March 02, 2015
The Governing Body of the City of Pratt met in Regular session in the Commission Room located in City Hall.
Jeff Taylor MayorBill Hlavachick Commissioner
Gary Skaggs Commissioner
Lucus Kumberg Commissioner
Doug Meyer Commissioner
Dave Howard City ManagerLuAnn 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
Jamie Huber Dir. of Electric Utilities
Bruce Pinkall Recreation Director
The regular meeting was called to order by Mayor Taylor. The Mayor instructed the Clerk to note that all Commissioners were present.
Mayor Taylor reminded the audience and staff that this meeting was being recorded and/or taped.
INVOCATION AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE:
Mayor Taylor led the staff and audience in the invocation and Pledge of Allegiance.
Commissioner Meyer made a motion to approve the minutes of the February 16, 2015 regular Commission meeting. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Hlavachick and passed unanimously.
CONSIDERATION AND APPROVAL OF RESOLUTION 030215 ALLOWING THE VERNON FILLEY ART MUSEUM TO SERVE FREE ALCOHOLIC LIQUOR:
City Attorney Van Blaricum commented that this was what had been talked about at the last meeting and reminded the Commission that State law allows a charitable organization to serve free alcohol if it was approved by the local government. Mr. Van Blaricum pointed out that this was a continuous resolution; however, the City could change their minds and dissolve it at any time. Commissioner Hlavachick questioned if they had to come to the City Commission each time they were going to have one of these events. Mr. Van Blaricum clarified that they do not, but they had to send in a copy of this resolution and the permit application every time.
The following Resolution 030215 was then presented to the Commission for their approval: RESOLUTION ALLOWING ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES AT CERTAIN CHARITABLE EVENTS AT THE VERNON FILLEY ART MUSEUM. Commissioner Hlavachick made a motion to approve Resolution 030215 allowing the Vernon Filley Art Museum to serve free alcoholic liquor at times. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Kumberg and carried unanimously.
CONSIDERATION AND APPROVAL OF THE RE-APPOINTMENTS TO THE LIBRARY BOARD:
City Manager Howard stated that there was a letter of request from the Pratt Public Library Board on the reappointments of Mr. Bob Lee and Ms. Amy Schrag. Mr. Howard added that this would be the second four year term for both Mr. Lee and Ms. Schrag. Commissioner Skaggs made a motion to approve the reappointments of Mr. Bob Lee and Ms. Amy Schrag to a second four year term on the Library Board. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Meyer and carried unanimously.
CONSIDERATION AND APPROVAL OF JAMIE HUBER REPLACING KELLY HEMPHILL AS THE ALTERNATE BOARD MEMBER ON THE KMU BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
City Manager Howard stated that Mr. Jamie Huber would be replacing Mr. Kelly Hemphill on the KMU Board of Directors. Mr. Howard added that Mr. Hemphill was the alternate member until his retirement. Commissioner Hlavachick made a motion to approve the appointment of Mr. Jamie Huber on the KMU Board of Directors in place of Mr. Kelly Hemphill as the alternate member. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Kumberg and carried unanimously.
CONSIDERATION AND APPROVAL OF CITY FUNDING FOR THE MAIN STREET STREETSCAPE PROJECT:
City Manager Howard informed the Commission that KDOT had a bid opening for the Main Street Streetscape project and Bryant and Bryant Construction Inc. had the lowest bid of $1,259,299.23. Mr. Howard added that the City share would be $308,000. Mr. Howard stated that the City had never set a limit on what we were shooting for and this was about $60,000 more than we had anticipated. Mr. Howard commented that Bryant and Bryant Construction had not been awarded the contract yet because KDOT was waiting for the City to obligate the funds. Mayor Taylor clarified that they were waiting for us to give them the money. Mr. Howard stated that we had to confirm our obligation before they would give the go ahead. Recreation Director Pinkall commented that the grant was an 80/20 split between KDOT and the City.
