Minutes 12-19-2011

CITY COUNCIL

DECEMBER 19, 2011

7:00 P.M.

 

The Council of the City of Augusta, Kansas met in regular session on December 19, 2011, with Mayor Kristey Williams presiding.  Council present were Matt Childers, Michael Huddleston, Michael Wallace, Sue Jones, Mike Rawlings, Ron Reavis, and Matt Malone.  Councilwomen Holly Harper was absent.  Also present:  City Attorney David All, City Manager Bill Keefer, Assistant to the City Manager Josh Shaw, Director of Public Safety Tyler Brewer, Captain Bruce Relph, Sergeant Chad McCluskey, City Inspector Dan Allen, and City Clerk Erica Jones.  Visitors present were: Kent Bush, Martin Goedecke, Willis Wilson, Jamie VanDever, Stephanie Brown, Ashley Clark, Elayne Rye, Chastity Ates, Blayke Dehlinger and Brandon Denoncourt, Gary Rogers, Myrna Rogers, and Matt Harrelson.

 

Prayer:  Councilman Mike Rawlings gave the invocation.

 

Minutes:  S. Jones made a motion to approve the minutes from the December 5, 2011 meeting.   Reavis seconded the motion.  Motion carried without opposition.

 

Appropriations:                                   

December (12):  S. Jones inquired about the payment to Davis Manley for Court Services.  Keefer stated when there is a conflict with Cami Baker then other attorneys fill in.  S. Jones inquired about the payment to Kansas Secured Title.  Keefer stated it was for the title searches related to the Ohio/Kelly Intersection project.  S. Jones inquired about the payment to WB Carter Construction and the inclusion of a change order for the Spillway and Dam project.  S. Jones stated the council was assured there would likely be no change orders.  S. Jones made a motion to remove the change order amount from the appropriation ordinance.  Wallace seconded the motion.  Motion carried with Childers, Reavis, and Rawlings voting in opposition.  Keefer stated he would have to defer to Martin Goedecke for an explanation of the change order. 

 

Goedecke stated that WB Carter made a unit price bid and the reason it was bid that way was to better be able to compare bids.  Goedecke stated there were two areas included in the change order.  The first was for the parking area off the Garvin Park road on the hill on the south side.  Goedecke stated the area where the waterline went through appeared to be gravel, but was discovered to be pavement under the gravel.  Goedecke stated if it had been known at the time it would have been included in the bid specs and all the bids would have included the additional units.  Goedecke stated the other change order item was on the Mulvane waterline.  Goedecke stated we didn’t know specifically where the connections to the line would have been, that the City could have taken care of that prior to the work being done but it would have added cost and risked damaging the waterline. 

 

Williams stated the concept of change orders is an everyday occurrence and is not an error or omission, but rather not being able to foresee something.  Williams stated she is amazed that this has blow up to what it is.  S. Jones stated the original document dated April 14th said the Mulvane waterline project included an area with an issue of ongoing leaks.  S. Jones stated that because Goedecke has had a long term relationship of doing work for the City, she is surprised he wasn’t aware of what roads in the city are asphalt and gravel.  S. Jones stated she thinks it is an error or omission.  Goedecke stated the water leak covered a 25 to 50 feet area of wet ground.  S. Jones asked if the area was surveyed.  Goedecke stated it wasn’t. 

 

Wallace stated that no one was saying we’re not going to pay it, but that they want to hold it up until they know it is valid.  Wallace stated it is common practice for an engineer to bit the bullet on something like this.  Williams stated she doesn’t think you’re going to find anyone who will know everything under the surface of our roads.  Williams stated this is a per unit price and that any bidder would have added this to their bid.  Wallace stated that sometimes someone other than the city should have to bite the bullet on this.  Goedecke stated it sounds like you are saying it is someone’s fault.  Goedecke stated asking for unit price bids actually help reduce the city’s cost and that if you ask the contractor to take on that added risk the prices of your bids will go up. 

