AUGUST 3, 2015
The Council of the City of Augusta, Kansas met in regular session on August 3, 2015, with Mayor Matt Childers presiding. Council present were Cale Magruder, Jason Lowery, Paul Belt, Jamie Crum, Tom Leffler, Mike Rawlings, Ron Reavis and Justin Londagin. Also present: City Attorney Austin Parker, Assistant City Manager Cody Sims, Public Works Director Jaime Goering, Director of Electric Utility Bill Webster, Public Works Superintendent Anthony Craft, and City Clerk Erica Jones. Visitors present were: Belinda Larsen, John Black, Myrna Rogers, Gary Rogers, Traevor McPherson, Sarah Hoefgen, Mark McCollom, Connie Thurman, Lisa Jeter, Eric Birk, Sue Hoefgen, Sue Jones, and Ray Jones.
Pledge of Allegiance
Prayer: Councilman Magruder gave the invocation.
Minutes: Magruder made a motion to approve the minutes from the July 20, 2015 Council meeting. Belt seconded the motion. Motion carried without opposition.
Ordinance 7B: Rawlings made a motion to approve Ordinance 7B in the amount of $651,370.91. Londagin seconded the motion. Motion carried without opposition.
Traevor McPherson addressed the governing body with questions about recent City Expenditures, specifically weekly charges from Lehr’s Motel and $500 to Hot Wild Pit BBQ. Sims stated the charges from Lehr’s are for a citizen that has been displaced due to the sewer line rupture. Jones stated the purchase from Hot Wild Pit BBQ was for the recent Fly-In and that will be reimbursed by the company that hosted the Fly-In. McPherson inquired about his previous suggestion during the candidate’s forum about providing three month utility abatement to new businesses. He stated he would like to discuss that at next council meeting.
Don Durflinger, Assuming Command of American Legion Leonard Whitehill Post, addressed the governing body to let them know what they are doing and why they are here. He stated they are the largest veteran’s organization representing veterans of the United States. Durflinger stated they try to work with vets in the community to meet any needs they may have under the guidelines of the program. He stated they also try to do things for the community to beautify the city or help the citizens. They work with students in the community, including Boys State and Girls State and host a Local County Government Day which is coming up soon. Durflinger stated he hopes to be able to work with each and everyone in the community to make sure American Legion is an active participant in the community. Lowery asked how often they meet. Durflinger stated they meet the second Thursday of each month at Dunsford’s Funeral Home at 7 p.m. and that veterans and the general public are welcome to attend. Lowery asked how many members they have and Durflinger stated they have 63 members.
Adopt-A-Pot Winners: Mayor Childers and Sarah Hoefgen, Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce presented awards and checks to the First through Third place winners of the Adopt-A-Pot program. White Eagle Credit Union was presented with First Place, Dana Rogers with Second Place, and Lisa Jeter with Third Place.
Mark McCollom and Connie Thurman, representing the Augusta Arts Council, thanked the council for their support of the recent Hill Valley event held at the Theatre.
Solid Waste Presentation: Anthony Craft of the City’s Solid Waste Division gave a presentation outlining the rollout of the single-stream curbside recycling program.
Electric Utility Easements: Reavis made a motion to accept electric utility easements needed to support infrastructure enhancements on Ohio Street for 412 E. Main Street, 438 E. Clark Street, 465 E. Broadway Avenue, 469 E. Broadway Avenue, and 714 N. Ohio Street. Lowery seconded the motion. Motion carried without opposition.
Waiver of Fixed Asset Accounting GAAP Requirements: Reavis made a motion to approve Resolution 2015-09 requesting the State Director of Accounts and Reports waive the requirements of K.S.A. 75-1120a(a) with regard to the City’s 2015 financial statements and reports. Londagin seconded the motion. Motion carried without opposition.
Schedule Public Hearing for 418 East 15th Street: Londagin made a motion to approve Resolution 2015-10 scheduling a public hearing for the condemnation of property located at 418 East 15th Street for September 21, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. at Augusta City Hall. Lowery seconded the motion. Motion carried without opposition.
Schedule Public Hearing for 118 East Main Street: Belt made a motion to approve Resolution 2015-11 scheduling a public hearing for the condemnation of property located at 118 East Main Street for September 21, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. at Augusta City Hall. Lowery seconded the motion. Motion carried without opposition.
