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Bonds issued to provide city some breathing room

Staff writer

Sarah Steel of Gilmore and Bell, the city’s bond counsel, presented the Peabody City Council with the necessary paperwork Monday to issue $200,000 in general obligation bonds.

The city is trying to get back on track after the sewer project racked up bills of more than $160,000 to clean up several ounces of mercury at the former sewer plant.

The mercury remediation, required by Kansas Department of Health and Environment, was paid with money from the general fund.

With the downturn in the economy, it has become more and more difficult to build up the funds that keep the doors open and the lights on at city hall.

By issuing the bonds, the city will pay itself back, stretch the debt out over a 10-year period, and have funds to operate.

In other business:

  • Councilman Jim Philpott resigned for personal reasons effective immediately. Mayor Larry Larsen will appoint a replacement at a future meeting.
  • Resolutions to abate nuisance properties at 907 and 909 N. Vine were approved. If the property owners do not take care of the derelict properties in 60 days, the city will abate the nuisance and charge the owners for any costs associated with the abatement.
  • Christmas gifts were approved for city employees. Full-time employees each will receive $75 in Peabody Bucks and part-time and seasonal employees will receive $35 each in Peabody Bucks.
  • After discussion, council members unanimously agreed that with the city’s budget issues now is not the time to hire an independent contractor to read water meters every month.
  • A proposal from the Peabody Association of Churches to provide two automated external defibrillators for police vehicles was accepted. A third would need to be purchased by the city. Mayor Larsen told the council he knew of a grant program that would contribute $500 to each of the $1400 AEDs. The council approved the purchase of three defibrillators and carrying cases to keep them dust and damage free.
  • Nuisance properties were reviewed by Health and Safety Officer Tammy Whiteside.
  • Public Works Director Darren Pickens told the council that work would begin this week to remove the damaged Fifth Street bridge. Pickens hopes to have the new concrete box installed and the road open in a couple of weeks.
  • Knudson and Monroe will be retained for the 2009 audit, which will take place in 2010.
  • A report from Peabody Economic Development indicated a decision will be made soon regarding a high-speed Internet company locating in Peabody. The first presentation by an interested company will be made this week, followed by a second presentation next week.
  • A cereal malt beverage license was approved for Food Mart for 2010.

Last modified Dec. 2, 2009

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