To bring two new council members and city administrator up-to-date, Jim Ralston of APAC of Kansas reviewed the city’s paving issues and history regarding work on Eighth Street, between Elm and Maple, and Pine Street between Fifth and Seventh streets.
That project was approved in 2008, but was derailed when Marion County received federal stimulus money and Ralston worked with council members to make application for some of those funds. Peabody’s application
Because of the change in fuel prices and the cost of some materials, Ralston agreed to re-work the bid for the paving project as it now stands.
In addition, councilman Tom Schmidt requested a special meeting to create a five- to seven-year plan for street repairs so the council will have guidelines when setting the budget in the future.
No date was set for the meeting, but it will include Ralston, Mayor Larry Larsen, public works director Darren Pickens, city administrator Mac Manning, council members Schmidt, Jim Philpott, Steve Rose, and Janice Woodruff, as well as Jim Rippe, an interested individual.
In a related matter, Pickens told the council that materials to close Seventh Street at the Union Pacific crossing will cost $1,661. UP officials indicated they would put crossing arms at the Eighth Street crossing first and then close Seventh Street. Pickens said they anticipated a mid-June starting time.
Don Mackey offered the city some Nautilus weight equipment if the city would be willing to house a women’s weight room in the former city shop building. Council member Pam Lamborn made the request of the council.
“An exercise center would put the building to use and maybe provide two or three part-time jobs,” she said.
Schmidt asked her to attend the next economic development meeting as another individual had indicated an interest in using the building for a business.
In other business:
- Judy Claassen asked why city park was closed during Memorial Day weekend. She said several returning alumni hoped to have access to the park and were disappointed that the gates were locked.
- An application to sell fireworks was tentatively approved for Billy Frary of McPherson, dependent upon Frary obtaining permission from a landowner to set up his stand and paying a cash performance bond according to city ordinance.
- On Manning’s recommendation, the council approved city employees to continue using city cellular phones. Employees will keep track of personal calls and sign off on the calls each month. New employees will be put on an allowance plan based on usage.
- Tammy Whiteside reported that all grass nuisance properties had been abated.
- Council members discussed moving ahead with abatement procedures for several properties including properties at 907 and 909 N. Vine, 509 N. Locust, and 803 N. Chestnut.
- Manning will send a letter to the homeowner at 112 W. Fifth to remove a pile of household debris next to the street.
- A solution for the Fifth Street bridge replacement was tabled until the next meeting to give the city time to review street usage with residents in the area.
- Another project for the street department was postponed until it is time to work on the 2010 budget. A bid to repair the alley between the 300 blocks of Sycamore and Maple streets came in at $27,600. There are no funds available in the current budget.
- Following discussion about installing chopper pumps at the lift station, a decision was postponed until the next meeting to give Darren Pickens time to gather additional information from the pump manufacturer. The cost of two pumps is $35,000.
- Pickens requested consideration of re-instating the Mayer sewer cleaning system, which was canceled a year ago due to budget restraints. Council members will consider the project when they review the 2010 budget.
- An annual Konica maintenance service for the city copier was approved.
- Truck parking was discussed as was an ordinance that bans refrigerated trucks from parking in city limits. Changing truck parking to the far west and east ends of First Street was discussed. No action was taken on either issue. Council members will review the areas before the next meeting and make a decision then.
- A unanimous vote was cast not to allow fireworks to be shot July 5. With July 4 falling on a Saturday this year, police chief Bruce Burke said people will likely think it is O.K. to shoot them Sunday as well. The council’s vote will mean fireworks can be shot until midnight only on July 4.