JANUARY 7, 2013
The Council of the City of Augusta, Kansas met in regular session on January 7, 2013, with Mayor Kristey Williams presiding. Council present were Matt Childers, Michael R. Martin, Michael Huddleston, Michael Wallace, Sue Jones, Mike Rawlings, and Matt Malone. Councilman Ron Reavis was absent. Also present: City Manager Bill Keefer, City Attorney David All, Assistant to the City Manager Josh Shaw, Airport Manager Lloyd Partin, and City Clerk Erica Jones. Visitors present were: Kent Bush, Gary Rogers, Myrna Rogers, John Black, Martin Goedecke, Deanne Triboulet, Jane Mathis, and Kent Overaker.
Prayer: Pastor Cale Magruder, First Southern Baptist Church, gave the invocation.
Minutes: Huddleston asked if the salary survey will be done. Keefer stated it would. Huddleston asked how long it will take. Keefer stated it depends on how responsive the other cities are. Huddleston asked to be kept updated about the timeline. Keefer stated staff hopes to have something in the next 30 days. S. Jones made a motion to approve the minutes from the December 17, 2012 meeting. Huddleston seconded the motion. Motion carried without opposition.
December (12A): Huddleston stated he likes the format as presented now. Malone stated his is still opposed to subsidizing API $20,000 for the study since the city has already subsidized them. Wallace stated the city gave API the ground in the Industrial Park. Keefer stated at one time portions of the Industrial Park was owned by the city and when property was sold revenue came back to the city. He stated in lieu of providing annual payment to API it was decided to give the last several lots to API. Keefer stated the majority of API’s funds have come to them from the sale of the Tri-Star building and loans acquired through Network Kansas. Williams stated the very first API grant funds came from a grant that API as well as additional grants they applied for. Keefer stated the City has not paid API directly for many years and has only reimbursed their expenses. Malone stated they decided on the study before asking for money from the city. Williams stated API decided to do the study with or without funds from the City or Butler County. Williams stated if the council has concerns about API it would be better to invite them here to discuss it rather than vote them down. Wallace stated the city has given them 1/3rd of a million dollars and asked if they have it invested somewhere where they can earn interest. Shaw stated he believes it is in CD’s. Malone asked if they have received any money from Andover or the County. Keefer stated they had not but that Andover and the County has agreed to each pay $5,000 towards the development of an Airport Authority or partnership. Williams stated Augusta would not be paying anything towards that. Malone made a motion to approve Ordinance 12A with the exclusion of the payment to API in the amount of $20,000. Williams asked if that could be removed. Mr. All stated it cannot be cancelled but it could be held until the next meeting. Wallace called point of order. He stated there was $2,000 in the budget for the council chairs and that they were later moved. Williams disagreed. Keefer stated that chairs were never in the budget but were discussed. Huddleston seconded the motion. Malone amended his original motion to table the payment to API until the next council meeting for Mr. All to provide legal advice. S. Jones stated the original vote to pay API was not unanimous. Williams stated it doesn’t have to be unanimous. S. Jones stated it was sold to the council as a joint venture between Augusta, Andover, and the County and that didn’t happen. Motion carried with and Childers voting in opposition.
S. Jones inquired about the payment from CTB funds for Go Wichita and Travel & Recreation and asked what publicity that provides. Keefer stated the payment for Go Wichita was a reimbursment for a meeting Kent Overaker attended. Keefer stated the payment to Travel & Recreation is for a publication promoting communities including Augusta and that we have five or six different publications we put advertising in annually. S. Jones asked if the council could get a copy of the publication. S. Jones inquired about the utility refund to USD #402. E. Jones stated the school district was erroneously charged for the utilities at the new Garfield construction site and those should have been charged to the construction company. She stated that since the school district paid that account in full they were owed the refund and the construction company has been billed for that amount. S. Jones inquired about the payment to YMCA for November. E. Jones stated the December payment will be the final coaching payment. Malone stated he like the new format too. Huddleston made a motion to approve Ordinance 12A with the payment to API in the amount of $20,000 being tabled until the next council meeting. Wallace seconded the motion. Motion carried with Childers opposing.
Watering Restrictions: Council reviewed and discussed the City’s Watering Restrictions and related issues. Keefer stated there was nothing new to report. He stated that copies of letters received from the Governor’s office and KDHE regarding statewide water concerns were included in the informational memorandum. He stated he provided a status report to the Governor’s office as requested. S. Jones asked if the water supply from El Dorado is in any jeopardy in the near term. Keefer stated there aren’t any short term concerns, but maybe long term if the drought continues past 2013. Huddleston asked if there is any new information about another reservoir in our area. Keefer stated the discussion fell apart because it was not feasible due to the cost. Huddleston asked if Wichita would be more interested now. Williams stated they have a plan in the works with the City of El Dorado. S. Jones asked what the water source would have been for the reservoir. Keefer stated it would have been the little Walnut.
