November 04, 2013
The Governing Body of the City of Pratt met in Regular session in the Commission Room located in City Hall.
Jeff Taylor Mayor
Bill Hlavachick Commissioner
Gary Skaggs Commissioner
Karen Detwiler Commissioner
Lucus Kumberg Commissioner
Dave Howard City Manager
LuAnn Kramer City Clerk
Ken Van Blaricum City Attorney
Diana Garten Finance Director
Gary Myers Police Chief
Russell Rambat Public Works Director
Brad Blankenship Building Inspector
Kelly Hemphill Dir. of Electric Utilities
Bruce Pinkall Recreation Director
CALL TO ORDER:
The regular meeting was called to order by Mayor Taylor. The Mayor instructed the Clerk to note that all Commissioners were present.
The Mayor reminded the audience that this meeting may be taped and/or recorded.
INVOCATION AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE:
Mayor Taylor led the staff and audience in the invocation and Pledge of Allegiance.
A motion was made by Commissioner Skaggs to approve the minutes of the October 21, 2013 regular meeting. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Hlavachick and carried unanimously.
CONSIDERATION AND APPROVAL FOR STREET CLOSURES FOR THE OLD FASHIONED CHRISTMAS EVENT:
Chamber Director Jan Scarbrough requested that the Commission approve street closures for the Old Fashioned Christmas event November 23rd. Ms. Scarbrough commented that these were the same street closures as in 2010. Ms. Scarbrough stated that the Pratt Tribune had given them permission to place Santa’s house on their property at Fourth Street and Ninnescah Street, but she would need to check on the availability of electricity on that corner.
Ms. Scarbrough explained that they would have the reindeer, Miss Kansas, PCC Singers, PHS Band and Santa attending the event again this year. Ms. Scarbrough commented that she would have to check about the parking lot beside the Professional Building to see if the fire truck could park there. Ms. Scarbrough stated that the band would start on Second Street from Jackson Street, go down Main Street to Fourth Street. Recreation Director Pinkall questioned how many sets of bleachers they would need. Ms. Scarbrough stated that she thought two would be okay. Director of Electric Utilities Hemphill commented that there was electricity in the court house lawn and he would check about the lot where Santa’s house would be.
Commissioner Detwiler made a motion to approve the street closures from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on November 23rd for the Old Fashioned Christmas event. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Kumberg and carried unanimously.
CONSIDERATION AND APPROVAL TO ESTABLISH BICYCLE ROUTES AND/OR LANES IN PRATT:
Mr. DeWayne Bryan, Pratt Health Foundation/Pratt Health Coalition, commented that there were several different things to consider in establishing a bike route. Mr. Bryan stated that they were trying to organize bike routes to get people to a central circle and the main objective would be to get signs posted that mark the route. Mr. Bryan explained that one route they talked about would go from Sixth Street up Rochester Street to Stout Street, then to Maple Street and up to Highway 61. Mayor Taylor questioned if they would be able to go both ways on the same side of the street. Mr. Bryan explained that there would be a 4’ to 5’ wide path on both sides of the street, but it would also allow cars to park along the curb. Mr. Bryan stated that another possibility would be to go from Fifth Street to Highway 54 on Rochester Street and then make Haskell Street one-way to the highway. Mr. Bryan added that that would create a bike lane that would not impose with traffic.
Mr. Bryan stated that they had received a grant and would make a contribution of $500 to $600 to help purchase the signs. Mr. Howard explained that some of the signs would go on existing poles and others would require new posts. Mr. Howard questioned if a bike rider would be able to ride on any other streets that were not designated bike lanes. Mr. Bryan stated that they had been trying to convince kids to obey laws and we need to feel comfortable and safe on the busy streets.
Mr. Bryan stated that the Pratt Coalition had been looking at ten year plans that involve a bike path two miles long and one mile wide. Mr. Bryan added that they were figuring out how to build more sidewalks and they would continue to write grants. Mr. Bryan commented that the signage was the plan for this year. Commissioner Hlavachick stated that he had talked with Mr. Bryan and this was a good start. Commissioner Hlavachick added that bike usage would increase with this in place, but it would be a learning process. Commissioner Detwiler questioned how they would enforce the 30 mph speed limit. Mr. Bryan stated that people tend to slow down when there were bike lanes, but there were also more tickets issued in towns with bike lanes. Mr. Bryan commented that they were still looking at some things and would like to do a traffic study. Mr. Howard commented that another issue would be that the bike lanes would limit off street parking. Commissioner Skaggs stated that that would have people parking in their yards, which upsets people.
