Fort Scott City Commission Minutes of Dec. 17



Minutes of December 17th, 2019 Regular Meeting #23

The regular meeting of the Fort Scott City Commission was held December 17th, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. in the City Commission Room, 123 S. Main, Fort Scott, Kansas.


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

INVOCATION: Pastor Eric Going, Parkway Church of God said a prayer asking God for guidance for the City, our Government and City officials.

AUDIENCE IN ATTENDANCE: Michael Hoyt, Dave Bruner, Travis Shelton, Chad Brown, Pete Allen, Kevin Allen, Josh Jones, Joe Lauber, Harold Martin, Deb McCoy, Patty LaRoche, Brian Allen, Rachel Pruitt, Nancy Van Etten, Jeff Fischer, Lindsey Watts, Tammy Helm, Michael Hoyt, Teresa Cooper, Eric Going, Susan Bancroft, Paul Ballou, Deb Needleman, Clayton Miller, and representing the press, Jason Silvers of the Fort Scott Tribune.

PROCLAMATIONS/RECOGNITIONS: Recognition of Jason Silvers, Staff Reporter, Fort Scott Tribune – Mayor Parker recognized Jason Silvers. Jason is a lifelong resident of Fort Scott and has been working for the Tribune since 2004. He graduated from Fort Scott High School, attended Fort Scott Community College, and then graduated from Pittsburg State University where he majored in drama and theater, but later changed his major to communications to become a sports broadcaster. He is the staff reporter and sports reporter for the Tribune. The Mayor thanked him for diligently attending and covering all our City Commission meetings.


  1. Approval of minutes of the regular meeting of December 3rd, 2019.

  1. Approval of Appropriation Ordinance 1252-A totaling $1,277,645.70.

C. 2020 Cereal Malt Beverage/Public Dance Licenses: (originals in Clerk’s office)

Package Sales:

Pete’s of Erie, Inc. #20 – 998 N. National

Pete’s of Erie, Inc. #27 – 605 S. National

Pete’s of Erie, Inc. #14 – 1902 S. Main

Pete’s of Erie, Inc. #28 – 1138 E. Wall

Hill’s Service, Inc. – 308 N. National

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. #39 – 2500 S. Main

Walgreen Company – 2229 S. Main

Casey’s General Store #3399 – 2216 S. Main

G & W 2, L.L.C., 911 E. 6th Street

Hilltop Bait Shop – 2015 E. 1st Street

Consumption on the Premises:

Debra Cagle DBA Fifthwheel Tavern – 206 Humboldt

NPC International, Inc. DBA Pizza Hut #2423 – 1810 S. Main

Woodland Hills Golf Course – 2414 S. Horton

Public Dance License:

Elks Lodge #579 – 111 W. 19th

Sharky’s Pub & Grub – 16 N. National

Liberty Theatre – 113 S. Main

Holmtown Pub – 206 N. National

River Room Events, LLC – 3 West Oak

Buck Run Community Center – 735 Scott

Memorial Auditorium – 1 East Third

  1. Resolution 30-2019 and Notice of Hearing With Reference to Alleged Unsafe and Dangerous Structure located at 421 W. 5th Street – Public Hearing Date – 2/4/2020 – 6:15 p.m.

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




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

limit per citizen)

Deb McCoy – Deb remarked that she has been into City Hall and asked some questions on processes of hiring and firing and certain protocol and didn’t really get any information on how our City follows some of these policies. It was brought to her attention about some of the recommendations from the Grand Jury in 2007. These recommendations and comments were devised in hopes that the City officials might find them beneficial to improve the functioning of the City. In the interest of the community, a 16 point list of recommendations were presented to the City officials. She wanted to bring forth a few of these recommendations. Educate all personnel on proper purchase order procedures; Develop a written policy addressing the purchase bidding process, including guidelines for when a bid is required; Require vendors who want an opportunity to bid on something to register with the City and renew registration annually; to develop and implement a process for hiring department heads that includes an interview process by a panel of individuals from the community with experience in the position being filled; and the City Manager and City Commission should develop a long range plan. How many of these recommendations were completed? This would be a great way to start our new year of 2020 with vision, oversight and accountability. She handed out copies of the 16 recommendations.

