CITY OF FORT SCOTT
CITY COMMISSION MEETING
Minutes are unapproved until the Jan. 21 meeting.
Minutes of January 7, 2020 Regular Meeting #1
The regular meeting of the Fort Scott City Commission was held January 7th, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. in the City Commission Room, 123 S. Main, Fort Scott, Kansas.
Commissioners Adamson, Bartelsmeyer, Mitchell and Nichols were present with Mayor Parker presiding.
INVOCATION: Rev. Gene Payne, Minister, said a prayer asking God for guidance for the City, our Government and City officials.
AUDIENCE IN ATTENDANCE: Bob Duncan, Greg Gauss, Josh Jones, Carey Spoon, Robert Uhler, Jeff Fischer, Jeff Deane, Gene Payne, Bobbi Kemna, Patrick Wood, Jason Gorman, Jason Pickert, Brian Allen, Janice Allen, Michael Hoyt, Jenna Campbell, Margie Brown, Deb McCoy, Dave Bruner, Elaine Buerge, Carol Lydic, Michael Mix, Jerald Mitchell, Susan Bancroft, Devin Tally, Lindsay Madison, Beth Nuss, Larry Nuss, Lee Lorimer, Linda I. Fox, George Fox, Aaron Judy, Nancy K. Van Etten, Kerry Van Etten, Chris Maycumber, Ryan Coon, John Coon, Max Fanning, Deb Needleman, Rachel Pruitt, Chad Brown, Kevin Allen, Lindsey Watts, Pete Allen, Clayton Miller, and representing the press, Tammy Helm, Fort Scott Tribune.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES AND APPROPRIATIONS/CONSENT AGENDA:
Approval of minutes of the regular meeting of December 17th, 2019 and special meeting of December 30th, 2019.
Approval of Appropriation Ordinance 1253-A totaling $617,401.89.
Resolution 1-2020 designating the official City newspaper.
Resolution 2-2020 designating the official City depositories for public funds
Bartelsmeyer moved the Consent Agenda. Adamson seconded. All voted aye.
APPROVED CONSENT AGENDA.
City Manager thanked Cheryl Adamson, Cindy Bartelsmeyer, and Jeanie Parker for their many years of service. He presented them with a plaque of appreciation, their picture which hung in the Commission Room, and their name plate.
REORGANIZATION OF CITY COMMISSION AND ELECTION OF MAYOR, COMMISSION PRESIDENT, B.C.E.D.C.I. REPRESENTATIVE, AND FORT SCOTT HOUSING AUTHORITY DELEGATE.
Swearing in of new City Commissioners – City Clerk, Diane Clay, administered the oath of office to Kevin Allen, Pete Allen, and Lindsey Watts.
Election of Mayor
Randy Nichols moved to appoint JoLynne Mitchell as Mayor of the City of Fort Scott. Lindsey Watts seconded.
Kevin Allen moved to appoint Pete Allen as Mayor of the City of Fort Scott. Pete Allen seconded.
Nichols, Mitchell and Watts voted aye in favor of JoLynne Mitchell being appointed as Mayor. K. Allen and P. Allen voted no. Motion carried 3-2.
APPOINTED JOLYNNE MITCHELL AS MAYOR OF THE CITY OF FORT SCOTT.
Election of Commission President
JoLynne Mitchell moved to appoint Randy Nichols as President of the Fort Scott City Commission. Lindsey Watts seconded. Nichols,
Pete Allen moved to appoint Kevin Allen as President of the City Commission. Kevin Allen seconded.
Mitchell, Watts, and Nichols voted aye in favor of Randy Nichols as President of the Fort Scott City Commission. K. Allen and P. Allen voted no. Motion carried 3-2.
APPOINTED DR. RANDY NICHOLS AS PRESIDENT OF THE FORT SCOTT CITY COMMISSION.
Election of Bourbon County Economic Development Council Inc. Representative
Mitchell moved to appoint Dr. Randy Nichols as the City’s representative on the Bourbon County Economic Development Council, Inc. Pete Allen seconded. P. Allen, Nichols, Watts, and Mitchell voted aye. K. Allen voted no. Motion carried 4-1.