Commissioner Kumberg stated that doing the signage first would raise awareness. Commissioner Detwiler commented that we should look at a traffic count on Sixth Street and Rochester Street. Mr. Howard stated that he was going to buy a couple of traffic counters. Commissioner Detwiler questioned if there would be a bike lane on Main Street. Mr. Bryan explained that State highways had different rules and it would be difficult to work with diagonal parking. Mr. Bryan added that they would work with everyone when the Main Street project begins. Mayor Taylor stated that there were too many bikes on Main Street now, so he would not encourage bike lanes.
After little more discussion, Commissioner Hlavachick made a motion to establish bike signage from Maple Street west to Highway 61 to Main Street and Sixth Street east from Country Club Road and Fincham Street to Wal-Mart. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Kumberg and carried unanimously.
CONSIDERATION AND APPROVAL OF RESOLUTION 110413 PROVIDING FOR A HEARING ON THE UNSAFE OR DANGEROUS STRUCTURE AT 207 NORTH TAYLOR:
City Attorney Van Blaricum stated that the resolution for unsafe structures had worked well in the past and the structure at 207 North Taylor Street had holes in the roof and no utilities since 2005. Mr. Van Blaricum commented that the property was owned by Mr. J.C. Reed from Colorado. Mr. Van Blaricum stated that Building Inspector Blankenship had been in contact with Mr. Reed and he was not interested in doing anything. Mr. Van Blaricum explained that the approved resolution would put pressure on Mr. Reed to repair or demolish the structure. Mr. Van Blaricum stated that Mr. Reed would be given notice by certified mail after the resolution was published in the paper and he could appear before the Commission on December 16th.
The following Resolution 110413 was then presented to the Commission for their approval: RESOLUTION PROVIDING FOR HEARING ON UNSAFE OR DANGEROUS STRUCTURE PURSUANT TO K.S.A. 12-1750, ET SEQ. AND PRATT MUNICIPAL CODE SECTION 8.08.010 et seq. Commissioner Skaggs made a motion to approve Resolution 110413 providing for a hearing on the unsafe structure at 207 North Taylor. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Kumberg. Mayor Taylor questioned why they had to wait until December 16th. Mr. Van Blaricum explained that you had to publish the resolution twice and then wait thirty days after the 2nd publication for the hearing.
Building Inspector Blankenship stated that he would not bring these to them if he did not have to, but they were getting drifters sleeping in this one and the north side was covered with ivy, as well as roof damage and a broken limb going through the back porch. Mr. Blankenship explained that he had gotten letters from Mr. Reed stating that he was not going to do anything with it. Commissioner Skaggs commented that we had an obligation to the neighbors to get rid of this type of property. Mr. Howard added that we had also been mowing it. Mayor Taylor questioned if he had been paying the taxes. Mr. Van Blaricum stated that he was not sure. Mayor Taylor asked if we could garnish wages. Mr. Van Blaricum stated that the Statute stated that this was what we have to do and he was not sure that any other way would be cost effective. Mr. Blankenship stated that Mr. Reed was a physically disabled person who had no money and he could not trust anyone here to do anything. Mr. Howard stated that he had purchased the property and had never seen it. After little more discussion, the motion and second to approve Resolution 110413 was passed unanimously.
CONSIDERATION AND APPROVAL OF ORDINANCE 1308 CONCERNING LOITERING BY MINOR CHILDREN; WITH CONSEQUENCES FOR THE PARENTS OF MINOR CHILDREN:
City Attorney Van Blaricum reminded the Commission that they had sent him a clear message at the last meeting that they wanted to do the loitering ordinance right away. Mr. Van Blaricum stated that this ordinance provides for all minors under the age of eighteen from loitering between midnight to 6:00 a.m. seven days a week. Mr. Van Blaricum added that there could be consequences for the minor and their parents that could be up to thirty days in jail or a fine up to $500. Mr. Van Blaricum explained that this did not apply to minors that were with a parent or guardian. Mr. Van Blaricum stated that he felt that this was a good solid ordinance and it gives the officers a reason to stop a minor after midnight to ask them what they were doing. Commissioner Skaggs questioned if we had to specify Monday through Sunday. Mr. Van Blaricum stated that you do not.
