Peabody City Council took initial action Monday night to approve a change to the city ordinance regulating the use of alternative transportation.
Police Chief Bruce Burke and council members Leslie LaFoy, Larry Larsen, and Pam Lamborn formed a committee, which met to work out the details.
The council agreed to send a draft to city attorney Michael Biggs, with the requirement that it be returned by the Feb. 9 meeting. After review by Biggs, the group will send it on to the city prosecutor for his approval.
Preliminary changes include allowing skateboards on any street except Ninth, Walnut, Central, Second, and private property such as a business parking lot or driveway.
Lawn mowers will not be allowed as a means of conveyance, but they may be on city streets if the owner is on his way somewhere to mow. Other means of transportation such as golf carts, ATVs, and motorized scooters will be allowed as long as the driver is licensed.
The ordinance changes will be included in the city water bill and printed in the Peabody Gazette-Bulletin as soon as the council officially accepts them.
Council members also moved somewhat closer to finalizing the sewer project. A letter was received by interim city clerk Stephanie Ax from Kansas Department of Health and Environment indicating KDHE is ready to issue a letter of “no further action,” which will release the city from any additional complications in closing the project.
Council members discussed options available to the city to complete the demolition of the former sewer plant. Ax will find the original specifications for the demolition and reclamation of the grounds and send letters to the contractors who originally bid on the project.
Council members passed a resolution to allow Mayor Ed Slocombe to sign an agreement with Burlington-Northern-Santa Fe Railroad to close Seventh Street where it bisects the BNSF rails. The agreement states the city will install barricades and maintain the approaches to the barricaded areas. BNSF will pay the city $42,500 to close the street.
In other business:
- The veterinarian clinic will hold animals from Peabody six days rather than three before euthanizing them.
- Public works director Darren Pickens reviewed the interior work being done at the city shop and the cost of the next steps to completion, which will include duct work, electrical work, and additional decking and trusses. Council approved $1,500 for additional lumber and requested bids on the heating and cooling.
- City employees’ health insurance plan will be switched to an HMO. Previously employees met with a representative of the insurance company who answered questions and eased their concerns about greater accessibility to physicians and specialists.
- Pickens reported he would replace the sand filter, pump, and strainer at the municipal pool before summer.
- Pickens was instructed to replace the floor in the women’s bathroom in the city building.
- Council unanimously approved the purchase of a new generator for $2,799 plus freight. The one the city owns is 13 years old and cannot be repaired.
- A service agreement with Cummins Central Power was approved for the lift station.
- The council and Police Chief Bruce Burke entered an executive session for the purpose of discussing personnel. No action was taken on return to open meeting.
- Burke requested permission to send officers Jeremy Miller and Jeremy Wilkerson-Rodriguez to “Intoxilizer 8000” training in May. The sessions are free. Reserve officer Lorenzo Phelps will attend basic training for part-time officers from April 20 to May 1.
- Burke requested merit pay increases for the animal control officer and the municipal court clerk. He was asked by the council to return with a specific proposal.
- Ax reported on preliminary budget figures from the state and noted auditors Knudson and Monroe will perform the city audit this week for 2008.
- The building committee will meet again before the next council meeting to review additional needs at the new city shop building.
- Council approved the draft of a letter by Tom Schmidt to the owners of Food Mart expressing the council’s concern about the company’s recent problem in supplying fuel to its customers.
- The council entered an executive session to discuss personnel and took no action on return to open meeting.