After little more discussion, Commissioner Skaggs made a motion to approve the bid from Bryant and Bryant Construction Inc. for $1,259,299.23 with the City share being $308,000. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Kumberg.
Mr. Howard commented that Lindsborg had been awarded the same project as this and they started construction in January. Mr. Howard stated that he had been up there for a meeting and returned later in the week with Mr. Pinkall. Mr. Howard explained that Lindsborg did not have a State highway going through their downtown, but the pictures provided would give us an idea of what the project would look like in the middle of the construction. Mr. Pinkall stated that he had received some of this information from Bryant and Bryant.
Mr. Pinkall stated that things had been sent to KDOT after the last task force meeting and they had closed the discussion. Mr. Pinkall explained that the task force had met for three and a half months and had discussed things as a task force. Mr. Pinkall commented that he had been contacted by Ms. Cindy Keller and they had discussed their thoughts about trees and amenities they had seen. Mr. Pinkall added that the task force was not meeting at that point and KDOT already had our plans. Mr. Pinkall explained that there would be a merchants meeting to talk about what works for them if the City got the grant. Mr. Pinkall stated that that meeting was set for Tuesday, March 10th at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall.
Mr. Pinkall showed the Lindsborg pictures on power point and stated that their project was about four blocks long. Mr. Pinkall pointed out that the depth of their sidewalks was similar to ours and we would also be pro-active with signage. Mr. Pinkall commented that they had left a 4’ sidewalk for accessibility to the businesses when they tore out the sidewalks. Mr. Fred Sullivan questioned if we would be doing any curb and gutter work. Public Works Director Rambat explained that we would on ADA ramps and if something gets damaged. Mr. Sullivan asked if Park Superintendent Eckhoff would be helping with the trees. Mr. Pinkall stated that Mr. Eckhoff was involved with our task force. Mr. Pinkall explained that the goal was to share this with the business people and possibly make a trip to Lindsborg and visit with their City Manager.
Mr. Pinkall explained that the bid was let on February 18th with a start date in April. Commissioner Skaggs questioned if we would have the same company and same crew as Lindsborg. Mr. Howard stated that we would not know until they were awarded the contract. Mr. Howard added that the pre-construction meeting would lay that out.
Mr. Blake Himmelwright questioned how many trees there were per block in the design. Mr. Pinkall stated that there were three trees per block with two on one side of the block and one on the other and alternating blocks. Mr. Himmelwright stated that he felt that was inadequate and that he was speaking for others that were in attendance. Mr. Himmelwright commented that shoppers wanted more trees and, although he realized that he was a little late to the game, he asked that more trees be considered. Mr. Pinkall stated that there was not a point of not considering it, but EBH had done what we wanted and we would have only gotten two blocks with the addition of more trees. Mr. Pinkall explained that we had to spread what we had in two blocks to four blocks. Mr. Howard commented that it was close to 50/50 on trees being the focal point of the issue.
Commissioner Skaggs commented that change orders could be expensive. Mr. Pinkall stated that he assumed they would be. Mr. Himmelwright stated that he could get help with the trees. Commissioner Skaggs questioned if we would plant them if someone bought them. EBH Engineer Alan Luttrell stated that Bryant and Bryant Construction would do what we wanted, but KDOT would fund the project within a certain range and we would pick up the difference. Mr. Luttrell added that KDOT wants to do four blocks and we need to see that get done. Commissioner Kumberg commented that he knew that there were rules we had to follow, but questioned if there would be a rebidding process since the engineering had been done. Mr. Howard stated that KDOT would do the amendments and we would be responsible for the costs.