 

Williams stated we received a product and now are not going to pay for it.  Williams asked the council what additional information they want to unearth.  S. Jones stated that WB Carter needs to be paid, but not necessarily by the city.  Rawlings stated that it was the city that threw the gravel on top of that parking lot to save money instead of putting down new asphalt, and that is the city’s fault.  Rawlings stated if we had asked Goedecke to survey the waterline leak that would have been added to his fees.  Rawlings stated he thinks this is foolish.  Goedecke stated he thought the city wanted that work completed. 

 

Wallace stated the council was asked to approve a change order without allowing them a chance to discuss it.  Reavis asked what information would satisfy Wallace enough to pay it.  S. Jones stated the council was told there would be no change orders.  Goedecke stated he did not anticipate a change order.  Childers stated that he thinks Wallace is saying the council needs to be satisfied with the information to be paid, and with that Childers made a motion to reinstate the change order payment into the appropriations ordinance.  Reavis seconded the motion.  Motion carried with S. Jones and Huddleston voting in opposition. 

 

Huddleston inquired about the payment to Mabel Brotton.  Keefer stated the city repaired a transformer in her back yard and this is reimbursing her for damage to her yard.  Huddleston inquired about the payments to TASC.  Keefer stated it was payment for the administration of the city’s Health Reimbursement Account.  Wallace made a motion to approve Ordinance 12 in the amount of $613,548.86.  Childers seconded the motion.  Motion carried without opposition. 

 

Visitors:

Matt Harrelson, 1134 School, addressed the governing body about City Code 2-210 limiting the number of animals per household.  Harrelson stated he has four dogs and that other cities such as Wichita and El Dorado allow for more than three animals.  Wallace stated that Harrelson owns two separate addresses side by side.  Wallace stated the council limited the number because there were so many people that had several animals, but that he thinks this is something the council should give some thought to.  Huddleston stated the ordinance limits the combination of cats and dogs to three and that maybe there is a more equitable way of doing it.  Harrelson stated he has a January 3rd court date.  Mr. All stated the ordinance has been in place for several years and that what is or isn’t enough animals can be debated.  Huddleston stated the ordinance as written says “each house”.  Reavis asked if Harrelson could apply for a kennel license.  Keefer stated that is the only alternative at this time, but that the Planning Commission has never approved one in a residential area.  Keefer stated if someone applies for a kennel license a public hearing has to be held to get input from the neighbors.  Huddleston stated we need to address if three is reasonable number.  Wallace stated that when this was drafted, three sounded fair to him because you have to draw a line somewhere.  But, Wallace stated, Harrelson maintains two addresses.  Huddleston stated the ordinance says “per household”, not per address.  Dan Allen stated that more people show up to these public hearings than most any other.  Huddleston stated he thinks there are other ordinances in place to handle the animals that are a nuisance rather than limiting the number of animals.  Williams stated keeping the lower number of animals allowed helps limit the nuisance.  There was a consensus from the governing body to review the ordinance and the number of animals allowed in a residential area.

 

Sergeant Chad McCluskey was present to introduce the newest addition to the Public Safety Department, new K-9 Rico.  McCluskey stated that he and Rico had nine weeks of training and that Rico officially started work on November 21st.  McCluskey stated they have assisted with eight calls so far.  McCluskey thanked the donors who assisted with the purchase of the new K-9.  Wallace stated he is still curious how much the dog is used by the County.  McCluskey stated that all but one of the eight calls they have taken occurred in the city.  Wallace stated he would like an annual report of that.  Chief Brewer stated he believes that is included in his annual report.

 

Jamie VanDever, 8th Grade Teacher at Augusta Middle School, was present to introduce some of his and Stephanie Brown’s students.  VanDever thanked the council for allowing their students to present their projects.  VanDever stated they started using project based learning and instructed the students to come up with a building, business, or center that would benefit the community and that these two groups were chosen to have the best presentations.  VanDever also stated that Williams and Childers assisted the students during the process.

