The Beloit City Council met on Tuesday night at the Municipal building with all councilors present along with Mayor Tom Naasz, City Administrator Jason Rabe, City Attorney Katie Schroeder and City Clerk Amanda Lomax.
Councilor Andrew Grabon said the first H.E.A.L. Committee meeting took place on Thursday, March 2. They discussed the foundation of the organization, and there will be meeting monthly. They hope to send recommendations to the council for improvements to the city to further their goal of healthy eating and active living. He also expressed well wishes for Chad Lorenz who is a member of the committee, but he is currently hospitalized facing health issues.
City Attorney Katie Schroeder discussed several pieces of legislation including H.B. 2310 because she said it would take away local rule power at some levels. She also discussed H.B. 2378 which is a combined effort between the League of Municipalities and Kansas Association of Counties. The statute on the elections that would be required to approve property tax increases above a percentage equal a corresponding increase in the consumer price index were vague in the original bill passed in 2014.
The new proposal would allow the budget to be increased, and tax payers would have a right to petition for an election to allow it. If there is no petition the increase will go into place. If a petition goes through it would be at the local governing bodies discretion to lower any proposed increase in order to avoid an election before it goes to a public vote. Another proposal would make sales tax in the state origin-driven rather than use driven. At least 10 states are origin based while the other 40 are use based.
City Administrator Jason Rabe said the Kyle Railroad General Manager was in town recently. He said there is signaling that needs to be updated at the tracks on K-14 north of the river bridge in south Beloit. The railroad said they will work to combine those upgrades with repair work on the vehicle crossing itself when the time comes.
Rabe also said the Safe Routes to School is down to two easements left to obtain out of an original 39. Rabe hopes to have that wrapped up this week.
Solomon Valley Community Development Director Heather Hartman reminded the council of the Tree City USA event coming March 22 and 23. She said they will also be applying to the Dane G. Hansen Foundation for up to $20,000 for a county-wide cleanup program. She will also be attending a community forum and hosting one of the breakout sessions in Hays on March 23. She is also accepting nominations for business appreciation month. Contact Heather at the chamber office on the ground floor of the Porter House for more information. Last year, Cunningham Telephone and Cable was a state finalist.
Hartman also said the façade improvement loan program has received one successful application. Up to $5,000 per qualifying applicant is available to outside improvements to an existing business.
The council approved the consent agenda including accounts payable warrants in the amount of $483,047. In other action items, the council moved to appoint Amber Martin to the heal committee as a citizen at large. Next, the council approved a Precision Approach Path Indication (PAPI) system for Moritz Memorial Airport. IES Commercial of Grand Island, Neb. will be the contractor on the job. This is essentially an updated lighting system for use in approach and landing of aircraft. The city will pay 10 percent of the total project cost estimated at $40,602. KDOT will pay up to $47,250 with a 10 percent match from the city.
The council also approved submitting a grant for KDOT CCLIP K-14 project as outlined by Schwab-Eaton. An initial 2016 Treasurer’s Report was submitted for the council’s review. This would include work along the area near Shopko and Ray’s Apple Market Plaza and Thompson
In the work session, City Administrator Jason Rabe discussed a potential improvement project on Court Street between Hersey and Mill. The estimated cost of the project is $42,815. The city would replace the water main, replace the street surface, curb and guttering as well as sidewalks and drive entrances.
Rabe also presented a rough draft of a new Personnel Policy prepared by Austin Peters Group as well as a new Pay Administration Policy, Wage Study and Performance Evaluations.
Rabe also presented a draft of an ATV policy for the city. If approved, AVT’s, work-site utility vehicles and micro-utility trucks would be permitted on the city streets if properly insured and licensed through the Beloit Police Department. Operation of these vehicles on private property would be allows so long as it does not interfere with neighbors. Golf Carts, go-carts, dune buggies, dirt bikes, motorized bicycles and other vehicles not required to have a license plate would be prohibited on city streets. They would be able to be used on private property so long as operators are not careless or negligent or create a noise disturbance. The council will vote on the ordinance as written during the March 21 meeting. The ordinance would repeal Article 3, Chapter 16 of the Beloit City Code.
The Beloit City Council is next scheduled to meet on Tuesday, March 21 at the Municipal Building in Beloit.