DECEMBER 1, 2014
The Council of the City of Augusta, Kansas met in regular session on December 1, 2014, with Mayor Matt Childers presiding. Council present were Jason Lowery, Paul Belt, Jamie Crum, Mike Rawlings, Sue Jones, Ron Reavis, and Matt Malone. Also present: City Attorney Austin Parker, City Manager Josh Shaw, Director of Electric Utility Bill Webster, Electric Distribution Superintendent Tim Davis, and City Clerk Erica Jones. Visitors present were: Kent Bush, John Black, Sarah Hoefgen, and Cindy Hicks.
Pledge of Allegiance
Prayer: Pastor Paul Andrews, Life Church, gave the invocation.
Minutes: Jones made a motion to approve the minutes from the November 17, 2014 Council meeting. Lowery seconded the motion. Motion carried without opposition.
Ordinance 11A: Malone made a motion to approve Ordinance 11A in the amount of $966,898.33. Reavis seconded the motion. Motion carried without opposition.
Cindy Hicks, representing Downtown Augusta, Inc, was present to thank the council for their support of the Shop Small campaign. She stated it was a phenomenal success with hundreds of shoppers downtown on Saturday. Hicks encouraged the council to continue their support of small business advertising for our community.
Digger Derrick Truck: Rawlings made a motion to authorize staff to purchase a 2015 model 60’ Digger Derrick truck utilizing the National Joint Powers Alliance (NJPA) national contract with Altec in the amount of $304,313. Malone seconded the motion. Motion carried with Reavis voting in opposition.
2015 Utility Abatements: Belt made a motion to approve abatements for Augusta Arts Council (Theatre) in the amount of $8,000; Augusta Arts Council (Gallery) in the amount of $2,000; Augusta Chamber of Commerce in the amount $1,700; Augusta Community Caring Center $3,400; Augusta Historical Society in the amount of $5,000; Augusta Public Library in the amount of $24,000; Augusta Senior Center in the amount of $4,000; Kansas Museum of Military History in the amount of $4,000; Mid-Kansas CAP in the amount of $8,000; for a total of $60,100 and to continue free service for Augusta Youth Soccer and Augusta Girls Softball. Malone seconded the motion. Motion carried without opposition.
Schedule Public Hearing for 2014 Budget Amendments: Rawlings made a motion to schedule a public hearing for 7:00 p.m. on December 15, 2014 at City Hall to take input on 2014 Budget Amendments for the Street Sales Tax Fund, Sanitation Fund, and Water Sales Tax Fund. Malone seconded the motion. Motion carried without opposition.
2014 Utility Write-Offs and Collections: Reavis made a motion to approve the write off of 27 utility accounts in the amount of $12,219.62. Belt seconded the motion. Motion carried without opposition.
Matters From/For Council:
Election of Ward 1 Representative: Reavis made a motion to approve the process recommended by staff and City Attorney of each council member providing a nomination and then voting on the nominations and if after three votes there is no winner the Mayor will appoint the position. Belt seconded the motion. Motion carried without opposition.
Reavis nominated Cale Magruder to fill the unexpired term. There were no other nominations.
Lowery made a motion to elect Cale Magruder as Ward 1 representative to fill the unexpired term of Matt Childers on the City Council through April 2015. Rawlings seconded the motion. Motion carried without opposition.
There was a Council consensus to officially adopt a process of nominations and voting for appointing someone to an unexpired term on the Council.
Insurance Committee: Consensus was given to schedule a meeting of the Insurance Committee at 11:30 on December 8, 2014 to review Special Alcohol Grant Applications and make recommendations to the City Council.
Informational Memorandum and Final Comments:
Reavis: Reavis stated he was approached last weekend about the unsightly appearance of the dumpsters at Wal-Mart. He said he explained that will go away when the new recycling process is in place, but that he was asked if there is a deadline or goal for the curbside recycling. Shaw stated that would be discussed during the sanitation work session to be scheduled in the very near future.
Council consensus was to schedule a work session to discuss Sanitation issues on January 12, 2015.
Jones: Jones inquired about sorting of the recycling. Shaw stated we are doing a pilot program of single stream recycling and trucking over to Waste Connections.
Reavis: Reavis asked when we say enough is enough with lake water. He asked how close we are to our take or pay and when can we switch. Shaw stated we are on pace with our take or pay right now, but there is a bigger picture strategy to perfecting our rights. He stated the new carbon feeder was added last Wednesday and the number of complaints has decreased since then and the water tastes significantly better. He stated a lot of the concerns were addressed with the new carbon feeder.
Reavis stated he thinks people are tired of complaining, and that is why the number of complaints is going down. He said he spoke to six people this morning who said their water tastes like grass. The vegetation in the lake is dying and is probably what is causing this problem. Do we let that stuff die and bake through the summer to get odor out of the water and clean itself. He stated it would be in the best interest of the town to provide good quality water that the customers are used to getting. Childers stated the broader discussion is if we don’t perfect our water rights now how that impacts our ability to protect water for Augustans forever. He stated we would be fixing a short term problem and not considering its effect on the long term issue. Shaw stated January 1st when we switch to Santa Fe Lake water we will have similar concerns. He stated that usage of SFL really matters for the perfection of water rights next year.
Crum stated she thinks the water is better too. She asked if there is a microbiologist or someone we can call to look at it. Rawlings stated they already have done that. He stated there were two big pumps that went down about the same time as the switch which screwed up the chemical mix. Rawlings stated that in the winter time the flow is so low it takes longer for it to react and correct. Shaw stated the new carbon feeder can add five times more carbon than we were adding, but that it was just added last Wednesday. Reavis asked if we can flush hydrants. Shaw stated they have flushed 40-50 in the last couple weeks. Rawlings, they are on a system and working it as hard as they can.
Adjourn: At 7:55 PM Malone made a motion to adjourn. Lowery seconded the motion. Motion carried without opposition.