 

            The first project group proposed a gaming palace/arcade and was presented by Ashley Clark, Chastity Ates, and Elayne Rye.  They stated that their purpose was to find kids something to do that would keep them out of trouble.  It would include game machines, a change machine, music, concessions, and a lounge area for adults and would be located next to the Augusta Historical Theatre.  The students stated that kids need a play to go after school to stay out of trouble that would be cost effective, fun, and safe and would also be a perfect place for families.  The students showed pictures of the 3-D model they created of the space.  Williams thanked the students for their presentation and ideas.

 

            The second project group proposed a bowling alley with go karts, an arcade, and restaurant and was presented by Blayke Dehlinger and Brandon Denoncourt.  The students stated there would be five bowling lanes with one adult only lane.  They stated that it would give kids a place to go after school and that seniors would benefit from the bowling and restaurant.  The students then presented a 3-D computer generated model of the facilities.  Williams thanked them for their presentation and ideas.

 

            VanDever stated this is the first project of this type and he is very impressed by what they came up with and glad to have the chance to come present it to the governing body.  Huddleston stated that kids don’t seem to think there are activities for them in town.  VanDever agreed and stated they think there is very little for them to do.  Huddleston suggested a future project on something the city could do to improve that.  VanDever stated that there were some projects along those lines, but that these were the two that were chosen to be presented. 

 

Old Business:

Special Alcohol Grant:  Malone made a motion to approve a supplemental Special Alcohol Grant for the Family Life Center-Safe House in the amount of $2,500.  Huddleston seconded the motion.  Motion carried without opposition. 

 

New Business:

Public Hearing:  A public hearing was conducted to take input on whether a structure (garage) at 654 Santa Fe is considered to be an unsafe and dangerous structure.  The owner was not present for the hearing, nor was anyone with a financial interest in the property.  Dan Allen stated he has been sending letters to this property owner as far back as 2008 and has spoken to him on several occasions.  Allen stated the owner told him it would be taken care of before tonight’s meeting, but there has been no progress.  Allen stated the property owner is fully aware of the issue but has said he doesn’t have the time or money to make the repairs.  Williams stated if the resolution is passed tonight, he has 90 days to make the repairs before the city takes action.  Williams stated for it to get this far, it really has to be an unsafe situation and that it is not fair to the neighborhood or community to allow it to stay in this state.  Rawlings asked if there are children living near this property.  Allen stated there are.  Williams closed the public hearing.

 

            Wallace mad a motion to approve Resolution 2011-22 finding that a structure (garage) at 654 Santa Fe is unsafe and dangerous and directing that the structure be repaired or demolished and premises made safe and secure.  Rawlings seconded the motion.  Motion carried without opposition.  Wallace stated there are several other buildings in that area that need to be addressed.

 

Budget Amendment:  A public hearing was conducted to take input on amending the 2011 Budget.  After there were no comments from the public, the hearing was closed.  Wallace asked if the amendment to the Emergency Communication Fund was for the same two servers that are to be discussed later on the agenda.  Keefer stated they are and that only one would be paid for out of the Emergency Communication Fund.  Wallace stated that IT people he knows have told him we are really getting stiffed.  Huddleston asked if the Emergency Communication Fund is made up of 911 funds we receive.  Keefer stated it is the 911 fund.  Huddleston asked if the servers are for the 911 services.  Keefer stated they support the 911 software.  Director of Public Safety Tyler Brewer stated the department has five servers and one of their main functions is to run their CAD system.  Huddleston stated the State has funds they issue grants for and that what we use those funds for must be directly related to E911.  Brewer stated he is aware of that and that he had already checked to make sure this meets that criteria. 

 

            Huddleston stated if we purchase this equipment now, will it meet the EG911 standards.  Brewer stated it would and that he already has the next generation 911.  Brewer stated that technology changes so fast, but that we need a server system that is more robust and our current software is obsolete.  Captain Bruce Relph stated that the next generation phones are tied into the server.  Huddleston asked if this is proper use of these 911 funds.  Brewer stated it is.  Huddleston asked why there are three 911 systems in Butler County.  Brewer stated that prior to his arrival to the city there was a decision made to keep our 911 center.  Brewer stated he was thankful for that decision and that the response time to our community is much faster because of that.