APPOINTED DR. RANDY NICHOLS AS THE CITY’S REPRESENTATIVE FOR THE BOURBON COUNTY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL, INC.
Election of Fort Scott Housing Authority Delegate
Kevin Allen moved to appoint Lindsey Watts as the City’s representative on the Fort Scott Housing Authority Board. JoLynne Mitchell seconded. All voted aye.
APPOINTED LINDSEY WATTS AS THE CITY’S REPRESENTATIVE FOR THE FORT SCOTT HOUSING AUTHORITY BOARD.
B. CITIZEN COMMENTS (Concerning Items Not on Agenda – 3 minute
limit per citizen) –
Bob Duncan – Mr. Duncan said that he thought you guys all thought he would just go away but he didn’t. Mr. Martin and Dave Bruner have a huge bully pulpit in this room and in the Tribune and local radio at no cost to themselves. Still, three incumbent Commissioners were ousted and the other two would have also been turned out had they been on the ballot. Even though they have overwhelming support of most local government and school board employees who comprise a big portion of the voting electors. The reason is enough citizens have taken time to actually know the truth of how the City’s leadership has been performing in the past. He said he doesn’t know Pete’s position on a lot of the issues, but he has superior intellect. The rest of you would do well to take heed and help facilitate his efforts. In the coming months, I hope to shed some light for the rest of the citizens so they can see why our infrastructure is crumbling and why so many have come and gone. Good entrepreneurs and innovative who would be taxpaying citizens. Much of the problem is incompetence, but some of it is outright dishonesty.
Commissioner Kevin Allen said he would like to respond and say thanks for coming in and he appreciates it. He said that he listens to you when maybe you feel like no one is listening to you. He’s here to listen to you and for people to call him.
Michael Hoyt – Mr. Hoyt said he had two things he would like to bring to your attention as a newly seated board. The minutes that were entered into the record for the special meeting of December 30th are either an admission of fraud by the previously seated Commissioners or a change of position of how they were acting individually at City expense or some other mystery took place at that meeting that we don’t know about. That they met in secret and devised some plan or response to the Attorney General that we don’t know about. Pick one. You’re fraudulent, guilty, or you acted in violation of K.O.M.A. and you should be fined, and you should be suspended from your office.
Mayor Mitchell said that it’s not that we don’t want to spend taxpayer’s money on bad things, but we want to spend $500.00 per Commissioner so we can be found in violation?
Mr. Hoyt said that money comes from your pocket, not from the City. Read K.O.M.A. and that will let you know.
Jeff Deane, City Attorney, said he would say we have no comment at this time. The response from the Attorney General’s office speaks for itself.
Mr. Hoyt said to read K.O.M.A. and that the money does not come from City funds. Secondly, Ms. Watts, he hopes that you are aware of 24-CFR-570-486, conflict of interest. You cannot receive as an elected official any monies, grants or other public funds, if you are holding an elected office. He would suggest that you study this and he said he would give her his copy.
Commissioner Watts asked if that is in response to anything that has happened previously or from here on.
Mr. Hoyt said that from the date of election.
Commissioner Allen asked the City Attorney how the decision will come out.
Jeff Deane, City Attorney, said that it has already come out. He released the Commission’s response, or his response on behalf of the City Commission. As soon as it was filed with the Attorney General’s office, it becomes a public record that is subject to a K.O.R.A. request. He provided it to the local news agencies that requested it. Fort Scott.Biz published some excerpts from it. It is already public record and available. We have not yet heard back from the Attorney General but that is not unusual. We responded on January 2nd or 3rd, and this will become public record when they respond.
Mitchell moved to open the Public Hearing at 6:21 p.m. Watts seconded. All voted aye.
