CITY OF FORT SCOTT
CITY COMMISSION MEETING
Minutes of December 1st, 2020 Regular Meeting #22
The regular meeting of the Fort Scott City Commission was held December 1st, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. in the Corey Larson Gymnasium at Buck Run Community Center, 735 S. Scott Avenue, Fort Scott, Kansas.
Commissioners P. Allen, and L. Watts were present with Mayor R. Nichols presiding. K. Allen arrived at 3:04 p.m.
INVOCATION: Associate Pastor Brian Rhoades, Grace Baptist Tabernacle, said a prayer asking God for guidance for the City, our Government and City officials.
AUDIENCE IN ATTENDANCE: Travis Shelton, Russell Lingerfelt, Nate Stansberry, Dave Bruner, Janice Allen, Michael Hoyt, Jeff Hancock, Rachel Pruitt, Ally Turvey, Deb McCoy, Brian Rhoades, Josh Jones, Justin Fraker, Tm Graham, Nancy VanEtten, and representing the press, Tammy Helm, Fort Scott Tribune.
SWEARING IN OF NEW CITY COMMISSIONER: Diane Clay, City Clerk, administered the oath of office to Josh Jones, new City Commissioner.
Approval of minutes of the regular meeting of November 17th, 2020, special meeting minutes of November 19th, 2020 and November 20th, 2020.
Approval of Appropriation Ordinance 1276-A totaling $333,877.13.
Request to Pay – Olsson Associates – $2,255.00 – Airport Expansion Engineering
Request to Pay #14 – Crossland Construction – $47,954.38 – River Intake Structure (final payment)
Request to Pay – #9 – Rory Chaplin – $1,043.38 – MIH Housing Grant
L. Watts moved to approve the Consent Agenda. J. Jones seconded. J. Jones, L. Watts and R. Nichols voted aye. K. Allen and P. Allen voted no. Motion carried 3-2.
APPROVED CONSENT AGENDA.
(Sign up required. Comments on any topic not on the agenda and limited to 5 minutes per person, at Commission discretion)
Michael Hoyt – Mr. Hoyt said that he wanted to welcome Josh to the Commission. He wished the best to the former Mayor.
Unsung Heroes Park Deed from the City to Lowell Milken Center – Ally Turvey, Tourism and Community Development Manager, informed the Commission at the last meeting that Norm Conard asked the City to deed over the Unsung Heroes Park to the Lowell Milken Center. She wanted to point out that there is a warranty deed as well as an agreement to approve. The warranty deed will transfer the property from the City to the Lowell Milken Center. The agreement states that if the Lowell Milken Center were to ever to sell the property or the park or not be a park anymore, the property would revert back to the City of Fort Scott. Also, there is a section that the Patrick Flanigan bench that was placed in the park previously will remain in the park. She thanked Norm Conard and Lowell Milken for their investment into our community.
K. Allen moved to approve the deed and agreement transferring the Unsung Heroes Park to the Lowell Milken Center. L. Watts seconded. All voted aye.
APPROVED WARRANTY DEED AND AGREEMENT TRANSFERING THE UNSUNG HEROES PARK TO THE LOWELL MILKEN CENTER.
Ally said that while she was at the podium, she wanted to give the Commission an update on some grant opportunities for the City of Fort Scott.
The Kansas Main Street Program has been reopened. This program helps revitalize downtown areas. She and Rachel are signed up for the webinar and will apply for the City to be part of that program.
There is also a new State Historic Preservation Grant opportunity available in the amount from $5,000 to $50,000 as of today. She has sent this out to downtown business owners. This would also be a great help to the City for rehab at Memorial Hall for the steps. She, Rachel and Lindsay Madison are registered for a webinar on this grant opportunity on December 17th. There is information on the City’s website, the City’s facebook page, and the State Historical Preservation website.
Josh Regan – Gunn Park Closure – This was removed from the agenda as this event has been cancelled due to COVID.
