Fort Scott City Commission Meeting Minutes of Oct. 1



Minutes of October 1st, 2019 Regular Meeting #18

The regular meeting of the Fort Scott City Commission was held October 1st, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. in the City Commission Room, 123 S. Main, Fort Scott, Kansas.


Commissioners Adamson, Bartelsmeyer, and Nichols were present with Mayor Parker presiding. Commissioner Mitchell was absent.

INVOCATION: Pastor Paul G. Rooks, Grace Baptist Tabernacle, said a prayer asking God for guidance for the City, our Government and City officials.

AUDIENCE IN ATTENDANCE: Robert Uhler, Deb McCoy, Clayton Miller, Travis Shelton, Deb Needleman, Dave Bruner, Derick Burke, Devin Tally, Dana McKenney, Seth Simpson, Alex Simpson, Paul Rooks, Susan Bancroft, Rachel Pruitt, Christi Keating, Rhonda Dunn, Robert Leisure, Paul Ballou, Randy Cason, Susan Porter, Bobbi Kemna, Nick Ruhl, Susan Galemore, Barbara Schmidt, Krista Postai, David Creitz, Tom Graham, Pete Allen, Paul Milks, Dr. Max Self, Karen Self, Barbara Ritter, Lindsey Watts, Kevin Allen, Penny Pollack-Barnes, Clayton Miller, Dr. P. K. Gugnani, Burton Harding, City Attorney, and representing the press, Jason Silvers of the Fort Scott Tribune.


Recognition of Bobbi Kemna – Second Annual Art in the Yard Event – Mayor Parker recognized Bobbi Kemna for her second annual Art in the Yard event. It was very well attended with 36 vendors and six food vendors. The Commission thanked her for holding this event.

Bobbi Kemna thanked the Commission for her Certificate of Recognition. She thanked the many volunteers who assisted with the event and all the vendors who came. The third annual event will be held again next year.

Healthcare Recognition – City Manager reminded the Commission and the public that a year ago today, Mercy announced that it would be closing the hospital. He said that we are so blessed to be able to reflect on where we are and who has stepped up and provided health care for our community. He presented the following with a Certificate of Recognition:

Community Health Care of Southeast Kansas – Krista Postai of CHC/SEK said that there is a picture in her office with a quote in it that says, “Welcome to the first day of our lives; nothing will ever be the same.” She said that is true for them and for the community of Fort Scott. She thanked the medical staff from Mercy that stayed true to their profession. They are the heart and soul of this community. They have land and a Fort Scott architect to design a 25,000 square foot facility to build a clinic and design the future of rural health care in Kansas. Dr. Max Self and Dr. P. K. Gugnani both spoke also about how proud they are to be in this community and provide health care.

Ascension Via Christi – Randy Cason of Via Christi and Kayla, who is the head of the E.R. in Fort Scott, Kansas 66701 both appeared and accepted the Certificate. Randy thanked them for the recognition and said they are humbled and honored. The entire team in Fort Scott is former staff of Mercy that they were able to transition. He is proud of the work they were able to get done in a fairly short amount of time to open the E.R. which was on February 18th, 2019.

Bourbon County Commission – Nick Ruhl, Bourbon County Commissioner, accepted the Certificate of Recognition on behalf of Bourbon County.

City Manager said that the county stepped up to the plate to provide emergency services to our community. The City and the County have worked very well on this venture together.

Bourbon County Emergency Medical Services – City Manager presented Robert Leisure, Bourbon County EMS Director, with a Certificate of Recognition to the team at Bourbon County EMS.

Robert Leisure, EMS Director – City Manager presented Robert Leisure, EMS Director, with a Certificate of Recognition.

David Bruner, Deputy Fire Chief – City Manager presented Dave Bruner, with a Certificate of Recognition.

Christi Keating – City Manager thanked Christi Keating for her hard work in helping bring this transition all together. Christi was the former Director of Mercy E.R. He presented her with a Certificate of Recognition also and thanked her for all of her work.

Dave Bruner also thanked Christi Keating for her hard work in the transition. She was instrumental in getting the ambulances and equipment transferred over from Mercy to the Bourbon County EMS.

