After an executive session Monday evening, Peabody City Council members approved a recommendation by Mayor Larry Larsen and City Administrator Mac Manning to hire Krishyn Caldwell to fill a part-time position in the city office and Jonathan Richstatter as a maintenance worker for the public works department.
The vacancies in those departments were created by the resignations of Leah Ottensmeier and Darren Pickens.
Caldwell and Richstatter will serve a six-month probationary period with a three-month job review.
In other business:
- Interim public works director Ronnie Harms presented an estimate for a new swimming pool liner at $28,000 and a new pool cover at $8,000. Because the swimming pool is 50 years old, the liner is needed to prevent the interior from deteriorating. Leaving water in the pool during the winter months prevents cracks and pressure problems. During that time, the pool cover keeps debris out of the water; debris which is harmful to the liner. Harms also told the council it is probably too late to install a new liner before the pool opens in May, but the need is not urgent for this swimming season. He will get additional quotes to present for 2015 budget information.
- Council members voted to accept the annual audit report as presented by Dale Clark of Knudson Monroe and Co. LLC.
- Manning presented an initial proposal from the city of Hillsboro to increase the amount it charges the city of Peabody for water. Manning will invite Hillsboro City Administrator Larry Payne to attend a council meeting to answer members’ questions about the agreement between the two communities.
- Manning reported the light pole at the southeast corner of Walnut St. and Second St. was removed by Westar on Friday because much of the iron base had rusted away and the pole was swaying due to high winds. Westar will replace the pole.
- A real estate broker representing Star Fuel of Oklahoma, the company that owns the former Food Mart store on Ninth St. contacted Manning in hopes of locating an interested buyer. Star Fuel of Oklahoma purchased the property at a tax sale, but is not interested in owning or operating it. The asking price is $109,000, although Manning said the broker indicated there is room for negotiation.
- Harms also reported the lighting system, boxes, and switches at the tennis courts have deteriorated and need to be replaced. He will get repair estimates to present to the council.
- Peabody Police Chief Bruce Burke asked for council members’ input about two issues that have become a problem because of the police station’s close proximity to the Mid-Kansas Coop self-service gas pumps. He said his office has seen an increase in travelers who do not have credit cards, but want to exchange cash for the use of a city or personal credit card to buy gas. He said there is a bigger problem with people coming into the police station in search of restroom facilities. After discussion, Burke was told to post a sign on the door stating the office did not have a public restroom. The council urged him to send people with credit card problems to the MKC office on S. Maple St. and let the staff there resolve the issue.
- Council members approved the purchase of an additional firearm for the department at a cost of $520. The money will come from the police department budget.
The next council meeting will be at 7 p.m. March 10 in the city building.