HOISINGTON -- For the last 32-and-a-half years, Paul Zecha, Hoisington’s Public Works supervisor, has been serving the citizens of Hoisington, helping to keep the infrastructure of the city in good condition so things like turning on water, driving down the street, and turning on the lights could simply be taken for granted. This week, Zecha will retire, and Hoisington City Manager Jonathan Mitchell took time to thank him at the Monday night council meeting.
He shared a few parting reflections about projects that have been completed, and those still underway, noting some of the city’s infrastructure, like sewer lines, date back to the 1800s.
“Everything takes money, and it takes time to do everything. I think we’ve done quite a few things while I’ve been with the city, and hope it continues on, and any problems that we have, I’ll be willing to share my opinions,” he said.
Mayor Clayton Williamson presented Zecha with a clock as a retirement send off. The city will host a retirement reception for him from 2-4 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 31.
Cooksey addresses council
The Hoisington City Council was visited Monday night by Mark Cooksey, president of Roto-Mix.
The City and Roto-Mix entered into an Option Purchase Agreement on November 24, 1993 that established terms of the lease and eventual purchase of the property that Roto-Mix occupies. The agreement was extended several times over the past four years.
The proposed purchase price is $206,514 based on the 1993 purchase option agreement. Roto-mix also proposes to pay 100 percent of the survey costs, 50 percent of the title policy and recording fees. The property taxes will be prorated and closing costs split. The target date is late October closing, Mitchell said.
He asked the council for their blessing to commence formal negotiations with Roto-Mix, and invited Cooksey to answer questions the council might have.
When there weren’t any, Cooksey took the opportunity to share his appreciation of the 24-year long and beneficial relationship the company has had with the city, and his hope that it will continue well into the future. Since occupying the property, the company has made $930,000 in improvements to the building, and they’ve brought a number of jobs to the community over the years, he said. The company has also spent $48,240, mostly in legal fees, to clear up an environmental issue with the state that was at the root of the numerous extensions on the purchase and lease agreement.
“I think we’ve had a great relationship with the city of Hoisington , and we’d like to maintain that,” he said.
He also noted while the Hoisington operation has worked well, it hasn’t been without its challenges. The biggest challenge, hiring a reliable workforce, is common at all four Roto-Mix locations he said. Roto-Mix manufactures livestock mixing and feeding equipment, compost mixing equipment and manure spreaders.
When Councilman Mike Aylward inquired if the company would soon expand, Cooksey replied the company would “gladly double” its operation, but growth is being hindered by workforce issues.
“It seems like the young generation doesn’t want to come to work, and production like we do, being at work on time is a big deal for us,” he said. “If we could clone some of our current employees, we would.”
Council members agreed by consensus to move forward with finalizing the purchase and lease agreement.
Other items of discussion and actions taken included”
Discussed renewal of a lease for the old sewer treatment facility. The land is owned by Cheryl Popp and the annual lease of $1,200 expired in March, 2017. Popp is now asking for $2,400 a year. The city will consider its options and take up the discussion again in September.
Approved the renewal of the CIC Peopleware Agreement, which will cost $19,895 for the year.
Heard the City Manager’s report.
The meeting was then adjourned. The next Hoisington City Council meeting will be at 7 p.m., Monday, Sept. 11 at the Hoisington Municipal Complex.