Michael Hoyt – Michael said that he wanted to thank Ms. Clay for mentioning at the last meeting he gave the Commission an abbreviated version of the Constitution. It was the full version. He asked the Commission to consider that there be no appointments by this Commission or the Commission that is to be seated, or promote anyone interim, until the adopting of Item #11 from the list of recommendations. There are a few issues open with the Attorney General’s office that he thinks some actions, and he will leave that to your discretion, without including anyone’s name, that will need to be deferred until after those investigations are completed.

Nancy Van Etten – Nancy said that she lives at 764 195th Street and is a lake resident and lives on the east side. She wanted to update the Commission on the processes on the sewer rate increase that was approved on December 3rd for the lake residents for the sewer district which is a 44% increase. When they came earlier in the year, they (City Commission) said they didn’t think it was appropriate and it was tabled. In the meantime, Harold Martin developed a petition and she wanted to read it to them. Harold Martin lives on the west side of the lake full time. “Lake Residents, during the City Commission meeting on November 19th, the City Commission proposed to increase sewer rates for lake residents by 44.5% from $15.77 to $22.79 on January 1st, 2020. Lake residents in attendance requested the matter be tabled until a sewer board can be formed as detailed in the lake sewer district charter. The City Commissioners agreed to table the matter. We assumed the discussions would resume after a sewer board was formed as had been discussed. The next meeting of the City Commission convened on December 3rd, 2019. The lake sewer district rate increase was not listed as an agenda item but rather appeared in section 8 under an item for consideration along with seven other items. The notice of the issue should have been published in the newspaper as had done previously and is commonly required on all public action. At this meeting, the Commissioners approved a 44.5% increase from $15.77 to $22.79 and changed the minimum water usage from 3,000 gallons per month to 2,300 gallons per month with a $2.12 charge for each 750 gallons used in excess of the 2,300 gallon minimum. The December 4th account in the newspaper went on to say the full account of the City Commissioner’s action regarding this matter would not appear until the Saturday edition of the Tribune. Several concerns: Lake residents are not represented on the Board of City Commissioners and have no voting rights with regards to the election of City Commissioners. This is considered taxation without representation. City Commissioners are deceptive in their handling of this matter and appear to be taking advantage of the State mandated response time in this matter through the delay in releasing information to squelch public opinion and involvement. City Commissioners disregard the lake sewer district covenants when proposing increases of this magnitude. The lake sewer district covenants are not to exceed those levied for City residents in any given year. Sewer bills for each lake sewer district connection shall not exceed $50.00 per month including the $21.09 levy for repayment of construction bonds”. So, she does have names on the petition. Also, she did send an email out to the lake residents yesterday that she did do a complaint to the State of Kansas Attorney General’s Office in regards to this issue. She did talk to the County Commissioners this morning and sent them particular questions she had about the problems they are having with the sewer agreement and the increase in price and also questions to Susan Bancroft, the Finance Director, and to Michael Mix. She was able to speak with Susan today at her request. She just happened to be at City Hall signing forms for Open Records Act and was able to talk with her about some of the questions that she had. She was also given the information from Michael Mix just when she got here on his questions. What we are really wanting is for the City Commission to void the action that was done on December 3rd, and that’s what she passed on to the Attorney General, and for the City and the County to collaborate together to determine what action needs to be taken on this sewer agreement and see if there needs to be a board developed.

City Manager said that there is a current Bourbon County Sewer District #1 which is the County Commission. We are in a contract with a maintenance agreement with the County. We notified the County in July that we were going to increase the rates and notified them again in November. The last Commission meeting your movement was for us to look into the paperwork and make sure we were doing it right. We did that and we brought it back to you (City Commission) and you approved the rate increase. You can change that if you want, but it is very clear that Bourbon County Sewer District #1 is the current Chairman of the Bourbon County Commission and the current County Commissioners. That is the Bourbon County Sewer District #1 and we notified them which is what we are supposed to do. The problem is the County owns the sewer pipe from the City limits to the lake residents. We help maintain it just like in the City. We own up to the property line. The City is nothing more than a vendor who has a maintenance agreement with the County. Now if the County Commission wants to have a City Commissioner or a City representative on their sewer board that is fine, but there is a Bourbon County Sewer District #1 board and it is the County Commission.