The following Ordinance 1308 was then presented to the Commission for their approval: AN ORDINANCE CONCERNING LOITERING BY MINOR CHILDREN; WITH CONSEQUENCES FOR THE PARENTS OF MINOR CHILDREN. Commissioner Hlavachick made a motion to approve Ordinance 1308 concerning loitering by minor children; with consequences for the parents of minor children. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Skaggs and passed unanimously.
DISCUSSION ON THE SANDY CREEK TREE COVER SCREEN:
Building Inspector Blankenship reminded the Commission that he had discussed the cover screen in the Sandy Creek Division at the last meeting and that vinyl slats would be a bigger problem due to the wind. Mr. Blankenship commented that cedar trees were not ideal, but would work in the short term. Mr. Blankenship stated that he could get the trees for about $150 per tree and he was looking at around fifty. Mr. Blankenship explained the elevation changes and the smaller cedars from Prairie Parkway Business Park would work there.
Commissioner Skaggs questioned when they would be starting because we want people to know that we are doing something. Mr. Blankenship stated that they would start immediately. Commissioner Hlavachick asked if we were still going to do a drip system. Mr. Blankenship stated that we were and we would be doing that work ourselves. Mr. Howard added that the water line would be the second phase of Sandy Creek. Commissioner Skaggs asked if we would temporarily tap onto fire hydrants. Mr. Howard stated that we could. Mr. Blankenship explained that they use vinyl to get freeze expansion. Mr. Howard added that they would bury one or two inch pipe. Mr. Blankenship commented that he had not gone out for bid since they had not known how many trees they would need and nobody around here does that job. Commissioner Skaggs commented that we need to move on this and the Commission authorized the City Manager to spend up to $10,000 on cedar trees for Sandy Creek.
DISCUSSION ON LEMON PARK IMPROVEMENTS:
City Manager Howard commented that Public Works Director Rambat had given the Commission most of the future projects in Lemon Park that were going to start this year. Mr. Howard stated that the water line and sprinkler system at Dickerson Field would be done through donations and, with the land purchases, they had thought about making a project out of Lemon Park and revitalize the whole park.
Mr. Howard explained that there were a lot of things going on and lodging tax was doing well, which would help with the funding. Mr. Howard stated that they were looking at expanding the sidewalks and building more shelters. Commissioner Skaggs commented that the park was unique to Pratt and we should be thinking of future improvements. Commissioner Skaggs questioned what the relationship of the lake was to KDWPT and that it looked like it was time to have it dredged. Mayor Taylor commented that that would make good fill dirt for the Konkel property. Commissioner Hlavachick stated that he would talk to KDWPT this week. Mayor Taylor stated that the City had put in a lot of money the last time the lake was dredged. Commissioner Detwiler commented that she had visited with Ms. Linda Lanterman and had asked her to check on any funding or grants to clean the lake.
Mr. Howard stated that Phase 1 of the park project would include the waterline and the baseball field and we had enough money through a grant to start this project. Mr. Howard added that Park Superintendent Eckhoff had already started planting trees. Mr. Howard commented that they would discuss where to put shelter houses and gazebos, but they did not want to do anything that would have to be undone later.
Commissioner Detwiler questioned how old the well was in Sixth Street. Recreation Director Pinkall stated that it was around fifteen years old and was located in the southwest corner of the parking lot. Commissioner Detwiler asked if the sprinkler system was going in Sixth Street. Mr. Pinkall stated that it had run last summer or fall, but they would be winterizing it this week.
CONSIDERATION AND APPROVAL OF PROPOSED IMPROVEMENTS FOR DICKERSON DIAMOND IN LEMON PARK:
Recreation Director Pinkall stated that the sprinkler specs were in the packet for the system at Lemon Park and it mirrored the parts that they use now throughout the numerous systems. Mr. Pinkall explained that the maintaining of the elevation in the parking lot and the main field at Dickerson Field were part of the current improvements, but it also included painting the back stops.
Mr. Pinkall stated that they were going to also have a rededication of the field sometime. Mayor Taylor questioned if they were going to put covers over the top of the dugouts. Mr. Pinkall stated that they were and they would look a lot like what was at the Sports Complex, but there would be no covers over the bleachers. Commissioner Skaggs questioned if he had a total price. Mr. Pinkall stated that he did not, because he would be working with teams and volunteers, so the cost had not been broken down. Mr. Pinkall added that they also have funds in capital projects.