Commissioner Kumberg questioned how many trees the group was talking about. Mr. Himmelwright stated that it would be six per side or twelve per block. Mr. Himmelwright elaborated by stating that we had a huge problem with deferred store fronts and the trees would cover that up. Mr. Sullivan commented that we should think about the cost of maintenance on those trees over the next fifty years. Mr. Howard stated that we had a summer person hired that maintains the planters and trees and we had anticipated continuing that. Commissioner Skaggs commented that the buildings change occupants and they may not want to take care of the trees so this was not a black and white decision. Commissioner Skaggs continued stating that this was a compromise that had already been reached. Mr. Howard stated that he knew what was in the plans and retail merchants did not want trees blocking their store fronts. Mr. Howard explained that we were not only dealing with businesses but store owners.
Mr. Sullivan questioned where the cactus in front of Simply Southwest fits into the plan or drilling holes for flags. Mr. Howard stated that we were not dealing with the State on the sidewalks, but there was an ordinance dealing with someone interfering with people using the sidewalk. Commissioner Skaggs commented that the cactus came about because the tree died. Mr. Himmelwright stated that the point was the image of this town and the lack of trees such as nothing by the high school and zero scaping by Blythe Fitness Center. Commissioner Hlavachick stated that he would like to see more trees, but not twelve. Building Inspector Blankenship commented that there were going to be planters in between along with benches and trash receptacles.
Mr. Howard stated that they should come to the meeting and talk to the task force. Mr. Pinkall agreed and stated that they were the ones that came up with that number. Mr. Howard commented that the position the City had was whether they were the right kind of trees. Mr. Himmelwright stated that there were great trees that could be manageable. Mr. Howard commented that the other thought had been to place them between the buildings and not in front. Mr. Howard added that 70% of the discussion had been about trees.
Mr. Sullivan asked if the State owns the sidewalk by the Art Museum. Mr. Howard clarified that KDOT had to be the one to approve that so that it would not interfere with traffic. Mr. Howard stated that Highway 281 was not the City’s, but the side streets were. Mayor Taylor stated that the project was set and he personally did not care for the trees. Mayor Taylor commented that, in his opinion, trees should be in the park and not downtown. Mr. Howard stated that the City wanted to do what everybody else wants to do. Commissioner Skaggs asked if the artist’s rendering would be at the meeting on the 10th. Mr. Howard stated that they would do a review of the whole project.
Mr. Pinkall pointed out that the approximate cost to get a tree in the ground with the root barrier would be around $2,700 per tree. Mr. Sullivan calculated that it would cost about an additional $108,000 for thirty-six more trees. Commissioner Meyer questioned if we had budgeted for that. Finance Director Garten explained that we had budgeted 20% of $1.2 million and had talked about using Travel and Tourism funds. Commissioner Hlavachick stated that this could be discussed more on the 10th, but he thought that more trees were beneficial for shoppers.
With no further discussion, the motion and second to approve the bid from Bryant and Bryant Construction Inc. for $1,259,299.23 with the City share being $308,000 passed unanimously.
No one in the audience wished to address the Commission.
· Tornado sirens:
City Manager Howard stated that we had rearranged the tornado sirens and there would be a weekly practice until October; however, there would be a State wide test tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. Mayor Taylor questioned if it was still the policy to forego testing them if the weather was stormy. Mr. Howard stated that it was.
· Well Monitoring:
Mr. Howard explained that there was a letter from CGP concerning the well monitoring that had been requested by KDHE. Mr. Howard stated that KDHE recommended that we utilize that well as little as possible. Mr. Howard added that we operate it to keep the pump running, but it would be going to the bottom of the list. Commissioner Kumberg asked if the contamination was where the station used to be. Mr. Howard commented that it was from that area.
Mr. Howard stated that they had put strippers in the ground water and that should help get rid of the contamination, but it was a five year project. Mr. Howard commented that we were not hurting for well capacity and it would not affect our system. Commissioner Kumberg questioned if we would have to abandon the well at some point. Mr. Howard stated that that might happen if this did not solve the problem. Commissioner Kumberg asked if this would cost us money. Mr. Howard stated that it was a State project, so they would pay for it.
