New council members and a new mayor took their posts at the Cawker City Council meeting on Wednesday night. Doug Strathman resigned from the council after the previous meeting as he was moving out of town. Cole Eberle was appointed to replace him. Other new members included Drew Duskie and Lisha Wiesse. Newly elected Mayor Greg Linton was overseeing his first council meeting as well. Councilman Doug Bader was elected council president by his colleagues for the year.
A building permit were issued to Larry Angell. A request for a permit by Buck Alvis was tabled. The council also moved to allow Ross Weber with Farmers and Merchants Bank to use the golf clubhouse for an upcoming function.
Livestock permits were considered and renewed for Selena Storer and Kay Jones.
Nicole McDaneld with the North Central Regional Planning Commission said a survey was completed, and the city did meet the 51 percent median income level to qualify for Community Development Block Grants. McDaneld is working to not have to redo the survey so they can move forward with applying for CDBG funds. An answer from the Kansas Department of Commerce should be received by next week. McDaneld discussed a project for sewer and storm drains. The city can apply for up to $400,000 and would have to match a minimum of 25 percent of any grant money received.
In order to have the grant money pay for any engineering fees there would be another step to the process. If they pay the engineer outright, that may be considered part of their match. She said about 50 percent of applications are awarded funds, and that if the city wanted to move forward they need to procure an engineer. City Superintendent Dave Reling said some of the lines are collapsing. The survey will be good until the next census come out. That process will not begin until 2020 and not likely released until 2022. At that point the city would need to renew their survey to apply for grant.
Solomon Valley Community Development Director Heather Hartman ***33:30*** was also on hand to discuss strategic planning and the Neighborhood Revitalization Program. The program, which is a tax rebate program for qualifying capital improvements, is up for renewal. Residential, commercial and agricultural projects are eligible. Hartman was continuing the process of going before the county commissioners as well as each school district and every community in Mitchell County to garner support for renewing the programs which has played a significant role in bringing about $92 million dollars in total capital improvements to the county over the past 10 years. The renewal would be for a two year period into 2019.
A public hearing was then opened for comment on the program. After the hearing was closed, the council voted to approve ordinance 1144 to renew the Neighborhood Revitalization Program unanimously.
In his report, Reling discussed preparing rock for next summer and readying things for potential inclement weather this weekend.
Ken Moore (6206949256) delivered the police department and code enforcement report. He welcomed the new members and explained his general operating procedures as the lone law enforcement officer in the city. He also gave high praise to City Attorney Chantz Martin and the work he does. Moore also continued discussion from the December meeting about replacing tires on his patrol vehicle. Moore suggested a midrange performance tires and had a quote for four new tires for $589.76 which have been installed already. The council approved the expenditure.
City Clerk Denelle Mick discussed a Kansas Municipal Utilities meeting on coming up on January 26 to discuss rates and financial planning for electricity. Erica Villareal extended the invitation and will be coming to the March council meeting. She also said the Community Club wanted to put their membership information in the city’s January billing. The council approved that request.
The final order of business for the city was to publicly approved the hire of Charles Gullion as a new city employee. Dave Reling said that Gullion does not have a CDL which he will need to obtain one. Reling said the cost of the CDL program at NCK Tech runs about $800. Bader said he would like to see them wait awhile to determine that they feel Gullion is going to work out as an employee before putting him through the CDL class in order to be able to operate certain city trucks and equipment.