Archive for Wednesday, November 28, 2007

City Council Briefs

November 28, 2007

Land identified for skate park

Tonganoxie City Council is willing to trade some asphalt and paving in exchange for land to build a skate park.

At its meeting Monday, Tonganoxie City Council directed City Administrator Mike Yanez to draft a letter to the Tonganoxie School District to ask if it could have a section of land south of the high school fieldhouse on Main Street. Because the area is in a 100-year floodplain, there are no plans to develop it.

Yanez said he liked the site because it met some of the city's requirements for a skate park location: It is in a high public visibility area adjacent to a roadway, is centrally located, has available facilities for parking, restrooms and drinking water, has enough area for at least a 100-by-100 foot concrete slab, and is far enough away from neighborhoods to mitigate nuisances.

Instead of purchasing the property, the city wants to offer to asphalt part of the area to create more overflow parking for the school.

"It's a wonderful idea," said Tonganoxie Mayor Mike Vestal. "We get what we want and the school gets what they need."

Yanez said BG Consultants, the city's engineering firm, was aware of the parcel of land and did not have any initial problems with it.

The council directed Yanez to draft the letter and to include a sentence indicating that the arrangement would be contingent upon the feasibility of developing that area.

Ballfield purchase discussion on tap

Gayle Parker, director of the Tonganoxie Recreation Commission, approached the council to request a special work session between the commission and the council to discuss purchasing property at the Leavenworth County Fairgrounds for new baseball fields.

The council passed the motion for a work session and scheduled it for 7 p.m. Dec. 5 at the council chambers.

Booster project receives fee waiver

Architect Dennis Bixby approached the council to request a waiver of the building permit fees associated with the new structure that will serve as a southwest entrance to the Tonganoxie High School football stadium.

On Nov. 16, members of the booster club broke ground for the $15,000 building.

The council unanimously voted to waive the permit fees for the project.

Memorial fees waived

Architect Dennis Bixby also asked the council to waive the building permit fees for a $70,000 landscaping project to honor Tonganoxie High School students, including Tonganoxie soldier Lucas Frantz, who have died.

"It is something that is going to enhance the beauty of the high school," Bixby said. "I couldn't think of a way to pay our respects to some o f the Tonganoxie alum who are no longer with us."

Council member Paula Crook said she thought it was a good project for the community and made the motion to waive the fees.

The council unanimously voted to wave the permit fees for the project.

Council OKs water tank work

The city unanimously voted to accept a $62,050 bid and award a contract to Central Tank Coatings for repairing and repainting the 500,000-gallon water storage tank on Kansas Highway 16.

Butch Rodgers, the city's superintendent, said a recent inspection found the tank to be in need of some repair work, sandblasting and interior painting.

The awarded amount will also include inspections on two of the city's water tanks, at the water plant and on U.S. Highway 24-40.

Rodgers also asked the council for an additional $16,775 to purchase equipment to upgrade the city's water tanks that do not have telemetry meters. Rodgers said city crews currently do not know the water levels of the tanks on K-16 and U.S. 24-40 unless a city worker drives out to the tanks and checks the altitude valve. Tanks are currently checked twice a week.

Rodgers told the council his crew could install the telemetry equipment and have the installation inspected and save the city more than $23,225 from the $40,000 budgeted for these upgrades.

The council unanimously voted to purchase the equipment.

Backhoe purchase approved

The council voted 4-1 to purchase a CAT 420E loader backhoe form Dean Machinery Co. for $57,028. The new backhoe will replace the 1998 Case 580 backhoe.

Butch Rodgers, the city's superintendent, said while the old backhoe has 3,785 hours on it and it has not had any major problems, it is nearly 10 years old. He noted the city had budgeted $75,000 for 2007 for a new backhoe.

"It's still performing," Rodgers said. "It's just about time for a new one."

Council member Paula Crook, who was the dissenting vote, didn't think the city needed to spend money for a piece of equipment that didn't have many hours on it and still worked well.

"I would agree with Paula if we hadn't already budgeted for it," Council member Steve Gumm said. "You kind of discourage the budget process if you don't follow through with the budget."

Putthoff: No special favors received

Council member Tom Putthoff wanted to dispel any rumors that he used city resources to fix a leak in his waterline.

"I just want to make it clear that I had Kelly Bingham fix the water leak in my yard," Putthoff said. "It cost me $275. I also paid a $326 water bill because of this water leak. I just wanted to make sure if the council hears this rumor that it's not true. I can show canceled checks and anything else to show what happened."

Executive session on easements

The council, along with City Attorney Mike Kelly, City Administrator Mike Yanez, Assistant City Administrator Kathy Bard and John Evans of Evans Real Estate met in executive session for 20 minutes to discuss the acquisition of real property.

On Tuesday, a council quorum consisting of Steve Gumm, Paula Crook and Tom Putthoff met in a special meeting to approve the appropriation of permanent and temporary easements on six different properties for the BPU water line. The council approved spending $10,500 from the water capital improvement fund for the easements.

The property owners and payouts for the easements are: Kadelka Trust, $2,000; Elizabeth Kelly, $1,000; Deborah Mangelsdorf, $500; Troy Y. and Michelle K. Schubert, $1,000; Richard W. and Kathleen Bowen, $3,000; Earl Bryant Enterprises, $3,000.

Other business In other business Monday the council:

  • Unanimously voted to accept the special event application for the annual Mayor's Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony.
  • Unanimously approved accepting the infrastructure for phase III and VII of the Jackson Heights Subdivision.
  • Unanimously approved the final plat for the Vintage Park, a retirement community planned for the southwest corner of Eighth Street and U.S. Highway 24-40.
  • Was reminded about the public information meetings regarding the Interceptor sewer phase II project, at 6 p.m. today, Nov. 28, and a public meeting for the widening of Pleasant Street, at 7 p.m. Dec. 4.
  • Tabled a motion made by Council member Jim Truesdell to change the first council meeting of the month from Monday night to Tuesday night to allow residents a chance to attend school board meetings as well as council meetings.

"I don't disagree with Jim, but we've discussed this in the past and there are disadvantages in regards to publication notices," Gumm said.

Tonganoxie Mayor Mike Vestal asked the council to think about any problems that might arise from pushing back publication dates for council decisions and to see whether changing the meetings to the first and third Mondays of the month could be a possibility.

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