 

 Malone made a motion to approve amending the 2011 budget as proposed.  Reavis seconded the motion.  Motion carried without opposition.

 

Change Order:  S. Jones stated that in Willis Wilson’s memo it states that the clarifiers were manufactured with a metal duct with a rectangular opening and asked if this is something that was included in the specs or if this was optional.  S. Jones asked how it is that we didn’t know how these were manufactured. Wilson stated that this was part of the original plant construction in 2001 and that Aqua Tech was not the engineer on that project.  Wilson stated the clarifiers have never been emptied since then and no one has ever seen them.  Reavis made a motion to approve Change Order #2 for the Wastewater Treatment Plant Project.  Childers seconded the motion.  Motion carried without opposition.

 

Snow Removal Agreement:  Wallace made a motion to approve an agreement with the Augusta Senior Center for snow removal and mowing assistance.  Malone seconded the motion.  Motion carried without opposition.

 

Bids:  Council considered approval of bids for the purchase of a replacement server, software upgrade and installation for the Safety Department.  Brewer stated the server that runs the video is insufficient and that their application and file servers have run out of space.  Brewer stated that Microsoft 2000 is obsolete and no longer supported.  Brewer stated he contacted several vendors and requested bids from three vendors, but only ISG and ItKansas provided bids.  Brewer stated that ISG is well aware of their system and needs and came out to evaluate that but ItKansas did not.  Brewer stated the $5,000 difference is in the set-up.  E. Jones stated ItKansas works on the server at city hall and that they do good work, but she would be concerned about their response time to issues.  S. Jones inquired about the hardware vendor.  Brewer stated it would be HP or IBM depending on what bid is approved.  Huddleston inquired about the total cost.  Brewer stated it would be whichever bid was approved plus the cost for SLEUTH to complete the data migration for the new server.  Huddleston stated we are looking at $22,000 to $25,000 then.  Wallace asked Relph which server he would prefer.  Relph stated his biggest fear is the after service.  Relph stated ISG made the bid and services as is because they’ve worked with us since 2005 and have worked with SLEUTH.  Relph stated he hates to spend the additional money, but his recommendation would be the bid from ISG.  Childers made a motion to approve the bid from ISG in the amount of $20,805.74.  Huddleston seconded the motion.  Motion carried with Rawlings voting in opposition.  S. Jones stated the cost of the hardware is very reasonable.

 

Cemetery Endowment Fund:  Wallace made a motion to a approve Resolution 2011-23 authorizing the City of Augusta to use funds from the Cemetery Endowment fund for the upkeep and maintenance of the cemetery.  Childers seconded the motion.  Reavis asked if this resolution is only for this one time purchase or if it is forever binding.  Mr. All stated it is intended just for the purchase of the mini excavator.  Motion carried with Huddleston voting in opposition.

 

Court Appointed Attorney Services:  Malone asked if someone fills in for Cami Baker if they use the same pay structure.  Keefer stated they do.  Huddleston asked if collect calls from jail is part of the cost of representing indigents.  Mr. All stated it is because they have to have access to their attorney.  Childers made a motion to approve a letter agreement with Cami Baker & Associates for Court Appointed Attorney Services for Municipal Court for 2012.  Malone seconded the motion.  Motion carried without opposition.

