Council to take sealed bids for houses
The Tonganoxie City Council will be looking to sell buildings near Tonganoxie Water Park.
The city owns property just south of the swimming pool and on the southwest corner of Third and Main streets. There is a house and detached garage on the land south of the pool, which was donated by the Gallagher family. There also is a house on the land southwest of the pool. The council voted, 5-0, to try to sell the buildings by sealed bid with no minimum requirement. Winning bidders also would be responsible for removing the buildings.
In other business, the council:
• Heard from council member Bill Peak about public comment. He said some residents had asked him about whether the public could ask questions about topics as they are addressed during a meeting and not just during the public comment portion at the beginning of each meeting.
Mayor Jason Ward said he thought that would be a viable option, but they would “need to have structure” in allowing for comments.
Ward asked City Administrator Nathan McCommon to evaluate policies of other cities for guidance.
• Approved payment of $2,000 to Blue Mountain Capital easements related to Chieftain Trail Phase 2, $14,522 for water purchases in September to Board of Public Utilities, $2,550 to BRR Architecture for planning services related to Timber Hills Plat Review and on-call services, $3,500 to Evans Real Estate for services related to Chieftain Trail acquisition, $2,052.55 to Wholesale Water Dist. No. 6 for October 2012 bond debt, $2,557.50 to Kansas State Treasurer for October municipal court remittance and $2,614.26 to Westar Energy for monthly utility bills and street lights.
• Heard from Nathan McCommon about the second phase of Chieftain Trail. He said the final steps of easement acquisition were taking place.
• Approved, 5-0, final plat of Timber Hill Farms phase 2, pending the city engineer’s review. Timber Hill Farms developer Greg Ward said Tuesday the plat is for nine lots. He said he has one lot under contract and four other buyers ready once the plat is finalized.
• Approved, 5-0, appointment of McCommon to the title of city clerk.
• Approved, 3-2, purchase of a new digestor aerator for the wastewater department. Council members Andy Gilner and Chris Donnelly voted against the measure. The council also looked at repairing the equipment for $10,000, but Peak favored spending the additional money, from $14,415 to about $16,000, for new equipment.
Bixby also questioned the repair option. “I personally see no future in a used motor,” he said.
The purchase would come from the city’s sewer fund, which McCommon said could not afford more than $12,000.
Donnelly said the purchase would create a slippery slope of other items “we have to have and have to have new.”
McCommon said that without the equipment, the city would be out of compliance with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment discharge permit.
• Approved, 5-0, citywide replacement of more than 500 signs that aren’t in compliance with Federal Highway Administration requirements. The council approved the low bid of $14,988 from National Sign Company. The city will replace 388 street name signs, 99 stop signs and 18 miscellaneous signs.
• Approved, 5-0, moving the date of the next council meeting to Tuesday, Nov. 13. The regular meeting date is Monday, Nov. 12, which is Veterans Day.
• Heard from council member Dennis Bixby about establishing a school zone near Genesis Christian Academy.
Peak requested that the city look into possible grants to fund a sidewalk along Washington Street. Tonganoxie Middle School and GCA both are on Washington Street, which has sparse sidewalks. Peak called it a “serious safety hazard.”
Council member Jim Truesdell, who is the city’s representative on an infrastructure committee with the school district and county, said the committee would be meeting after the Nov. 6 election. He said sidewalks were part of the group’s planned discussions.
• Heard from the mayor about scheduling McCommon’s six-month performance evaluation.
• Approved, 5-0, amending Chapter 8 of the Code of Ordinances and adding a section that would define “trail” to be a minimum width of 8 feet, constructed for pedestrian and bicycle use and provide connectivity between residential, business and public areas. Municipal services would maintain the trail.
• Met in executive session for a total of 20 minutes with police Chief Jeff Brandau, assistant city administrator Jennifer Jones-Lacy, McCommon and Kelly to discuss non-elected personnel. No action was taken.