Fort Scott Commission Minutes of July 2



Minutes of July 2, 2019 Regular Meeting #12

The regular meeting of the Fort Scott City Commission was held July 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: Michael Mix, Public Utilities Director, said a prayer asking God for guidance for the City, our Government and City officials.

AUDIENCE IN ATTENDANCE: Rhonda Dunn, Robert Uhler, Rachel Pruitt, Darrell Parker, Bob Duncan, Travis Shelton, Pete Allen, Larry Gazaway, Tracy Dancer, Pat Wood, Clayton Miller, Lindsay Watts, Bobbi Kemna, Chad Brown, Michael Mix, Deb Needleman, Adam Harrison, Josh Jones, Jake Gross, Kasey Gross, Paul Ballou, Dave Bruner, Arthur Pearson, Devin Tally, Linda Fox, Ally Turvey, Jerald Mitchell, Deb McCoy, Diana Morriss, Michael Hoyt, Eddie Fox, June M. Theel, Max Theel, Carson Felt, Brian Allen, Dave Bruner, and representing the press, Jason Silvers of the Fort Scott Tribune.


Recognition of Kansas Association of Airports Conference – Mayor Parker presented a plaque to Rachel Pruitt, Ally Turvey, and Larry Gazaway in appreciation for hosting the Kansas Association of Airports Conference in Fort Scott. They did a great job hosting this event. Also, the Mayor read an email from Kolen McKee, who serves on the K.A.A. Board. He said that he has been going to the conferences for 25 years and no other city has made him feel as welcome as Fort Scott did.

Larry Gazaway, Tourism Director, gave an update to the Commission on tourism. He said there were three things they wanted to do as a Convention and Tourism Bureau. The first was to attract more teams to the LaRoche Baseball Complex. We have done this and in 2020 we will be hosting N.C.A.A. baseball for the second time. The second item was to attract more group tours. We have a record amount of group tours coming to Fort Scott and spending the night. Lastly, they wanted to host more conventions and conferences. They just finished their first one with the K.A.A. Conference. The City worked together as a team to help put this conference on. Hotel rooms were filled up during the week. The estimated impact during the two nights they were here is $53,000. This is the smallest of the upcoming conferences. In October, another conference will be held with around 105 attendees. At the end of January another conference will occur with around 300 attendees. The YP Summit will also be held in the next two years with around 110 attendees.

Mayor Parker also thanked the Bowman’s at NuGrille for their assistance with supplying the City with coffee.

Rhonda Dunn, Director of Finance, introduced Devin Tally, who is the new Staff Accountant for the City.


  1. Approval of minutes of the regular meeting of June 18th, 2019.

  1. Approval of Appropriation Ordinance 1241-A totaling $232,719.86.

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




Arthur Pearson – Closure of street – 1400 block of State Street – July 30th, 2019 – 9:00 – 12:00 – Mr. Pearson appeared before the Commission to request the street be closed in the 1400 block of State in front of New Generations Daycare. They plan to set up a mock accident scene to help educate the children on texting and driving, buckling up and moving over for accidents. Mr. Pearson stated he had visited with Travis Shelton, Chief of Police, and Paul Ballou, Fire Chief, and they are both in agreement with the street closure.

Mitchell moved to approve to close the 1400 block of State Street on July 30th, 2019 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Nichols seconded. All voted aye.


July 4th Crossfit Fun Run – Gunn Park – Lindsay Watts, Smallville Crossfit, asked permission to hold a fun run on July 4th at Gunn Park. They would like the park closed to vehicle traffic from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. They will hold a fun run and a kid’s firecracker run. Parking will be at the Burke Street nursing campus parking lot.

Bartelsmeyer moved to approve the closure of Gunn Park to vehicle traffic for the Smallville Crossfit event on July 4th, 2019 from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Adamson seconded. All voted aye.

approveD the closure of Gunn Park to vehicle traffic for the Smallville Crossfit event on July 4th, 2019 from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

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

limit per citizen)

Lindsay Watts – She said that she wanted to appear before the Commission and tell them why she is here in Fort Scott and how much this community means to her and her husband and their business. She said she grew up in this community and she is proud as an adult she can call herself a Fort Scotian. She grew up in Fulton and she and her husband moved to Fort Scott the last year and a half. She moved back to her hometown with a purpose and a drive to do something special for this community. She said they were meant with nothing but positive energy. That is what our community is about and what Fort Scott is about. That is why she and her husband have the business that they have is because of the positive energy in this community and the openness of people to be involved in something bigger than themselves. Her family and her husband’s family are from here. They came back to help them and to build something a little bit bigger. There have always been changes up and down in communities that she and her husband have lived in. They have traveled a lot for military. They have lived in big cities and moving back to a small town, there was a lot of things that she did not see growing up. She was not involved in high school growing up. There are always ups and down and disappointments, and this is in any town. You have to continue to spread this positive energy. If we don’t, she is very worried about where the community will be in the next few years. Everything the Commission has been trying to do and the community leaders is challenging. Social media is very challenging right now and they find that with their business. You just have to be avid stewards for the truth. You have to stand up for what you believe in with respect, compassion and love.

