Archive for Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Council Briefs

October 24, 2007

Fund transfer OK'd

Council members unanimously adopted a resolution to transfer money from the Fourth Street project to fund the Pleasant Street project.

The transfer was needed for the city to be able to move forward with a street project while Fourth Street was still being discussed and to avoid anymore taxable interest the city has been accruing from the $1.7 million borrowed in April 2005 for Fourth Street.

Refuse contract approved

The council unanimously voted to approve a contract with Honey Creek Disposal Service, Inc., to take care of the city's garbage.

Under the new contract, rates for waste removal will go from $10 to $15 per month. Honey Creek Disposal will start delivering the new 96-gallon garbage container to each Tonganoxie resident in December. Honey Creek will only pick up trash from its blue trash containers, so the city wants to advise residents not to purchase any new trash cans.

Assistant City Administrator Kathy Bard said more information on the new rules for garbage pickup will be in the next citywide newsletter.

Kevin Weldon, president of Honey Creek, also said he would try to get information out to residents to educate them about the new service.

Fire Code work continues

The council unanimously voted to direct Mike Kelly, city attorney, to continue working with Fire Chief Dave Bennett on adopting the International Fire Code.

Kelly said he was concerned that the fire code was meant for larger cities and he advised the council to proceed cautiously so any changes would not inhibit future development.

Along with the new code, Bennett has also asked that the council adopt an ordinance that would require Knox Boxes on all new commercial construction. The Knox Box is a locked box that will have a key for the commercial building, to allow fire fighters access to the building without damaging the building.

Funds sought for trail

In a 4-1 vote, the council approved a resolution to apply for Kansas Department of Transportation funds for the next phase of the Chieftain Trail project. Phase II would continue the trail along County Road 5, heading north and passing underneath U.S. Highway 24-40.

Estimated cost of the new phase will be $444,000, inflated for the year 2010. KDOT would pay for 80 percent of the trail, leaving the city's contribution around $88,800.

Council Member Tom Putthoff, who voted against the resolution, said the community would be better served if the trail was built to the south.

Christmas tree delivered

Tonganoxie's new 18-foot tall, artificial Christmas tree was delivered last week.

"I think for being a small investment for the holiday spirit, trying to promote our downtown retail activity, the council made a good choice," said Mike Yanez, city administrator.

At the Oct. 8, council meeting, the council voted to spend $5,144 for the new tree.

Bill reminders done

Bard and Yanez said city staff would no longer be making phone calls to water customers to remind them to pay their bill before water is shut off.

Bard said city staff spends more than 50 hours a month calling the around 200 people whose water is close to being shut off for late payment.

Besides the phone calls, the city also mails out late notices on the 16th of the month or posts notices at the homes of the residents.

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