Nancy Van Etten said that there is a fairly large agreement that was signed January 18th, 2011 that indicates there are a lot of specifics of what the City needs to do and the responsibilities of the County. It was very specific and that’s what she gave to Susan and to the County. She just got Michael’s information so she doesn’t know what his answers are. She thinks this agreement needs to be reviewed. She’s not sure that everyone understands this particular agreement. She asked if there were any amendments to this agreement. She doesn’t think that anyone has been working together since there have been no rate increases since 2011. She said that they haven’t gotten any notices in their bill that there was going to be an increase.

City Manager said that should have came from the Bourbon County Sewer District #1 because they were notified.

Nancy Van Etten asked who was the Bourbon County Sewer District #1.

City Manager said it was the Bourbon County Chairman and the other two Commissioners.

Harold Martin – Harold said that he lives at 841 190th Street and he lives on the west side. There are a couple of things in that agreement that from their prospective have not been met. One, is the process that the rate increases are calculated and it is very specific that water will be monitored the first three months of the year, which will be the base and states what the increase will be. The problem that we have with what’s going on is we don’t have any way to ask for the City to provide us with what their costs are and overruns and increases are. That’s provided for in that document so we have a basis for what they believe the rate increase should be as a sewer board. They just found out today that the County Commission is supposed to be the sewer board. They aren’t sure that is accurate. They believe that members of that sewer board should be people who live in that district and be part of that sewer district. Otherwise, you have people representing something that they have no stake in. The people they are representing should have a stake in it. Something else that came up at the last meeting, we were informed that you had no way to get water usage because we are provided water through the rural system you don’t have access to. Because you are maintaining that grinder pump on Indian Road, you know how often it runs, what the g.p.m. of the pump is, and you have annual records and you can tell exactly how many gallons of sewage are pumped from that lake sewage system into your system and based on 140 grinder pumps that are out there, then you would know what it’s costing per unit per year to actually process that sewage. We don’t have access to that information but you do. By charging everybody and increasing their payment 45%, and probably a full 2/3’s or ¾’s of the people don’t live out there all the time, so now you have a usage of a utility that is extremely low that you are collecting a premium for that service. He thinks those things should be looked at and a sewer commission of people who actually have a stake in that district need to be involved in it. We assumed that you said table it and we need to form a sewer district and need to look into it, that it would be tabled until that happened. Obviously, there was a misunderstanding and the misunderstanding on your end expressed here is that you looked into it with the County, but they don’t have a stake in it.

City Manager asked him what he meant by saying the County doesn’t have a stake in it.

Harold Martin said that they don’t live in that district. They don’t live at the lake.

City Manager said that was before his time with the City. They signed an agreement with the County for the City of Fort Scott to charge a smaller rate for the first year, even less than City residents. For some reason, people thought it needed to carry on. It got caught last year. We notified the sewer district to our knowledge. At the last meeting, the County said they weren’t the sewer district, but they are. It says right there on the maintenance agreement. The City is taking care of that utility because they don’t have a sewer system.

Susan Bancroft, Director of Finance, remarked that when the sewer district was formed, the reason why the rates were lower than the City residents is, in order to get a CDBG/USDA grant, we needed our rates to be a certain level. They couldn’t exceed $50.00 which would cover the sewer and the bond payment as well as the rate increase. That’s why the agreement was made so that it could be increased as needed to help support the sewer system after the first year. That’s why the agreement is worded the way it is. There is a state statute that our City Attorney has referenced.

Joe Lauber, City Attorney, referenced 19-27-A02 and if you look at the agreement and the opening sentence. It says that “The Board of County Commissioners shall be the board of any sewer district it creates”.