Introduction of new Finance Director – Deb Needleman, Human Resource Director, introduced the new Director of Finance, Susan Bancroft, who will replace Rhonda Dunn. Susan worked for the City about ten years ago and then with the USD 234 School District and has over 10 years of experience.

Susan said that she is excited to work for the City again. She said being a part of this community is exciting for her and she is anxious to get started.


  1. Approval of minutes of the regular meeting of September 17th, 2019.

  1. Approval of Appropriation Ordinance 1247-A totaling $1,612,495.39.

  1. Parade Permit – Pioneer Harvest Fiesta – October 17th, 2019

Bartelsmeyer moved to approve the Consent Agenda. Nichols seconded. All voted aye.




Penny PollockBarnes – Tri-Yak-A-Thon – Gunn Park – October 12th, 2019 – Penny Pollock-Barnes informed the Commission that she is representing Gunn Park Trails. They will be hosting the Tri-Yak-A-Thon on Saturday, October 12th, 2019. It will consist of a 5K run, a 5K kayak race, and a 10 mile bicycle race. The event will be begin at 10 a.m. She asked for approval to close the back of the park for this event.

Nichols moved to close the back of the park for the Tri-Yak-A-Thon to be held at Gunn Park on October 12th, 2019. Adamson seconded. All voted aye.


B. CITIZEN COMMENTS (Concerning Items Not on Agenda – 3 minute

limit per citizen)

Barbara Schmidt – Ms. Schmidt appeared before the Commission to ask their help with a storm drainage issue in the 1800 block of Richards Road. She said the water comes around so fast behind the front and back of her house and makes the ditch full so it completely surrounds her house. She asked that her ditch be dug out as well as the two houses to the north of her. Her address is 1808 Richards Road. She gave the City Manager her cell number also.

City Manager said that he and the Public Works Director would get in touch with her.


Rachel Pruitt, Economic Development Director, informed the Commission that Susan Galemore is here also tonight with the Southeast Kansas Regional Planning Commission. She reminded them about the CDBG grant through the Kansas Department of Commerce. The Department of Commerce partners with Kansas communities to help enhance their livability by providing financial, technical, and business assistance. They distribute federal funds to Kansas cities looking to improve their community. To receive funds, a project must meet at least one of the following federally mandated criteria:

  • The project benefits low and moderate income families.

  • The project removes or prevents slum or blight conditions.

  • The project eliminates an urgent need created by a disaster when local funds are unavailable.

The City qualifies in the “benefits low and moderate income families”. The timetable on this grant is as follows:

  • February 19th – The City received a notification of the new census data which allows the City to automatically qualify for CDBG funding if we have a city-wide beneficiary project.

  • March 19th – The City received the announcement of the new eligibility.

  • April 5th – The City received confirmation from the Kansas Department of Commerce that the ladder truck qualifies as a city wide beneficiary project.

  • November 1st – This is the due date of the CDBG application.

  • January/February 2020 – This is the timeframe when the grant will be awarded.

This should be a strong application. Application scoring is as follows:

  • Documentation of the need – 35 points

  • Project alternatives – 10 points

  • Past efforts to address need – 10 points

  • Project readiness – 5 points

  • Leverage – 20 points

  • Local effort – 20 points

  • Total points – 100 points

Rachel said that this is a 50/50 grant. She asked Dave Bruner to bring up his powerpoint that documents the need for the new ladder truck.

Dave Bruner informed them that the current ladder truck is a 1993 E-One Hurricane Ladder Truck with a 75’ ladder. It is 26 years old, with a mileage of 20,338, and engine hours of 1349. According to National Fire Protection Association 1911 Standards, trucks that are over 25 years old should be replaced. The purchasing history for a ladder truck is as follows:

  • 1956-1993 – 1956 GMC 75’ Ladder Truck was purchased

  • 1993 to Present – 1993 E-One 75’ Ladder truck was purchased.

