In addition to giving its police chief a vehicle high limit and hearing a recreational vehicle permit recommendation, both reports located elsewhere in this issue, La Cygne city leaders also approved a public works purchase order request at the council’s regular meeting last Wednesday, Jan. 18.
A unanimous vote authorizes a gas fund purchase through USDI (Utility Safety and Design, Inc., Wichita), the city’s natural gas partner, for an Eagle digital chart recorder with an installation and phone setup fee of $3,000 and $30 monthly thereafter.
Dan Nasalroad, public works superintendent, cited gas pressure issues, noting that a pressure loss of at least 10 percent “needs to be checked.” The monthly fee allows for phone alerts and storage, he explained.
On a 4-1 vote, with David Brenneman dissenting, the council authorized Jodi Wade, city clerk, to inform intermediary Kansas Municipal Gas Agency of the city’s intent to be a part of a Minnesota Municipal Gas Agency (MMGA) proposed pre-paid gas supply project.
MMGA had first proposed a similar 30-year incentive program four years ago but did not receive enough participants to launch the project.
The council vote allows the city annually to purchase at a discount 20,000 MMBtus (metric million British thermal units) of natural gas, about one-third of La Cygne’s annual average 58,000 MMBtu consumption. If the program does launch this time, Wade estimated a savings of $7,250 for the city, saying that the MMGA discount could range between 25 and 40 cents below market value per MMBtu.
Citing the city’s MMBtu commitment through MMGA must be purchased and its 30-year duration, council members agreed to set their participation rate conservatively.
The council did pass three separate resolutions on unanimous votes.
First passed as a general action Nov. 2, Resolution No. 448 officially acknowledges a transfer reassignment amendment of a ground lease agreement for the communications tower originally contracted through Alltel Corporation doing business as Verizon Wireless on a city-owned 40-foot square at 419 S. Fifth St.
Last week’s action now assigns the lease from STC Towers LLC, Warsaw, Ind., that began in June 2021 to Vertical Bridge Development LLC, a Delaware limited liability company headquartered at Boca Raton, Fla.
Mayor Debra Wilson said the resolution provides a paper trail concerning amendment changes for the 25-year agreement that originally began with Alltel in June 2020.
Resolution Nos. 449 and 450 each close and block portions of Broadway, Commercial and Walnut streets for scheduled downtown spring events near the Community Building.
One closes and blocks the intersecting area from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 19 for a Spring Fling Pop Up Shop (small business expo), the other from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 26 for La Cygne Library’s Block Party family events.
Other unanimous actions include separate payments for engineering services conducted by BG Consultants, Inc., Lawrence, of $32,095 for the sewer rehabilitation project and $4,400 for the storm water master plan.
About the storm water runoff project, Councilman Jerome Mitzner said the master plan, a main topic for a potential town hall meeting next month, will involve “different projects as time goes along.” He said the timeline focus will be from La Cygne’s north side flowing downhill to Kansas Highway 152 and then either under or sideways along the highway to seek flow southward.
Mitzner said a recurring storm water runoff problem is “the amount of debris in ditches” and culverts
“clogged with leaves, sticks and trash.”
Nasalroad agreed that storm water runoff “hot spots” for his public works crew are road crossings and alley culverts.
During discussion on the council’s cemetery committee report, Wade raised a question about being able to create a printed plot map “big enough to be seen” on the available space at the new information board. She also encouraged the information board to make distinctions, especially for out-of-town family genealogy grave seekers, between Oak Lawn Cemetery (older north), Pollman Addition (center) and La Cygne Cemetery (newest south).
During discussion of unmarked paupers’ graves at Oak Lawn’s north end, Mitzner suggested using a ground depth radar to detect sub-surface “disturbed” earth. Nasalroad said the pauper’s section is beyond the farthest north road boundary.
In other business before the council:
--The council accepted a resignation letter from Paul Kana from the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission. Council consensus is to send Kana a letter thanking him for his service.
--Wade reported that advertising for summer swimming pool managers begins this Wednesday, Jan. 25.
--During her mayor’s comments, Wilson presented a 2022 review of La Cygne major initiatives and projects, as well as past year’s policy updates and changes.
--A five-minute executive session for non-elected personnel to review applications and resumes produced no public follow-up action.
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