In addition to an anticipated change at city judge, a report located elsewhere in this issue, La Cygne city leaders acted on a variety of routine items at the council’s one-hour regular meeting last Wednesday, Dec. 7.
Other than David Brenneman abstaining on the consent agenda motion because of his absence Nov. 16, all actions were 4-0, with Keith Stoker not present.
Items before the council in chronological order:
--During mayor’s comments, Danny Curtis, council president moderating for an absent Mayor Debra Wilson, announced upcoming holiday closures. City Hall will be closed Dec. 23-26 for Christmas and Jan. 2 to observe New Year’s. The trash compactor will be closed on Dec. 25 for Christmas and Jan. 1 for New Year’s Day.
--The council agreed with the recommendation by Dan Nasalroad, public works superintendent, to revise the ‘public works laborer 1’ job description to increase benefits to the same level as a public works operator. Noted Councilman Jerome Mitzner, “We can’t compete with wages, but we can with benefits.”
--In her report, Jodi Wade, city clerk, reported her ‘attendance’ for a follow-up Kansas Department of Commerce webinar concerning a grocery store model.
--Wade reported that 90 customers had signed up as of Nov. 30 for the city’s Front Desk online platform for utility billing and payments. She said the program’s remaining glitches are being worked out.
--The council approved pay application No. 6 of $446,892.11 for a 30-day work period ending Nov. 18 to Nowak Construction Co., Inc., Goddard, general contractor for the sewer system rehabilitation project. Nasalroad said that Nowak is almost finished with the relining phase. In response to a Mitzner question, Nasalroad said asphalt will be used to patch street cuts.
--The council approved payment voucher No. 8 of $4,973.81 to Cook, Flatt & Strobel Engineers, P.A., Topeka, inspectors for the completed Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) City Connecting Link Improvement Project that widened East Market Street (Kansas Highway 152) at the intersection with Industrial. Those funds will be released from the city’s pre-paid deposit of $379,000 with KDOT. Though motioning for the voucher payment, Thomas Capp had questioned overtime charges of $169.13 on the detailed itemized statement.
--During the council’s cemetery committee report, Nasalroad asked about city policy concerning chipped gravestone bases from mowing. He said the base in question is marble/granite rather than concrete but added that “90 percent have nicks and scrapes in the center section.” In answer to Curtis, Nasalroad said the preference would be for bases that are at ground level. Said Curtis, “In our book, it doesn’t say we are responsible,” and Burton Harding, city attorney, agreed. “It’s a personal item. I don’t think the city has any obligation.”
--The council approved Community Building fee waivers, one retroactive to Nov. 19 for a Grady’s Kids prayer vigil for Amelia SueAnn Cox, 3, who died Nov. 17, and the other for an upcoming Mound City Radio Control Club meeting in February. In both cases, refundable deposits had been required.
--The council reappointed Jason Hightower, whose current term expires Dec. 31, to the La Harper Heights board. Asked by Mitzner if Hightower’s assumption of his newly elected county commissioner post Jan. 9 would create a conflict, Wade said it would not--”if something comes up that would, he would need to (recuse) himself.”
--The council approved end-of-year transfer to street funds per Kansas statute to the special highway fund. Wade said up to 25 percent of La Cygne’s 1-cent sales tax for highways can be transferred.
--Anticipating Wilson and Stoker’s attendance at next week’s meeting, the council delayed discussion on a 2023 cost of living adjustment for city employees. Next week’s meeting will also include executive session time for annual review of city employee evaluations.
--The council approved the write-off of $118.78 in fees and $5,971.28 in abatements from accounts presented.
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