Carey Spoon – S.E.K.R.P.C. – Mayco Ace Grant – Rachel Pruitt, Economic Development Director, informed the Commission that there is a change order request for the Mayco Ace Grant project. There is no monetary request on this change order. There is a letter to Dustin Gale, Kansas Department of Commerce, that explains the need for the change order. There was a tenant who needed a new entrance, and this tenant is no longer a viable tenant so that entrance is not needed now. The gas does need to be brought up to code. This is not funded with City dollars. This change order will go to the Kansas Department of Commerce for their approval.
L. Watts moved to approve the Change Order for Mayco Ace. J. Jones seconded. P. Allen, J. Jones, L. Watts, and R. Nichols voted aye. K. Allen abstained. Motion carried 4-1.
APPROVED THE CHANGE ORDER FOR THE MAYOR ACE PROJECT FOR THE SOUTHEAST KANSAS REGIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION GRANT.
Election of City Commission President – City Clerk said that a President of the Commission needs to be elected as Randy Nichols has moved up to Mayor.
P. Allen moved to nominate K. Allen as President of the Commission. There was no second. The motion died for lack of a second.
J. Jones nominated Lindsey Watts as President of the Commission. K. Allen seconded. All voted aye.
APPROVED LINDSEY WATTS AS PRESIDENT OF THE CITY COMMISSION.
Resolution 19-2020 of the Governing Body to annex property owned by Peerless Products, Inc. into the City limits – Rachel Pruitt, Economic Development Director, informed the Commission that this is exciting news that she has been working on for at least a year. Peerless is expanding and wishes to annex this property into the City limits. The Planning Commission heard the first parcel of property to rezone from commercial to industrial and will hear the second parcel at the December 14th Planning Commission meeting. All of these three items will come back before the City Commission at their January 5th, 2021 meeting for approval for rezoning and annexation. She asked for approval of Resolution 19-2020. This resolution will be sent to the Bourbon County Commission also.
L. Watts moved to approve Resolution 19-2020. K. Allen seconded. All voted aye.
APPROVED RESOLUTION NO. 19-2020 OF THE GOVERNING BODY OF THE CITY OF FORT SCOTT RELATING TO THE ANNEXATION OF CERTAIN LOTS LOCATED SOUTH OF THE FORT SCOTT CITY LIMITS. – PEERLESS PRODUCTS, INC.
Rachel said that she also wanted to give an update on the 10 N. National building. She said that they are still determining where this property is best placed at – Land Bank, potential owners-short or long term? This is still in the process. Some of the potential owners are out of town due to the holiday, but the intent is to save the building without using any City funds.
Scott Johnson, building owner, said that he is waiting on the City to write a contract to place the building into the Land Bank. This is pending on lawyers.
Fire Truck Financing Lease Bids – Susan Bancroft, Director of Finance, informed the Commission that bids were taken for the financing of the fire truck. Susan stated that the lowest bid was US Bank of Denver, Colorado at an interest rate of 1.75%. There was a local bank, City State Bank that bid an interest rate of 1.94%. This was budgeted at $70,000 annually for the payment. The City State Bank bid would amount to about $10,000 higher but she could take it out of the debt service fund.
L. Watts moved to award the Fire Truck Financing Lease bid to City State Bank at an interest rate of 1.94% with an annual payment of $72,859.00. K. Allen seconded. K. Allen, J. Jones, L. Watts, and R. Nichols voted aye. P. Allen abstained. Motion carried 4-1.
APPROVED TO AWARD THE FIRE TRUCK FINANCING LEASE BID TO CITY STATE BANK AT AN INTEREST RATE OF 1.94% WITH AN ANNUAL PAYMENT OF $72,859.00.
Consideration of Golf Cart Lease Bids – Susan Bancroft, Director of Finance, informed the Commission that 36 golf carts and one beverage cart was bid out for Woodland Hills Golf Course. After looking at the bids, she went and talked to both bidders and both said that the beverage cart was not negotiable for the bids and that their bids included the golf carts also. She talked to the low bidder and decided to reduce the number of golf carts but include the beverage cart and still stay close to the budget. This is for a four-year lease with 34 carts, and 15 fold down windshields and all the add on accessories and the beverage cart. This is about $1,200 over budget, but she feels the revenue they will make off the beverage cart will more than make up for the overage. She recommended Clear Creek Golf Cart of Springfield, Missouri at a cost of $17,641.00 per year.
