CITY OF FORT SCOTT
CITY COMMISSION MEETING
Minutes of April 2, 2019 Regular Meeting #6
The regular meeting of the Fort Scott City Commission was held April 2nd, 2019 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: Pastor Norman Tillotson, First Baptist Church, said a prayer asking God for guidance for the City, our Government and City officials.
AUDIENCE IN ATTENDANCE: Travis Shelton, Rhonda Dunn, Michael Mix, Paul Ballou, Robert Uhler, Dave Bruner, Chad Brown, Rachel Pruitt, Larry Gazaway, Norman Tillotson, Jeff Fischer, Bob Farmer, Diana Morriss, Darrell Parker, Clint Roberts, Brian Allen, Patrick Wood, Deb Needleman, Stewart Gulagher, Alex Swank, Chilia Swank, Michael Hoyt, Diana Endicott, Sharon Campbell, Deb McCoy, Bob Eckles, Lissa Gorman, Susan Messer, Lisa Walther, Valetta Cannon, Dustin Doherty, Lindsey Watts, Max Fanning, Kevin Allen, and Clayton Miller.
City Manager presented Bob Farmer, City Attorney, with a gift from the City of Fort Scott for his many years of service. He served as City Attorney for 45 years.
Mayor Parker thanked him for being a part for many years of the City’s journey.
Bob Farmer said that it has been a privilege to serve as City Attorney. He said he is not retiring and his law firm is still open. Bob thanked the City for the beautiful watch he was presented.
Fair Housing Month Proclamation – Mayor Parker read a Proclamation which proclaims April as Fair Housing Month in the City of Fort Scott.
National Safe Digging Month Proclamation – Mayor Parker read a Proclamation which proclaims the month of April as National Safe Digging Month and urged citizens to call 811 before they dig.
National Service Recognition Day Proclamation – April 2, 2019 – Mayor Parker read a Proclamation which proclaims April 2nd, 2019 as National Service Recognition Day and encouraged residents to recognize the positive impact of national service in our country; to thank those who serve; and to find ways to give back to their communities.
National Library Week Proclamation – April 7-13, 2019 – Mayor Parker read a Proclamation which proclaims the week of April 7th to 13th, 2019 as National Library Week in the City of Fort Scott. She encourages all residents to visit the library and see what’s new and engage with your librarian.
National Library Worker’s Day Proclamation – April 9th, 2019 – Mayor Parker read a Proclamation which proclaims April 9th, 2019 as National Library Worker’s Day in the City of Fort Scott. She encouraged all in this community to take advantage of the variety of library resources available and thank library workers for their exceptional contributions to American life.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES AND APPROPRIATIONS/CONSENT AGENDA:
Approval of minutes of the regular meeting of March 19th, 2019.
Approval of Appropriation Ordinance 1235-A totaling $373,328.77.
Cereal Malt Beverage License – Hilltop Bait Shop – 2015 E. 1st Street
Mitchell moved to approve the Consent Agenda. Nichols seconded. All voted aye.
APPROVED CONSENT AGENDA.
Christa Horn – C.A.S.A. Funding Request – Christa Horn was not present, but Dave Martin, City Manager, asked the Commission to approve the allocation of $5,000 towards C.A.S.A. This amount comes from the Special Drug and Alcohol Fund. He will have Christa Horn come back at a later date to address the Commission.
Adamson moved to approve the $5,000 allocation for C.A.S.A. Bartelsmeyer seconded. All voted aye.
APPROVED ALLOCATION OF $5,000 FOR C.A.S.A. FUNDING.
Rhonda Dunn – Requests for closure of streets for Good Ol’ Days event: May 31st & June 1st, 2019
Old Fort Blvd. from Wall Street to National Avenue
Main Street from Skubitz Plaza to Third Street
Scott Street from Wall Street to Second Street
Wall Street from National to Scott
First Street from National to Scott Street
Second Street from National to Scott Street
Use of Memorial Hall for Baby Contest and Talent Extravaganza and Concert on Friday and Saturday nights
Heritage Park at corner of First and Main
Parking lot behind Heritage Park
Parking lot at corner of Third and Main – Close on Tuesday, May 28th for Carnival setup
Parking lot at Second and Scott
Parking lot at Wall and Scott
Parking lot at Wall and alley between Main and Scott
Parking lot between Memorial Hall and the Library
Main Street – 2nd to 3rd – Beginning Friday at 8:00 a.m.