310 Main Street: Rawlings made a motion to approve the bid from Butler County Backhoe Service in the amount of $5,500 for demolition and debris removal at 310 Main Street. Wallace seconded the motion. Motion carried without opposition.
Ward Boundaries: Wallace made a motion to approve Ordinance 2046 amending the City’s Ward Boundaries. Huddleston seconded the motion. Motion carried without opposition. Huddleston asked how quickly a list of registered voters would be available for the new wards. E. Jones stated the County Clerk said they would be available as soon as his office makes the boundary changes. Williams inquired about the filing deadline and filing fees for the upcoming election in which four council positions will be up for election. E. Jones stated the deadline for filing is noon January 22nd and the fee is $10 or you can submit a petition with signatures from 50 qualified voters in the ward you are running for.
2013 Street Sales Tax Program: Council considered approval of the recommendation from the Street Sales Tax Advisory Committee for the 2013 Street Sales Tax Program. Huddleston inquired about the cost difference between using roller compacted concrete (RCC) versus traditional concrete. Larry Henry with MKEC stated there would be a 30-35% cost savings. Huddleston inquired about the benefit of using RCC. Henry stated it cures much quicker and reaches its strength quicker. He stated it should out-perform asphalt and we will have a two year warranty on the project. Huddleston asked Henry to check on how it will hold up to cuts versus asphalt because he doesn’t want to save 30% on a road that we will have to make expensive repairs to in the future. Henry stated he could do that. He stated he feels this can be a very successful project.
Wallace stated a month ago he asked about Gregg and 14th streets and was told they would be on the alternate list and they are not. Keefer stated 14th street will be included in the Ohio/Kelly project. Huddleston stated that when Ohio/Kelly is closed Gregg will have a lot more traffic. Wallace stated he would like more time to look at the roads on the list. Wallace made a motion to table this agenda item. Malone seconded the motion. Huddleston stated he thinks Gregg needs something done and hopefully there will be money left over in the alternates to take care of it. Rawlings stated that in the last one to two years, every time the council gets an advisory group together made up of volunteers we ask them to give their opinion and we jerk it out of their hands. Wallace stated the council’s job is supervisory. He stated his appointment to the committee thought they were being unfair and the council is supposed to take their advice and double check it. Williams stated there were two public hearings about the streets and the council members could have attended. She stated the list of streets were available to look at since November 26th.
Martin asked if you can install RCC in freezing temperatures. Henry stated you can’t but that you can’t put asphalt or concrete down in very cold temperatures either. S. Jones asked Henry if he recommended RCC because of the traffic or because it is already concrete. Henry stated it is because it is so deteriorated it would be a maintenance nightmare. He stated they looked at the best use of the funding right now and determined those streets to be the best. Williams asked what delaying this two weeks would do to the process. Henry stated we need to move forward with the design to make sure we keep the bids low. He stated bids increase during the construction season. Malone asked if Gregg could be included in the Ohio/Kelly project next year. Keefer stated we would have to find funding because that was not included in the original project. Huddleston stated maybe it could be fixed after the Ohio/Kelly project. Henry stated he would have to do the design for Gregg if added as an alternate. Huddleston stated Henry could do the design work now because it wouldn’t change later. Henry stated the conditions could change. Motion to table the agenda item failed with Wallace voting in favor and Childers, Huddleston, Rawlings, S. Jones, Martin, and Malone voting in opposition.
Wallace made a motion to approve the recommendation from the Street Sales Tax Advisory Committee for the 2013 Street Sales Tax Program and to include Gregg Street on the alternate list. Huddleston seconded the motion. Huddleston asked if it deteriorates more would a whole new design plan be needed. Henry stated it would not but it might change the quantities. Henry stated he would prefer to wait until after the Ohio/Kelly project to repair Gregg Street. Motion carried with Rawlings voting in opposition.
Pavement Management Plan: Wallace made a motion to approve an agreement with MKEC for a Pavement Management Plan in the amount of $39,000. Childers seconded the motion. Motion carried without opposition.
Dike Road Relocation: Rawlings made a motion to approve an agreement with the Kansas Department of Transportation for the reimbursement of costs for improvements related to the relocation of Dike Road. Wallace seconded the motion. Motion carried without opposition.
Dike Road Relocation: Rawlings made a motion to approve a Letter Agreement with Goedecke Engineering to provide information and maps for the Division of Water Resources as part of the Dike Road Relocation Project. Childers seconded the motion. Motion carried without opposition.
Kelly/Ohio Project: Childers made a motion to approve an agreement with the Kansas Department of Transportation and Professional Engineering Consultants for construction engineering services for the Kelly and Ohio Intersection Project. Huddleston seconded the motion. Motion carried without in opposition.
