December 6, 2017
The Norton City Council met in regular session Wednesday, December 6, 2017, at 5:30 p.m., with Mayor Jim Miller presiding. Council members present were Jerry Jones, Dennis Gilhousen, Chriss McDiffett, Gary Lacy, and Ron Briery. Jeff Urban arrived at 5:32 p.m. Others present were Gail Boller, Carter Klise, Mark Dewees, Robert Bowman, Cynthia Cullumber, Jamie Amlong, Dan Bainter, Dan Sisk, Gerry Cullumber, Karen Griffiths, Chad Buckley, and Darla Ellis. Chief of Police Gerry Cullumber led those present in the Flag Salute.
Motion was made by Ron Briery and seconded by Dennis Gilhousen to approve the November 15, 2017 council meeting minutes. Vote taken. Motion carried.
The following building permits were presented:
Bob Rutherford – $ 13,000 – Dwelling addition at 505 E. Lincoln
Mary Brooks – $ 4,470 – Reroofing at 112 S. Graves
David Brehmer – $ 6,000 – Reroofing at 510 N. State
Donna Foley – $ 10,000 – Dwelling addition at 1017 Churchill
Gail Boller was present on behalf of the Norton County Community Foundation. He presented the 2017 Report to the Community, and said fundraising efforts are ongoing to increase the Foundation’s endowment funds. He stated he believes awareness is the key to the success of the endowment fund, and he wants to make sure the Community is aware of this opportunity. Gail stated he is confident the Norton County Community Foundation will do for Norton County what the Hansen Foundation has been doing for Northwest Kansas for years.
Carter Klise of BG Consultants was present to discuss the CDBG electric distribution project and give a progress report. He stated they plan to finish the documents in the next couple of weeks with updated cost estimates, and solicit bids by the end of the year. He anticipates the bids will be awarded in March and work could start shortly thereafter. He discussed the work included in the base project as well as the alternates. He stated documents will be presented to City Council in a future meeting for the council’s approval and signature.
Motion was made by Gary Lacy and seconded by Chriss McDiffett to waive the formal second reading of Ordinance #1710, requiring standby generator permits and inspections. Council discussed whether the City should sell and install the double throw switch, for the safety of the employees working on the lines. They also discussed inspection of current generators which have already been installed. Motion was made by Dennis Gilhousen and seconded by Jerry Jones to table the 2nd reading of Ordinance #1710 until it can be reviewed and amended by the Utility Committee. Vote taken. Motion carried.
Karen Griffiths discussed an ordinance regarding fence regulations, which was proposed by the Planning Commission. Several council members felt the suggested 32 inch height limitation for fences in the front yard was too short and not a common size to be able to purchase. The proposed ordinance also stated a fence could not be constructed of chicken, hog or electrical wire or plywood. Some garden plots have electric wire around them, to prevent animals from getting in the garden. Council asked that the ordinance be sent back to the Planning Commission to be revised.
Chief Cullumber thanked the Council and the public for their support at the recent Meet and Greet sponsored by Sleep Inn and also at the Tip a Cop event held at Pizza Hut. He has received good feedback about the events. He stated the Police Department is working with the Lion’s Club for the Blue Santa project. Chriss McDiffett commended the Chief for authorizing and encouraging events such as these. Chad Buckley also thanked the Police Department and Officer Dreher for her work on the Blue Santa project.
Chad Buckley said the new directional signs are being installed. The new water main project has been completed. The curb radius was poured on the corner of Norton and Washington. The water tower was inspected this week; the tower is structurally sound. Chad reported a Jingle Bell 5K Fun Run benefit for the Haven will be held in Elmwood Park on December 16; the street will be closed from 5:30–7:00 p.m. The vacant position in the Electric Distribution department will be advertised as an entry level position with salary based on qualifications. Based on the applications received, the City can decide whether to hire a Lineman or a Groundman. The airport hangars will be numbered for emergency purposes.
Chief Cullumber reported the city’s backhoe that was sold on Purple Wave, will be relisted in a large construction auction this month, because the highest bidder could not pay for it, and the backup bidder could not pay either. He hopes to sell the camper and another car in the impound lot at an auction soon. Jerry Jones asked if the new water/sewer plant employee is working on his certification and Jamie said he is, and he has his CDL. Jerry also asked about a safety cone at Lincoln and Norton. Dan Bainter stated there is a small gap there that needs to be filled in when the weather warms up.
Motion was made by Jerry Jones and seconded by Dennis Gilhousen to donate $500 to the Western Kansas Child Advocacy Center for 2017. Vote taken. Motion carried.
Gary Lacy stated he would like to look into a future grant project to replace water lines, with all of the water breaks the City has had lately. Chad was asked to look into whether KDHE offers grant funds to replace the water pipes. Jamie Amlong stated he has been talking to KRWA about possible options. Gary also asked what happened a few weeks ago when the north part of town had no water pressure. Jamie stated the analog input board at the tower quit and shut down the entire tower, so staff had to manually fill the water tower.
Gary Lacy asked about all of the vehicles parked on the vacant lot on the 200 block of E. Washington. Chief Cullumber said he mentioned it to Sheriff Thompson a while back, but will talk to him again. Gary also asked Chad if he had ever done anything regarding the drainage issue by Sunflower Apartments and asked him to please follow up on this.
Motion was made by Ron Briery and seconded by Jeff Urban to approve the 2018 cereal malt beverage license applications as follows:
Vote taken. Motion carried.
Motion was made by Jerry Jones and seconded by Dennis Gilhousen to approve Appropriating Ordinance #23 as a whole. Vote taken. Motion carried.
Motion was made by Ron Briery to adjourn. Council adjourned at 6:39 p.m.