Downs City Council – February 20, 2018


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Regular meeting of the mayor and council was held February 20, 2018, 5:00 p.m., at city hall.  Mayor Justin Towery presided.  Council members present:  John Bisnette, Tonya Kuhn, Jane VanDonge, Devin Renken, Evan Joy.  Others in attendance:  Bruce Berkley, Ron Duran, Vickie Oviatt, Terry Gradig, Sherry Knouf, Jim Cary, Paul Brohman.

Mayor Towery called the meeting to order and led in the flag salute.

John moved, seconded by Evan, to approve the minutes of the February 5, 2018 meeting.  Carried.

Jim Cary was present to provide information from the fire department regarding their decision to form a fire district in the townships of Erving, Lincoln, Ross, and Corinth.  The department prepared a letter to the rural homeowners stating the current funding received from the rural townships in insufficient.  The department will be contacting the homeowners for their signatures on a petition for approval of forming the district.  If it is approved and established, the county commissioners appoint a board from the area.  The board would then contract annually with the City of Downs for fire protection services.  Jim will advise the council by June 1.

Sherry Knouf, Librarian, was present on behalf of the Library.  At the board’s recommendation, Mayor Towery appointed Jason Toombs to the library board, replacing Maureen Appenfeller.  Tonya moved, seconded by John, to approve the mayor’s appointment of Jason Toombs to replace Maureen Appenfeller.  Carried.

City Attorney reported that he had contacted the county attorney concerning the vandalism at the park and he has done nothing.  A new bill has made prosecution difficult.

Bruce also mentioned scheduling a city-wide cleanup.

Ron Duran, Animal Control, reported on recent activity.  The owner with the three dogs had moved one dog to his brother’s house, however, he has it back now until the brother is released from jail.  Devin said there is an opossum in the 700 block of Delaware.  Ron will set a trap.

Terry Gradig, Superintendent, reported that land application of the sludge, removed from the industrial lagoons, has started.   He estimates it to be completed in a week.

Terry had checked with Kansas Department of Transportation and will contact Alan Feist, Senior Center, to advise of the parking spacing (9’) and angle (45 degree).

Terry reported on prices for tires for the loader tractor.  Following review, Evan moved to purchase four Firestone Tires @ $500/each mounted, from Sam Bowles at Cawker City, from the special highway fund.  Devin seconded.  Carried.

Terry reported on quotes for prices to do tree trimming.  Following review, Devin moved, seconded by John, to approve Wayne Miner for 40 hours of tree trimming, from the street department fund.  Carried.

Terry had checked with KDOT and they strongly suggest replacement of the school zone flashing light.  Terry will get cost estimates to Tonya for a possible grant application.

The lift station at Centennial Village is needing repair parts.  Following discussion, Evan moved to allow Terry to spend up to $700.00 for a pump primer at the KRWA Conference next month, out of the Sewer fund.  Devin seconded.  Carried.

Terry and Jane attended the Cawker City council meeting February 14.  Wilson & Co. presented their engineering proposal.  There were no decisions made.

Terry will be completing the sidewalk at the memorial/roadside park and installing fencing.

Devin asked Terry about painting the curb corner at the Downs Care and Rehab where the high-pressure hydrant is located.

John moved, seconded by Devin, to approve special use permit #18-11.  Carried.

Devin moved, seconded by Evan, to approve building permit #18-03.  Carried.

Following review, John moved, seconded by Jane, to authorize the mayor to sign the 2018 Annual Operation & Maintenance Assurance Statement (AOMAS).  Carried.

Council reviewed a request from Chamber to apply for a grant for trash cans.  There was discussion.  Jane will visit with Chamber President Mandy Burda.

Tonya moved to waive the memorial hall fees for the Red Cross blood drive March 14, 2018.  Evan seconded.  Carried.

Following discussion, Jane moved to waive the memorial hall fees for the DAC theater on March 10, 2018 with the stipulation that they continue with organization and show progress before waiving fees for the next event. Devin seconded the motion.  Carried.

Council discussed nuisance vehicle procedure.  John presented a proposed Vehicle Restoration Permit Application.  Changing the code to include the residential area only was suggested.  Action was tabled.

Devin reported that Mark Bergmann could provide a generator hook up for use at the memorial hall.  He reported that the new fire truck from the Forestry Dept. should be up and going by March 1.

It was requested that the clerk provide a report of memorial hall revenue for 2016 and 2017.

The Downs Enterprise 2015 proposal to the city for sewer line expansion was reviewed.  Tonya presented the proposed rate increase for 2018, for the March 5th agenda.

Tonya presented new quotes for time clocks for the March 5th agenda.

Tonya and Jane will prepare employment ads for pool and city crew summer help for the Downs News, Waconda Trader, and city Facebook page.

John moved, seconded by Tonya, to approve and sign a Scheduled Claims Listing instead of each voucher.  Carried.

The ballfield lease was copied for the council’s review.

John suggested I-Pads for council’s use.  There was discussion but no interest at this time.

Clerk had received a record request for copies of the draft unapproved minutes.  Council advised the clerk not to provide unapproved minutes other than to the Downs News or radio.

John moved to approve the vouchers and payroll.  Devin seconded the motion.  Carried.

At 7:55 p.m., Tonya moved to recess into executive session for 15 minutes to discuss matters of non-elected personnel with the topic of wages and benefits, with the council and mayor present.  Jane seconded.  Carried.

Regular session resumed at 8:10 p.m.

Tonya moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:10 p.m.  John seconded.  Carried.

Meeting adjourned.




Justin Towery, Mayor




Vickie Oviatt, Clerk




Page 1948















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Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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