 

Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP):  Council considered an appeal from Wade Wilkinson to be readmitted to the City’s Neighborhood Revitalization Program.  Keefer stated that all of Wilkinson’s 2010 taxes have been paid in full.  Wallace stated he is making headway.  Malone asked what would happen if he doesn’t pay the ones due tomorrow.  Keefer stated the three lots that he has applied for the NRP have been paid for 2010 and 2011, but if he were to pull an application for another property he will have to make sure all taxes have been paid for that property.  Huddleston stated that part of application was sent to the County Appraiser’s Office, why did they not check to see if the taxes were paid.  Dan Allen stated Wilkinson had never been a problem so his office didn’t worry about checking to make sure the taxes were paid.  Allen stated the completed all the paperwork and sent it in then a couple of months later the County notified them that the taxes had not been paid.  Huddleston stated the plan says the County will respond within 15 working days of their concurrence of the city’s initial approval.  Allen stated the city sends in the preliminary document and it is our responsibility to make sure the taxes were paid and we didn’t.  Huddleston stated it seems like the County should have told us when they originally approved it.  Huddleston stated he thinks there is a flaw in our program because when we submit it to the County, the County is not doing their part.  Huddleston asked how we can guard against this happening in the future.  Allen stated he will be making sure that all taxes are paid before sending the applications in to the County.  Williams stated we want to do what is best for Augusta. 

 

Huddleston asked if Allen is making sure the applicants are completing Part 2 of the application.  Allen stated he is.  Huddleston asked what would happen if it were not done by January, how long Part 2 would carry out.  Allen stated the permit is only good for one year.  Rawlings stated the City of Wichita had an issue with that a few years ago and had to reissue basement permits due to the economy.  Huddleston asked how many properties Wilkinson is applying to the NRP for.  Allen stated three properties.  Huddleston inquired about limits to the number of applications.  Shaw stated it is one application per property.

 

Wallace made a motion to approve readmitting Wade Wilkinson to the City’s Neighborhood Revitalization Program.  Childers seconded the motion.  Motion carried without opposition.

 

Utility Collections and Write Offs:  Wallace made a motion to approve the annual Utility Collections and Account Write Offs that are considered not collectable.  Childers seconded the motion.  Motion carried with Huddleston voting in opposition.

 

Cereal Malt Beverage Licenses:  Wallace made a motion to approve 2012 Cereal Malt Beverage Licenses for Pizza Hut of SE KS, Inc. 718 W 7th Avenue; Presto 1632, 610 W 7th Avenue; Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 1618 Ohio; Jumpstart, 115 E 7th Avenue; and Casey’s General Store #1535,  1411 Ohio.  Reavis seconded the motion.  Motion carried with Rawlings voting in opposition.

 

Convention and Tourism Bureau Grant:  Reavis stated they requested $1,000 on the grant application but were only approved for $500 and asked if there was a reason.  Keefer stated that some of the items they were asking for did not qualify.  Reavis made a motion to approve a Convention and Tourism Bureau Grant for the Augusta Powerlifting Club in the amount of $500.  Malone seconded the motion.  Huddleston asked if the city will get a banner hung at the event.  Keefer stated there is supposed to be a Convention and Tourism Bureau banner at the event and printed on the t-shirts.  Motion carried without opposition.

 

            Huddleston stated that everything always lists this group as the Convention and Tourism Bureau and some list it as the Convention and Tourism Board, but that neither is correct.  Huddleston stated Resolution 2003-8 lists it as the Convention and Tourism Committee.  Williams stated that how the group is listed does not invalidate it.  Huddleston stated that it should be referred to with the correct title.  Keefer stated he would check the by-laws to find the official name.

 

Work Sessions:  Childers made a motion to approve a work session on Monday, January 9 at 7 p.m. to review and discuss the Playground Analysis report with the Park Board and on Monday, January 23 at 7 p.m. to review and discuss the draft of the updated Personnel Manual.  Reavis seconded the motion.  Motion carried without opposition.

 

Informational Memorandum:

Williams – Williams stated the city manager evaluations are due so please turn those in today. 

 

S. Jones – Jones stated that in the Monthly Report from the Safety Department it says that Marbut made provisions to the Augusta Lake failure plan and asked if those changes will be presented to the governing body.  Keefer stated that were required to update that as part of the Spillway and Dam Project.  Jones stated she would like to see that.  Keefer stated he would provide that information when it is prepared.  Wallace stated the same report stated that Brewer revised the 911 Ordinance and asked if that will be presented to the governing body for approval.  Keefer stated it would. 