Discussion was held regarding beverages being brought into the course from private citizens.
L. Watts moved to approve the lease bid from Clear Creek Golf Cart of Springfield, Missouri in the amount of $17,641.00 per year. K. Allen seconded. All voted aye.
APPROVED THE LEASE BID FROM CLEAR CREEK GOLF CART OF SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI IN THE AMOUNT OF $17,641.00 PER YEAR. THIS INCLUDES 34 CARTS AND A BEVERAGE CART.
Consideration of Library Board Member – 1 member – Diane Clay, City Clerk, informed the Commission that letters of interest were recently received for the open position on the Fort Scott Public Library Board. There were three letters of interest received: Margaret Robinson, Samantha Hixon-Baglin, and Ronda Hassig. The Library Board recently met and has recommended the appointment of Ronda Hassig.
L. Watts moved to appoint Ronda Hassig to the Fort Scott Public Library Board. K. Allen seconded. All voted aye.
APPROVED TO APPOINT RONDA HASSIG TO THE FORT SCOTT PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD.
Consideration of Lake Advisory Board Member – 1 member – Diane Clay, City Clerk, informed the Commission that letters of interest were recently received for the open position on the Lake Advisory Board. This was due to the death of Tom Brink. This position is for the west side of Lake Fort Scott. There were two letters of interest received: Janet Davis and Harold Martin. The Board recently met and recommendation the appointment of Harold Martin.
L. Watts moved to approve the appointment of Harold Martin to the Lake Advisory Board. P. Allen seconded. All voted aye.
APPROVED THE APPOINTMENT OF HAROLD MARTIN TO THE LAKE ADVISORY BOARD.
Lake Fort Scott Discussion:
-Changing Ordinance 12.28.220 to remove the holding tank section of the ordinance as all residences are required to hook up to the Lake Sewer District #1 (Approval of Ordinance No. 3569) -Susan Bancroft, Director of Finance, informed the Commission that there is an old ordinance that states that all lake residents are required to have holding tanks. This does not apply any more due to the formation of the Lake Sewer District #1. This ordinance specified that Section 2., Chapter 12.28.220 Holding Tank Monitoring System is hereby repealed, and adds Chapter 12.28.250, Lake Fort Scott Sewer District and that all residents are required to hook into this system for their sanitary sewer needs.
L. Watts moved to approve Ordinance No. 3569. K. Allen seconded. All voted aye.
APPROVED ORDINANCE NO. 3569 REPEALING SECTION 2, CHAPTER 12.28.220 – HOLDING TANK MONITORING SYSTEM AND ADDING CHAPTER 12.28.250 – LAKE FORT SCOTT SEWER DISTRICT OF THE CITY OF FORT SCOTT MUNICIPAL CODE.
Discussion was held regarding if the City had holding tanks where the old restrooms were.
K. Allen said he would check into that.
R. Nichols asked if there is clarity to the hookups fees to anyone that signs up at this area now.
Susan said that she has been working with Justin Meeks on the Sewer District Agreement and updating this agreement. She is also asking for St. Martin’s Academy not to have to pay the hook up fee. She will address this later.
Discussion was held regarding the hook up fee. Susan said it is currently $6,000 but she does not want to give the proposed new fee until the agreement is finalized.
-Discussion of buoys at Lake Fort Scott – Travis Shelton, Chief of Police, and Tom Graham, Lake Patrol Officer, gave an update on the buoys at Lake Fort Scott. Travis said that he attended the Lake Advisory Board Meeting on November 21st, 2020. The topic of buoys came up and safety was discussed. He asked Tom Graham to determine the cost of 15 additional buoys at Lake Fort Scott. This will improve the safety for recreational boats and fishing boats while maintaining proper distance from the shoreline. The cost of 15 additional buoys is $3,362.00 which includes chains, quick clamps and cement blocks. The City will place the buoys according to Coast Guard guidelines. This will make a total of 37 buoys at Lake Fort Scott. The buoys are placed 200’ from the shoreline.