6:00 p.m. Consideration of CDBG Grant – Mayco Ace Public Hearing – Rachel Pruitt, Economic Development Director, informed the Commission that there are actually six different categories for the Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) programs. This grant is for one of the categories which is Commercial rehab, and the City is able to apply for one per year. She has been working closely with Chris Maycumber of Mayce Ace Hardware for the past year. Mr. Maycumber is here this evening also. This business has been here since the early 1970’s. It was started by Chris’ uncle and then his father took it over. It is a great blessing to have a hardware store downtown.
Carey Spoon is here from the Southeast Kansas Regional Planning Commission. She will be facilitating the paperwork to apply for the grant.
Chris Maycumber said that a lot of the rehab is simple repairs to the building. There was damage from the hail storm and wind storms that their insurance company would not repair. There were leaks on the Dollar General side and the floors were damaged. They want to make the building more energy efficient and rentable for hopefully a new retail tenant.
Commissioner Pete Allen asked about the Statement of Assurances and Certifications form. This form states that the building is blight. He doesn’t consider this building blight.
Rachel said that in the State’s definition it qualifies for blight. There is contamination with asbestos in the building.
Carey Spoon read the description of the grant to the Commission: This application is for the rehabilitation of 205 Scott Avenue. This project proposes to replace the roof, upgrade the façade, replace the windows, replace the south entrance door, remove the north end door and replace with a double sliding door, construct an ADA accessible entrance on the north end consisting of an accessible ramp and sidewalk with column adjustments as necessary, construct two accessible restrooms in the north end of the building, install emergency lighting and smoke alarms throughout the main and lower level of the entire building, replace 6000 square feet of ceiling tile damaged by roof leakage in the north end, and install two emergency fire disconnects in the alley behind the building. The estimated project cost is $299,250 with the maximum grant request of $224,437. There are no City funds involved. The matching funds are from the property owner.
Commissioner Pete Allen asked how many of those grants are available each year?
Rachel Pruitt said that there are six total available.
Discussion was held regarding the different types of grants available.
Commissioner Kevin Allen asked if the grants were publicized and made known to other building owners.
Rachel Pruitt said that this information is all available on the City’s website.
Carey Spoon said that the two resolutions will need to be approved for the application to move forward as well as approval of the grant administration contract.
Approval of Resolution No. 5-2020 – to Apply for 2018 Kansas Small Cities CDBG Grant and authorizing the Mayor to sign and submit an application
Nichols moved to approve Resolution No. 5-2020 to apply for the grant and submit the application. Mitchell seconded. Pete Allen, Randy Nichols, Lindsey Watts, and JoLynne Mitchell voted aye. Kevin Allen abstained. Motion carried.
APPROVED RESOLUTION NO. 5-2020 CERTIFYING LEGAL AUTHORITY TO APPLY FOR THE 2018 KANSAS SMALL CITIES COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT PROGRAM FROM THE KANSAS DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE AND AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR TO SIGN AND SUBMIT SUCH AN APPLICATION.
Approval of Resolution 6-2020 – Declaring a building blighted with respect to the Kansas Small Cities CDBG Grant Program
Carey Spoon defined the definition of blight to the Commission.
Mitchell moved to approve Resolution No. 6-2020 to apply for the grant and submit the application. Watts seconded. Pete Allen, Randy Nichols, Lindsey Watts, and JoLynne Mitchell voted aye. Kevin Allen abstained. Motion carried.
APPROVED RESOLUTION NO. 6-2020 DECLARING A BUILDING BLIGHTED WITH RESPECT TO THE KANSAS SMALL CITIES COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT (CDBG) PROGRAM.
Approval of Agreement for Administrative Consulting Services for the 2020 Kansas Small Cities CDBG Grant Project
Carey Spoon informed the Commission that the City applies to the State on behalf of the building owner.
Watts moved to approve the Agreement for Administrative Consulting Services for the 2020 Small Cities CDBG Grant Project. Nichols seconded. All voted aye.
APPROVED THE AGREEMENT FOR ADMINISTRATIVE CONSULTING SERVICES FOR THE 2020 SMALL CITIES CDBG GRANT PROJECT WITH SOUTHEAST KANSAS REGIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION.
