AUGUST 1, 2011
The Council of the City of Augusta, Kansas met in regular session on August 1, 2011, with Council President Matt Childers presiding. Council present were Holly Harper, Michael Huddleston, Sue Jones, Mike Rawlings, Ronald Reavis, and Matt Malone. Mayor Kristey Williams and Councilman Michael Wallace were absent. Also present: City Manager Bill Keefer, City Attorney David All, Assistant to the City Manager Josh Shaw, and City Clerk Erica Jones. Visitors present were: Kent Bush, David McDonald, Josh Ogden, Jay Anglemyer, Willis Wilson, and Bob Shankel.
Prayer: Pastor Steve Hollingsworth, Central Baptist Church, gave the invocation.
Minutes: Malone made a motion to approve the minutes from the July 18, 2011 meeting and the minutes from the July 25, 2011 special meeting. Harper seconded the motion. Motion carried without opposition.
July (7A): S. Jones inquired about the payment to Commerce Bank for $27,121.78. Keefer stated it was the annual lease/purchase payment for the street sweeper. Huddleston inquired about the payment to NetSystems for the NRP Marketing Plan. Shaw stated it was for updates to the www.movetoaugustaks.com website to remove advertising from the site. Shaw stated it is being paid out of the NRP Marketing fund. S. Jones inquired about the payment Records Retrieval. Keefer stated it was for printing of materials for the Safety Department. Huddleston made a motion to approve Ordinance 7A in the amount of $1,373,131.16. S. Jones seconded the motion. Motion carried without opposition.
Revolving Loan: A Public Hearing was conducted to take input on an application from Gear Up, Inc. for a revolving loan from the City of Augusta. Shaw stated that the revolving loan program was set up in the late 80’s as a result of a Community Block Grant the city received, and it is required to hold a public hearing prior to approving a loan agreement. Shaw stated the loan committee met on three different occasions to review the loan application and documents and that they recommend the approval of the loan. Josh Ogden, Owner/President of Gear Up Inc., addressed the council and stated he has lived in Augusta for six years and has been involved in this company for ten years. Ogden stated the company has been very busy and profitable, but they need working capital to hire people and buy products. Huddleston asked how long the company has been in existence. Ogden stated he has been involved in the company for ten years and purchased it in April 2011.
Huddleston inquired about the projected balance sheet and stated the other assets were listed consistently around $24,000. Ogden stated that is a tax loss that is carried forward and that the reality is that it will change. Huddleston stated the 2011 retained earnings account is blank. Ogden stated that was a typo and that he provided more up to date information to the board. Huddleston stated that prior to 2011 the company had not been profitable. Ogden agreed. Huddleston asked what type of corporation this will be. Ogden stated it was a C-Corp and that he elected to change it to an S-Corp for tax purposes. Huddleston stated he knows that people need funding to get a business going, but when you are dealing with a corporation the owners can walk away in a few years and we are left holding the bag. Huddleston stated there is very little collateral and asked if there was any reason we did not require a personal guaranty. Keefer stated we do require a personal guaranty. S. Jones asked Ogden if he is making any personal investment into the company. Ogden stated not of any substantial amount, but that he was investing sweat equity. Ogden stated he looks at this as his long term retirement plan and that he does not have an issue with personally guarantying it.
S. Jones inquired about the current receivables. Ogden stated they are $78,000. S. Jones asked who their current customers are. Ogden stated there is $30,000 in receivables for US based distributers, $25,000 outstanding to Madison in the U.K., and $10,000 to $15,000 to several e-commerce partners such as Amazon.com, etc. Ogden stated they have a couple of small export sales and master depot sales, and there is about $10,000 in receivables for various sporting goods chains. S. Jones asked where they at meeting orders. Ogden said they are caught up except for $5,000 in back-log.
S. Jones stated the report said that three patents had expired and that they own their trade names. S. Jones asked if those are trademarked and current. Ogden stated he wasn’t sure that they were trademarked but they have a long standing record of using the trade names.
