HOISINGTON — The Hoisington City Council agreed Monday night to have a resolution drawn up with fines of $25-$75 plus $110 court costs for leaving trash carts on the street for more than 24 hours after pickup day.
The council discussed the subject at length. The council was informed by the city attorney that any penalty would include $110 court costs.
However, City Manager Jonathan Mitchell said he had gotten feedback that the fine was too high. At the March 10 city council meeting, higher fines were discussed.
Council Member Dean Andereck suggested impounding polycarts, but others objected saying then people would have no place for their trash.
Various members of the council reported they thought the situation was improving with the imposition of fines looming. Last fall, residents were asked to voluntarily remove carts without much success.
Council Member Chris Smith said, “I can’t understand the difficulty of moving the trash can back to the house.”
Provisions have been made for those that are elderly or disabled for assistance with moving carts to the street and back.
Also, the council will allow freedom for enforcement to give warnings.
Mitchell was instructed to make the resolution effective three months after the April 14 meeting.
City Clerk Donita Crutcher noted on another trash topic, that Stutzman’s has a camera on the sanitation truck that takes pictures with a time and date stamp to show whether the cart was on the street when the trash truck came by. She said she has received complaints from time to time about carts not being picked up. Staff can go back and verify whether the carts were actually on the street at pickup time.
In other business, Crutcher reported to the council that the city office is still working with electrical engineers Sawvel & Assoc. on gathering of electrical usage information and demand metering. Her office is also working on ID badges for employees.
Code Enforcement Officer Don Doerschlag was present for a show cause hearing on the outbuildings at 851 W. 2nd for being in a state of dilapidation. The house is in the process of demolition, but the storm cellar and shed were not included in the original resolution.
The owner was present and said she can’t afford for the city to demolish the shed and storm cellar. She also said she can’t get out in the bad weather and work on repairs.
The council gave her until Sept. 30 to begin repairs on the shed and storm cellar.
Craig Sowards, Emergency Medical Services director, was present to give his annual report. He has resigned from his position and will be taking another job in April.
Sowards spoke extensively about the difficulty of getting volunteers for the service. The city is considering combining EMS services with other communities as well as looking at other alternatives.
He told the council the state has increased education requirements for an EMT certification that has led to difficulty in finding volunteers throughout the state. There are currently six volunteers taking calls. This number is down from when he started.
In final business, the council approved:
•Hiring CDUB Construction janitorial service, at a cost of $14,400 for a year. The city intends to use the money saved from having a full-time employee to fund code enforcement and animal control.
•Passed a resolution 11-2014 against proposed legislation at the state level. This Kansas legislation will move local city council elections to the fall, meaning that all nine members of the city council could be replaced in a single election. Mitchell reported that many school boards and cities are against the legislation because it would introduce partisan politics into the election.