 

Final Comments:

Huddleston – Huddleston asked if it is possible to put a different email and fax number for him on the city’s website.  Shaw stated he could.  Huddleston stated that some time back we approved an energy audit and inquired about the status of that.  Shaw stated that it was completed and that they came up with some recommendations, but after discussing it internally it was determined that we are already following their recommendations.  Huddleston asked if the council will get a synopsis of that.  Shaw stated they would.  Shaw stated that if we are already following the recommendations staff did not think it was in our best interest to participate in the program.

 

            Huddleston inquired about the rental of signs at the Airport.  Shaw stated they have all been paid.  Childers stated the illuminated sign seems to be out often and never seems to be illuminated.  Shaw stated that they are solar lights, so it depends on the day.  Shaw stated that it has been pretty cloudy lately.

 

            Huddleston stated there has been a lot of work done at the intersection of Main and Ohio, but that it seems like there is still water leaking there.  Keefer stated staff thinks there is another leak on the other end of the pipe that we previously repaired.  Keefer stated the city was going to start the work on that line this morning but it was put off due to the weather. 

 

            Huddleston stated the last meeting’s minutes mention about the audio quality of the meetings and that the issue of streaming the meetings online is money.  Williams stated the issue is not just the money but also the technology.  Williams stated that everyone thinks this is something we should do, but we want to get what we have properly working first.  Shaw stated we would need to have a vendor that can handle that separately.  Huddleston asked if this is something we can keep on the back burner.  Shaw stated he has that information and can forward it to the governing body.

 

            Huddleston asked if there is a schedule for street sweeping and does it get amended for special events such as downtown activities.  Keefer stated there is a formal schedule and it is posted on the city’s website.  Keefer stated he would have to check with Cy Ricker about the schedule for downtown and special events.

 

Childers – Childers stated there was no mention of the recent homicide in the Gazette’s police blotter and asked what criteria are used for things that are omitted.  Keefer stated he would have to defer that question to Brewer.  Wallace stated we are legally supposed to provide that information to the newspaper if requested, but that there are certain things involving minors that cannot be provided.  Wallace stated it is up to the media to pursue their right to that information.

 

Wallace - Wallace inquired about the list of property rented out by the city that was requested previously.  Keefer stated that was provided in a council packet a few months ago.  Wallace inquired about the quarterly report that is supposed to be provided by the Chamber.  Keefer stated we haven’t gotten one in a while and that he would follow up on that.

 

            Wallace stated that he has been asked about people texting during the meetings and as a result he checked in to that and it does violate the open meetings act.  Childers stated the City of Topeka tackled this issue and that they determined texting is not part of the open meetings act.  Williams stated it is open to interpretation.  Wallace disagreed and stated it is State law.  Williams stated the League of Kansas Municipalities has addressed this and that there are different determinations.  S. Jones stated her personal opinion is that it is rude.

 

Reavis – Reavis asked if or when the water emergency will be over, because the watering months have passed and people are still being charged the water conservation fee.  E. Jones stated that right now is the time from where the winter averages are being re-evaluated.  Reavis stated we are past the summer months and should consider removing the fee.  Keefer stated it is up to the council.  Keefer stated that if we do not get rain in the spring the emergency will not go away.  Wallace made a motion to rescind the emergency water conservation fee upon completion of the second billing cycle.  Huddleston seconded the motion.  Motion carried without opposition.

 

S. Jones – S Jones stated that on the monthly financial report there are several funds where the expenses were well below the budget, for example the Administration fund is only at 17%.  Keefer stated the budget includes a $700,000 reserve that we are required to budget as an expense so that we could use it if necessary, but we rarely use any of it.  S. Jones also referred to the Special Alcohol and Special Parks Funds.  Keefer stated that some funds are depending on grant applications.  S. Jones asked if that information could somehow be included on next year’s reports.  E. Jones stated she would do that.

 

 

Adjourn:  At 9:25 p.m. Wallace made a motion to adjourn.  Childers seconded the motion.  Motion carried without opposition.      

 

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