Huddleston stated he was okay with the loan if Ogden would personally guarantee it. Ogden stated that was not a problem and that he believes in this company and thinks it can bring exposure to Augusta. Ogden states he lives here and would like to contribute to this community. Childers closed the public hearing.
Huddleston made a motion to approve the revolving loan agreement for Gear Up, Inc. in the amount of $30,000 with a personal guaranty. S. Jones seconded the motion. Motion carried without opposition.
Christ Lutheran Church: Council considered approval of a Mutual Use Agreement with Christ Lutheran Church for their parking lot. Childers stated that Keefer is a member of the church and has abstained from the negations and will be abstaining from this discussion. Shaw stated the old agreement expired in October 2010. Shaw stated that the pool staff uses this parking lot and that the terms are fair based on our usage. Huddleston asked if Shaw had any idea of how much the lot is utilized. Shaw stated that all the cars in the lot during the day in the summer season are for the pool. Shaw stated there is quite a bit of traffic in the lot when the pool is open. Dave McDonald from Christ Lutheran Church said he doesn’t have a scientific figure, but that they do not use it during the week and the lot is always full when the pool is in service. Huddleston asked if we are looking at the same agreement as in the past except the addition of 50% maintenance cost. McDonald stated they are asking for the City to pay 50% of the maintenance costs for the parking lot, but that the church bears all of the insurance costs. Huddleston stated the City paid for some maintenance of the lot a few years ago. Shaw stated that the governing body approved to spend $900 - $1,000 a few years ago. Huddleston asked McDonald if the church would object to having signs in the parking lot saying “Pool Parking” and McDonald said they would not have any objections. Shaw stated that payment for maintenance costs will be on a reimbursement basis only. Huddleston made a motion to approve a Mutual Use Agreement with Christ Lutheran Church for their parking lot. Reavis seconded the motion. Motion carried without opposition.
Bids: Council considered bids for improvements at the Wastewater Treatment Plant. Willis Wilson, Engineer with Aqua Tech Engineering, explained the glass fusion coated tank is recommended but was bid as an alternate because of the expected higher price. Wilson stated the bid came in better than expected and that the added cost would be paid back over time, so he recommended accepting Bid Alternate #1. Wilson stated Bid Alternate #2 was for contracting bypass pumping around the construction area. Wilson stated the city has pumps, but not available staff to run them.
Rawlings made a motion to approve the low base bid and two alternates from Donlinger & Sons in the amount of $513,400 for improvements at the Wastewater Treatment Plant, including the base bid and bid alternates #1 and #2. Harper seconded the motion. Motion carried without opposition.
Kelly/Ohio Intersection Project: Harper made a motion to approve 2011-15 authorizing a Project Agreement with the Kansas Department of Transportation for the Kelly and Ohio Intersection Project. Rawlings seconded the motion. Motion carried without opposition.
Wal-Mart Purchase Agreement: Reavis made a motion to approve an Amendment to the Purchase Agreement with Wal-Mart. Harper seconded the motion. S. Jones asked what the due diligence is that they are looking to complete. Keefer stated they had an environmental study done and they are having a meeting with KDHE to discuss how they can move forward. Keefer stated it is related to the old gas station that used to be on the property, but that he doesn’t have details except that the property owner has been working on this. Motion carried without opposition.
Standard Traffic Ordinance: Reavis made a motion to approve Ordinance 2026 adopting by reference the 2011 Standard Traffic Ordinance. Rawlings seconded the motion. Motion carried without opposition.
Dissemination Agent: Reavis made a motion to appoint the Bank of New York to serve as the Dissemination Agent for the Cottonwood Point Refunding Bond through the PBC. Rawlings seconded the motion. Motion carried without opposition.
Library Board: Harper made a motion to approve the appointment of Randy Craven to the Library Board. Malone seconded the motion. Motion carried without opposition.
Informational Memorandum: None
Huddleston: Huddleston asked if it was possible for the Council to get a list of all property the city owns or rents and their descriptions. Keefer stated a list was provided a year or two ago, but that staff will locate and update the list and provide it to the governing body. Huddleston stated he was not clear if the governing body will see API expenses from the Economic Development Fund. Keefer stated the expenses from the Economic Development fund will show up on the appropriations ordinances.