K. Allen made a motion for the City to purchase 15 additional buoys at Lake Fort Scott in the amount of $3,362.00. J. Jones seconded. All voted aye.
APPROVED FOR THE CITY TO PURCHASE 15 ADDITIONAL BUOYS AT LAKE FORT SCOTT IN THE AMOUNT OF $3,362.00. THE CITY WILL PURCHASE AND PLACE THE BUOYS ACCORDING TO COAST GUARD GUIDELINES.
Reports and Comments:
Refinancing of City debt – Susan said that she spoke with the City’s bond attorney today, Gilmore & Bell, and there is an opportunity to look at refinancing some of the City’s debt. This could possibly save up to $60,000 to $80,000. She will have more information and Gilmore & Bell will be present at the next meeting.
Update on St. Martin’s Academy – Susan said that she met with the headmaster of St. Martin’s Academy. She is working with them to secure their 2019 and 2020 rural water usage. She will base their sewer rates off of their monthly water usage. For charges from August of 2019 to November of 2020, we will use actual water usage to bill the arrearage based on current rates established. The January 2021 billing will be based on December 2020 usage and so on. All increases in future rates will also apply to St. Martin’s Academy. She is requesting to waive the connection fee for St. Martin’s Academy. The connection to the system was a decision made before her tenure and at the time of connection, the Sewer District did not have a set fee in place.
Water Rates – Susan said that she has analyzed the water utility and because we have a large temporary note, we need to raise water rates. In order to cover costs of this debt, water rates will need to increase 5% in 2021 and 2022. This increase will add approximately $120,000 in additional revenue each year. The City will be able to maintain $300,000 for capital improvements with this increase which will include meter replacement and water line replacement. She asked for approval for the water rate increase.
K. Allen made a motion to table the water rate increase until the next meeting in December. L. Watts seconded. All voted aye.
APPROVED TO TABLE THE WATER RATE INCREASE UNTIL THE NEXT MEETING IN DECEMBER.
Susan said that she is not making any recommendations on sewer rate changes until after the January election. She also does not see any need to increase the storm sewer rates at this time.
Charter Ordinance No. 31 – Susan said that she has given them at the table a financial focus for the City. The budget is looking good and the cash carryover is good. The purpose of Charter Ordinance No. 31 is to allow the Governing Body of the City to have the ability to transfer or in other words, reimburse the General Fund. This will be on a ballot vote on January 5th, 2021. Since State Statute allows cities the ability to exercise Home Rule and create a charter ordinance when state law does not apply uniformly to all cities. The City of Fort Scott currently has agreements with other private utilities to be able to operate in our right of way. These utilities are charged a 5% franchise fee based on gross sales. The reimbursement the Governing Body would be making is very similar to a franchise fee charged to other utilities. These dollars help cover costs for permitting, inspections, utility cuts, and expenses for materials. Often, street crews are responsible for resurfacing utility cuts and these costs are charged to the City’s general fund. If a yes vote prevails, she thinks it would be prudent for the Governing Body to set a maximum reimbursement amount made to the general fund in their financial policies. As with other utilities, this could also be based on gross sales of the utility reimbursing the City.
Discussion was held regarding moving funds from one fund to another.
Discussion was held regarding having a series of work sessions. This could be informative for all the Commissioners.
P. Allen moved to hold work sessions every other Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. starting December 8th, 2020 for the foreseeable future. K. Allen seconded. All voted aye.
APPROVED TO HOLD WORK SESSIONS EVERY OTHER TUESDAY AT 6:00 P.M. STARTING DECEMBER 8TH, 2020 FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE.
Susan said she has three topics to start with and they all need to be separate work sessions.
L. Watts said she could do the 8th and 29th of December but not the 22nd.
Sales Tax – Susan said that on June 30th, 2021, the existing .5% sales tax will be sunsetting. This sales tax was used for the Aquatic Center and Buck Run Community Center improvements. This sales tax could potentially be renewed by a vote of the people. If the Commission wishes, they could take the renewal of this tax to a ballot vote. Items to look at include the intended purpose of the sales tax, to renew for 5 years or extend for 10 years, and the effective date of renewal – continuation or postpone decision until a later date. To continue with the sales tax with no disruption, a special election must be completed by March 2nd, 2021. She needs these different options looked at so it will come to the next Commission meeting for final approval. One option is to renew the sales tax and designate a certain percentage: Option 1 is to renew the .5% sales tax with 90% for transportation improvements and 10% for parks and community facilities. Option 2 is to increase from .5% to .6% with 90% for transportation improvements and 10% for parks and community facilities.