Commissioner Skaggs questioned if they would have more practices with the new improvements. Mr. Pinkall stated that it had been used six or seven times a week, so they would be scheduling something down there. After little more discussion, Commissioner Kumberg approved the proposed improvements and the concept. Commissioner Skaggs agreed and added that they should get started.
Mr. Pinkall informed the Commission that the Advisory Board had had a meeting and Mr. Eckhoff had attended also. Mr. Pinkall stated that Mr. Eckhoff had brought up the waterline and they want that as one of the topics for their next meeting.
REVIEW AND CONSIDERATION OF GENERATING UNIT #5’S POSITION IN THE CITY’S ELECTRIC UTILITY:
Director of Electric Utilities Hemphill explained to the Commission the place the steam generating unit #5 and 14 megawatt had in the City’s generating portfolio. Mr. Hemphill commented that steam unit #5 was the City’s only power source and the most stable operating stand-alone unit in past years. Mr. Hemphill added that unit #5 provides stability for the two 7.8 mw dual fuel units but when our load exceeds the steam unit’s capacity, the 7.8 mw units were not designed to operate stand-alone while using natural gas as a fuel source. Mr. Hemphill commented that expensive diesel fuel was the only fuel source that would allow the stability needed to operate the 7.8 mw units stand-alone and only one of them had an EPA permit to be operated that way.
Mr. Hemphill explained that stand-alone generation was needed for the City’s power source during transmission outages, scheduled and unscheduled, and during substation work needed for our distribution system upkeep & repair. Mr. Hemphill stated that our generating unit system had prevented potentially long power outages. Mr. Hemphill commented that this was not a tax mill levy fund but revenue comes from the margin built in to the electric rates; therefore, unit #5 would continue to operate as long as the maintenance and inspections were done. Mr. Hemphill reviewed several past instances, such as the 2003 tornado where there was ten days with no transmission due to problems with a switch in the Southern Pioneer substation, the 2007 ice storm along with repairs on the old tap changer, repairs to the old tap changer again in 2009 and 2011 and a tap changer replacement in 2012 where there was two weeks of stand-alone generation.
Mr. Hemphill stated that our transmission operator had informed us of a substation maintenance disconnection that would happen this coming March and last approximately two weeks. Mr. Hemphill added that our crews would take this opportunity to do much needed relay replacement and replacement of the main tie point feeder breaker. Mr. Hemphill commented that many instances over the past 30 years had required our City’s generation to provide for the power needs of the City’s electric customers.
Mr. Hemphill explained that a ‘full requirement’ City relies on the transmission energy provider for all of its energy needs, transmission, capacity and electricity. Mr. Hemphill added that electric rates to these Cities could be redefined each year depending on the demand on the providing company’s capacity assets; however, what they do not have requires them to go out on the market and buy.
Mr. Hemphill stated that the City of Pratt was a ‘partial requirement’ City that is able to meet the minimum requirement of 113% capacity margin. Mr. Hemphill explained that Pratt is capable of generating its entire load, as well as the capability allowing KMEA marketers to purchase electricity from the market. Mr. Hemphill added that the loss of the 14 mw unit #5 would result in a capacity purchase of approximately $350,000 per year after 2018. Mr. Hemphill stated that Pratt currently receives interruptible electricity as part of the agreements with KMEA (our energy marketer) and they have block agreements with MKEC/Sunflower and Grand River Dam Authority. Mr. Hemphill explained that this agreement allows for the most economical, interruptible electricity and firm capacity to be received for our electric utility customers. Mr. Hemphill commented that, with this source of economical energy, comes an obligation to maintain a minimum reserve capacity and the City’s reserve requirement could be met with the capability of our own generating units. Mr. Hemphill stated that, due to interruptible energy contract bundling, the City of Pratt’s purchase of interruptible electricity and firm base load capacity made it possible to enter into agreements to offer our spinning generating capacity to KMEA. Mr. Hemphill explained that this agreement required us to run the units when called upon and the arrangement has allowed us to receive reductions in our billing from KMEA. Mr. Hemphill informed the Commission that the City had received approximately $628,125 reduction in billing over the last five years of the agreement.
