MARCH 06, 2017
The Governing Body of the City of Pratt met in Regular session in the Commission Room located in City Hall.
Lucus Kumberg MayorDoug Meyer Commissioner
Bill Hlavachick Commissioner
Gary Schmidt Commissioner
Don Peters Commissioner
Roy Eckert City ManagerLuAnn Kramer City Clerk
Regina Goff Acting City Attorney
Diana Garten Finance Director
Gary Myers Chief of Police
Russell Rambat Public Works Director
Brad Blankenship Building Inspector
Jamie Huber Dir. of Electric Utilities
Bruce Pinkall Recreation Director
CALL TO ORDER:
The regular meeting was called to order by Mayor Kumberg. The Mayor instructed the City 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:
Commissioner Meyer led the staff and audience in the invocation and Mayor Kumberg led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Commissioner Hlavachick made a motion to approve the minutes of the February 20, 2017 regular Commission meeting. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Schmidt and carried unanimously.
CONSIDERATION AND APPROVAL OF SCKSEC’S ‘WALK FOR HOPE’ ON SEPTEMBER 16, 2017:
Ms. Jo Walker, SCKSEC representative, requested approval for a 5K walk/run in Lemon Park on September 16, 2017. Ms. Walker stated that they had never done anything like this before, but they were doing it as a fundraiser. Ms. Walker commented that they would be walking the trail in Lemon Park; therefore, they would not need to close the park and they would have volunteers stationed at the cross walks. Public Works Director Rambat stated that he did not think we needed to be too involved since they were not going to be leaving the park. With no more discussion, the Commission were all in agreement to allow SCKSEC to hold their 5K on September 16, 2017 in Lemon Park.
CONSIDERATION AND APPROVAL OF 2017 CMB APPLICATION FOR CASEY’S GENERAL STORE:
Police Detective Jeff Ward informed the Commission that Casey’s had applied for a cereal malt beverage license and they had met all the requirements. City Clerk Kramer added that there were two representatives from Casey’s present, which was a requirement of a first time applicant. With no further discussion, Commissioner Meyer made a motion to approve the 2017 Cereal Malt Beverage application from Casey’s General Store. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Hlavachick and carried unanimously.
CONSIDERATION AND APPROVAL OF BID FOR A 500 KVA PAD MOUNT TRANSFORMER AT SOUTHWEST SCHOOL:
Director of Electric Utilities Jamie Huber informed the Commission that Southwest School was going to need a bigger transformer for their renovation project because their load would increase. Mr. Huber stated that Stanion Wholesale Electric submitted a bid of $10,262 with tax included and Kriz-Davis bid $10,169.70 tax included. Mr. Huber recommended the local bid from Stanion Wholesale Electric due to the 5% leeway for local businesses. Commissioner Meyer asked what we would do with the old transformer. Mr. Huber stated that it would be put into stock. Mr. Huber explained that the school would pay the difference for the upgrade. Commissioner Hlavachick made a motion to approve the bid from Stanion Wholesale Electric for a 500 KVA pad mount transformer for $10,262 tax included. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Meyer. Commissioner Meyer questioned if we were buying two. Mr. Huber stated that we were not because one project fell through. With nothing further, the motion and second passed unanimously.
CONSIDERATION AND APPROVAL OF 2017 PRATT CITY ATTORNEY AGREEMENT:
Acting City Attorney Regina Goff reminded the Commission that, in lieu of a City Attorney contract in January, they had introduced Charter Ordinance 21 that would exempt the City from State Statute. Ms. Goff explained that the Charter Ordinance would not take effect until the end of March unless there was a petition. Ms. Goff stated that she was presenting the contract with an effective date of Charter Ordinance 21. Commissioner Peters questioned how we would help with clerical assistance in Section 4. Ms. Goff stated that Municipal Court Clerk Jamie Walker sends out letters reminding people of infractions and there would be letter writing to and from defense attorneys. Ms. Goff commented that she had taken the previous contract and changed what was personal to her. Commissioner Meyer made a motion to approve the City Attorney Agreement for 2017 as presented by the Acting City Attorney and City Manager. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Hlavachick and passed unanimously.
