City administrator Mac Manning reviewed the recent repair of the water line at the intersection of Seventh and Sycamore streets at the city council meeting Monday night.
The repair work started with a leak in the intersection. When city employees uncovered the pipe, they found five service clamps on the line where previous repairs had been made.
A decision was made to replace that section of pipe and relocate a fire hydrant. The move will isolate the high school and keep them in water service during any future repair work in the area.
Manning said the cost of the repair to the intersection was about $3,000. He suggested the city water committee meet and review similar spots of infrastructure, making a long-term plan to replace water mains, pipes, or hydrants in troubled areas.
“The whole system is aging,” he said. “Creating some service loops or replacing water mains or infrastructure that already has been repaired several times would be helpful. The cost for the Seventh and Sycamore repair was not prohibitive and it would serve the city well to consider going after these areas before they become a problem.”
Discussion by council members indicated support for picking priority areas and creating a plan to proceed.
In a related matter, Manning informed the council he was reviewing a plan to eliminate the practice of charging a deposit for utility service and just charging a one-time non-refundable connection charge.
The city must keep a separate set of books for the deposit records, pay customers annual interest on the deposit, and keep track of both, sometimes for years.
Manning said most communities have done away with collecting a deposit and have begun using the one-time non-refundable charge. He will have information and a recommendation for the council at a future meeting.
In other business:
- Council members heard from Marion County Commissioner Randy Dallke that due to personnel issues in the road and bridge department, there were no firm figures on the tentative repair work planned for Peabody Street. The street is divided down the middle, the west half in the county, the east half in the city. Any repair work includes both entities. Dallke said he would review the project with new Road and Bridge Superintendent Randy Crawford, and return to the next council meeting to discuss options.
- Councilman Tom Schmidt said the new sign for disc golf at the city park is ready. Public works employees will build a frame for the sign and get it installed. The sign will list the rules of the game. Peabody Recreation Commission will split the cost with the city.
- Mayor Larry Larsen told the council that Peabody-Burns cheerleaders would like to paint spirit slogans on the pavement on Walnut and Second streets leading to the football field in the city park. Larsen said the paint that students would use will wash off the pavement after three or four rains. After discussion, the council approved the proposal providing the cheerleaders not paint over crosswalks.
- Adoption of the Standard Traffic Ordinance and the Uniform Public Offense code was tabled until the Sept. 26 meeting. Council members want time to review a request for additional parking or parking restrictions on city streets.
- Municipal swimming pool manager Beth Peter announced the last day for the pool to be open is Labor Day.
- Public works director Darren Pickens told the council that the city well at the intersection of Eighth and Locust streets is going to need some repair in the next year or so. The city kept the well open and in compliance with Kansas Department of Health and Environment regulations to use as an emergency water source in case of water problems at the reservoir. The well needs to be replaced and the well house is riddled with termites. Pickens will get estimates on the work although he anticipates cost to be around $8,000 to $10,000.
- The council gave Manning permission to apply for a scholarship to attend a four-year certification program in Wichita.
- Schmidt told the council that plaques have been installed at Santa Fe Park and the entry at the city park acknowledging the improvements to those areas in memory of Ross and Margaret Mathias and Don Gillett. A plaque will be added to the garden area south of the city building in memory of former city clerk Susan Jacobs. Funds for the plaques come from the Partners of Peabody Parks budget.
- Larsen closed the city council meeting and reconvened as Peabody Development Corporation. A grant for $5,000 from Kansas Main Street was accepted with matching funds from PDC added. The matching money is not comprised of tax dollars. It is money from the sale of property owned by Peabody Development Corporation. The funds will be used to make emergency repairs to the Baker building roofs and wiring as well as some repair work to the 115 N. Walnut building where Mendoza’s will open in October.
The next scheduled council meeting will be 7 p.m. Sept. 12.