Bobby Duncan – He said he noticed that Mr. Pete Allen is here again today. He raised some important questions the last time he was here. He spoke about the streets and the allocation of the monies to update the streets. I don’t know if he’s got those answers yet and maybe I can find out this afternoon after this meeting. Another thing happened about a month ago. The director of the public works sanitary system was in here and gave a nice presentation and I think the young man obviously knows what he’s talking about. He’s done a lot of work in that industry. One of the things he said was this: at the current rate they can have all of the sanitary lines repaired and put in good service in 72 years at the current rate. You might not know but most of those sanitary lines that are in the ground were installed are good for maybe 40 or 50 years. 72 years, the ones that already leaking; a lot of the street problems is the fact that these lines are leaking. That is a fact under the streets. This is something you might be looking at repairing the streets, but you need to do something more with the water and sanitary lines that are old in this town. They’ve got to be fixed. Flint Michigan, he has an uncle that worked for GM and lived in Flint. This is a city that went right down to the bottom. The water lines and sanitary lines and a lot of IRB’s written and other bonds written that the City of Flint had to pick up. That could be some of the reason that his aunt and uncle perished at an early age. That contamination. Who knows?

Pete Allen – Mr. Allen said he had a couple of questions. He asked the Commission how many of them were graduates of Fort Scott High School? There were two. He asked if they knew in 2020 there would be an all school reunion. He asked if they had any idea how many people will be coming to Fort Scott. He said from 5,000 to 10,000 people. If everyone brings their spouses, it will be around 10,000. This is an opportunity to show off Fort Scott. He doesn’t know of anything that’s being done or discussed about the influx of people we will have here. You talk about economic opportunity or development, this is an opportunity to show off what we’re doing in Fort Scott. We’re doing a lot of good things in Fort Scott. I’m not running it down. I know there’s a lot more things we can be doing. We’ve got to starting thinking about it now and not wait a year from now and say we should have done that. He’s got a lot of ideas he’s going to share with Dave and Randy in the near future in regards to things that he would look at if he came back after 50 or 60 years of being away. He had his 60th reunion last year. He wants them to start thinking of that. He asked Larry (Gazaway) to put that on his calendar too. There will be 10,000 people in town in June of 2020. Don’t schedule any ball games that same weekend. We will be hurting for space.

Larry said that it is on his calendar.

Another thing Mr. Allen said in front of the Empress Event Center, 47 years ago he and his brother worked hard to put a brick inlay in front of the building. He noticed that someone has come in with a saw and sawed it into and probably put in a new water line in and patched it back with concrete. He hopes that is only temporary and that somebody has already ordered the brick to put it back the way it was. That’s one of the things we need to stress is to fix up what we tear up. Also on the next inlet on down north, the bricks are starting to break apart. That’s the focal point of Fort Scott. People come to the Fort and then they can see the bricks starting to break apart.

City Manager said that Mr. Allen has come and met with them and he appreciates it.

Deb McCoy – Deb said that she had one question. She asked for someone to fill the community in on why Peerless ended up buying a building in Nevada instead of building on the land that they purchased south of their present facility. Why could we not entice them to build here? They are our biggest employer.

Rachel Pruitt informed the Commission and the audience that Peerless is planning on expanding on the land they have purchased. There are actually three different projects they are planning in Fort Scott. One of their projects is to make their office space more user friendly. They hired Dave Elliott as a morale employee officer to look at retaining employees. Dave’s job is to retain employees. One of their issues was the office space. That is one of the build outs they are doing. Another one of the buildouts they are doing is to the north and that’s a $15 million piece of machinery that they are looking to build specifically for. And the third project is an R & D lab. They may or may not be building that R & D lab within the property that they currently own. Bill Osbern and I have been in pretty close contact. I spoke to him this morning to invite him to come and talk to the Commission and community. He was unable to make it tonight but will be here on the 16th. There’s also a Nevada Council meeting you can listen to the audio from that meeting and you can tell the continued commitment he’s making to Fort Scott. He went to Nevada for the convenience for the warehouse space. What they have learned is onsite construction putting the windows together isn’t as feasible since they’re on both coasts. Those customers would like the windows to come already assembled. They needed more space to store the preassembled windows. They are out of space here. It wasn’t a matter of selecting Nevada over Fort Scott. They are still choosing Fort Scott. They bought warehouse space in Nevada but don’t anticipate any operations to be done in Nevada. Please come to the meeting on the 16th and hear Mr. Osbern.

