Other items of discussion and actions taken included:
* Approval of the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) waiver for 2017.
* Approved Ordinance #1527, raising the fee charged to accounts in collection from 25 to 30 percent.
* Approved the monthly appropriation ordinance.
* Mitchell reported that as the budget has been audited, some changes to estimated year end transfers presented at the last meeting were required. There will be an across the board reduction of $70,000 in year end transfers from the General Fund, and the electricity fund transfer was reduced $45,000, no transfers would be made to the sanitation fund, and the sewer fund transfer was reduced from $30,000 to $5,000.
* Representatives from the North Central Regional Planning Commission will meet with city staff Friday to discuss the upcoming survey project. The city office will be closed that day from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
*The city invited council members to attend the Hoisington Chamber of Commerce banquet Saturday, Jan. 14. The city will pay for the member only.
HOISINGTON - Hoisington residents may see fewer spots on their dishes soon. City Manager Jonathan Mitchell reported to the Hoisington City Council Monday that options for improving the softness of the city’s water are being examined.
“I’ve received a number of complaints,” he said. Customers have been noticing buildup on dishes and appliances for several year’s now, since the city last attempted to fix the problem. The slaker, which relied on heating lime to soften the water, did not work properly. Fixes, like installing an air conditioner to keep the system from overheating, did not completely fix the problem, and the city has been limping along, making repairs and receiving unsatisfactory results ever since.
“Water is pretty important, and we can look to repair what we have, but it hasn’t functioned the way we’ve wanted it to from the first day,”he said.
The city has been setting aside funds for plant improvements,, and it is likely now it will be able to pay the estimated $119,000 for a new system from those funds, Mitchell said.
The unit being looked at should be able to use the existing silo, but a new type of lime which does not require heating will be used. Not only would this make softening the water more efficient, if Hoisington’s experience is anything compared to another Kansas town, Carbondale, the lime buildup on plumbing and machinery would be far more manageable. Deposits at Carbondale, which has used the system for several years, are only about 1/16 of an inch total. That, Mitchell said, is about what Hoisington’s current setup builds up in a month.
Council member Chris Smith asked what kinds of warranties or guarantees the system comes with. That is something Mitchell said he is also exploring, and will report back to the council in a future meeting.
The sanitation customers of Hoisington recycled more than half a million pounds of waste in 2016. That’s even more than in 2015, setting a new record for the community, Mitchell said. This, according to a report from Stutzman Refuse Disposal, which contracts with the city for trash pickup and recycling.
But not everyone is completely satisfied with the service. Some residents have reported being missed, though it has been determined that some may have simply gotten their bundle out late on the day of pick up. But council member Robert Bruce reported that more than once the driver on his route has reminded residents to put out their recycling when it wasn’t already on the curb.
At the drop off located near Wilson State Bank on Main Street, an overflow over the holiday weekend was noticeable, and Mayor Clayton Williamson noted that broken glass from recycling drop off was scattered into the area where people drive, and wondered if the city street sweeper could be utilized to clean it up soon. Mitchell said he would put in a request to the city crew.
“Single stream recycling has worked well for Hoisington,” Mitchell said. “If we can work together and keep the recycling center up a little better, we could see even more recycling. If we do simple things like break down boxes, and not put trash in recycling, we could collect more.”
Council members weighed in. Carol Nather suggested the city include information in the next utility mailing. Karen Van Brimmer asked if the driver could get a different container, perhaps larger, or if more than one pickup could be scheduled each week. Mitchell said the company has already informed him that once a week pick up is all their schedule will allow, but they are also looking into the possibility of more than one container being made available.
During his City Manager Report, Mitchell informed the council that Sonic has reconsidered applying for a Community Improvement District (CID), because they felt it would put them at a competitive disadvantage. They are still anticipating a February opening.
Mike Aylward asked about progress on the Rotomix transfer. Mitchell reported the city is still waiting for a $10,000 check from the railroad, and until that comes, everything is at a standstill. Also, the city has determined it is in the best interest of residents that the city maintain ownership of adjacent land near the existing waterways as it is critical for drainage.
A 15-minute Executive Session was requested for the discussion of Confidential Matters Related to Non-Elected Personnel with the governing body, city attorney and city manager. Upon resuming regular session, no action was taken and the meeting was adjourned.
The next regular Hoisington City Council meeting will be at 7 p.m., Monday, Jan. 23 at the Hoisington Municipal Complex.