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Larned firefighter recognized for certification
City Council approves purchase of police video equipment
new_vlc_Larned firefighter recognized.jpg
Larned Firefighter Josh Riedel, right, was recognized and congratulated Monday night, June 3, by the Larned City Council and Mayor William Nusser and Larned Fire Chief Randy Bird, left, for his successful completion of the 14-week Fire Training Institute offered by the University of Kansas. Riedel achieved the certification of Firefighter 1 with Hazardous Materials Awareness training. - photo by Veronica Coons

Budget Calendar, 2020

June 15 – receive the valuation

June 17 – Outside organizations will present budget requests

July 1 – Distribute budget

July 8 – Budget Workshop #1 

July 15 – Budget Workshop #2 

July 22 – Optional budget workshop if needed

July 26 – Publish the budget

Aug. 5 – Approve Budget

Aug. 25 – certify the budget to the Pawnee County Clerk 

LARNED — Monday night, Larned city council members, city staff and Mayor William Nusser offered their congratulations to Larned firefighter Josh Riedel for his hard work and service to the citizens of Larned. Earlier this year, Riedel successfully completed the University of Kansas Fire Training Institute’s 14-week specialized training and testing for Firefighter 1 certification.

Larned Fire Chief Randy Bird explained the nationally recognized certification also included Hazard Materials awareness training. 

Last year, the Larned Fire Department hosted Firefighter 1 classes in the county with neighboring departments attending. The classes met every Monday and Thursday from March through September, and for one Saturday a month each of those months. Participants were not compensated for the hours they volunteered to the effort. Firefighters Rachel Hill and Bill Jones completed the course earlier, and were recognized in January. 

“It takes a lot of dedication to go through this,” Bird said. “Josh will now be recognized as a Firefighter 1 anywhere he goes in the United States,” 

He presented Riedel with a certificate of completion for the course. Bird added that as a volunteer fire department with a staff of 25, he has many retirees on his roster. Having those who attain FF1 and advanced certification helps the department qualify for various grants and helps to keep the ISO rating favorable for the city, which helps to keep property insurance rates down for its residents.   

Police Car Video System upgrade approved

Larned Police Captain Lance Dust presented a bid from Watch Guard for a motor vehicle recording system to be installed in the new LPD vehicle approved in January and currently under construction. The new system is an upgrade from the current five-year-old system which did not include a body audio/video mic. 

According to a letter from Police Chief Charles Orth, the department decided when the last upgrade was made not to move to a body camera in hopes Watch Guard would develop a body camera and mic system that would sync with their MVRs. That happened last year. 

The five-year warranty on the older systems has expired, but the department will continue to use the older systems until they fail to perform, he stated. 

Currently, $24,000 has been budgeted for the upgrade and the server package combined. The bid total, however, is $27,465.

According to City Manager Brad Eilts, City Finance Director Monica Steiner suggested in order to create some breathing room while the department trains new officers at he state police academy, they could hold off on purchasing the backup server system valued at $4,700, and place it on the budget for 2020. 

Initially, the department opted for Watch Guard’s free software, Evidence Library. But the city’s IT consultant informed the department the way they save is “kind of crude.” 

The recommended server package allows the software to securely link with the system on the vehicle with stationary system at the department and begin downloading. 

Nusser questioned why not use a Carbonite-type cloud based backup system. Dust responded it had to do with security. The backup system allows the department to seamlessly redact personal information like dates of birth from the recording.  

“Where we get into redaction is when we get into jury trials,” Dust said. The software allows the recording to be blurred for public consumption, without affecting the authenticity of the recording.

With the more sophisticated system, if an officer is called away during a data download, Dust said, the process stops and resumes upon return, much like a Microsoft Windows upgrade does on a personal computer. 

After some discussion, the council approved a quote from Watch Guard for $12,960 that included cameras and microphones, hardware, software, licensing and the associated program technical services and warranties. The council also voted in line with the city’s recommendation to delay getting the secondary backup until 2020, which brings the original $14,505 quote from OPI to under $10,000, and once again in line with the money budgeted this year for the upgrade.  

Here’s a quick look at what happened at the Larned City Council meeting Monday night:

• Approved the consent agenda which included minutes of the May 6 regular meeting and the 2020 budget calendar. 

• Recognized Firefighter Josh Riedel, who recently passed certification for Firefighter 1 after participating and completion of a 14-week program offered through the University of Kansas Fire Training Institute.

• Approved the creation of a Swimming Pool Reserve Fund Ordinance. The suggestion came at the May 3 city council meeting when Erin Atteberry, a member of the citizen-led committee formed two years ago to research options for renovating the city pool, requested the council consider creating such a fund in order to hold money raised towards eventual renovation activities, including building matching funds for possible grants and programs to complete work on the pool in the future. 

• Approved a request to extend the deadline for Substantial completion of the Substation Upgrade Project from June 15 to June 29. Chris Naegele of Utility Help Net provided an update on work already completed, noting the delay is solely due to the recent widespread rains experienced in the area. The final completion deadline will remain the same. 

• Approved a construction bid from contractor Paul Wertenberger Construction, Hays, for the rehabilitation of Larned - Pawnee County Airport Hangar. The $400,000 project is a 90/10 split between the city and county and the FAA. The city and county combined are responsible for 10 percent of the project costs. 

• Approved Amendment No 1 with Olsson for Construction Observation Services related to the Airport Hangar rehabilitation, not to exceed $50,100, and for grant closeout services in the amount of $7,300. These costs are included in the 90/10 percent funding split and part of the $400,000 overall cost of the Hangar Rehab project. 

• Approved an upgrade of the current Police Car Video System. The council approved a quote for $12,960 that included cameras and microphones, hardware, software, licensing and the associated program technical services and warranties. The council also voted in line with the city’s recommendation to set aside a bid for $14,505 from OPI for the acquisition and installation of a dedicated server for storage that automatically downloads video and audio files, software, firewall protections and other related costs, and consider including it in the 2020 budget. 

• Considered next steps in the associated activities proposed by Bajillion Agency for furthering the collaborative marketing and communications plan the city, county and Chamber of Commerce.  

• Heard staff presentations from the Electric Production and Distribution department.