CONSIDERATION AND APPROVAL OF THE UPDATED EMPLOYEE PERSONNEL POLICY MANUAL:
City Manager Eckert stated that the personnel policy handbook he had gotten when he started was from 1995 and he felt it was time to do an update. Mr. Eckert commented that it was a major undertaking to revise it, but the League had been very helpful since they had just finished a 2017 draft example. Mr. Eckert stated that we had tweaked it to pertain to us and Ms. Goff had looked it over also. Mr. Eckert commented that this was a group effort and staff had done a tremendous job to get this accomplished successfully. Commissioner Peters questioned if the old policy was outdated due to Federal and State regulation changes. Mr. Eckert stated that that was correct and explained that there was no Veterans requirement in the 1995 manual and there was also nothing that designated a nursing room for women.
Commissioner Peters questioned if full and part–time employee evaluations would be done quarterly as stated in Section D-3b on page eleven. Mr. Eckert stated that that was the recommendation since we tend to forget if we wait until the end of the year. Mr. Eckert commented that all the departments were doing a good job; however, any issues should always be documented. Commissioner Peters asked if there was an approved evaluation form. Mr. Eckert stated that he had one that was standard and would be bringing it to the Commission.
Commissioner Schmidt questioned if we had a plan in writing where somebody was able to fill in for a period of time in the event of an emergency in a department. Mr. Eckert stated that that was done at the department level on who would step in and that had not been a problem in the past. Public Works Director Rambat stated that most departments initiate that possibility and it goes from a superintendent to the foreman. Mr. Rambat added that most people were versed on equipment in their departments and Mr. Eckert or he would be there to guide them. Commissioner Schmidt stated that the biggest would be payroll and who would write checks. Commissioner Schmidt explained that his concern was if the second person was to take a two week vacation and where it would state in the policy book who down the ladder would fill in. Mr. Rambat commented that people plan their vacations around projects and we all work well as a team. Mayor Kumberg stated that the handbook should be the rules for employment and then those situations could be handled through departmental policies.
With little more discussion, Commissioner Peters made a motion to approve the new personnel manual amending page 11, Section D-3b as discussed. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Meyer and passed unanimously. Mr. Eckert thanked his staff and stated that he was proud of the accomplishment.
No one in the audience wished to address the Commission.
· Executive Session:
City Manager Eckert requested an executive session for real estate purchase issues to last thirty minutes at the end of the meeting.
· Crime issue:
Mr. Eckert stated that our prayers and thoughts go out to the young man who got shot and to his family. Mr. Eckert commented that we continue to have a crime issue; however we were seeing some good things being pushed from Ms. Goff and law enforcement. Mr. Eckert explained that the person who shot the young man could be prosecuted in Kansas or he may go to Mississippi or New Mexico for his other crimes. Mr. Eckert added that Mississippi had very tough standards.
Mr. Eckert stated that Casey’s was on the ball and was a little ahead of schedule.
· Property for State:
Mr. Eckert stated that there was interest from the State in property that would have a large building or green space on it and our airport had both. Mr. Eckert commented that he had given the information to Mr. Reid Bell and the deadline to submit the information was the 9th. Mr. Eckert explained that they were looking at somewhere close to an airport that would create around one hundred jobs. Mr. Eckert stated that they would also need utilities and we had that. Commissioner Peters asked what the next step would be. Mr. Eckert stated that we send in everything and the State takes it from there.
· Properties needing attention:
Acting City Attorney Goff stated that she was working on a number of projects, but she was making great strides. Ms. Goff explained that she had emailed the County Counselor concerning eight properties that the City had been doing the upkeep and she had requested that those properties be included in a tax sale. Ms. Goff commented that she had visited with County Counselor Schmisseur today and most of those properties had been included in his petition and he would amend the petition to include the others. Ms. Goff commented that each property owner would receive notification and the County Counselor would sell the property, which would take several months. Ms. Goff added that the proceeds would go to pay the cost of litigation and then would be divided on how much each entity would get.
· Refurbish Maple Street bridge:
Public Works Director Rambat stated that he had been working with EBH on plans to refurbish the bridge on Maple Street. Mr. Rambat explained that the City has Federal government money saved back and we would be able to use that on this project so that it would not come out of the budget. Mr. Rambat commented that we would have to make a choice on saving money and closing it down or do it in halves, which would cost us more.