Mr. Hemphill explained several things that we would lose if we did not have unit #5, such as:
• Our existing contract
• The $112,500 that Pratt receives annually for capacity. Mr. Hemphill stated that we were expecting an increase to $450,000 yearly in capacity payments beginning in 2015. Mr. Hemphill added that the SPP currently requires us to have 113% of our peak kw in capacity reserves.
• Mr. Hemphill continued to explain that, without the steam unit, it was estimated that Pratt would not have enough capacity to be in compliance with the SPP in 2014, which would require us to try to purchase capacity from another utility on the market. Mr. Hemphill added that, if market capacity purchase was not available, we would have to buy from MKEC at the price of all the market will bear. Mr. Hemphill stated that it would cost approximately $18,000,000 to replace the steam unit with 14 mw of new generation, which would include a new building and infrastructure.
• Mr. Hemphill commented that if the transmission feed supplying electricity to the City of Pratt fails for any reason, Southern Pioneer requests us to untie between the months of May through September. Mr. Hemphill added that the City’s electric utility would not be able to supply energy to the entire City, which would result in some residential areas being without power for awhile and that result in loss of revenue and hardship to our residents.
• Mr. Hemphill stated that the final result would be that we were looking at $1.86 million in capacity payments between now and 2025 if we overhaul unit #5, but if we do not do the overhaul, we would not receive the $1.86 million in capacity payments, but we would spend $2.9 million on purchased capacity between now and 2025. Mr. Hemphill stated that the income from the City’s electric customers was approximately at $294 per hour.
The following chart was given to the Commission for reference only:
Peak Responsibility Available Excess Payment Peak Responsibility Available Deficit Expense
2013 24.396 27.567 40.142 12.575 $150,894.24 2013 24.396 27.567 40.125 12.558 $150,690.24
2014 24.64 27.843 40.142 12.299 $147,586.14 2014 24.64 27.843 27.625 -0.218 ($2,617.86)
2015 24.886 28.122 40.142 12.02 $144,244.96 2015 24.886 28.122 27.625 -0.497 ($5,959.04)
2016 25.135 28.403 40.142 11.739 $422,611.12 2016 25.135 28.403 27.625 -0.778 ($9,333.63)
2017 25.387 28.687 40.142 11.455 $412,386.11 2017 25.387 28.687 27.625 -1.062 ($12,741.96)
2018 25.64 28.974 40.142 11.168 $402,058.85 2018 25.64 28.974 27.625 -1.349 ($48,553.15)
2019 25.897 29.263 31.500 2.237 $80,516.32 2019 25.897 29.263 19.000 -10.263 ($369,483.68)
2020 26.156 29.556 31.500 1.944 $69,981.48 2020 26.156 29.556 19.000 -10.556 ($380,018.52)
2021 26.417 29.852 31.500 1.648 $59,341.30 2021 26.417 29.852 19.000 -10.852 ($390,658.70)
2022 26.282 30.15 31.500 1.350 $48,594.71 2022 26.282 30.15 19.000 -11.15 ($401,405.29)
2023 26.948 30.452 31.500 1.048 $37,740.66 2023 26.948 30.452 19.000 -11.452 ($412,259.34)
2024 27.218 30.756 31.500 0.744 $26,778.07 2024 27.218 30.756 19.000 -11.756 ($423,221.92)
2025 27.490 31.064 31.500 0.436 $15,705.85 2025 27.490 31.064 19.000 -12.064 ($434,294.15)
Total $1,867,545.58 Total ($2,890,547.24)
OVERVIEW OF THE JOINT LEC COMMITTEE MEETING:
Commissioner Kumberg informed the Commission that the LEC Committee had had a good meeting and the majority of the conversation was discussing the history of the committee and what they were there to do. Commissioner Kumberg stated that they had gone over issues that had come up over the years and a general discussion on reviewing the agreement between the City and the County. Commissioner Kumberg added that they felt that a City/County meeting was needed to update the agreement. Commissioner Kumberg explained that they discussed the nature of what law enforcement does on a daily basis, such as dispatch. Commissioner Kumberg stated that they have another meeting scheduled for November 18th to see where the committee wants to go from here and an evaluation of the agreement would come in the near future.