Skubitz Plaza – Thursday, Friday and Saturday
Clark Street – Wall Street to 3rd Street – Beginning at 7:00 a.m. Saturday
Hill Street – North of Wall Street – Beginning at 7:00 a.m. Saturday
Rhonda gave the Commission an update on the activities for Good Ol’ Days this year and the changes. Instead of having two street dances, they will have two concerts at Memorial Hall. On Friday night, Restless Heart will be appearing and on Saturday night the Beach Boys Tribute Band will be performing. The carnival will be moved from Skubitz Plaza to the City parking lot at 3rd and Main. She asked to close this parking lot on Tuesday, May 28th so the carnival can set up. It will open on Thursday to the public. The food trucks will be located this year in the 200 block of Main. She asked for Main Street to be closed on Friday morning at 8:00 a.m. Velocity is also doing their annual event which is a car/bike show on Saturday. They had 80 cars last year and hope to have 150 this year. Tonto is coming back again this year and they are giving away a Harley Davidson motorcycle. They have asked to have Clark Street closed from Wall to 3rd. It will be monitored with barricades. They will have a burnout contest there also. They have requested the closure of Hill Street also from Wall Street to the North by the animal shelter. The City’s brush dump will be closed that day. City Staff is aware of these closings.
Bartelsmeyer moved to approve the street closures for the Good Ol’ Days event. Adamson seconded. All voted aye.
APPROVED STREET CLOSURES FOR THE GOOD OL’ DAYS EVENT.
EXECUTIVE SESSION: City Manager asked for a 30 minute Executive Session for matters relating to employer-employee negotiations whether or not in consultation with the representative or representatives of the body or agency. There is no action anticipated. This is with the City Commission and City Manager only.
Parker moved to enter into a 30 minute Executive Session. Bartelsmeyer seconded. All voted aye.
ENTERED INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION AT 6:25 P.M.
Parker moved to come out of Executive Session at 6:45 p.m. Bartelsmeyer seconded. All voted aye.
EXITED OUT OF EXECUTIVE SESSION AT 6:45 P.M.
B. CITIZEN COMMENTS (Concerning Items Not on Agenda – 3 minute
limit per citizen) – None
PUBLIC HEARINGS: None
Consideration to solicit bids for River Intake Project – Michael Mix, Public Utilities Director, informed the Commission that he has heard from U.S.D.A. and the State that we have the necessary approvals to proceed with the project. He reminded them that the structure was first put on the river in 1883. It had a coal fed steam powered pump that was in operation until 1950. There was another update in 1980 but no updates since. This is the only way to move water from the Marmaton River to the Water Plant.
Mitchell moved to approve to solicit bids for the River Intake Structure. Bartelsmeyer seconded. All voted aye.
APPROVED TO SOLICIT BIDS FOR THE RIVER INTAKE STRUCTURE.
EMS Update – Dave Bruner, Deputy Fire Chief, informed the Commission that the month of March was extremely busy. They had 218 calls for service. Out of those 218 calls, 164 were transports in general and 94 of those were transports to other facilities outside of town. They transferred to Mercy in Joplin, K.U., Overland Park Regional, Freeman, Olathe, and Via Christi. Out of those, 67 were transports to Via Christi. Three of those were medical transports from the E.R. to a nursing facility. The average last year was 160 to 170 so 218 is extremely busy. They are fully staffed. They are looking for an EMS Manager. They are looking to build up the PRN staff. The transit truck tags were received today so it should be in operation tomorrow. There are still a couple of items on the other transit vehicle required by the State. The renovation is going well.
Fire Truck Discussion: City Manager said that no truck has been purchased nor any decisions made.
Rhonda Dunn – Sales Tax Update – Rhonda stated at the last meeting Deb McCoy brought up about a ½ cent sales tax and where the money went. She was not aware of a ½ cent sales tax for a fire truck. She contacted Kansas Department of Revenue who also said there has not been a ½ cent sales tax for fire trucks. The City had a 1.0% sales starting January 1, 1984, and then the ½ cent sales tax for the pool and Buck Run improvements starting July 1, 2011. That is it. There was no special ½ cent sales tax for fire trucks. She also broke out the sales tax history for the City.
She also shared the sales tax of Fort Scott compared to some other larger cities in Southeast Kansas. She will share this with Deb McCoy since she had to leave.