City Manager said that Nevada has put all their economic development into 3M. Nevada has a lot of warehouse space. We tried to work with them on warehouse space here. They did look at Price Chopper but that fell through. They are committed to Fort Scott.

Michael Hoyt asked how much sales tax revenue will be lost.

Rachel said that Peerless will be able to address that at the next meeting.

Michael Hoyt – Mr. Hoyt said that his family has been in the county for 140 years. He relocated here to help take care of his mother as she is elderly and needed his care. He wanted to get involved in the community and he chose the school district first. He identified some needs that he could help them address, but they decided they didn’t need his help. Now he’s going to run for the school board so he has to make sure he gets his name out there. He’s not running for the Commission as some of the people who have already spoken. He has a question of issues that he would like to bring to their attention. He asked the Commission if they had ever attended the Municipal Court proceedings. He would recommend that you do that maybe once or maybe twice a year. He has a matter before the Municipal Court and it’s immaterial and still under adjudication and still ongoing. I don’t want to be a naysayer, but if you will recall Ferguson, Missouri that whole FBI investigation, ended with the City was dependent upon nuisance fines and fees imposed by the City and it turned their citizenry against the city. It just pushed the downtrodden further down. We don’t want to do that. A $200 fine for most people is a lot of money. It could mean the difference between eating and not eating. Maybe give some opportunities to do community service. Just a suggestion. Also, I tried to file a motion in this Municipal Court on the 21st and there was no one here that could handle it. Mrs. Clay was on vacation and it didn’t get filed until yesterday and that is unsatisfactory.

City Manager told him that the Utility Clerk got Diane on the phone. You talked to her on the phone and she had the Utility Clerk get you what you needed done.

Mr. Hoyt said he didn’t talk to her on the phone.

Diane Clay, City Clerk, said she did talk to him on the phone.

Mr. Hoyt said that he was here, talked to her on the phone, but it didn’t get filed. It didn’t get time stamped.

City Manager said it was because you left.

Mr. Hoyt asked what he was supposed to stay here for.

City Manager said that he wanted to clarify for his staff that they did exactly what they needed to do to take care of your needs.

Mr. Hoyt said that he differs with him about that. What major cities have is that you can file 24/7 and walk up and stamp it and file it. His last issue is…

Mayor Parker told him his three minutes was up.


Bartelsmeyer moved to open the Public Hearing at 6:29 p.m. Adamson seconded. All voted aye.

6:15 p.m. Resolution No. 10-2019 – Resolution directing the repair or removal of an unsafe and dangerous structure and accessory structure located at 15 S CrawfordAdam Harrison, Codes Supervisor, informed the Commission that this structure was first condemned on October 16th, 2018. This structure is still dilapidated and still in a similar state at this time. The structure has issues with the soffit, facing, eaves, siding, and structural issues. It was learned after the first resolution passed that the property had changed ownership. The process started again. The owners were present tonight. He did ask for 30 days to either have the property repaired or removed.

Carson Felt’s mother is a neighbor to the property and said that part of the neighbor’s garage fell into her driveway. They have had a couple of flat tires due to the debris that falls from this structure.

Max Theel said that he is the owner of the property. This property has been broken into and had parts of the house ripped out. He said every time they come down to work on the house, more damage has been done.

Mr. Harrison recommended reevaluating this after 30 days.

Mitchell moved to reevaluate this property in 30 days. Bartelsmeyer seconded. All voted aye.


6:15 p.m. Resolution No. 11-2019 – Resolution directing the repair or removal of an unsafe and dangerous structure located at 602 S. Heylman – Adam Harrison, Codes Supervisor, informed the Commission that this structure had a fire in it. There was no insurance on the structure and it is inhabitable. The owner is out of town and is agreeable to the City demolishing it.

Nichols moved to repair or remove this structure in 15 days. Adamson seconded. All voted aye.


Bartelsmeyer moved to close the Public Hearing at 6:40 p.m. Adamson seconded. All voted aye.