Zoning District Reclassifications: Reavis made a motion to approve Ordinance 2085 changing the zoning district classification from R-6B to R-6A for a new tract of land located adjacent to 5322 SW 60th Street. Leffler seconded the motion. Roll Call: Reavis Yea, Leffler Yea, Belt Yea, Magruder Yea, Lowery Yea, Crum Yea, Rawlings Yea, and Londagin Yea. Motion carried.
Magruder made a motion to approve Ordinance 2086 changing the zoning district classification from R-6B to R-6A for property commonly known as 5322 SW 60th Street. Reavis seconded the motion. Roll Call: Reavis Yea, Leffler Yea, Belt Yea, Magruder Yea, Lowery Yea, Crum Yea, Rawlings Yea, and Londagin Yea. Motion carried.
Appointments to the Parks Advisory Board: Myrna Rogers, 1135 Euclid, thanked the Council for appointing her to serve on the Park Board. Rogers stated it was great to work with a great team of volunteers on the beautification of the City of Augusta. She stated she received a letter at 3:34 p.m. today signed by the Mayor thanking her for her service and notifying her that the Council has selected a nominee to finish her term on the Park Board. Rogers stated she is disappointed and asked each council member to contact her at some point to let her know why she was removed without being allowed to serve out her term. Childers stated the letter was mailed out on Friday afternoon.
Ray Jones, 1817 Meadowlake Dr. stated he was shocked to find out Friday afternoon that he and Rogers were being removed from the board before the completion of their term. He stated they have received information from the Mayor and other members of the governing body that accuses them of being disruptive and uncooperative and that several park board members including the current chairman that if we were not removed they would resign. He stated that no one on the park board, governing body or city staff has ever indicated there has been a problem with how we conduct ourselves during meetings. Jones stated this information, proffered by the Mayor, is without basis in fact or justification. He stated they are proud of the work we have done as part of the Park Board. Without Myrna’s extensive efforts to secure a grant we would not have the new playground in Garvin Park. Jones stated it has been said that my references to Home Owner’s and Recreation Association in Colorado have not been received well by members of the board and were seen as disruptive. He stated his intent was to simply share the practices and successes of those organizations that provided exceptional recreational opportunities for their citizens. Jones stated it has been customary to respect the terms of current committee members of incoming Mayors and Councils and to remove dedicated members of a board without notice or counseling, without regard to their qualifications, and based on hearsay is unbecoming of public officials. He stated that based on the timing and wording in the letter, we can only assume that these decisions have been made outside of regular council meetings. He stated to remove us this way and without specified reasons is an unprofessional way to treat citizens and can only be viewed as a discredit to entire governing body. Jones asked to reconsider. He strongly recommended that term limits be respected as has been customary with prior Mayors and councils and that those serving be able to complete their term.
Reavis inquired about Resolution passed at the last meeting stating that the Board will consist of five Augusta Residents. He stated that the chairman of Park Board is not an Augusta resident. Reavis spoke to Rogers and Jones and stated that appointments are at the will of the Board and as people change so do ideas and goals. He stated it is a shame to have people willing and dedicated to serve and not be able to do that, but we also have other people willing and dedicated to serve. Parker stated the residency requirement was placed in the ordinance by the governing body. Childers stated that this governing body needs to determine if we are going to extend to our growth area or only in city limits.
Lowery stated today’s action is the appointment of the new park board members. Londagin shared Reavis’ concern about someone on the board that lives outside of the city limits. He stated that the right thing to do would be to have someone new take that position as well.
Belt made a motion to appoint Eric Birk, Betty Roy, and Robert Chandler to the City of Augusta Park Advisory Board replacing board members Kevin Visor, Ray Jones, and Myrna Rogers. Reavis seconded the motion. Motion carried without opposition. Childers asked that an agenda item be included for the next meeting to discuss residency requirements for this board.
Childers read a quote from President Harry S. Truman, “It is amazing what you can accomplish when you don’t care who gets the credit.” Childers stated that over a year ago the City Manager began the task of building his executive team, following that he and his staff worked tirelessly to put the right people in the right places, matching unknown or undiscovered skill sets with needs in our community. He stated the Council is doing much the same with how they conduct themselves and how they expect their boards to conduct themselves. Childers stated that shortly after he took office he received a list of the City’s boards and committees and advised that he was to make appointments to these boards. He stated he has been quite deliberate in this process and intentionally met with staff to see how each of these boards perform and how we could improve. He stated he has also met with several members of each board, council members, and dozens of citizens willing to serve Augusta. Childers stated the Council is looking for people willing to serve, with fresh ideas, who love Augusta, people who can disagree without being disagreeable, the next generation of leaders for Augusta, Augustans with a positive outlook, don’t desire credit, and simply want to make Augusta better. He stated anyone would like to serve on a committee or board to visit the City’s website and apply for City boards and committees.