Airport Consulting Engineer: Malone asked if we have to appoint an engineer annually. Williams stated it is every five years. Malone asked if this is different than the environmental study. Lloyd Partin stated it this would be a separate entity entirely and that the FAA requires we select a separate engineering firm for five years. Huddleston stated that all companies were very good and within ½ a point of each other. Malone made a motion to designate Benesch as the City’s airport engineering consultant for the five year planning period ending January 1, 2017. Wallace seconded the motion. Motion carried without opposition.
Letter of Support: Childers made a motion to approve a letter of support for the City of Andover for their Transportation Enhancement Grant Application. Malone seconded the motion. Motion carried without opposition.
Informational Memorandum & Final Comments:
Williams: Williams reminded the council that there are meetings every Monday night this month. Keefer stated staff would like to cut 15 minutes out of the work session on January 14th to provide an update on the spring clean up. Huddleston made a motion to add 15 minutes to the work session for Shaw to provide an update on the spring clean up. Childers seconded the motion. Motion carried without opposition.
Wallace: Wallace asked when staff will start bush hogging the brush in the lake. Keefer stated he doesn’t know if we can get it there with a bush hog. He stated there needs to be some discussions internally on how to address the brush. He stated there have been concerns about erosion issues that need to be resolved. Williams stated she received an email from a citizen that was not in favor of removing the brush and that she passed that email to Keefer.
S. Jones: Jones inquired about the progress about cleaning out the final details of the Dam/Spillway project. Keefer stated MKEC was supposed to do a final inspection of the items on the checklist and provide an update. Keefer stated he has asked Jay Anglemyer to provide an update to the council. Jones stated there is some confusion about understanding clearly the roles and responsibilities of members of the council versus the roles and responsibilities of the mayor for our particular form of government. She stated she would like a tutorial that defines the roles of the mayor and council based on state statutes and city code to provide clarification and make things run smoother. Mr. All stated he would get with Keefer and do that.
Childers: Childers stated the 2012 council agendas in Drop Box will be removed in the next couple of days.
Huddleston: Huddleston stated he would like the council to consider in the near future streaming the council meetings on the internet. He stated that not everyone has Cox Cable. He stated would also have an archive of the meetings which would help with issues like the one with the Attorney General’s opinion. He stated that would provide full disclosure. Wallace made a motion to look into streaming the council meetings. Malone seconded the motion. Shaw stated staff has looked at that before and provided information to the council but no action was taken. He stated the City of Andover pays approximately $9,600 annually for their software but he is not sure what the set up costs will be. Keefer stated staff will put that information together for the council. Motion carried without opposition.
Huddleston asked if bids for purchase or specifications for bid will be presented for the used trucks for water distribution. Shaw stated there are usually more specific bid specifications, but this is more open to proposal because they will be subject to our inspection. Huddleston asked who opens the bids. E. Jones stated that she does with the department head and any of the bidders that choose to be present at the time indicated on the bid request form. Keefer stated it is a public bid opening. Huddleston asked if it publicized on our website. E. Jones stated it is listed on the bids. Shaw stated he would have to check to see if they are listed on the website. Huddleston stated the County opens bids during their meetings. Keefer stated that is per a statutory regulation and the city is different. He stated we open and compare the bids at a specific time and place and review the bids to make sure they meet specs and made a recommendation to the council. Huddleston stated what concerns him is the possibility of avoiding fairness sometimes. He said it appears to him that that sometimes after bids are open there are negotiations taking place that the council misses out on. He wants to make sure specs and prices don’t get changed prior to bringing them to the council. Keefer stated he is disappointed Huddleston would think that would happen because if definitely does not happen. Huddleston stated is what happen with the electric department trucks. He stated he asked in that meeting if sales tax was included and was told yes, but the very next meeting was told the sales tax was not included. Keefer stated that was on the vendor because they did not include the sales tax though it was clearly noted on the bid specifications that sales tax was to be included and that all of the bids were rejected because the vendor whose bid we accepted no longer had the vehicle available. Huddleston asked what would happen if we accept a bid and they sold it would happen. Mr. All stated we got in trouble years and years ago because we accepted a transmission different than the one on the bid as it was approved. E. Jones stated the bids list specifically that the vehicles have to be available until a certain date.
Martin: Martin asked if there is anyone available at the recycling/compost area that would be able to help an older person load their vehicle. Keefer stated there is someone there to help. Wallace stated they cannot help with equipment though because we got in trouble years ago for a vehicle that was damaged.