· Open up 4th Street:
Public Works Director Rambat stated that the water department had the 8” line installed to the alley on Fourth Street. Mr. Rambat explained that they were letting the patch cure in and then would put the bricks back, so they should finish up in the next couple of days and would be able to open up Fourth Street.
· First Southern Baptist Church:
Mr. Rambat commented that they were making a tap for a bigger fire line at the First Southern Baptist Church on Highway 61 and Maple Street.
· Weekend snow:
Mr. Rambat stated that the street guys had spread sand this weekend since the snow was not enough to pull the plows out.
· Vibration unit:
Director of Electric Utilities Huber stated that the power plant had been finishing up loose ends on the vibration unit.
· Line Maintenance:
Mr. Huber stated that the line distribution guys had been doing line maintenance and replacing a rash of light poles that had been hit. Commissioner Kumberg questioned if we charge for that. Mr. Huber stated that we do.
· Mailbox at Dillon’s:
Recreation Director Pinkall stated that he had met with the post office again concerning the mailbox at Dillon’s. Mr. Pinkall commented that they had done a thirty day survey on the Dillon’s mailbox and sent it to the regional headquarters. Mr. Pinkall explained that the current location of the mailbox would probably stay where it was, but they would decide on whether we needed another location for another one. Commissioner Skaggs commented that that would not keep cars from backing up onto Howard Street and questioned if Dillon’s had responded to us yet. Mr. Howard stated that it should help to take out the post office traffic and that there had never been any complaints until the mailbox was put in.
Mayor and Commission:
· Fire Truck dedication:
Commissioner Meyer stated that he had attended the new fire truck dedication on Sunday along with Commissioner Kumberg. Commissioner Meyer commented that it was a really nice event. Commissioner Meyer questioned where we were at on the roof of that building. Mr. Blankenship stated that Asst. Fire Chief Stevens had fixed the leak and they had not noticed any others.
· Trash tonnage adjustment:
Commissioner Meyer questioned where we were at on the tonnage after we got the refund from the County and were going to make adjustments. Mr. Howard stated that we had made the adjustments to our tonnage and they had also formed a board that he and Mr. Rambat would be on. Mr. Howard added that he did not know what the County was doing, but that could be discussed at the next joint meeting.
· Ladder truck:
Commissioner Meyer commented that we did not want to drop the mutual aid agreement concerning the ladder truck the County has.
· Farmer’s Market:
Commissioner Meyer asked about striping the Farmer’s Market and if we were going to do that. Mr. Howard stated that that was private property. Commissioner Skaggs stated that he had thought that that was our property when he brought that up and Mr. Bowe was donating the property.
· Parking at Blades:
Commissioner Skaggs questioned if the parking situation at Blades had been resolved. Mr. Rambat stated that he had installed the signs and they were delighted.
· Municipal Building architect:
Commissioner Skaggs asked where we were with an architect for the Municipal Building. Mr. Howard stated that he had talked to one but had not talked to any others.
Open Agenda cont.:
· Dumpster divers:
Mr. Fred Sullivan commented that he owns a couple of businesses on Main Street and there were people creeping around the buildings going through dumpsters. Mr. Sullivan questioned if trash became the property of the City if it was in their dumpsters. Mr. Howard stated that there was a 1973 Supreme Court case that stated that it was public if it was in a receptacle. Mr. Howard added that it was a common occurrence around here. Mr. Sullivan commented that it could be midnight when people were creeping around and crawling out of dumpsters. Mayor Taylor stated that he has had people throw tires in someone else’s dumpster and drive off when he tried to stop them. Mayor Taylor asked what we should do then, because sanitation takes them out and sets them up against his building. Mr. Howard stated that there was an ordinance against that if they get caught.
A motion by Commissioner Skaggs to adjourn was seconded by Commissioner Kumberg. The motion and second passed unanimously.
___________________________JEFF A. TAYLOR, Mayor
LUANN KRAMER, City Clerk