In 1992, the ladder truck failed which was why the ladder truck was purchased in 1993. He showed comparisons of 75’ ladders versus 100’ ladders and what to look for in the future for the next 25 years. He shared two photos where the 75’ ladder would not reach at the top of a structure. He also shared a company in town where the ladder will not reach the top of the building. He discussed ladder operations versus platform operations and his recommendation is the platform operation for safety for the firefighters and the public. He discussed communication with the firefighter at the tip of the ladder.

Nichols moved to open the Public Hearing at 6:51 p.m. Adamson seconded. All voted aye.


6:00 p.m. Public Hearing – CDBG Application to apply for Fire Department Ladder Truck – Susan Galemore, S.E.K.R.P.C. informed the Commission that the public hearing is needed to describe the project and allow the public to comment on the proposed project. She came to answer any questions. Once comments are heard, you will need to approve the documents needed to apply. The specific project application to be discussed is for the acquisition of a new, fully equipped, NFPA compliant, 100’ Platform Ladder Truck. The truck will be housed at the main fire station, 1604 S. National, and will service the entire City of Fort Scott. The specifications will include the following:

* 100’ aerial tower, aluminum body

* 300 gallon polypropylene water tank

* Minimum of 800’ of 5” large diameter hose

* Wheelbase no greater than 265.00

* Minimum 76,000 gross vehicle weight

* Tilt type custom chassis

* Maximum clearance height 10’8”

The estimated project cost is approximately $1,330,606.00 with a maximum grant request of $665,303.

Mayor Parker asked for comments from the public.

Deb McCoy said this is a surprise to them and they had no idea it was happening.

Commissioner Bartelsmeyer said that this was published in the local newspaper.

Susan Galemore said that it was published on the 21st of September.

Rhonda Dunn said that this public hearing is just about applying for a grant. They will not be making a decision on buying a truck.

Tom Graham said years ago he was a Deputy in Bourbon County and had the opportunity to go through the firefighting school at Kansas University. He can’t explain to you what it is like to go walking into a house that is on fire. You turn on your flashlight and the smoke comes completely down to the floor or it just radiates back to you. You can’t see anything. These firefighters do this every single day and I believe we need to give them the best equipment to do their jobs and keep them safe every single day.

Deb McCoy said that she had a couple of questions that had been raised over this entire process. Is there a clear cut answer on where’s the money coming from? Is there an allotted fund? It’s been stated and talked about and speculated and she doesn’t know if she had a clear cut answer. If it didn’t go to the fire truck, where else could it go? Could it go to fire fighter’s salaries? Where else could it go? Can you clarify that?

Rhonda Dunn said that if we apply for and receive the grant, the balance would be funded through a lease financing program. In the 2020 budget, the payments have been budgeted out of the debt service fund. It will be paid as a debt going forward for the next 15 years most likely. It could be used for something else but all you would have would be the annual payment on the truck. You can’t borrow the money and spend it on firefighter’s salaries.

City Manager said that it all comes back to planning. We have paid off debt. We have done a good job in giving our employees a fair salary. Three years ago we gave public safety employees a 6% increase. We have made an investment in streets for next year. There is only so much to go around and we try to do the best with what we have.

Deb McCoy said that funds have been set aside then and you’ve been planning for it.

Kevin Allen said that one thing he was thinking and didn’t know how it would go with a grant but what about the 3rd Street underpass and cutting under it.

Rachel said that the specifications were made to make sure it will go under the underpass.

Kevin Allen said if it would cost extra to join with the railroad and lower the underpass and look into this.

Chief Ballou said that it was lowered to the level it is now. There is a storm drain there also.

Pete Allen said his question is why if there’s grant money available now why was it not available eight months ago when we first tried to cram it down the citizen’s throats of paying $1.7 million for trucks. Why did we not go for the grant then, instead of waiting until after the citizens had to get a petition up to block it?

Mayor Parker said that Rachel has said it was not available eight months ago.

City Manager said as soon as we were made aware this CDBG grant was available we started discussing it.

Deb McCoy asked if the City got three bids on the trucks. She was told that there were no bids and you just went forward on the trucks you wanted. With that big of an expenditure, aren’t you supposed to get three bids from three different companies?