Harold Martin said that it was at a specific rate and stayed there and stayed there. He doesn’t think the residents at the lake should be penalized because that rate increase wasn’t administered appropriately over time and now they get hit with a 45% increase. It is not appropriate to do that because somewhere in there it got missed. It’s not their problem as a resident. He still thinks that the people that live there need a voice.

City Manager said that they can take that up with the County Commission.

Susan Bancroft said that the City isn’t trying to penalize the residents as we aren’t going back and trying to make them pay all these back rates.

Commissioner Nichols said that they have gone six or seven years without an increase.

City Manager said that the increase is still being based on the 3,000 gallon. City residents use 2,300.

Harold Martin said that when he used the 2,300 number, that was what was printed in the paper. It should have been 3,000. They should have been informed other than reading it in the paper. He is in tune to the point that we could have been getting increases all along and gets that but he also wants to stress that the process for making those increases has not been followed. They haven’t been able to view what the cost increases are, but he thinks it would be very important and very insightful to know what the output of that pumping station would be on an annual basis. He would like to know what it actually costs the City.

Susan Bancroft said that she has been in contact with Rural Water and they are willing to look at possibly creating a waiver for a lake resident to go in and give the City permission on an annual basis to give us their water usage average so then that way we can bill based on their true usage. That will take a process to work through the administration of it. She will be working on this.

Commissioner Mitchell asked Bourbon County Commissioner Jeff Fischer what his thoughts were.

Jeff Fischer said that he is only a Commissioner in a specific room about a block away. He thinks the big question is about the sewer district. When the County Commissioners signed on to facilitate that district, in that agreement, it talks about expanding the borders. There are requirements of the board that he has no idea as no one has applied to expand that system. This would be a great exercise for the Lake Advisory Board to consider. They are formed but haven’t had their first meeting yet. They could put together a proposal and see what responsibilities are between the City and the Sewer District #1. That’s really who the agreement is between.

Patty LaRoche passed on speaking to the Commission.

Pete Allen – Two weeks ago at the City Commission meeting, the Commission authorized spending $1.5 million for an energy service contract for a company that is headquartered in Paris, France – Schneider Electric. That contract is for doing a study or actually putting in units that they say we need to do. In reality, we are financing that $1.5 million at 3½% over 20 years. The total cost will be $2,135,000. It will cost us another $600,000 over the $1.5 million. That is a questionable service in the first place. K.C.C. did a study on the same type of service on three places in the State of Kansas and they could find no savings. They could find no proof that any savings occurred. The Community College here in Fort Scott did a program ten or twelve years ago, and they’re still paying for it. They are paying $88,000 every six months, which is $176,000 a year they are still paying for. Most of the improvements are gone and they still have two or three years to pay. It is the spending of our taxpayer’s $2,135,000 that we don’t have. The City simply does not have $2,135,000. I went to speak with Michael Mix earlier and as you know we do have a tremendous problem with our sewer system in Fort Scott. Our sewer system is old and antiquated and there are sections of it that are in danger of collapsing as we speak. Right now we have a small camera that we use to camera the lines to see exactly where we are. Michael has two people that are full time working for him on the sewers. He has a plan whereas it will take eight years to map it with those two people to find out what we’ve got. He thinks our money should be used for things we need and not things we want. We would be in much more need of a sewer overhaul than we do an energy program. What he is asking if we put that $2,135,000 into our sewer system, it would be much, much, much better for our citizens than this energy thing. We have local people that can handle the energy thing. What he is asking is for the Commission to rescind the contract for the energy contract and let us get some work done where we need it in Fort Scott and that’s in the sewer. He doesn’t think it’s too late even if it is postponed a year. For that amount we can sleeve ten miles of our sewer system.


Mitchell moved to open the Public Hearing at 6:38 p.m. Adamson seconded. All voted aye.


6:00 p.m. – Budget Amendment Hearing – Susan Bancroft, Finance Director, informed the Commission that this budget amendment needs to happen due to increased spending in two accounts. In the Economic Development fund, there was allocated $228,568 in expenditures when actually there were expenditures of $582,860. In the Special Parks & Recreation fund there was $12,850 allocated and actually $55,070 was spent.