Huddleston asked if staff is moving forward with getting the budget on the city’s website. Keefer stated he has not had any clear direction from the Council on this. Keefer stated he has looked at other city websites and how they are presented, but that several are set up to reflect GAAP requirements which we are not required to adhere to. Rawlings asked if we are going to have to hire someone to put it on the website. Keefer stated we will not, but that it will take time. Keefer stated he liked how Winfield published their budget, but that theirs was set up to reflect fixed asset accounting and they have a Finance Director that is a CPA which we do not have. S. Jones stated she thinks it is a positive step forward towards transparency and that tax payers have a right to see where their tax money is spent. Huddleston stated he thinks we should make it easier for them to obtain the information. Childers stated if they are not happy with what is published on the website and want a full copy they can get that at City Hall. Keefer agreed and stated he would like an opportunity to sit down and explain the budget to them because it is a lot of information. Keefer stated staff needs to get together to create something that is easy to follow. Rawlings stated he is open to transparency, but not open to staff spending so much time on this that other projects such as the levee get put off. Childers asked how long staff estimates it will take to put online. Shaw stated we could put it up as is tonight, but that a narrative will take some time. Childers stated that the narrative provided by Keefer for the work sessions would be a good tool to use. Huddleston stated it doesn’t need to be made complicated for the first year. Keefer stated Winfield has good tables and data on theirs that he would like to look at using. Shaw stated there should be an end goal such as a GFOA award for how we present the information, which is achievable but will take time. Harper asked if there have been a lot of comments from the public about transparency. S. Jones stated she has had people tell her they don’t know how the city’s money is spent and that she feels very strongly that it is important for the public to see how the money is spent. Huddleston stated he thinks people would appreciate seeing how much the utilities support the other funds. S. Jones stated there is an upside too because they will see how well their money is being spent.
Harper stated she is not opposed to putting the information on the website and improving on it each year. Rawlings stated he is not opposed either, but that he doesn’t want to steal away time from other projects such as the levee. Rawlings stated that in the 10-11 years he has been on the council, no one ever shows up to the budget works sessions. Huddleston stated we don’t need it to be award winning now. Malone agreed and stated that two or three years down the road we can strive for it to be better. Childers stated we should take the best shot at it now and work towards a goal. Reavis stated he doesn’t have strong feelings either way, but that he feels that sometimes a little information is worse than no information. Reavis stated he doesn’t know why anyone would want to know how much each department spends on diesel fuel, etc.
Keefer stated Winfield did not officially put their 2011 budget online until January 2011 when it took effect. Keefer stated if that is the governing body’s goal, that would give staff a few months to work on getting it out there. There was a consensus to give it staff’s best shot now and make the 2012 budget available at the beginning of 2012.
Huddleston stated that some of the city websites he has looked at have “Fact vs. Myth” on their website and stated it would be useful for some of the questions the council is repeatedly asked, such as why we don’t dig out the lake and why the material removed can’t be used for the levee. Rawlings stated he has given answers to those questions to the same people two or three times. Keefer stated some groups/people will not accept the explanation they are given, so they keep asking the question. Shaw stated it would be easy enough to add that information on there, but it is a matter of staff time. Shaw stated he does most of the updating of the website from home because he doesn’t have time during working hours.
Malone: Malone asked if there is any idea when the street by City Hall will be repaired. Keefer stated the leak has been fixed, but it has rained so it needs to dry out before it can be filled. Malone inquired about the status of the debt sheet he requested. Jones stated she should have it completed later this week.
Childers: Childers reminded the public to keep an eye on their neighbors during these hot temperatures to make sure they are okay. Childers stated if you are having difficulty paying your utility bill to contact the utility office to make payment arrangements. Childers stated the pool should be reopened on Wednesday.
Adjourn: At 8:00 p.m. S. Jones made a motion to adjourn. Harper seconded the motion. Motion carried without opposition.