Mitchell moved to close the Public Hearing at 6:35 p.m. Nichols seconded. All voted aye.
CLOSED PUBLIC HEARING AT 6:35 P.M.
Mitchell moved to open the Public Hearing at 6:36 p.m. Watts seconded. All voted aye.
OPENED PUBLIC HEARING AT 6:35 P.M.
6:15 p.m. Resolution 3-2020 – Resolution Directing the Repair or Removal of an Unsafe and Dangerous Structure located at 510 S. Heylman Street – Robert Uhler, Community Development Director, informed the Commission that this structure needs to either be repaired by the property owner or demolished. This timeframe is for 60 days. He shared photos of the structure with the Commission showing the dilapidated condition of the structure.
City Clerk and City Attorney explained the demolition process to the Commission.
Kevin Allen moved to give the property owner 60 days to either repair or replace the structure. Nichols seconded. All voted aye.
APPROVED RESOLUTION NO. 3-2020 DIRECTING THE REPAIR OR REMOVAL OF AN UNSAFE AND DANGEROUS STRUCTURE LOCATED AT 510 S. HEYLMAN STREET. STRUCTURE MUST BE BROUGHT UP TO 2012 INTERNATIONAL BUILDING CODE BY MARCH 13TH, 2020 OR DEMOLITION PROCEEDINGS WILL BEGIN.
6:15 p.m. Resolution 4-2020 – Resolution Directing the Repair or Removal of an Unsafe and Dangerous Structure located at 501 S. Osbun Street – Robert Uhler, Community Development Director, informed the Commission that this structure needs to either be repaired by the property owner or demolished. This timeframe is for 60 days. He shared photos of the structure with the Commission showing the dilapidated condition of the structure. This structure is owned by Terry Hartman and he has been notified by certified mail.
Kevin Allen moved to give the property owner 60 days to either repair or replace the structure. Watts seconded. All voted aye.
APPROVED RESOLUTION NO. 4-2020 DIRECTING THE REPAIR OR REMOVAL OF AN UNSAFE AND DANGEROUS STRUCTURE LOCATED AT 501 S. OSBUN STREET. STRUCTURE MUST BE BROUGHT UP TO 2012 INTERNATIONAL BUILDING CODE BY MARCH 13TH, 2020 OR DEMOLITION PROCEEDINGS WILL BEGIN.
Mitchell moved to close the Public Hearing at 6:42 p.m. Watts seconded. All voted aye.
CLOSED PUBLIC HEARING AT 6:42 P.M.
Consideration of Contract with Suez Treatment Solutions for SCADA upgrades to the ozone system at the Water Treatment Plant – Michael Mix, Public Utilities Director, informed the Commission that as part of the River Intake Project, some other items are being addressed. One of those items is update of the SCADA hardware. The Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition is what SCADA stands for. This is basically the sensors and computers that control the system. He shared a video of the ozone building with the Commission. He asked for approval for the contract with Suez Treatment Solutions, Inc. in the amount of $184,847.00. This is an additional scope to their project as it was not included in the original scope of the project. The funding is part of the USDA loan, which is approved already, and this is part of that.
Discussion was held regarding the amount of the loan, repercussion of what could happen if this system was not updated, and the fact that parts are not available for the older system any longer.
Kevin Allen made a motion to postpone this item until the January 21st, 2020 meeting so it can be further researched. Lindsey Watts seconded. All voted aye.
APPROVED TO POSTPONE THIS ITEM UNTIL THE JANUARY 21ST, 2020 MEETING SO MORE INFORMATION CAN BE RESEARCHED.
Director Updates: Robert Uhler gave an update on three items:
Smart Growth America Workshop – Robert said that this date has been moved due to scheduling conflicts with the D.C. team and some data transfer issues. The new dates for the workshop will be February 25th and 26th, 2020.