City Attorney Van Blaricum stated that the Sheriff was at the meeting and had shared the number of clients that they had had in the jail and there were 225 that bunked in the jail in 1976 compared to 1,200 in 2012. Mr. Van Blaricum commented that business was good and there was a lot of coming and going, which was why things get worn out. Mr. Van Blaricum explained that the jail was not large enough due to the extra traffic from City and District Court. Mr. Van Blaricum added that they used to be able to board from other jurisdictions, which made the County money, but that was not possible now. Mr. Van Blaricum stated that the Sheriff had asked the County Commission to expand and renovate the jail in the next couple of years to the tune of $800,000.
Mr. Van Blaricum commented that the issues with the dispatch area were the City’s responsibility. Mr. Van Blaricum stated that the dispatch personnel had doubled what it used to be and that area needed to be renovated with new equipment, paint and carpet. Mr. Van Blaricum explained that the cost to do that was around $30,000 and it was our responsibility, but it was a problem working that into the budget. Mr. Van Blaricum stated that they would sharpen their focus on what needs to be done to get the agreement up-to-date, with the renovation of the dispatch area and the jail expansion having priority in that discussion.
Police Chief Myers stated that he felt that it was a constructive meeting and it had set ground work for future meetings. Commissioner Kumberg stated that one question was whether everything could be done through forfeiture funds. Mr. Van Blaricum stated that he was working on the City’s behalf and our forfeiture fund account was significant. Mr. Van Blaricum explained that you can purchase new equipment, but not replace old. Mr. Van Blaricum gave the example that you could increase your fleet, but could not replace a vehicle and that would work the same way with computers. Mr. Van Blaricum suggested working carefully in the budget year and see if there were a variety of things that could be paid for with forfeiture funds.
Commissioner Kumberg stated that the City puts back $15,000 towards capital improvements at the LEC in addition to what we personally put back. Mr. Van Blaricum commented that we had paid our share of the renovation of the heating and a/c with that money and appropriated more money to cover the cost share. Mr. Howard commented that the current agreement was not for this purpose. Commissioner Skaggs questioned whether we needed to increase that fund. Commissioner Kumberg stated that that was part of what they had talked about and, for the first meeting in several years, it was a good meeting. Commissioner Hlavachick asked if they had gotten a tour of the facility. Commissioner Kumberg commented that they had gotten a tour, but not of the jail side.
• Mr. Matei’s stolen items:
Mr. Luca Matei, owner of the Country Club Apartments, stated that he had found the stolen items and they were in the possession of the person he had told the police. Mr. Matei commented that they needed to find a way to recover the item. Mr. Matei explained that they would be in jail if they had stolen from Wal-Mart and he was being punished by the Commission and the police.
Mr. Matei stated that the ordinance that they had passed tonight gave the police the power to arrest people for anything. Mr. Matei commented that abuse had been discussed in Washington, but we go ahead and give the police the power to arrest and the City gets the money from people who do not have any. Mr. Matei added that he was against the ordinance and the situation was because of the lawyer.
Commissioner Skaggs questioned if Chief Myers knew who had the stolen property. Chief Myers stated that he was not sure which investigation Mr. Matei was referring to, but he believed that the suspect was contacted and he had stated that he had been given that property. Mr. Matei loudly pointed out that that was a lie and it was perjury. Chief Myers stated that Mr. Matei had so many reports with the police, he would have to check it out tomorrow. Commissioner Skaggs questioned if a case number would help. Chief Myers stated that it would help.
Chief Myers commented that the person in possession of the property says that it was given to him and that was backed up by another party. City Manager Howard questioned what happens in that case. Chief Myers stated that you had to prove criminal intent that it was stolen. Mr. Matei stated that they had been evicted for non-payment and he was not in town when they moved out and the rest was bologna.
• Response to Mr. Matei:
City Attorney Van Blaricum stated that he would be glad to see what he could do to help with Mr. Matei’s accusations, but he had to have factual information. Mr. Van Blaricum commented that one thing he knew for sure was that we had an ace police department when it came to investigating things.
• North Main construction:
Public Works Director Rambat informed the Commission that North Main Street was open and the construction was complete. Mr. Rambat commented that they had chosen to do temporary stripping so that they could get it open. Mr. Rambat explained that you had to meet certain weather conditions when doing the stripping. Mr. Howard added that their contract gave them forty-five days and they had quite a bit of that left.
