The Beloit City Council met on Tuesday evening, September 19. All councilors were present as well as Mayor Tom Naasz, City Manager Jason Rabe, and City Clerk Amanda Lomax. City Attorney, Katie Schroeder, was absent from the meeting.
The council approved Change Order #3 relating to the final specific work details of the East Main Street project. The council approved a final payment amount of $1,444,785 for the project. The council then authorized issuing a “Certificate of Substantial Completion.”
Councilman Andrew Grabon opened the business meeting commenting that the community concert with Alias on Sunday night was excellent. He understood the group had performed at Beloit Elementary on Monday as well. Councilor Lee McMillian said he had attended the League of Municipalities yearly meeting and found it educational and motivating. Councilor Kent Miller said he attended the water meeting Sunday afternoon and believed everyone was doing a good job.
City Manager Jason Rabe reminded the council of the special meeting on Tuesday night, September 20, in the basement Trail Room of the Municipal Building. The purpose is to discuss the possibilities for the new water treatment system alongside possible involvement with area Rural Water Districts.
Rabe said he had once again engaged the Kyle Railroad in discussions about repairing the railroad crossing on Highway 14 north of the river. He believes he has an understanding with Kyle, and they will repair the south set of tracks. Rabe reported that he north tracks belong to another railroad company and leased by Kyle. He still was unsure of any timeframe he could pinpoint in terms of having the repairs done.
Solomon Valley Economic Director Heather Hartman announced that the first Strategic Doing meeting will be held in the conference room at NCK Tech’s Severance Student Union of September 25. They will initiate action on finding projects for the improvement of the Beloit community. There will be three additional meetings in 30-day increments.
Rabe reported that the police department has been understaffed for the past six weeks. They have been operating three men short on the force. Recently, two officers have been hired and are awaiting training at the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center south of Hutchinson near Yoder. The KLETC has been affectionately referred to as “Yoder Tech” by law enforcement for decades.
The council approved Ordinance 2213 dealing with the mowing of property with overgrown lawns. Efforts will be made to contact the tenant or landowner when mowing is needing. If no action is taken, city crews will mow the lawn and bill the property owner. If the bill is not paid, the fee will be added to their property tax.
In other formal actions, the council approved a contract extension for Paul’s Tree Service. They will be granted an additional 60 days to complete the trimming of the trees in the alleys of Beloit.
Stephanie Simmons, Executive Director of the Mitchell County Regional Medical Foundation, reported that the Healthy Eating and Active Living (HEAL) group is meeting, planning and making progress. One of the major components of their efforts is a three-pronged program of creating walking paths, hiking trails, and biking paths. She introduced Jesse Benedick who has been heading up the committee working on the creation of the venues.
Benedick led the council through a visual discussion of the planned trails, bike paths and hiking trails in and around Beloit. He and Simmons said they had created a long-range plan which will allow portions of the paths and trails to be built as various funding avenues became available. Allowing the various parts of the plan to be implemented incrementally so that all the parts come together as a whole in the end.
The final discussion item of the evening was centered around a Bobcat machine currently used at the power plant. In the past, the city has leased the machine from Bobcat and pays a nominal fee each year. Every two years the existing machine is traded for a new model. However, Bobcat does not want to continue this program.
They offered to sell the machine to the city for $32,000. This checked out to be a reasonable price. The city could turn the machine back to Bobcat, but then they would have to find a replacement. After considering various courses of action, the council voted to buy the current machine currently in their possession for $32,000.
The next Beloit City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, October 3 at the Municipal Building in Beloit.