  1. Consideration of rehabilitation of one clarifier at the Water Treatment Plant and for this project to be let for bid for painting – Michael Mix, Public Utilities Director, informed the Commission that he would like to rehabilitate one clarifier at the Water Treatment Plant. He shared photos of the clarifier. There has not been any major work completed on this since 1980 besides touch up painting. Part of his capital improvement plan is for this project. He received an estimate for sand blasting and painting for this project and the estimate was $63,900. He asked for approval to start the bidding process for this project.

Bartelsmeyer moved to authorize to start the bidding process on the painting and sand blasting for this project. Adamson seconded. All voted aye.


  1. Consideration of rehabilitation of one clarifier at the Water Treatment Plant and approval of quote from Westech – Michael Mix, Public Utilities Director, informed the Commission that Westech is the only vendor able to rehabilitate the clarifier as it is a specialized item. This will replace the motors and mixers and bearings. This quote is for $39,578.00. Approval was recommended.

Nichols moved to approve the quote from Westech of Ames, Iowa in the amount of $39,578.00. Parker seconded. All voted aye.


  1. Approval to obtain pricing to replace the Pumper Engine Fire Truck – Paul Ballou, Fire Chief, informed the Commission that he is requesting to obtain pricing for the purchase of an engine pumper truck. This purchase is to replace the 1992 International Engine Truck. We will utilize HGAC group pricing, used equipment dealer pricing, and other sources to obtain the best recommendations for the City. Utilizing the buying groups removes the need to obtain detailed specifications for the truck.

Rhonda Dunn, Finance Director, informed the Commission that these buying groups assist cities in finding the best prices for equipment. This will save us money in having to have detailed specifications created.

City Manager said that the financing will not be bonds. The pricing will be brought back before the Commission at a later date.

Bartelsmeyer moved to authorize the Fire Chief to obtain pricing to replace the 1992 International Engine Truck. Adamson seconded. All voted aye.



  1. Director Updates:

Chad Brown – Chad said that after much thought and input from other City officials and members of the community, the 2019 Road Improvement Program was finalized and placed on the agenda that was heard on May 21st, 2019. It was during this meeting that the City Commission approved this item. Although the item was not approved until that meeting, the crews had already begun and completed a few smaller projects that are a part of this program. This program was approved for approximately $263,000 out of the Street Department budget. The total budget is $777,000. The remaining $500,000 goes toward other line items in the Street Department budget such as operating expenses, vehicle equipment maintenance, fuel costs, supplies, and labor to name a few.

With approximately 90 miles of paved surface and so many areas that need repaired and/or replaced, we are looking into ways of making the decision for us a little easier. We are in contact with some engineering firms that are giving us ideas on how to incorporate laser technology that will record data for us such as pavement thickness, cracking, rutting, roughness, grade and crown of the road. With this technology we can also determine the sub-base materials and condition under the existing pavements. All this information will be placed into a database and create a pavement condition index. This will enable us to determine which projects to be done first and to what extent the work will need to be completed. With all this new information, it will allow us to create a strong multiyear plan for road improvement projects and budget more accordingly.

Moving forward, I would like to establish a Road Improvement Advisory Committee that will meet to discuss items such as areas of town to focus on, schedules of work, types of pavement, and the costs of upcoming improvement programs just to name a few of the many items involved in these decisions. This is one of the most important topics in town and I feel there should be more than a few voices involved in this process. Of all the cities and towns that I have visited or had dealings with, they have advisory committees in place to assist in making these kinds of decisions. In the coming weeks, we can finalize the number of members for this committee, approve an ordinance to form the committee, determine the amount of times we would meet, and other items that need to be in place and bring this back before the Commission for approval.

Chad updated the Commission that the intersection of 3rd and Main is completed and the Street Department is now working on Crawford Street from 10th to 12th. Wall Street is scheduled for the week of August 26th.

Rhonda Dunn –Rhonda informed the Commission that the budget process is well underway. She is currently meeting with each department head, looking at wants and needs, and cuts, and will start work sessions in the next few weeks. She would like the Commission to hear what their long range plans are for their departments. Dates will be decided on in the near future.