Rhonda Dunn said that this hearing is only about the grant. They have not gone through the process yet.

City Manager said that to get the bonds, if we would have went that direction, we would have went out for bid then. If we had the funding, we would have went out for bid then. We never did get bids. We had an idea, but we had to have the funding first. Once the grant is approved and the funding is in place, that’s when we will go out for bid.

Bartlesmeyer moved to close the Public Hearing at 7:08 p.m. Adamson seconded. All voted aye.


City Clerk informed them there are four different motions that need made.

  • Approval of Resolution 20-2019 Certifying Legal Authority to apply for the 2020 Kansas Small Cities Community Development Block Grant Program from the Kansas Department of Commerce and Authorizing the Mayor/Commissioner to sign and submit such an application

Nichols moved to approve Resolution No. 20-2019 to apply for the grant for the ladder truck. Adamson seconded. All voted aye.

Approved Resolution No. 20-2019 Certifying Legal Authority to apply for the 2020 Kansas Small Cities Community Development Block Grant Program from the Kansas Department of Commerce and Authorizing the Mayor/Commissioner to sign and submit such an application.

  • Approval of Resolution 21-2019 Assuring the Kansas Department of Commerce that funds will be continually provided for the operation and maintenance of improvements to the fire truck to be financed with Community Development Block Grant Funds

Bartelsmeyer moved to approve Resolution No. 21-2019 approving the City will fund their part of the grant if awarded. Adamson seconded. All voted aye.

Approved Resolution No. 21-2019 Assuring the Kansas Department of Commerce that funds will be continually provided for the operation and maintenance of improvements to the fire truck to be financed with Community Development Block Grant Funds.

  • Approval of other required documents to submit the application

Nichols moved to approve the Mayor to sign all other pertinent documents relating to the grant application. Parker seconded. All voted aye.


  • Approval for Administrative Agreement for S.E.K.R.P.C. to administrate the grant if awarded

Bartelsmeyer moved to approve the Administrative Agreement for S.E.K.R.P.C. to administer the grant if approved. Parker seconded. All voted aye.

approved the Administrative Agreement for S.E.K.R.P.C. to administer the grant if approved.


  1. Purchase of Replacement Vehicles – Police Department (One administrative vehicle – One Lake Patrol truck) – Chief Shelton informed the Commission that this year he is budgeted to replace an administrative vehicle which is a Dodge Durango, and the Lake Patrol truck. He asked permission for him to work with Tom Coffman, City Mechanic, to purchase two vehicles not to exceed $25,000 each.

Parker moved to approve the purchase of two vehicles – an administrative vehicle and a Lake Patrol vehicle not to exceed $25,000 each. Adamson seconded. All voted aye.

approved the purchase of two vehicles – an administrative vehicle and a Lake Patrol vehicle not to exceed $25,000 each.

  1. A.W.O.S. Grant – (Replace existing A.W.O.S. system at Fort Scott Municipal Airport through a KDOT grant that was approved) – Seth Simpson, Airport Manager, informed the Commission that he is seeking approval to replace the existing A.W.O.S. (All Weather Operating System). A grant has been approved by K.D.O.T. for this project and matching funds have been set aside. The A.W.O.S. system will be relocating by the radio controlled field so it will not need to be relocated for future projects.

Bartelsmeyer moved to approve to replace the A.W.O.S. system at the Fort Scott Municipal Airport. Adamson seconded. All voted aye.

approved to replace the A.W.O.S. system at the Fort Scott Municipal Airport.

  1. Consideration of approval to obtain bids for a machine shed at the Fort Scott Municipal Airport – Seth Simpson, Airport Manager, informed the Commission that he is requesting to go out for bids for the construction of a machine shed at the airport. Currently, equipment is stored in the Ellis Hangar and moving the equipment from that hangar would free up hangar space that could be rented. The doors on this hangar are on a pulley system and when the weather is bad, sometimes the doors cannot be opened. It is estimated to cost around $25,000 and is a budgeted item.

Parker moved to approve to obtain bids for the construction of a machine shed at the Airport. Nichols seconded. All voted aye.

approved to obtain bids for the construction of a machine shed at the Airport.