Deb Needleman – Deb said that she was here to address the fire salary issue that was brought up at the last meeting. She said if the City had all the money in the world, we would love to give all of our employees more money. $8.75 is the bottom of the range for a new firefighter. Firefighter pay can’t be compared to other positions. Firefights work a 24 hour shift on and 48 hours off. Within a six week period, because of the way that cycle works, they end up with one, two week period with a mandatory 14 hours of overtime, the second two week period is seven hours of mandatory overtime and the third week period is zero overtime. They end up with 21 hours of overtime in a six week period. That needs to be factored in. They basically get 20 days off per month. She looked at actual earnings in 2018 for all of the hourly employees and Police and Fire were at 90% of the top half of the pay. They are higher paid even though the hourly rate may not reflect that. She said that our salary ordinance is comparable to Pittsburg. Their bottom pay is $7.79 per hour. When a new firefighter comes in, there is a lot of training that goes into that person. In 2017, additional levels were created in our salary ordinance to award different levels of firefighters. In the four years she has been here, there have been four firefighters leave with two of those retiring.
City Manager said that several years ago there had been a lot of turnover so they gave Public Safety employees a 6% increase.
Commissioner Nichols remarked that in addition to a high and competitive wage this is giving them the highest quality of equipment to protect themselves so they can do their job the best way possible.
Fire Truck Purchase – Paul Ballou informed the Commission that Larry Gazaway put together a presentation on the fire truck purchase. That was shared with the Commission.
City Manager stated that we are not going to increase taxes. This amount has been built into the budget. The City is in good financial debt. The City is trying to stop all rumors.
Commissioner Nichols asked for a timeline for the fire trucks.
City Manager said that the Notice of Intent to purchase the fire trucks is for $1.9 million. There is a 60 day protest period. There has been no decision made about the trucks yet. We are trying to educate the public. We can’t talk to someone until we know we can pay for it. We have found out that we can apply for CDBG funding. If we get through the protest period, we will bid these out. We will probably put out the ladder truck for one year to see if we can get a grant. The pumper truck will be bid out. All decisions will be made by the Commission.
Mayor Parker thanked all the City staff for answering questions.
Bartelsmeyer – Remarked that City staff is always careful with taxpayer money. Snap decisions are not made. She said that we do what is best to serve this community and support the decisions that are made.
Adamson – Remarked that it was a great meeting. She hopes all the information shared tonight will go out into the community. She said she appreciated the work done by City staff.
Nichols – Nothing to report.
Mitchell – Said that she appreciates the work that went into the presentation and all the research that they were provided. She appreciates each and every one of you.
Parker – Said that she agrees with all the comments made by the Commission. She said that they are behind the manager and the staff and the employees. They have answered questions and researched and put together presentations. She said that they support the City Manager 100%. It is a 24/7 job and thanked the City Manager and Staff all for their hard work.
Closure of Streets: Lindsay Watts with Crossfit was present and asked if she could request the closure of a street for two events.
Lindsay said that the Wreath Ruck will be held on April 16th. She asked for approval to close the 100 block of South National from 6:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. that day for this event.
She also asked for the closure of the 100 block of South National for the Murph Challenge on May 27th, 2019 from 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. for this event.
Nichols moved to approve the street closure for both events. Parker seconded. All voted aye.
APPROVED TO CLOSE THE 100 BLOCK OF SOUTH NATIONAL ON APRIL 16TH FOR THE WREATH RUCK EVENT AND ON MAY 27TH, 2019 FOR THE MURPH CHALLENGE STARTING AT 6:00 A.M. UNTIL 2:00 P.M.
Health Care Update: Dave said that he is scheduled to go to Via Christi on Thursday and meet with them. They will be on the Thursday morning radio broadcast. CHC has taken over the pharmacy at Mercy now.
Western Building – Dave said that he heard some talk about the Western building and the $1 million the City gave for this project. He showed photos of the old six story tower building. This structure was full of mold and in bad condition. When the developer came in and wanted to develop apartments, the City’s part was $1 million to remove this structure as part of this development. The structure was demolished and this is now a parking lot.
Municipal Court Judge – Dave announced that the Municipal Court Judge has decided to resign. We now have three openings: City Prosecutor, City Attorney and now City Judge.
County Survey – Dave said that he is getting questions about the survey that is out by the County regarding economic development. The City had concerns about this survey. The City tried to reach out to the County, but was told nothing could be changed. It is causing confusion with business owners. The City can’t answer questions about this survey and doesn’t know what the outcome will be.
Upcoming Meeting – Dave said that tomorrow evening the administrative staff is meeting with a group of individuals who asked to meet with the City regarding economic development, the fire truck purchase and other items they are concerned about.
Bartelsmeyer moved to adjourn the meeting at 7:26 p.m. Mitchell seconded. All voted aye.
ADJOURNED MEETING AT 7:26 P.M.
The next regularly scheduled meeting is to be held on April 16th, 2019 at 6:00 p.m.
DIANE K. CLAY