· Getting ready for spring:
Mr. Rambat stated that the departments were keeping busy getting mowers ready and the street department was finishing up their crack sealing project. Mr. Rambat commented that they were also looking ahead to the pool. Mayor Kumberg stated that spring clean-up had been brought up at the joint meeting with the County and they had decided to let Mr. Winkel and Mr. Rambat coordinate that. Mr. Rambat stated that he was looking at doing it at a similar time frame as last year.
· Storm clean-up:
Commissioner Peters asked where we get the money for the storm clean-up. Mr. Rambat stated that he had had a quick meeting with FEMA since the County did declare. Mr. Rambat added that we were the only one in the County with much clean-up. Mr. Rambat explained that they would have a kick-off meeting in a couple of weeks and then there would be a lot of paperwork to fill out. Mr. Rambat commented that 85% of what was done during the storm was with budgeted funds and that would not be reimbursed. Finance Director Garten stated that it would pay for overtime and regular time. Ms. Garten explained that 75% for all qualified expenses would come from Federal and 10% would come from the State. Mr. Rambat stated that anything we got back would take stress off of the regular budget.
Building Inspector Blankenship thanked Ms. Goff for tackling the mowing issues. Mr. Blankenship commented that we may not get anything out of it, but to get them to the right people in a Sheriff’s sale who would keep them clean.
Mr. Blankenship stated that Casey’s was trying to pour concrete as fast as they could and they wanted to get the communication lines in there before the concrete. Mr. Blankenship commented that they were looking at April 12th for the opening and they would have free pizza and free drinks at the opening. Mr. Blankenship explained that they did not want anyone to go on the inside; however, the managers would go in next week and start doing their thing. Mr. Blankenship added that the sign company would also be here next week.
· Traffic stops:
Commissioner Peters stated that he appreciated the report that Sgt. Gimpel sends out and he had noticed that the amount of traffic stops had gone up big time. Commissioner Peters questioned if there were actual tickets issued or just a warning. Detective Ward stated that an officer generates a report when they make a stop. Commissioner Peters commented that the report showed ninety-two items other than traffic stops and questioned if that was a lot for a month. Detective Ward stated that it was not, because the system was tweaked to count the types of incidents, such as larceny, embezzlement and fraud. Detective Ward explained that larceny was just theft and embezzlement was an employee type situation and fraud was simply that. Mayor Kumberg questioned where passing a bad financial instrument was. Detective Ward stated that the County Attorney tracks those and the police department tracks any crime that was associated with deception.
Commissioner Peters asked what a DL violation was. Detective Ward stated that that was driver’s license. Ms. Goff explained that the most serious sentences were for driving while suspended. Ms. Goff stated that this was a serious crime and there could be mandatory jail time if there was a previous conviction of a DUI and their license was suspended.
Commissioner Meyer asked about the call over the weekend for shots fired. Detective Ward stated that that was under investigation and there was not a lot to follow up on.
· Sales tax:
Finance Director Garten stated that the economic indicator showed that sales tax was up 3 ½ to 4%, but we were still down from the last two years. Ms. Garten added that it was a positive indicator that we were looking upwards.
Mayor and Commission:
· Tribune article:
Commissioner Peters commented that he appreciated the article in the Tribune about the people that were trespassing. Commissioner Peters stated that it was good to see that the police were answering calls.
· Meeting with Public Works:
Commissioner Peters thanked Mr. Rambat for entertaining Commissioner Schmidt and himself and getting to meet the department heads. Commissioner Peters stated that they had good communication with Mr. Rambat and they do a good job.
Mayor Kumberg made a motion to enter into executive session for consultation with an attorney on matters that would be deemed privileged in an attorney-client relationship not to exceed thirty minutes. Commissioner Peters seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
Mayor Kumberg made a motion to return from executive session with nothing to report. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Hlavachick and carried unanimously.
Upon proper motion, the meeting was adjourned.
LUCUS KUMBERG, Mayor
_______________________________________LUANN KRAMER, City Clerk
After return from executive session there was a motion and second not to
sell the property north of Sandy Creek.