Director Updates: Robert Uhler – Robert stated he just wanted to update the Commission on their recent trip to D.C representing the City to our elected officials there. Just to review, our strategy is working with them to enhance our overall visibility and accessibility to our National treasures: The Fort, The National Cemetery, Lowell Milken Center, and The Gordon Parks Museum.

We visited with each elected official’s office: Sen. Roberts, Sen. Moran, Rep. Watkins and we added in Rep. Marshall (as, he has announced his campaign for Sen. Robert’s seat).

Our visits were comprised of, reminding them of our past meetings and follow-up conversation on our “Strategic Implementation Program” which has helped identify priorities for community/economic development and related institutional and capital investment needs. The goal of these efforts is to recognize and take advantage of opportunities to leverage local assets to attract additional resources at the State and Federal levels, in addition to encouraging additional private sector investment.

  1. Authorization Request for up to $20 million in the next Surface Transportation Bill for the US Highway 69/Fort Scott Transportation and Economic Development Corridor.

    1. Asking for directed spending, in the Highway Trust Fund Reauthorization Bill; In the Surface Transportation Program (STP) account:

      1. For improvement of the “off-system” connecting roadways.
      2. Local enhancements for Safety, Energy Efficiency, and Connectivity

      3. Multi-modalism – by bringing other modes of transportation into play.
  1. Authorization Request for $15 million in the next Water Resources Development Act for Ft. Scott/Bourbon County Water, Waste Water Infrastructure Program, and Watershed Management.

    1. Directed spending to broaden, and better manage and utilize our critical water resources assets. Using the Administration’s Infrastructure Plan and the reauthorization of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA)

      1. This includes – Marmaton River, Lake Fort Scott
      2. Continue to work with USDA, US Army Corp of Engineers additional revenue streams…

Next steps will be follow-up letters and phone calls to keep Fort Scott top of mind when the right ups start to happen.

Rhonda Dunn – Sales Tax Update – Rhonda Dunn gave an update to the Commission on sales tax and the effect of 2019 versus 2018 with the closure of Price Chopper.

Rhonda said that there was another item she needed to bring up. The air conditioning unit on the north side needs replaced. She asked for quote from three local companies and only received one quote which was from Norris Heating and Air Conditioning. The quote was for $19,755.88. They quoted two different units and she recommended the Allied brand. This will be paid from the capital projects budget.

Commissioner Nichols asked about the energy efficiency audit and if there is one unit that will fit our needs better than the other one.

Robert Uhler said they are both better units than what we have now.

City Manager said that Robert will check into this tomorrow.

Nichols moved to approve the purchase of the Allied unit from Norris Heating and Air Conditioning provided the City checks with the energy audit people to make sure it meets our needs. Adamson seconded. All voted aye.


  1. City Commission:

Bartelsmeyer Remarked that she appreciated all the comments made tonight at the meeting.

Mitchell Not present.

Nichols Remarked that he appreciated all the recognitions tonight. He said that the tournament this past weekend was outstanding. He recognized Steve Anthony and Ben Cole for their hard work. Special Olympics was funded well through this event. This course has brought in quite of bit of funds through tournaments.

City Manager said that Fort Scott Munitions flew out to pick up Amy Bockerstette and her family in Tennessee. It was a great event.

Adamson – Nothing to report.

Parker – Also thanked those who assisted with the golf tournament as it was as great day in Fort Scott.

  1. City Manager:

  1. Lake Advisory Committee – City Manager said that there are 24 applicants wanting to serve on this committee. He wasn’t comfortable in selecting the board members. He will be having an evening meeting soon and invite all candidates to attend. A recommendation will be brought before them at a later date.

  1. 2019 Bob Ady Scholarship Award – City Manager recognized Rachel Pruitt for being awarded the 2019 Bob Ady Scholarship to attend the 2019 Economic Development conference to be held in Chicago.


Bartelsmeyer moved to adjourn the meeting at 7:41p.m. Nichols seconded. All voted aye.


The next regularly scheduled meeting is to be held on October 15th, 2019 at 6:00 p.m.




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