CITY COUNCIL MEETING
May 9, 2016
The city council met in regular session with the following present: Mayor Jack E. Rowden; Councilmen Dean Banker, Dan Corpening, Shannon Crawford, Jason Teeter, and Frankie Thomas.
Others present were City Inspector Josh Grubbs, City Clerk Thomas G. Hicks, Chief of Police Courtney Leslie, Outside Utilities Supervisor Paul Nordyke, Electric and Park Systems Supervisor Gary Rowden, City Attorney Wayne R. Tate, Vernon Anderson, Dave Bozone, Bobby Rawlings, Lizann Shugart, and Ruthie Winget.
Mayor Jack E. Rowden presided.
Motion by Councilman Dean Banker, seconded by Councilman Dan Corpening, that the minutes of April 11, 2016 be approved as mailed. Motion carried.
Each member of the governing body was provided a copy of Municipal Judge Paula Sosa’s report for the month of April, showing 28 new cases brought before the court and $3,163.00 remitted to the city. Motion by Jason Teeter, seconded by Shannon Crawford, to accept the report. Motion carried.
City Inspector Josh Grubbs provided his monthly activities report.
Motion by Councilman Dan Corpening, seconded by Councilman Shannon Crawford, to close Sixth Street from the alley between Main and Monroe Streets to Monroe Street from 12:00 noon to 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 11, 2016 for the annual poker run activities. Also, the police department will provide an escort out-of-town when the riders begin the run at 2:00 p.m. Motion carried.
Vernon Anderson, who resides at 132 S. Madison Street, has placed a carport in his back yard that does not meet the city’s side-yard setback requirements. Anderson, the former city inspector, was under the assumption he could get a waiver from his neighbor as has been done in the past. The carport came quicker than expected and Anderson failed to get a building permit. If the carport were to be moved to meet the setback requirements, Anderson would not be able to open his shed doors. Bobby Rawlings, the impacted neighbor at 144 S. Madison Street, was present to give his consent. Anderson was instructed to have an agreement signed, notarized, and filed of record indexed to both properties. Once the agreement is executed, the city council will give its consent.
County Commissioner Dave Bozone was present and notified the governing body the county’s oil and gas valuation will be down 72% for the next budget year. The county has been asked to improve the road that is the south extension of Main Street from 21st Street to Road M. Due to budget constraints, the county is not interested in bearing all the costs of the improvement. Bozone provided a cost estimate of $7,315.56 for the project. The county is willing to provide the estimated labor costs of $1,690.56 and will maintain the road once it is completed. Councilman Dan Corpening expressed his sincere desire for the road to be improved to provide country kids in that area a safe route to school. Motion by Corpening, seconded by Crawford, that the city contribute the balance of $5,625.00 to the project. The city will not be responsible for future maintenance of the roadway. In favor of the motion: Councilmen Corpening, Crawford, and Teeter. Opposed: Councilmen Banker and Thomas. Motion carried.
The recreation commission is once again appealing to the city to take more of the loss on the swimming pool. The recreation commission’s valuation is also dropping significantly. The recreation commission is exploring ways to keep its inevitable mill levy increase to a minimum. The recreation commission’s proposal is for both entities to total the amount spent on the pool and to subtract the revenue taken in by the recreation commission. The loss would then be split by both parties. Based on historical averages, the city would contribute $10,000.00 to the recreation commission. Based on valuation projections, the resultant savings to county taxpayers would result in a four-fold increase to city taxpayers. But since the dollars do not amount to much to either entity and in a gesture of good faith, motion by Crawford, seconded by Corpening, that the city’s agreement with the recreation commission on the operation of the swimming pool be amended as proposed by the recreation commission but with the inclusion of the electricity costs, waived last year by the city, as a part of the city’s expenses for the split. Each entity must provide the other with a line item breakdown of its costs each year by December 1. Motion carried.
STREETS AND ALLEYS
Kansas Dairy Ingredients has petitioned the city to vacate the alley on the north side of Lots 5-9, Block 2, in the Stevens County Industrial Park to accommodate its expansion plans. KDI will provide the city with a utility easement on the north side of Lot 9. Motion by Dan Corpening, seconded by Frankie Thomas to grant preliminary approval, subject to the length of the utility easement needed by the city being decided by Electric and Park Systems Supervisor Gary Rowden. Motion carried.
The city has received two requests for contracts for tower leases. American Tower has taken over the lease agreement with Verizon for the tower on city property in Block 36 and is requesting an amendment on the term of the lease agreement. Linn Energy wants to enter into a lease agreement with the city on the tower being vacated by Pioneer Communications on city property northeast of town. City Attorney Wayne R. Tate recommended the city simply assign Verizon’s lease agreement to American Tower without extending the original terms for lease extension. A survey needs to be conducted on the Linn Energy tower request. Tate will contact both companies
Motion by Frankie Thomas, seconded by Dan Corpening, that Shannon Crawford be elected “President of the Council”. Motion carried.
Motion by Dean Banker, seconded by Shannon Crawford, to designate Citizens State Bank and First National Bank as official depositories for the city. Motion carried.
Motion by Dan Corpening, seconded by Jason Teeter, to designate the Hugoton Hermes as the official city paper. Motion carried.
Mayor Rowden announced the following appointments.
City Treasurer Carrie Baeza
City Inspector Josh Grubbs
City Clerk Thomas G. Hicks
Chief of Police Courtney Leslie
Outside Utilities Supervisor Paul Nordyke
Electric and Park Systems Supervisor Gary Rowden
Municipal Judge Paula Sosa
City Attorney Wayne R. Tate
Motion by Councilman Corpening, seconded by Councilman Thomas, to confirm the appointments. Motion carried.
TRANSIENT GUEST TAX
The Board of Convention and Tourism Activities is recommending expenditures of $1,000.00 to the Chamber of Commerce for Park Day and $500.00 to the local Masonic Lodge for the Western Kansas Grand Masters reception and banquet. Motion by Crawford, seconded by Thomas, to approve the expenditures, along with a $42.05 meal reimbursement for the board meeting. Motion carried.
City Clerk Thomas G. Hicks presented a list of 2015 mill levy rates for 2016 for second class cities, sorted by alphabet, by population, by city mill levy, and by mill levies for all taxing units. The City of Hugoton has the twenty-seventh lowest city mill levy rate out of those 98 cities.
Claims against the city were presented and audited. Motion by Corpening, seconded by Crawford, that Appropriation Ordinances No. 2053 and 2054 be passed. Motion carried.
Motion by Crawford, seconded by Banker, that the meeting go into executive session in regard to personnel matters of non-elected personnel. Motion carried. Mayor Rowden called the meeting into executive session at 6:48 p.m. with the meeting to reconvene in open session at 6:58 p.m.
The meeting reconvened in open session at 6:52 p.m.
Motion by Councilman Banker, seconded by Councilman Thomas, to grant Municipal Judge Paula Sosa a ten percent merit raise ($120.76 per month), effective May 2, 2016. Motion carried.
Motion by Corpening, seconded by Thomas, that the meeting adjourn. Motion carried.
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