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Hoisington rescinds rental agreement
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HOISINGTON — The Hoisington City Council, at its regular meeting on Monday, unanimously rescinded the rental agreement ordinance that had landlords in an uproar.
The city had been working on a rental licensing program for several months this spring because two-thirds of the city’s blight violations are from rentals.  
The council approved the legislation in late June that called for inspections of rental properties during vacancy or upon request.  A proposed license fee of $15 per year was introduced to recover a  portion of the administration costs.  
City Manager Jonathan Mitchell reported that the program made headlines all over the state of Kansas and numerous communities  requested information from Hoisington regarding the program that they thought could serve as a model in their own communities.
The goal was to clean up Hoisington as a whole, Mitchell said in an email. The proposed program upset landlords who thought they were unfairly being targeted.  Early last summer, after a great deal of discussion with the various stakeholders, the majority acknowledged that the community needs to address blighted properties and increase code enforcement, Mitchell wrote.
The landlords then began a petition drive to repeal the rental licensing program in August, and the governing body instructed staff to draft an ordinance to repeal the legislation.  The consensus of these discussions was that the City’s staff and the residents of Hoisington need to address blight throughout the community as a whole and not just on rental property.  
In light of the repeal of the rental agreement, Mitchell said enforcement will increase for ordinances already on the books. As a result, 500 properties in Hoisington received letters recently concerning a lack of an address numbers on the house. Mitchell said. The lack of an address is a public safety issue needed in case of fire or medical emergency.
Bad ambulance debt
The council approved a bad debt policy for the ambulance service. The policy establishes procedures for collection of all debt and for debt that has become uncollectible.
The city works with the state set-off program and is negotiating with a collection agency. This policy will allow for account balances of deceased patients with no estate or assets to be written off.
In other business, Nex-Tech will begin running fiber optic lines through the community. The city approved use of pole attachments and a franchise agreement. They intend to provide residential landline service.
In final business, the council approved the Standard Traffic Ordinance and the Uniform Public Offense Code.