There we no comments from the audience.

Mitchell moved to approve the Budget Amendment. Nichols seconded. All voted aye.


Mitchell moved to close Public Hearing at 6:39 p.m. Adamson seconded. All voted aye.



  1. Approval of Quit Claim Deed – Transfer of Depot Parking Lot to H.P.A. – City Manager said that this quit claim deed will transfer the City parking lot at Scott and Wall Street to H.P.A. with the two stipulations that were stated at a previous meeting. The first stipulation was that the adjoining property owner can continue to use the shared driveway and secondly, the grantee shall have two years from the date of this deed to complete this project or the land will revert back to the City. Approval was recommended.

Nichols moved to approve the Quit Claim Deed that will transfer the parking lot at Scott and Wall Street to H.P.A. Adamson seconded. All voted aye.


  1. Consideration of Memorandum of Understanding with Charlesworth Consulting – Consultant for City’s insurance needs – Deb Needleman, Human Resource Director, informed the Commission that the renewal for the memorandum of understanding between the City of Fort Scott and Charlesworth Consulting is up for renewal. Charlesworth Consulting has been our consultant since 2014. She asked approval for this memorandum of understanding.

Mitchell moved to approve the Memorandum of Understanding between the City of Fort Scott and Charlesworth Consulting for the City’s insurance needs. Parker seconded. All voted aye.


  1. Consideration to accept Grant Agreement between City of Fort Scott and Kansas Housing Resources Corporation – Rachel Pruitt, Economic Development Director, informed the Commission that this is the first time the City has applied for a Moderate Income Housing Grant. Letters of support were received from Key Industries and Peerless Products, both companies which have added numerous employees this year. In order to fill these jobs, we need housing for them. This grant is a $250,000 grant that will rehabilitate four homes to three bedroom rentals. This is a 100% grant with no City match required. She asked for approval to accept the grant.

Nichols moved to approve the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation Housing – Moderate Income Housing grant. Parker seconded. All voted aye.

approveD the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation Housing – Moderate Income Housing grant – $250,000 GRANT.

  1. Consideration of 2020 Bourbon County Emergency Medical Service Agreement – Dave Bruner, Deputy Fire Chief, informed the Commission that this agreement is the renewal of the Bourbon County Emergency Medical Service Agreement from last year. This agreement is in effect until December 31st, 2020. Approval was recommended.

Nichols moved to approve the Bourbon County Emergency Medical Service Agreement with Bourbon County for 2020. Adamson seconded. All voted aye.



  1. Director Updates:

Rachel Pruitt Rachel shared two videos with the Commission. She is excited to announce that T-Mobile was looking for a pilot rural city to place 5G capability and Fort Scott was selected as that rural city. 5G is already turned on in Fort Scott. There will be a kickoff call tomorrow and then a group of volunteers that will test the network. She is excited that Fort Scott was selected to be the pilot rural city.

Chad Brown – Chad updated the Commission that the Street Department was able to complete about 7 blocks of road work this summer. This included 5 blocks of contract work from approximately Margrave to east of Caldwell on Wall Street in which the Street Department assisted the contractor in the loading and hauling of millings, sweeping and brooming work and preparation of the paving materials and traffic control. The Street Department also completed the reconstruction of a two block stretch on Crawford Street from 10th to 12th. This included brick and asphalt removal and replacement, storm sewer repairs and all new curb and gutter throughout the project. The Street Department then began to work on Andrick Street from 4th to 6th Street. They began at the 5th Street intersection where they encountered a water line leaking that according to their maps had been abandoned in the 1980’s. This water main had not been fully abandoned. While waiting, the crew continued curb and gutter and pavement removal toward the south toward 6th Street. When they got past 6th Street, they encountered a 4” gas main that was directly under the pavement and too shallow for road reconstruction. After contacting Kansas Gas Service, they spent time engineering this to move this line out of the right of way. This process took longer than expected and pushed them into the winter months. In June the Commission approved this project on Andrick to be an asphalt street requiring 380 tons of asphalt totaling $25,840. Since we are out of asphalt season and still have this one block under construction, he asked for approval to use concrete requiring 192 yards totaling $19,584. This would actually be a savings. This will allow then to finish this project. We are able to pour concrete at this time of the year as long as the ground is not frozen. He asked for approval to change this block from asphalt to concrete.

