Peabody City Council addressed a couple of issues Monday night regarding property owned by the city. Larry Andres was present to review his offer to enter into a lease agreement of the farmland at the city sewer ponds. The city and Andres are at the end of a five-year lease on the property.
Prior to the meeting, Andres had presented City Administrator Mac Manning with a written offer of $50 per acre, up from $35 per acre in the previous lease. Andres included a check for half of the 2011 rent.
After discussion, Andres and council members agreed to that amount and a three-year lease.
In another issue involving city property, Mayor Larry Larsen told the council that there was some discrepancy about the exact acreage of the Peabody Industrial Park. The park is at the corner of U.S. 50 and Prairie Lawn Road. A legal publication in the past issue of the Peabody Gazette-Bulletin noted the park comprises “approximately 28.8 acres.” A front-page article about the property being for sale stated it was a “twenty-six acre” parcel. Larsen said an individual contacted the county and was told it was 32 acres.
Larsen himself contacted the county appraiser’s office and the register of deeds.
“After lots of conversation with people in those offices, they came up with an approximate 30.5 acres,” he said. “From that we need to deduct an undefined amount for the highway right of way and no one seems to actually know how much land that might be. But that could bring it close to what is stated in the legal publication.”
The council approved leaving the wording of the publication, “approximately 28.8 acres,” as it is. A letter of inquiry about the discrepancy had been received from the Prairie Lawn Cemetery board and the council asked Deputy Clerk Stephanie Ax to respond.
In other business:
- The council tabled several agenda items including making a decision on minimum housing codes, discussion of county codes and the zoning area of influence around the city, review of completed inventory lists, and the employee health insurance plan.
- Council members approved a Christmas bonus for city employees. The city will spend $1,235 on Peabody Bucks, the same amount it spent in 2009.
- An audit agreement with Knudsen and Monroe was approved. The 2010 audit will take place May 10.
- Police Chief Bruce Burke warned the council that Marion County Jail will begin charging for housing prisoners after Jan. 1. The city has budgeted only $2,000 for this item. Burke said the county will charge between $11.50 and $20 a day per prisoner. No action was taken. The finance committee will review the situation.
- Burke also asked for a review of incomplete projects at the city shop/police department on Ninth Street. Several of the projects can be done by city employees during the winter months. The building committee will meet and prioritize the list of unfinished work.
- Burke reported on a meeting with Peabody Housing Authority to resolve a parking issue around Indian Guide. After discussion, the council agreed to have the streets and alleys committee work with Manning and Burke to come up with a solution agreeable to the Housing Authority and the city.
- The council was informed that the pile of red sand at the volleyball court site will be used in the baseball infield in City Park. The sand will be moved by the Peabody-Burns Recreation Commission.
- Deputy clerk Stephanie Ax reviewed a letter from Kansas Department of Health and Environment noting a compliance problem with the sewer system because a dialing apparatus at the lift station had failed. Public works director Darren Pickens will get the item ordered this week. He has been on vacation.