Ally Turvey gave them an update on the long-term parks and trails project on the transportation side. This would go towards street resurfacing, sidewalks, bike lanes, street drainage, and curb and gutter. This would tie into the Highway 69 Plan, the PedNet plan, and the Smart Growth Plan.
Nate Stansberry, City Engineer, gave an update on streets. He gave them a spreadsheet on the proposed five-year street plan and what it would look like with the passage of the sales tax.
Pete said that our history with sales tax has been a problem in the past.
Commissioners decided this is a good topic for one of their work sessions.
Randy Nichols said that he would like to see continued health care discussed in the City of Fort Scott.
Assessment Abatement – Susan informed the Commission that there is a property at 124 E. 3rd Street that has a prospective buyer. There is $4,500 in mowing assessments on this property.
Discussion was held regarding who the prospective buyer is.
Susan could not divulge that information at this time. She did tell them that they have improved four or five other homes in Fort Scott.
L. Watts made a motion to forgive the mowing assessments in the amount of $4,500 for the property at 124 E. 3rd Street. R. Nichols seconded. L. Watts and R. Nichols voted aye. K. Allen, P. Allen, and J. Jones voted no. Motion denied 3-2.
DENIED TO FORGIVE THE MOWING ASSESSMENTS IN THE AMOUNT OF $4,500 FOR THE PROPERTY AT 124 E. 3RD STREET.
This subject was scheduled for a work session also.
County Tax Sale – Susan said that when the County holds their tax sale, the subject of any City assessments will need to be discussed also. When the property sells, it would sell at what is owed the City before it can be sold, and the prospective owner would have to pay that amount. This would be a good topic for a work session also.
Nate Stansberry: Nate informed the Commission that Friday, December 4th is his last day with the City of Fort Scott. He will be moving back to Vermont to his hometown to be the City Manager. This will place him close to his family members also. He thanked them for the opportunity to work for the City of Fort Scott.
Commissioner Reports and Comments:
L. Watts – Lindsey welcomed Josh Jones to the Commission. She is excited to see what they can accomplish together as a Board. She is excited to announce that the Commission will be meeting with Osenbaugh Associates in the next couple of weeks to discuss the City Manager search. There are currently 12 applicants. They are looking to hold a special meeting on December 14th and look at the applications. This special meeting will be held in executive session due to confidentiality issues.
J. Jones – Josh thanked the Commission for the opportunity to serve as a Commissioner. He brought up the Christmas tree at Skubitz Plaza and the condition it is in.
Susan said that we will be looking at fundraising next year to replace the tree.
P. Allen – Nothing to report.
K. Allen – Kevin said that he talked to Clifton Beth of the Bourbon County Commission regarding a possible combined meeting of the City and County Commissions. They are looking at possible dates.
Kevin said that he was contacted by Craig Campbell who has a vendor that is willing to sell roller skates at $16.00 a pair. He has 200 skates.
Kevin also welcomed Josh Jones to the Commission.
R. Nichols – Randy said that he is looking forward to having work sessions to help them work together better.
He said that a meeting with the County is a good idea, but he isn’t sure that we have our own house in order yet. He would like this meeting to be held when we are all on the same page and can move the City and County forward.
City Attorney Report and Comments: Nothing to report.
Interim City Manager Report and Comments: Jeff said that he plans to have a City Manager letter with each agenda to explain each item as well as what he has been doing all week. This letter is public to the press as well. With Nate leaving, he believes we can get along with others helping fill in to assist the Codes Department.
L. Watts moved to adjourn the meeting at 5:42 p.m. J. Jones seconded. All voted aye.
ADJOURNED MEETING AT 5:42 P.M.
Diane K. Clay, MMC