Peabody Economic Development Committee presented a recommendation Monday night for the city council’s approval. After several months of communication with various high-speed Internet services, the committee selected Pixius Communications of Wichita.
“We are pleased to finally have this agreement ready to present to the city,” said Shane Marler, economic development director. “The company serves 5,600 homes in Kansas. They will provide an additional high-speed option for Peabody citizens and the surrounding area.”
Marler noted that service would cover a 10 to 13 mile radius around Peabody.
The Internet company is working on an agreement with Mid-Kansas Cooperative to mount the Internet tower on the elevator. As soon as that agreement is signed, Pixius will build the necessary infrastructure. Pixius and the economic development group will host a demonstration of the service for residents to observe.
The council authorized Marler to enter into an agreement with Pixius Communication to market and promote the partnership.
In other business:
- The city agreed to the proposed franchise agreement with Stutzman Refuse Service following a review of the agreement by the city attorney.
- The council heard that Stutzman had delivered recycling carts for single stream recycling. Residents who have not signed up for the service still may do so.
- The city council agreed to allow the HUB to have free water, sewer, and trash service for a year and review the situation in January 2011. Owners Dale and Doe Ann Hague will sign a request form created as part of an incentive program in place through the economic development committee for new businesses and nonprofits.
- Police Chief Bruce Burke introduced new part-time officer Mike Ottensmeier of Marion. Ottensmeier will fill in at Peabody from time to time as his schedule permits.
- Council members entered a 15-minute executive session for the purpose of discussing personnel. After returning to open session, they returned to executive session for an additional 10 minutes. They took no action on return to open session the second time.
- City administrator Mac Manning explained the repeal of the local intangibles tax paid by local residents. The tax amounts to about $3,200 annually. Repeal of the tax requires an ordinance demanding a community vote in a general election. Council approved taking the necessary steps to have the tax repealed.
- Council members heard from public works director Darren Pickens that the Fifth Street bridge is almost complete. A guard rail needs to be installed, the road surface sealed, and some minor finishing steps completed.
- Pickens announced the bath house at the swimming pool will be re-plumbed before the pool opens for the summer and an eye-wash station needs to be installed because of the pool chemicals stored on site.
- He also said he was getting quotes for repairs on the city’s 1996 Ford tractor as opposed to the purchase of a new one.
- Burke presented his monthly report. He will apply to the state and federal government to enter a program of surplus equipment distribution. Burke would like to look at purchasing patrol rifles for each police car and a large generator for the city shop building in case of a power failure.
- Burke requested an executive session with Manning in attendance for the purpose of discussing attorney client privilege. No action was taken on return to open session.
- Shane Marler reported on the activities of Peabody Main Street and Economic Development. The Main Street board is still waiting on the report from the resource team that visited in December. The board will meet Feb. 7 for its annual retreat to set goals for the year. Marler said Greenleaf Prairie received an interest-free IWW loan from PMSA to fix the roof on the building Chris Young just purchased.
- Marler reported that Terry Eberhard has joined the economic development committee as a new board member to facilitate closer relations with the school. Also, the city Web site is up and running and economic development is planning projects for 2010.
- Tammy Whiteside, Peabody Health and Safety officer and Animal Control officer passed out a list of nuisance properties and their status. Two public hearings on nuisance abatement will take place in February. She also noted that more pet tags have been sold this year than in the past.
- Manning presented a request from the Northern Flyer Alliance for a $100 fee to belong to the organization. The council rejected the request.
- Manning also reported receipt of a grant from the Kansas Water Office to pay for half the cost of mapping water and sewer lines in the city. The project will likely take place in the fall.
- Council learned auditors from Knudson and Monroe will be here in February.
- The council requested Manning add discussion of employee raises to the next agenda and provide spread sheets for council members based on information garnered from the executive session discussions during the meeting.
The next City Council meeting will be Feb. 8.