair of the existing unit over purchasing new. Both will require downtime, which could mean if a power outage occurs during that time the city could have an extended period without power. The council advised the decision be made and the work be done soon before air conditioning use is high.
* Approved Appropriation Ordinance No. 1399.

Two executive sessions noted on the agenda were not requested. The council adjourned early. The next meeting of the Hoisington City Council will be on Monday, April 4 at 7 p.m. at the council chamber.