Lake Advisory Board – He said that he was delayed in getting the first meeting of the new board scheduled in 2019. The first meeting will be this Saturday, January 11th, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. at City Hall. Since JoLynne Mitchell has been elected Mayor, she decided to not serve as the City’s representative on this board. Marci Myers has also resigned from this board. Letters of interest will go out to fill Marci Myers position.
Kevin Allen volunteered to serve on this board.
2020 Legislative Update – Robert said that the legislative session will start on January 13th, 2020. There are already 250 pre-filed bills on the Senate side and 432 pre-filed bills on the House side. It is looking like this will be a very active legislative season. At the next City Commission meeting, he said he would give an update on the legislative agenda for the City.
B. City Commission:
Randy Nichols – Dr. Nichols welcomed the new City Commissioners. He said he hopes that we can all move forward together in a positive fashion.
Kevin Allen – Kevin said that he had two items. He thinks it is important to see your local government work. He said that Josh Jones is recording facebook live tonight at this meeting. He asked if the City had something to record the meeting and if the City had any microphones. He made a motion to ask the City Manager to investigate recording the City Commission meetings live and check into microphones.
City Attorney said we need to make sure that we follow K.O.M.A. records and the proper retention schedule. We also need to make sure that Commissioner Pete Allen can hear the meeting.
City Manager will have a recommendation at the next meeting.
His next item was the three-minute citizen time limit. He doesn’t think that three minutes is sufficient. He made a motion to change this time from three minutes to five minutes and allow the Mayor the authority to override this time frame if needed. A Commissioner can also request the Mayor allow that person more time if needed. Lindsey Watts seconded. All voted aye.
APPROVED TO CHANGE THE CITIZEN COMMENT SECTION OF THE MEETING FROM THREE MINUTES TO FIVE MINUTES AND TO ALLOW THE MAYOR THE AUTHORITY TO OVERRIDE THIS TIME FRAME IF NEEDED. A COMMISSIONER CAN ALSO ASK FOR THAT PERSON TO HAVE MORE TIME FROM THE MAYOR.
Discussion was also held moving the citizen comments to the end of the meeting.
His last item is about residency. He said that he heard from people who own businesses in town and pays taxes, but live outside the City limits, but cannot vote in City elections. When he served before, he bought property 300’ outside the City limits. He had to turn his seat over, because you had to live in the City limits. He wants to see why he was able to stay in that position and is there a legal way to have people with property outside of the City limits be able to vote. He thinks this changed 15 years ago.
City Clerk told him his term was almost over and the Commission at that time allowed him to continue to serve his term.
City Attorney said that this topic should probably happen in Executive Session. He said he could research this issue if he can get some time. The County Commission solved your issue. Residency is what it is tied to. As a general matter, the State presumes that you have to have a residency in the City where you vote. He will look at our ordinances and get back with you.
Kevin said that we have City employees that can look up that information instead of paying the attorney.
City Manager said that he will check into this.
Lindsey Watts – Lindsey said that she did feel rushed after getting her packet but understands why it was late. She thinks we can all work together in a positive way and looks forward to the next two years.
Pete Allen – Pete said that he would like to explain that in his running for Commissioner that he talked to a lot of people in Fort Scott. They are unhappy in the way our City is moving. He wants to explain how powerful these five people (Commissioners) are. They represent 7,500 people in Fort Scott. These people have made a statement by electing three new Commissioners. They want change and are unhappy with how things were done in the past. They want change for the better. He is looking at our run-down infrastructure. Susan Bancroft reported that we are in good financial shape, which is good, but at what cost. We have ignored our streets, our sewers, our water lines, and our storm sewers. These have all got to be improved upon before they collapse. We have sewer lines made out of clay tile that was put there in 1888 that are in danger of collapsing. We spent $300,000 this past year patching and fixing and trying to make our system work. We have to face the fact that we have 72 miles of run down, broken down lines. We must start fixing our sewer system. We cannot fix any streets until we fix our sewer and water lines. Our water lines are 140 years old and made from metal. We have health hazards with lines leaking. No one has stepped up and said these need to be fixed. We need to be part of history and say that we need to fix these water and sewer lines. We need to start this immediately. He has facts and figures on what it will cost. The President has worked out a plan for cities just like us. It is called the Water Infrastructure and Finance and Innovation Act. This is a plan where they provide funds for financing water and sewer lines and storm water systems. We need to be a part of this plan. We have necessary funds where we can start replacing lines. We are currently paying an out of town contractor a massive amount of money to come in here and replace sewer lines. We have at least three bondable contractors in town that could do this work. We need to replace these lines. We need to shop local and put our money in Fort Scott. Michael has two people to handle 72 miles of sewer lines. That just isn’t enough. We are throwing our money out of town. We can get a six-man crew and make this work. We should hire a superintendent that can oversee this crew. He thinks the people that voted should see change. 68% of the people that voted, voted for those candidates that ran for change. 15% of the people voted for doing the same old thing. Those candidates were good people, but the people wanted change. We need to fix what the citizens want.
