Peabody Mayor Ed Slocombe read a letter Monday evening to council members from Mack Manning of Kechi, formally accepting the city’s offer for the position of city administrator.
Manning was in attendance at the meeting, was acknowledged by the mayor and council, and was introduced to the dozen or so audience members in attendance.
Manning will begin work for the city April 13.
Charles Butterfield of Butterfield Construction was present to review the final cleanup of the former sewer plant.
Butterfield expressed confidence in the ability of his employees to have the plant covered and the trees removed by midnight Tuesday as required in his agreement with the city.
The council extended the time on the grading until midnight April 3.
Interim city clerk Stephanie Ax presented the council with a final letter of completion from Kansas Department of Health and Environment, bringing an end to the sewer project.
In other business:
- John Balthrop and Caleb Good presented the city with an insurance package that has the same coverage, but a premium $700 less the past year. The council also opted out of terrorism coverage for the coming year for an additional savings of $260.
- Union Pacific Railroad is preparing for work necessary to close the Seventh Street crossing. Ax noted that no word had been received from the railroad regarding the insurance claim the city filed on damages to Plum Street.
- Municipal pool manager Beth Peter was present to discuss preliminary plans for opening the pool in May. School will be out for the summer May 13 and she was hoping to open it before Memorial Day. Peter will return to the April 13 meeting after park and pool committee members Larry Larsen and Tom Schmidt have a chance to meet.
- Peabody Main Street Director Shane Marler presented an update on the 2009 Operation Celebration promotion Memorial Day weekend. He noted that the new website had generated 1,500 hits in the past few weeks.
- Marler announced a downtown cleanup day April 18. New benches will be installed, the existing wooden benches power washed, repaired, and painted, and trash cans painted. He requested the city crew run the street sweeper through gutters on both sides of Walnut Street the week before cleanup to loosen dirt and debris for easier removal.
- Marler also told the council he had received sales tax information from a state website that indicated Peabody’s sales tax figures for January had increased seven percent compared to January 2008 and up 53 percent in February compared with the previous February.
- Public works director Darren Pickens reported some equipment vendors at the Kansas Water Conference had new kinds of grinder pumps, automatic flushing hydrants, and other equipment suitable for some of the problem areas in Peabody’s water and sewer systems.
- Pickens noted a safety program the city joined sent a representative for a review of the city shop. She told employees the city needs to install flammable protected cabinets to store gasoline and flammable products. The cabinets cost between $500 and $600 each. Another necessary item is an eyewash station, which will cost $250. The purchases were approved by the council.
- Peabody Police Chief Bruce Burke informed the council Marion County communications will begin text messaging to police officers and a text message package needs to be purchased for all cell phones.
- Burke asked for three “no parking” signs and 22 “yield” signs to install in the community. The signs are part of a three-year upgrade for traffic signs that began a year ago. The council approved the “no parking” signs, but chose to wait on more information about costs before approving the purchase of the “yield” signs.
- Burke requested an executive session for the purpose of discussing personnel. On return to open meeting, the council approved offering a full-time police officer position to Bradley Cady. Cady will be paid $13 an hour.
- Ax presented an ordinance to the mayor and council establishing the position of city administrator, and amending the city code regarding residency requirements for the position.
- The council approved repairs to a doorway at the police department.
- The council deferred a decision on additional summer mowing help, but set no deadline for determining whether or not someone would be hired.