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In addition to Parker joining Linn County’s law enforcement records management system, a report located elsewhere in this issue, city leaders heard a proposal by a former city maintenance employee.

At last Thursday’s regular council meeting, Albert Kerr proposed that the city consider his offer to utilize his 18-foot batwing mower beginning next spring at $65 hourly plus fuel to keep the lagoon and City Lake area mowed.

“Rodney (Hetzer, current maintenance) is busier than heck, and I can mow so much more and faster,” said Kerr, whom the council had approved for $150 last month to cut vegetation growth on the lagoon’s bank, a job he said was done four days later.

Councilman Gary Earley said that Kerr’s offer would cut down on the “wear and tear of our mower.” Hetzer, too, said that the city’s older BadBoy mower had blown a pump and that he had intended to ask the council in the spring about a backup. Hetzer said the newer 2-year-old one “is fine. We used both this summer.”

Asked by Earley how long each time and how many times his proposed mowing would take, Kerr said he was unsure “until I do it the first time.”

Mayor Ashley Balthazor said the council could consider his offer in the spring, and Kerr promised to return to the monthly March 9 meeting.

Later in the meeting, however, during Hetzer’s maintenance report after Kerr had exited, Councilwoman Kandice Higgins asked about city liability if Kerr were to be injured during a mowing.

Burton Harding, city attorney, said a liability clause would need to be written into such an agreement.

Hetzer noted his newness to the job this year and admitted that his mowing had “gotten behind because of rain.” But he said he anticipates having summer help again this upcoming year in answering council concerns about paying extra for mowing beyond Hetzer’s wages.

Craig Haley, police chief, said he is “not against helping out since I’m codes enforcement too.” Councilman Jason Webber said the city should “make sure [Hetzer] is kept up with the kind of equipment he needs.”

Other council action elected Webber as council president on a 3-0 vote. Balthazor said she had spoken to Webber about assuming the added position, and she said he had indicated being “up to the task.” As discovered by Parker late in the summer, the council president assumes the mayoral post under Kansas League of Municipalities’ by-laws when a mayor (Cody Adams in August) resigns.

Council actions, all 4-0 with Jerry Summers not present, included setting next month’s meeting for Dec. 12 rather than the regular Dec. 8 date because of council conflicts that would present a lack of quorum and a second for paying bills totaling $13,035.90.

During her report, Kathy Harrison, city treasurer, noted October general fund revenue of $5,453.06 and expenses of $9,095.79, capital outlay revenue of $3,032.36 and expenses of $6,532.91, water fund revenue of $8,599.75 and expenses of $7,499.06, sewer fund revenue of $2,227.96 and expenses of $134.01, street fund revenue of $1,623, and park/lake fund revenue of $257.50 and expenses of $435.93.

In other business before the council:

--Carrie Sewell, city clerk, reminded attendees of the annual Santa Comes to Parker event that returns to the local elementary school Dec. 10 and the annual Christmas lighting contest with prizes for water customers of $50 off both January and February bills for first place and $50 and $25 off January bills for second and third places, respectively.

--On a related note, Hetzer said he had pulled out the city’s Christmas lights, “and all are working.”

--Harding indicated being in contact with a survey company which is indicating interest in conducting a land survey, an action from a formal resolution passed Feb. 10 as “an accommodation for the city” to address “the necessity and public need” of reopening a section of South Walnut Street that late last year a 30-foot-wide strip had been awarded to Daniel and Tammi Gaikowski through a civil quiet claim proceeding. Harding said an update would be provided at next month’s meeting.


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