HOISINGTON — By con census, the Hoisington City Council chose to disallow chickens in the city limits at its regular second meeting of the month, held on Tuesday because of Memorial Day.
Chicken supporters were present at the meeting. However, audience comments on that topic were not allowed as it had already been discussed.
Council member Karen Van Brimmer said the presentation about the chickens was very good, but she had a lot of people say no. Council member Jim Sekavec said more people had contacted him about chickens than any other subject and nearly all were against having chickens in town.
Chris Smith said that the topic had generated more discussion than any other topic she heard while serving on the council. Gerald Donovan, Mike Alyward, Nancy Farmer and Dean Andereck also said no.
In other business, the council decided not to go forward with a proposed energy audit. Instead, council members said they pretty much know what needs to be done and will proceed with energy saving measures as budget allows.
This includes a new furnace at the city offices and new LED bulbs for street lights.
Code Enforcement Officer Don Doerschlag was present to discuss the property at 305 E. 2nd owned by Tonya and Duane Evans. Doerschlag said little work had been done since this property first came to the attention of the council last year, and the house was not occupied and no utilities were on. Also, the house had had a fire that damaged the interior.
The council accepted a bid from CDUB Construction to demolish the house for $3,995.
Also discussed was a building on Main Street. The building is being purchased and no action was taken.
City Manager Jonathan Mitchell was directed to prepare ordinances both for cars parking in the front yard of residences and regulations for vacant or poorly maintained properties. There will be penalties associated with it.
The issues with the municipal swimming pool were discussed at length. The pool is losing a foot of water per day and has not been opened as a result. It has not been determined exactly where the leak is coming from. The leak has been an ongoing problem and various measures have been utilized to see if the city can find the leak.
Mitchell said options were being looked at such as lining the existing four inch pipe, and they will have a plumber with a push camera examine the pipe to see if they can determine where the leak is coming from.
The city manager said new pools are very expensive, starting at half a million dollars for a new pool.
The restrooms at Pride Park will be fixed and opened provided the sewer system is still operational. They will be locked during night time hours. The glass will be replaced with Plexiglas and metal mesh.
In final business, the council:
• Discussed the audit agreement with Adams, Brown, Beran and Ball for the next three years. They will look at other options and compare charges.
•Approved a resolution authorizing and requesting the sale of Hoisington Public Building Commission Refunding Revenue Bonds.
•Discussed budget priorities for the city. Mitchell said there are major challenges due to aging infrastructure.
•Heard that the city is still struggling to acquire EMTs.