Matters From/For Council:
Sims provided an update on the Frisco Depot Restoration Project. KDOT is reviewing the bids and hope to have something on the August 17th agenda.
Lowery made a motion a motion to schedule a recycling work session for Monday, August 24, 2015 at 6 p.m. Belt seconded the motion. Motion carried without opposition.
The Council was reminded of the public budget hearing scheduled for 7 p.m. on Monday, August 10, 2015 at City Hall.
Goering gave a reminder of the free chlorine burn in the water distribution system to begin on Monday, August 3, 2015 and last approximately one month. She stated we will be reducing the amount of ammonia through the water plant to remove corrosion in our pipelines. She stated there will be a chlorine odor in the water but it is safe to drink, bathe in and wash clothes. Goering stated that anyone with questions should contact her directly at 425-4547. Reavis asked if part of this process is flushing the hydrants. Goering stated that is correct and that she has coordinated with Department of Public Safety.
Staff reminded the governing body of 2015 League of Kansas Municipalities Conference in Topeka, KS at the Capitol Plaza Hotel & Kansas Expocenter October 10-12.
Informational Memorandum and Final Comments:
Reavis: Reavis stated the sidewalk in the 300 Block of Main closed for some time. Craft stated it part of the AT&T phone line coming through town and that they are doing some boring to cross Ohio to get things ready for the widening of Ohio. He stated he would contact them.
Reavis expressed his appreciation to the citizens of Augusta for their support of the WFO Guys car show, the organizations that came out for the kid zone, City Staff and City of Augusta for all assistance provided to us. He stated he heard nothing but positive comments. He stated there were 335 cars were registered, but that he heard there were actually 405 cars there. Reavis stated that only 61 of the registered cars were from Augusta rest came from out of town. He thanked everyone involved. Childers thanked Reavis for all he did for the show. Reavis stated it was the 21st year.
Belt: Belt stated that someone asked if we were going to put the welcome to Augusta sign back on the dike. Sims stated that money was budgeted for a new sign but that it will not be put on the dike. He stated we are trying to determine the best location for the new sign.
Belt said a citizen asked about the street curbing at 5th and Walnut, and stated that isn’t our project. Sims stated it is DJ Engineering’s project, and that he is waiting on a site plan which shows it as a single unit development site and shows the easements, drainage plan, and landscaping plan. Parker stated once the plans are submitted they will install the improvements.
Magruder: Magruder thanked the Community Development Department for being responsive to concerns from the citizens. Magruder asked the citizens to take a look at the budget and contact us with any concerns or questions.
Childers: Childers asked staff for an update on the disc golf course. Sims stated we are looking for a Labor Day timeframe for it to be finished. He stated that Bill Slade is working on this project. Sims showed pictures of the equipment and stated that the Parks Department is preparing the landscaping at the park and will be working with Public Works on any infrastructure that runs through that area of the park.
Lowery: Lowery received a comment about trees overgrowing the sidewalk on Custer Lane north of Kelly.
Crum: Crum stated that there is a hole that has caved in on the sidewalk between Hilgers and the old Wal-Mart.
Londagin: Londagin stated there is a section of sidewalk that was taken out in front of the High School a couple months ago that has not been replaced.
At 8:16 p.m. Lowery made a motion to go into executive session for 30 minutes under the attorney-client relationship exception to the Kansas Open Meetings Act. Lowery asked that Assistant City Manager Cody Sims and City Attorney Austin Parker join the Council in executive session. Lowery also asked that City Manager Josh Shaw join the Council in executive session via telephone. The governing body will reconvene in the Council Chambers at 8:46 p.m. Magruder seconded the motion. Motion carried without opposition.
At 8:46 p.m. Lowery made a motion to exit executive session with no action being taken. Magruder seconded the motion. Motion carried without opposition.
Lowery made a motion to authorize the City Attorney to prepare an agreement for the settlement a claim regarding the City’s existing sewer line repair north of 7th Avenue and authorize staff to execute the same along with the supporting easement therefore. Londagin seconded the motion. Motion carried without opposition.
Adjourn: At 8:50 p.m. Reavis made a motion to adjourn. Leffler seconded the motion. Motion carried without opposition.