Norton City Council Minutes For November 6, 2019


NOTE:  The following minutes are unofficial until approved at the next regularly scheduled council meeting.

November 6, 2019

The Norton City Council met in regular session Wednesday, November 6, 2019, at 5:30 p.m., with Mayor Jim Miller presiding. Council members present were Jerry Jones, Dennis Gilhousen, Robert Bowman, Gerald Jones, and Ron Briery. Donna Foley was absent. Others present were Darel Boston, Rick Ensz, Kyle Jones, Donna Liddle, Dean Liddle, Gerry Cullumber, Jody Enfield, Karen Griffiths, James Moreau, and Darla Ellis. Darel Boston gave the invocation.

Motion was made by Dennis Gilhousen and seconded by Robert Bowman to approve the October 16, 2019, city council meeting minutes.  Vote taken.  Motion carried.

The following building permits were presented:

James Antrim         – $25,000 – Construct new single-family dwelling at 615 E. Main

Wayne Davis          – $     500 – Construct accessory building at 611 N. State Street

Rick Crowder         – $  2,000 – Construct front porch at 810 N. Second Street

Jon Wyatt               – $  1,100 – Construct carport at 316 Taft

Methodist Church  – $  3,000 –  Construct accessory building at 805 W. Wilberforce (amend permit #060420)

Mary Harvey         – $     500 – Move existing accessory building at 1026 Churchill Drive

Bob & Deb Kaus   – $         0 – Demolition of accessory building at 509 N. Norton

Doris Winteroth     – $  8,000 – Re-roofing at 1109 Eisenhower

Jeff Armbrister      – $10,731 – Re-roofing at 506 E. Woodsfield

Shawn Kachel       – $  5,000 – Re-roofing at 218 N. First

Assistant Fire Chief Kyle Jones reported the rescue unit has been in Hays for repairs and is being returned today.

Rick Ensz with Cooper, Malone, McClain, Inc. was present to discuss the possible refunding of the PBC pool bonds.  He was the underwriter for the financing of the pool bonds issued in 2013. There was a call provision, which allows to call the bonds in 2020 and refund all or part of them.  Rick discussed how the refunding process works, and presented the 3 documents required for him to proceed, including a Bond Underwriting Agreement, an Underwriter Disclosure Letter, and an Underwriter Letter of Intent.

James Moreau asked about Section 8: Term of Engagement in the Bond Underwriting Agreement.  Rick stated this obligates the City to use Cooper Malone McClain, Inc. as the exclusive bond underwriter for 3 years, for the PBC pool bonds only. Upon signing the contract, he would begin the analysis and look at different scenarios. Based on the current rates, he expects the City could save a significant amount. If there is a potential savings, he would prepare the documents so when the first call date comes, the bonds could be refunded right away. If there is no savings, the process stops and the City owes nothing. Within the 3 year term of engagement, they could reanalyze it and see if refunding the bonds would benefit the City.  Motion was made by Dennis Gilhousen and seconded by Gerald Jones to engage Cooper Malone McClain, Inc., and approve the Underwriter Letter of Intent and supporting documents.  Vote taken.  Motion carried.

Karen Griffiths presented a proposed Charter Ordinance amending the swearing-in date for newly elected council members.  The wording was discussed and will be revised to consider at the next council meeting.

Mayor Miller reported a resignation was received from Nettie Kuhn-Verdi from the Library Board, as she has moved out of town.  He stated he appoints Bethany Grabast, who has submitted interest in the vacant position.  Motion was made by Jerry Jones and seconded by Robert Bowman to approve the appointment of Bethany Grabast to fill the unexpired term on the Library Board.  Vote taken.  Motion carried.

Mayor Miller stated Joyce Garrison has retired from her position as Assistant Water/Wastewater Supervisor effective November 1st.  She worked for the City for almost 24 years, and her service with the City was very much appreciated. Sarah Gallentine has also submitted her resignation as the Police/Court Clerk, effective November 15.  Motion was made by Gerald Jones and seconded by Ron Briery to move forward with advertising for a Wastewater Plant Operator and a Police/Court Clerk, to fill the vacancies. Vote taken.  Motion carried.

Karen Griffiths reported on a meeting held to discuss the future administration of the Norton Revolving Loan Funds.  Norton Development Corporation is being reorganized and some of their loans will be managed by the Norton County Community Foundation; they are getting new officers­, and recommend turning over the administration of the Revolving Loan Fund to the Community Foundation.  The Kansas Department of Commerce was contacted regarding rolling over the funds to a housing project, but the request was denied.  The City’s plan for Revolving Loan Funds will need to be amended at some point to change the administration from Norton Development Corporation to the Community Foundation.

Karen also reported the City met with the Norton County Commissioners to discuss the Rescue Services Agreement.  The City and County agreed to revise the agreement and the City will create a rescue equipment replacement fund; any amount remaining at the end of each year after paying rescue expenses will be used to fund the future purchase of replacement equipment.  Motion was made by Ron Briery and seconded by Jerry Jones to approve the revised Agreement for Rescue Services, which would be a 5 year agreement.  Vote taken.  Motion carried.

Chief of Police Gerry Cullumber reported he has submitted a USDA grant for $45,000 to purchase and equip a new patrol unit. He is waiting on a notification letter regarding whether it has been approved.  He also reported on the Halloween activity and stated police officers were present at both trunk or treat events and he has received good positive feedback.

City Administrator James Moreau gave an update on the CCLIP Project. Penco Engineering was the only company that submitted a proposal for engineering services for the project. KDOT will negotiate directly with Penco regarding the design hours and cost. Motion was made by Ron Briery and seconded by Jerry Jones to move forward with approving Penco Engineering regarding the CCLIP project.  Vote taken.  Motion carried.

James also reported he has met with representatives of Prairie Land Electric and Sunflower Power regarding a proposed contract extension, which would save the City money. He would like to discuss the extension options with the Utility Committee. The current contract expires in 2022.

Jerry Jones reported the Parks Committee met with the Recreation Commission and baseball coaches to discuss the maintenance of the ballfields for next year.  James is getting price estimates for a batter’s box and pitching mound and then they will discuss it further.

Motion was made by Dennis Gilhousen and seconded by Robert Bowman to approve Appropriating Ordinance #21 as a whole.  Vote taken.  Motion carried.

Motion was made by Ron Briery to adjourn.  Council adjourned at 6:17 p.m.

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