  1. City Commission:

Bartelsmeyer Thanked everyone for coming. She updated the public on the all the projects that were completed the last year. She said that Michael Mix and his department are really good on saving money. He manages 220 miles of water and sewer lines and 3,100 water service connections. Also GIS mapping updates have been completed. Tourism is new to our city. They welcomed over 5,500 visitors. 445 visitors rode Dolly the Trolley since last July. They hosted the Lavender Fest, updated their website, renovated their office, and took over the LaRoche Ball complex. The City took over EMS operations, Buck Run has new exits, enhanced PD and Dispatch with enhanced tools for texting. Human Resources is responsible for 97 full time and 29 part time employees, monthly KMU training for all departments, IT updates, employee handbook updates, and partnered with the County on human resource issues. Chad Brown gave an update on completed streets and what is to be completed. Finance/Codes had 309 building permits issued and 473 code cases. In 2018 the water utility billing process was consolidated. Community Development took charge of the health care task force, and the food alliance. Economic Development assisted with Bedco, updating the Comprehensive Plan, Fort Scott Lofts grant approval, Airport growth, awarded $286,522 in KDOT aviation funds. Nine downtown building improvement grants were awarded last year. There has been a lot of negative information on social media. We could not do this if we did not have a good City Manager, and good City staff and a good City Commission.

Mitchell Wished everyone a happy and safe 4th of July holiday. We wouldn’t have this freedom if not for our veterans and we need to recognize them and thank them for our freedom that we do have. She said that there has been some controversy and communication on salaries and increases and the staff that we have at City Hall and how their team is constructed. He asked the City Manager to address these issues.

City Manager said that to clarify from the last newspaper article from the last meeting, that Robert Uhler took over Codes and he got a $5,000 increase for that. He was given that bump because he proved that he could handle that. Community Development was the old Codes position. Robert was working closely with Rhonda to take this position over so she could concentrate on budget. Rhonda did not get any more money with that move. She received her increase when she moved to that position. As far as City Hall staff, we are down three, possibly four people. We have about $130,000 less in City Hall salaries. We set our salaries based on the League of Kansas Municipalities for cities of our size and stay within that level. People think we are top heavy. When you take over a position it takes you three years to learn the ropes and it takes you five years to see what you need to change and make changes. It’s been within the last year that we have the right moves. We have made those moves for the direction of the City. I feel like we have a good solid team now. City Hall has had some turnover and some has been their choice and some has been our’s. We focus on customer service and know we are public servants. We have continued to look at the people that work on our streets. We look at dispatch and there is some turnover there and try to set our pay scales also there.

Commissioner Mitchell asked if he had more director positions at this time.

City Manager said he had less. IT was a director position and now reports to Deb Needleman.

Adamson – Thanked Lindsay Watts and her husband for coming back to Fort Scott and making a wonderful business in this town. They are very active and passionate about Fort Scott. If there are any citizens that have concerns or questions, before turning to social media, or listening to someone else’s opinion, I would encourage you to turn to your open door elected City Commissioner and let us be your voice.

Nichols Remarked that those are all good comments. Congratulations on the K.A.A. conference and plaque. The comments from the group were positive and constructive. He thanked Pete Allen for his comments. He thinks this will help with our street program.

Parker – Mayor Parker said that she came on the Commission in April 2009. We have tackled a lot of hurdles. These took a lot of effort to accomplish. The City purchased the golf course, redid the swimming pool, expanded Buck Run, constructed the LaRoche Baseball complex, assisted with the entrance to the ball park on Highway 69, constructed sidewalks from Wall Street to Steen Street, re-asphalted with new curb and gutter on National Avenue. Assisted with the Western Apartments in the downtown area, reconstruction of 3rd Street at Margrave, made Broadway no parking on the east side, assisted with the rehabilitation of the North National bridge, completed several demolition of houses, rehabilitated the curb and gutter on Meadow Lane and Fairway, and 23rd Street. This has been a whole team effort. All these projects cost money and this is where the money goes. It’s hard to take the criticism all the time. We all have projects we want done, but they all take money. We try to work hard for our public.

  1. City Manager:

  1. Pool Closing Date: City Manager asked the Commission to approve the closing date for the pool to be August 18th, 2019. USD #234 starts on August 22nd, 2019.

Parker moved to approve the pool closing date for August 18th, 2019. Bartelsmeyer seconded. All voted aye.


  1. Lake Fort Scott – City Manager said that some land has been bought with some condos proposed to be built. The City is researching this and gathering information. The City seems to be involved with this. The houses are in the county, and the City has met with them. There are not a lot of details yet but he has heard positive and negative comments about this.


Bartelsmeyer moved to adjourn the meeting at 7:33 p.m. Mitchell seconded. All voted aye.


The next regularly scheduled meeting is to be held on July 16th, 2019 at 6:00 p.m.




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