During the May 27 meeting of Peabody City Council, a proposal to clean the outside of the Peabody water tower was presented to council members by Interim City Administrator Mac Manning.
Manning said the Harvey County Rural Water District would be hiring Midwest Mobile Washers to wash the exterior of its two water towers. Because of the close proximity of those towers to Peabody, the city could save about $2,000 to have the Peabody tower done while Midwest Mobile Washers is in the area. The cost of cleaning the Peabody tower would be $4,980.
Manning told the council that the tower is going to have to be repainted soon and the last bid the city had for repainting was in excess of $65,000.
Spending money this summer to wash the tower would add about five years to the life of the tower exterior and the money is available in the budget.
Manning said the washing company indicated they could do the work in June.
After discussion, council members voted to approve the expenditure.
In other business:
- The council approved an ordinance that will increase the cost of water used by Peabody water customers and set rates, penalties, and reconnection fees. In addition, a new landlord liability code will make property owners liable for unpaid water bills left by their renters. After considerable discussion about the issue of landlord liability, the ordinance was unanimously approved.
- Peabody Fourth Fest Committee members Lisa Hodges and Brian McDowell were present to discuss plans for the annual July Fourth festivities. Activities will be the same as in recent years with the exception of the car show and the addition of a 5 kilometer run sponsored by the Peabody-Burns Recreation Commission. A carnival will be at the park all weekend. The city agreed to hire Brian McDowell, Preston Hodges, and Eric Barnes as city employees on July 4, to satisfy the city’s insurance obligation as well as regulations required by wholesale fireworks distributers. The council agreed to pay one half of the cost of security at the park.
- Manning presented a recommendation that council members not accept the fire cadet program until the city receives an answer to three questions about the plan: Will the students have permission from USD 398 to leave the school to participate in the program? Does Marion County Fourth Fire District support and endorse the program? Will participants have access to the fire station without an adult present? The council voted unanimously to put a decision on hold until those concerns are addressed.
- Peabody Planning and Zoning committee member Linda Martinez presented a proposal from that committee for a program to repair or replace sidewalks. Homeowners would be able to apply, on a first come, first served basis, for up to $200 to apply toward the expense. The program would be funded annually by the city at an amount of the council’s choosing. The council agreed to look at the program for the 2015 budget and get back with the planning and zoning group.
- New Peabody City Council member Travis Wilson was sworn in by Manning.
- Council members approved the cost of renting a handicap- accessible portable restroom for July 4 and for the swim meet on July 28. After additional discussion about handicap accessibility to the pool itself, Manning agreed to check on the cost of installing a gate and sidewalk along the west fence at the pool.
- The council approved the authorization of Krishyn Caldwell as a signatory on all city accounts at Peabody State Bank.
- Marion County Emergency Management Director Randy Frank reviewed the Federal Emergency Management Agency multi-hazard mitigation plan for Kansas Region G, of which Peabody is a part. The city is required to approved the plan before FEMA funds will be approved in case of a natural disaster. The council voted in favor of the resolution accepting the plan.
- Bids for rebuilding the electrical service at the tennis courts were received from Elcon Services Inc. of Hillsboro and Funk Electric of Goessel. The council approved the low bid of $976 from Funk Electric.
- The council agreed to advertise for an employee for the public works department to replace Jeremy Sears, who resigned earlier in the month.
- The council entered five consecutive executive sessions of 15 minutes each. Manning, Mayor Larry Larsen, and Peabody Police Chief Burke were included in the sessions. There was no action by the council on return to open sessions.
- After the executive sessions, Larsen made his annual appointments of non-elected personnel. Appointments are: Stephanie Ax, city clerk, zoning administrator, freedom of information officer, floodplain administrator, and identity theft prevention program administrator; Krishyn Caldwell, city treasurer and account clerk; Rob Lane of Davis, Manley, and Lane LLC, city attorney; Bruce Burke, chief of police and health and safety officer; Travis Davis, police officer; Michael Cleary of Cleary Law Group, city prosecutor; Bradley Jantz, municipal judge; Jan O’Neil, clerk of municipal court; Mark Penner, fire chief; Ronnie Harms, interim public works superintendent; and Duane Davis, animal control officer.
The next council meeting will be at 7 p.m. June 9 in the city building.