Reports by Mayor Larry Larsen, City Administrator Mac Manning, Public Works Superintendent Darren Pickens, and Police Chief Bruce Burke all included updates on the completion of a new city shop at Ninth and Olive streets.
Ceilings have been installed in the interior offices. Painting and trim work have been completed. The electricians will finish their work this week and the heating and air conditioning contractors will follow.
The council approved the purchase of ceramic tile flooring for the restrooms.
Technicians will install all the outlets and wiring for computer service as soon as the other crews are finished.
While the public works department has been using their office space in the new building for some time, the police department will begin their move on March 22.
Larsen suggested an open house at the building to let the public see the finished facility.
“When we do that, I think we need to be sure to invite those council members who were instrumental in putting together the plan to build it,” Councilman Tom Schmidt said.
“They found a way to get the building we need that could be paid for as it was built rather than through a tax increase,” he added. “I think they would like to see the finished product.”
Development of a disc golf course at the city park was discussed by council members. Disc golf uses Frisbee-style discs tossed at baskets mounted along a given course.
Manning had discussed the proposal with Peabody-Burns Recreation Commission and they approved funding after July 1, when the new fiscal year begins.
Manning said the sport can provide a low cost form of recreation that utilizes a part of the park currently drawing little activity. Disc golf also encourages people to walk and is an activity any age group can do. He said there is virtually no maintenance on the course.
Councilman David Scott asked that a couple of the holes along the course be made ADA compliant for elderly or handicapped individuals. Manning will look into ADA compliance.
The recreation commission hopes to have the course up and running in time to include it in the summer recreation program.
In other business:
- The council unanimously approved a market adjustment pay increase for Peabody Main Street and Economic Development director Shane Marler. Marler’s annual salary went from $27,900 to $30,000, bringing the city more in line with what other communities are paying for the same position.
- Due to a miscommunication about grants available to help with the purchase of three automated external defibrillators by the Peabody Association of Churches, the council approved an expenditure of $1,868 to make up the difference between what the association will pay and the total charge for the equipment, cases, and training kits. Funds will come out of the police department’s diversion fund and an account called “special law and fire,” which can be used for emergency equipment.
- Manning told the council he had looked at the interior of the senior center and the American Legion building to see if they have firewall violations. Each is composed of two separate buildings. Doors have been installed on the ground floor of each to accommodate traffic going between the two buildings. Manning said that since doors exist for all the openings, they could be considered adequate, although if remodeling were ever done, fire doors would probably be required.
- Pickens presented bids for repair of the city tractor and bids for the purchase of a new one. After discussion, the council agreed that since there was no money budgeted for repairs or purchase, the finance committee should review the situation and bring a recommendation back to the council at a future meeting.
- Pickens and Ronnie Harms were given permission to attend the Kansas Rural Water Association meeting in Wichita March 30 to April 1. The city will pay the $150 enrollment fee for both of them.
- Burke requested a 15-minute executive session for the purpose of discussing personnel. Upon return to open meeting, the council went back into executive session for an additional five minutes to discuss personnel. No action was taken on return to open meeting.
- Burke announced a citizen had approached him about the council altering the new alternative vehicle ordinance to include dune buggies. After discussion, the council asked Burke to direct the citizen to bring the issue to the council in a public meeting.
- Burke requested a 10-minute executive session to discuss attorney-client privilege. No action was taken on return to open meeting.
- Discussion about the police department’s plan to seek a grant to get assault rifles from Federal Surplus Firearms ended with no action.