• Barricades in Streets:
Mr. Rambat informed the Commission that there were a number of barricades in the streets due to water leaks. Mr. Rambat stated that the water department likes to replace those on their terms, but that is not always the case. Mr. Rambat commented that they were keeping the street department busy filling up the holes. Mr. Rambat stated that we were using the most recent valves available, because we did not want to have to dig it up again. Mr. Rambat added that they hope things slow down, but it was good to get the calls because a leak could ruin the sub-grade if it was left too long.
• Round top building:
Mr. Rambat stated that the park department was taking down the round top and were already starting to think about the Christmas decorations.
• Wastewater plant:
Mr. Rambat stated that the wastewater plant project was moving along and they had sand blasted the digesters and they were good condition structurally. Mr. Rambat added that they would add a liner to that. Commissioner Skaggs questioned when the completion date was. Mr. Rambat stated that he was not sure, but it would probably be in late spring and that would depend on the weather conditions. Mr. Howard added that the digesters had not been opened up in years, but we were staying in compliance with the permits.
• Rail ties:
Building Inspector Blankenship stated that we had taken possession of 1,028 rail ties down at the park department and had received the first of three deliveries of the spikes. Mr. Blankenship explained that it takes four spikes per rail. Mr. Blankenship added that the contractor would start working after the Holiday Express was over.
• Fuel hauled away:
Director of Electric Utilities Hemphill stated that the fuel should be hauled away from the storage tank in about a week. Commissioner Skaggs questioned if we would buy more fuel. Mr. Hemphill commented that the tanks were salvage and we do not have a way to burn the fuel, so there was no need. Mr. Hemphill added that the other units had their own storage.
• Street lights:
Mr. Hemphill informed the Commission that the street lights at Sandy Creek were working.
• Christmas lights:
Mr. Hemphill stated that the line guys were working on the Christmas decorations. Commissioner Skaggs questioned if they were replacing some of the sockets. Mr. Hemphill stated that they were, because some of them were worn out and, without a secure mounting, the bulbs could get broken.
• Engines producing electricity:
Mr. Hemphill commented that the engines were able to produce electricity for emergency purposes, but they were still waiting on the monitoring system for the catalytic convertors. Mr. Hemphill explained that they could not be put on line yet. Mr. Hemphill stated that they would also have the cooling tower on unit #7 this week.
Commissioner Kumberg questioned if the Main Street lights were LED. Mr. Hemphill stated that they were. Commissioner Kumberg questioned if they would be changing others, because these were clearer. Mr. Hemphill stated that they would be taking the heads down section by section and replacing with LED’s. Mr. Howard added that the Wither’s Addition and Sandy Creek Addition both have LED’s.
• S.P.I.R.I.T. Conference:
Recreation Director Pinkall reminded the Commission of the S.P.I.R.I.T. Conference Thursday evening and Friday. Mr. Pinkall stated that they would take a trip to Cunningham on Thursday evening and again on Friday morning. Mr. Pinkall explained that there would representatives from KDOT, Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Kansas.
• Computer virus:
Chief Myers commented that he had left some information for the Commission concerning the police department being victims of a computer virus. Chief Myers stated that the virus had shut down the computers for two days and they were not able to generate case numbers or access word documents. Chief Myers added that 28,000 files were effected. Chief Myers explained that, once this virus takes hold, they notify you that you have seventy-two hours to pay a ransom of $300 or more to be decrypted. Chief Myers commented that you lose them totally if you fail to pay the ransom.
Chief Myers informed the Commission that they were able to regain their files after paying the $300 ransom and nothing was stolen and they should be getting back to full operation by tomorrow. Commissioner Skaggs questioned if there was any way to track who the infected email came from. Chief Myers stated that it was reported to the Kansas Fusion Center, Kansas Attorney General’s Office and the Department of Homeland Security.
• Sales Tax:
Finance Director Garten reported that sales tax was up $139,844.83 over last year. Commissioner Skaggs questioned if there was a certain segment that effects this more than another. Ms. Garten stated that it was everything that was happening in Pratt as far as construction, motels, Wal-Mart and Dillon’s. Ms. Garten added that the economy was not as downward as some think. Ms. Garten added that Wal-Mart was the biggest source of revenue.
• Sandy Creek property:
Commissioner Kumberg questioned when we would be closing on the Sandy Creek property. Mr. Howard stated that we did that last Monday.
A motion by Commissioner Kumberg to adjourn was seconded by Commissioner Hlavachick and passed unanimously.
JEFF A. TAYLOR, Mayor
LUANN KRAMER, City Clerk