He proposed that a work session be held next Tuesday at 6:00 and invite Michael Mix here and explain the sewer system as he knows it. He would like to get a sewer crew from Fort Scott going and keep the money local. This would probably take five to seven years. We don’t have time to waste.
City Manager mentioned that the whole Commission will need to be polled to see if they can make this date and time. City Clerk will poll the Commissioners.
Discussion was held regarding input from citizens at a work session.
City Attorney reminded the Commission that they cannot email each other due to K.O.M.A. violations.
Pete Allen made a motion to hold a work session next Tuesday, January 14th, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. to discuss water and sewer lines. Kevin Allen seconded. All voted aye.
APPROVED TO HOLD A WORK SESSION NEXT TUESDAY, JANUARY 14TH, 2020 AT 6:00 P.M. TO DISCUSS WATER AND SEWER LINES.
JoLynne Mitchell – JoLynne welcomed the new Commissioners to the board. The voters did speak and they are looking forward to change. She and Randy and willing to work and listen to new ideas.
Dr. Burke – 109 S. Main Street – City Manager said that Dr. Burke will be opening an office at 109 S. Main Street and will be working for Via Christi. They have requested a handicapped parking spot and a parking spot with a ramp to get to the street. This would be a temporary ramp. The estimated cost is $250.00. Within a year, they will either be in a building or another location.
Chad Brown said that it will be a concrete ramp.
Lindsey Watts moved to approve for Public Works to construct a handicapped ramp and a parking spot with a ramp in front of 109 S. Main. Nichols seconded. All voted aye.
APPROVED TO HAVE PUBLIC WORKS CONSTRUCT A HANDICAPPED RAMP AND A PARKING SPOT WITH A RAMP IN FRONT OF 109 SOUTH MAIN FOR DR. BURKE’S OFFICE.
Spring Break – City Manager said that the USD #234 spring break will be held March 16th through the 20th. He asked for approval to move the City Commission meeting to March 24th, 2020 for that meeting due to Spring Break.
Kevin Allen made a motion to move the March 17th meeting to March 24th, 2020 due to Spring Break. Lindsey Watts seconded. All voted aye.
APPROVED TO MOVE THE MARCH 17TH MEETING TO MARCH 24TH, 2020 DUE TO SPRING BREAK.
Training Session – City Manager informed the Commission that a training session will be held in the near future on K.O.M.A. and K.O.R.A. laws. Diane will check dates with you after the City Attorney gives us some dates. This will probably be held on a Saturday morning.
Additional information – City Manager confirmed that he will be researching microphones, facebook live, and what occurred 15 years ago with Kevin Allen’s residency. He will bring back options at the next meeting.
Lindsay Madison remarked that the City of Pittsburg has a You Tube channel. You might check with them.
Kevin Allen moved to adjourn the meeting at 7:39 p.m. Lindsey Watts seconded. All voted aye.
ADJOURNED MEETING AT 7:39 P.M.
The next regularly scheduled meeting is to be held on January 21st, 2020 at 6:00 p.m.
DIANE K. CLAY