Martin asked if staff ever checks the insulators to see if they are leaking. Keefer stated he has never heard of them leaking before but that he would ask. Huddleston stated there is radio static around the Westar pole at Ohio/Kelly. Rawlings stated insulators keep electricity from jumping over poles and that they do not leak. Rawlings stated that area has always been a problem with AM or Ham radios but that it is nothing that we’ve ever done wrong. He stated the insulators don’t keep electricity from leaking into the atmosphere, that happens naturally and we cannot stop that.
Malone: Malone asked what happened in 2010 to cause such a drop in revenue for the swimming pool. Shaw stated we started the new punch card program at a cost that was too low.
S. Jones: S. Jones asked if anything has been heard about the grant request for the playground equipment at Garvin Park. Shaw stated he inquired last month and was told to wait patiently. Keefer stated the city has set aside our funds for that project.
Executive Session: At 8:30 p.m. Rawlings made a motion to go into executive session for 20 minutes to discuss personnel matters of non-elected personnel more specifically the City Manager’s annual evaluation. The Council will return to open session at 8:50 p.m. in the Council Chambers. Childers seconded the motion. Motion carried without opposition.
At 8:52 p.m. Childers made a motion to exit executive session with no action being taken. Rawlings seconded the motion. Motion carried without opposition.
At 8:53 p.m. Malone made a motion to go into executive session for another 20 minutes to discuss personnel matters of non-elected personnel more specifically the City Manager’s annual evaluation. The Council will return to open session at 9:13 p.m. in the Council Chambers. Wallace seconded the motion. Motion carried without opposition.
At 9:16 p.m. Rawlings made a motion to exit executive session with no action being taken. Childers seconded the motion. Motion carried without opposition.
Childers made a motion to extend the City Manager’s contract for 2 years and to provide a 2% merit increase. Rawlings seconded the motion. Motion failed with Rawlings and Childers voting in favor and Malone, Martin, Huddleston, Jones, and Wallace voting in opposition.
Wallace made a motion to approve a 1 year contract with the deletion of the 12 month severance pay clause. Malone seconded the motion. Childers stated he is concerned that if we follow through with this we might be forced to pay the 12 month severance since we are removing some of the benefits from the contract. Childers looked to Mr. All to clarify the matter. S. Jones asked Mr. All to clarify section 3B of the contract because there seems to be some confusion on what that section means. Keefer stated his attorney explained that it means if you change the contract any shape or form and it is not subject to any other changes in any other staff members or employee’s contracts it will be considered null and void and is considered termination. Keefer stated he would not agree to changes in the contract. Williams stated that would mean the city would have to pay the 12 month’s severance pay and health insurance. Wallace asked when the existing contract terminates. Williams stated today. Malone stated the way he reads it is a never ending contract. Wallace agrees and stated it is unless you agree to pay the 12 month’s severance. Williams stated the 12 months was placed in by prior council and if you think the city manager is not doing a good job for the city then of course you would want to consider respond to that. She stated she thinks the city manager has done an excellent job for the city and that he has been very attentive to the council. Williams stated she would like to see him stay and see us offer him a one year contract. Wallace stated that some people may view this as the council trying to get rid of Keefer but that is not the case. He stated they are trying to protect the citizens from having to pay a 12 month’s severance pay if something were to go terribly wrong which the council doesn’t think will happen. Wallace stated the council is so sure that will not happen that the council thinks the exclusion of the 12 month’s severance pay is wise to do.
Keefer stated this is something that shouldn’t be discussed in a public meeting because it is his employment contract. Wallace agreed. Keefer stated he was offended that the council would discuss this in a public meeting. Keefer stated that clause is in there to protect him because the council could terminate him at any time as a whim. He stated he could be doing everything he has been told to do for the last 16 ½ years and the council could terminate him for no cause at any time. Huddleston asked what happens to any other employees that work at will. Keefer stated they are terminated for cause. Huddleston asked why he would think this council would do otherwise. Keefer stated there is obviously a disconnect between himself and some of the members of the council. Malone stated the council is elected by the people who pay Keefer’s salary. Mr. All stated Keefer has a written agreement which is why he is different than those that work at will and the council is bound by the contract. Wallace amended his motion to accept the existing contract as written for 1 year including the 2% merit increase. Rawlings seconded the motion.
S. Jones again asked Mr. All to explain section 3B. Mr. All stated it was spelled out pretty clearly that if the council does not renew the contract under the terms spelled out in paragraph 2 and the city manager is willing to work for the city the council agrees to pay to continue to pay him for 12 months at the same level of non-renewal and the city has the option to pay it in a lump sum. S. Jones said so basically if the council does not renew the contract and Keefer is willing and able to continue his employment then life would go on without a contract. Mr. All said yes if he is willing to do that. Williams stated the key word is willing. S. Jones called the question. Motion carried with Martin and Huddleston voting in opposition.
Adjourn: At 9:25 p.m. Wallace made a motion to adjourn. Childers seconded the motion. Motion carried with Wallace voting in opposition.