Parker moved to allowing the 5th Street on Andrick to be concrete instead of asphalt. Adamson seconded. All voted aye.


Chad also updated the Commission on the adoption of an Ordinance of a Street Advisory Board for the purpose of assisting the City in making recommendations involving road improvement projects throughout the City of Fort Scott. This will help establish a more well run program as well as get citizens involved in one of the most important infrastructures in our town. This board will have a minimum of seven members with one member being the Public Works Director, the Community Development Director, and the other four members would be selected at large, but reside in the City limits of Fort Scott. The purpose will be to make suggestions on streets, brick streets, street repairs, and capital improvement projects. He asked for approval of this ordinance.

Adamson moved to approve the Ordinance creating a Street Advisory Board. Parker seconded. All voted aye.


Chad said he had one more item. He has been in discussions with an engineering company called I.M.S. Infrastructure Management Services. They are based out of Tempe, Arizona but their central region manager is based out of Springfield, Missouri. They utilize laser cameras, digital cameras, GPS, distance measuring and hardware to collect data on different types of streets and pavements. He asked for approval to move forward in talking with this engineering firm. They will come to town and complete all the field survey work, and input all their data, and compile a Pavement Condition Index for each roadway surface analyzed. He asked for approval to move forward in discussions with them.

Commissioner Nichols encouraged him to move forward with this firm. It is critical and we need a uniform structured plan for this committee. It will give us a baseline on what is most critical.

Chad said that their goal is to develop a priority list. Similar cities around us are also utilizing this firm.

  1. City Commission:

Bartelsmeyer Not present.

Mitchell Nothing to report.

Nichols Remarked that he wished that Pete Allen was still around. Regarding this energy saving program, the company we chose was vetted, the program has been used in many cities, but the truth is, this is money we were going to be spending. This money will come back to us in a guaranteed fashion. This will pay for itself in savings. It was a well thought out plan and didn’t happen overnight. These items needed replaced and probably by government standards would have to be replaced over the next few years. This is revenue neutral.

Susan Bancroft said that the savings will pay off the debt. If for some reason you don’t have the savings that were estimated by this engineer, they will pay off the debt.

Adamson – Remarked that she is excited about Rachel’s announcement about T-Mobile. She wished all a Merry Christmas!

Parker – Nothing to report.

  1. City Manager:

      1. Chamber Coffee – City Manager announced that the Chamber Coffee will be held at City Hall on Thursday, December 19th, 2019.

      1. Project List for 2019 – City Manager said that a list has been compiled of accomplishments for 2019. Health care has been a huge issue in 2019 and we are blessed to have two partners in town working with us. In 2021 those leases are gone.


Mayor Parker asked that a 10 minute Executive Session be held to discuss non-elected personnel with action anticipated. This will include the City Commission, City Attorney and Human Resource Director.

Adamson moved to enter into a 10 minute Executive Session to include the Human Resource Director, the City Attorney and the City Commission to discuss personnel matters of non-elected personnel. There will be action anticipated. Nichols seconded. All voted aye.


Nichols moved to come out of Executive Session at 7:22 p.m. Mitchell seconded. All voted aye.


Mayor Parker announced that the City Manager Employment Agreement was discussed for his annual review. There was no increase in salary. There was no increase in wages or benefits. We corrected some deficiencies by adding a job description and to clarify performance reviews and terms for his future contracted years.

Nichols moved to approve the City Manager Employment Agreement. Mitchell seconded. All voted aye.


Harold Martin asked that the Commission rescind the lake sewer increase for January.

Mayor Parker said that a decision has already been made. No action was taken.


Adamson moved to adjourn the meeting at 7:22 p.m. Parker seconded. All voted aye.


The next regularly scheduled meeting is to be held on January 7th, 2020 at 6:00 p.m.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *