Ordinance sections scrapped
The Tonganoxie City Council won’t be considering certain restrictions, such as where recreational vehicles and other transportation can be parked and for how long, in Tonganoxie any further.
On Monday, before an overflow crowd of residents, the council unanimously approved a standard traffic ordinance, 4-0, with Burdel Welsh absent.
The vote called for removal of items 14-206 and 14-209, which prohibit parking on unpaved surfaces in certain areas and certain restrictions for parking in residential areas.
The ordinance came from suggested regulations put forth in a handbook from the Kansas League of Municipalities.
Discussion became lively at times and lasted for more than an hour as residents spoke about their concerns.
Citizens repeatedly said they weren’t living in Johnson County with strict codes.
Resident Luther Cook spoke about his 1-ton diesel truck he uses for work and that “it makes a lot of noise until it gets warm.”
He also noted he does business in Tonganoxie, including at Tonganoxie School District.
“I service the school district and can save them money simply because I can park on their driveway,” he said.
Ordinance section 14-209 could have put restrictions on his vehicle.
Council members stressed that they had no intentions of passing an ordinance Monday, that discussions still were ongoing and that there was misinformation being put out that such changes would be made at the meeting.
Council president Jason Ward heard from several residents with concerns about their various recreational vehicles and trailers and that those possessions are part of their livelihood, that they would have difficulty retaining them if they couldn’t have them on their city properties.
When residents brought up their situations, on many occasions Ward said he didn’t think the city would craft an ordinance hindering on their situation.
He called crafting ordinances a “balancing act.”
“What we all need to understand … it’s just not your residence and your neighbor’s residence,” he said. “Your property has an impact on everybody’s property rules and regulations we set on the city impact that.”
He went on to say there needs to be a general consensus for rules and regulations as to what are nuisances and what are not.
“It’s the same thing with grass growing two feet,” he said, referring to yard codes.
Resident Bill Peak said he appreciated so many people attending the meeting, but said in the three years he’s attended the meetings, he’s usually one of the only residents attending meetings, and he urged people to attend more often to stay informed, noting the council is approachable.
Another resident, Dennis Bixby, agreed with various concerns residents expressed. He said he wanted government to stay out of his business, but at some point, it needs to intervene.
“I don’t think it’s a proper bird feeder to have a 60-inch tire collecting water and attracing mosquitos and then having West Nile Virus.
“Now, I’m not the picture of health, but this is the basics … we can do this. We’re better than this.”
Bixby’s point of contention stemmed from what he perceived as nuisances, such as vehicles on blocks for long periods of times or junk vehicles remaining in the same spot for extended periods of time.
For full wording of the ordinance sections that were scrapped at Monday’s meeting, log on to tonganoxiemirror.com.
In other business, the council:
• Heard from Pat Sparks, who lives on East Fourth Street. Sparks said he has 300 to 400 geese on his property and was requesting permission to shoot off exploding shells. He said he’s trying to locate such a projectile.
“I’m not killing them; I’m just trying to get rid of them,” Sparks said.
Councilmember Jason Ward asked whether the geese would leave permanently.
“Where they’re hatched, they come back to,” Sparks said.
The council unanimously approved allowing Sparks to work with the city attorney in dispatching the geese upon Chief Kenny Carpenter’s approval of information.
• Entered into agreement with BG Consultants to provide work on Fourth Street improvements not to exceed $50,250. The scope of work will be: providing full-time construction observation services; assisting the city with administration of the construction contract; providing qualified full-time personnel to assist with construction observation; attending a pre-construction meeting for the project; and offering consultation regarding shop drawings for materials.
Brian Kingsley with BG Consultants said they would be consulting at the site as needed, which could mean part-time.
It was noted the agreement was not included in the bid for Fourth Street, but could be rolled into a bond issue.
The measure passed, 3-1, with council member Tom Putthoff voting against it.
“I still like the council to put this on the shelf due to cost and budgetary items we discussed last budget session,” Putthoff said. “I just don’t think the city of Tonganoxie has money to do this project. It’s for the welfare on the city.”
• Unanimously approved the Feb. 9 meeting minutes.
• Tabled discussion concerning an ordinance repealing and replacing Chapter XI (public offenses) and adopting the Uniform Public Offense Code, Edition 2009.
• Approved, 4-0, entering into a contract with GeoSource for $3,000 for borings and geologies associated with the Pleasant Street Bridge replacement project. For one bore hole, the cost would be $2,500.
“For $500, I think it’s well worth the inspection,” councilmember Jim Truesdell said.
• Discussed fireworks funding for Tonganoxie Days. The council opted not to revisit the idea of spending city funds for fireworks, which would cost an expected $7,000. Funding was not included in the 2010 budget. After this past summer’s fireworks display, donations totaling about $1,700 have been given for a possible display this June. Costs of fireworks will increase by 5-10 percent by March 1, according to the technician who has done the event previously.
• Repealed Ordinance No. 1294 and approved No. 1295. The original ordinance annexed land into the city, but there was an error in the legal description of the Tonganoxie Recreation Commission land. The new ordinance corrected the error. The council approved, 3-0, with councilmember Tom Putthoff abstaining because of his employment with the recreation commission.
• Opted not to purchase sponsorship for the League of Kansas Municipalities’ 100th anniversary celebration. Sponsorship ranges from $1,000-$5,000.
• Met in executive session for 10 minutes to discuss attorney-client privilege. City Attorney Mike Kelly and assistant city administrator Kathy Bard met with the council during the closed-door session.