Council votes to raze house
The Tonganoxie City Council voted at its May 27 meeting to demolish the vacant house at 636 East Third St. after several failed attempts to sell the property.
City administrator Nathan McCommon said someone had expressed interest in buying the house, but has since given a formal statement withdrawing interest. No other serious bidders have emerged, McCommon said. The motion to demolish the property passed by a 3-1 vote. Council member Bill Peak voted against the demolition, noting the current condition of the house.
“If we’re tearing down a house for the heck of it, it’s not in that bad of shape,” Peak said. “I see both sides, but I can’t see tearing something down that’s in substantial, decent shape.”
Council member Kara Reed was absent from the meeting.
In other business, the council:
• Voted, 4-0, to approve an amendment to the overtime eligibility policy for police officers. Tonganoxie officers currently receive overtime pay when they work more than 80 hours in a 14-day period, but officers work seven 12-hour shifts — a total of 84 hours — in a pay period. The Fair Labor Standards Act states law enforcement employees must receive overtime after working more than 86 hours in a period.
The council voted to change the cutoff to 84 hours for local officers.
• Voted, 3-1, to allow a change of benefit providers for city employees. All employee benefits had been provided through Midwest Public Risk, which was planning to increase its rates by an average of 14 percent. The council voted to adopt Blue Cross Blue Shield as its medical insurance provider, VSP Vision as its vision provider and Delta Dental as its dental provider. Council member Chris Donnelley voted against the approval.
• Voted, 4-0, to begin advertising for a part-time code enforcement officer. The officer will work 25-30 hours a week and will be responsible for enforcing and administrating building, zoning, plumbing, mechanical, electrical codes and regulations and environmental codes of the city.
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