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Beloit City Council Meeting Tuesday July 18th

 

Beloit City Council

 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

 

By Terry Bailey

 


 

The Beloit City Council met at City Hall on Tuesday, July 18 to conduct the business of the City. All Councilors were present with the exception of Butch Pontow.

 

In the time reserved for Councilor comments, special notice was given to the work done by the group of young men and women operating as a mission group named Prayer in Action. The progress on the East Main Street project was noted and, if everything goes as planned, the Street should be open for use within a week or ten days. Councilors unanimously took note of the upcoming Mitchell County fair and urged all citizens to attend.

 


 

City Manager, Jason Rabe, gave his report to the Council. An initial meeting with representatives from Topeka is scheduled for August 15th to begin discussions on how to resolve the water quality issues of the Beloit water.

 

Rabe said there appears to be four possible alternatives to meet the needs of Beloit to provide safe drinking water to its citizens:

 

1) Substantial upgrade to the existing facilities using the existing intake

 

2) Substantial upgrade to the existing facilities with water delivered from a pipeline from Waconda Lake

 

3) Construct a new plant in Beloit and continue with the current intake source.

 

4) Construct a new plant sourcing water from the Waconda Lake via a pipe line

 

The current water plant is capable of treating 750,000 gallons per day. The goal of the new system, whichever one is chosen, is 2,000,000 per day.

 


 

Progress has been made with having Kyle Railroad provide a suitable railroad crossing over their tracks on South Hersey/Hiway 14. Rabe has been in touch with the General Manager of Kyle Railroad from Phillipsburg and believes work should start on a new and improved crossing in the near future.

 

Rabe said that on August 10th a public meeting will be conducted regarding the “First Impressions” program. In this program, citizens of Beloit anonymously visited Clay Center while citizens of Clay Center anonymously visited Beloit. The intent of these visits were for each group to take a close look at one another’s city to see how new visitors might see their town. This information will be used to design plans of improvement should any actions seem appropriate.

 

Beloit Chief of Police Dave Elam presented the Council with the second quarter statistics of activity the police department. He hopes to gather significant data to begin identifying problem areas if any exist.

 

The Council approved Charter Ordinance 16. City Attorney, Katie Schroeder, told the council this is a yearly activity where language in the ordinance in cleaned up and clarified.

 

The Council approved Ordinance 2210 regarding traffic updates. The main change for the upcoming year was that violations of the Seat Belt rule will change from a $10 fine to a $30 fine. Be sure to buckle up.

 

In a final Ordinance update, the Council approved Ordinance 2211 – The Uniform Public Offense Code. One added area to be addressed is that in the new code, Domestic Battery charges can now be levied against a person who is in a “Dating Relationship.” This previously had not been addressed.

 

Additionally, there was a change in the Cruelly to Animals charge. Previously if a judge believed someone who had been charged with Cruelly to Animals was not likely to reoffend, the animal would be returned to that person. With the provisions of the new ordinance, should someone commit a Cruelty to Animals offense, the animal will never be returned to that person.

 

The Council listened to a request from Melody Kelso regarding a waiver for dog breed that is prohibited within the City Limits of Beloit. Kelso is the owner of Pet Connections, which has goals of re-training and re-homing dogs who are unable to stay in their previous environment. Kelso works with a wide variety of animals coming from diverse backgrounds. She has extensive training a certification to perform this work in a professional fashion. After due deliberation the Council allowed the waiver so that Kelso could work to retrain the dog and place it in an appropriate home.

 

After a significant discussion regarding employee health insurance and the many factors of how it affects the budget, the Council voted to spend $917,500 as the City’s contribution to health insurance for the 2018 year.

 

The Council appointed Tony Salcido to a position on the Planning Commission. He will serve as one of the representative for the area within the City Limits.

 

The Council discussed the City’s contribution to the Solomon Valley Transportation budge. The initial proposal was to a one-quarter mil contribution to SVT. Andrew Grabon made a motion to increase the City’s contribution to 3/8’s of a mil on the grounds this was a very important service and the City should support it to the best of its ability. The vote on the motion was a tie at three votes for and three votes again. Mayor Tom Naasz broke the tie with a vote for the 3/8’s mil contribution allowing the motion to pass.

 

A request for fire resistant work clothing for City Employees was deliberated. The Council voted to allow $9,000 toward the purchase of this vital safety clothing.

 

The business meeting was adjourned and the Work Session was called to order.

 

A general discussion of the upcoming city budget took place. The Councilors all exhibited a desire to keep the mil levy at its current level or to reduce it if possible.

 

A public discussion and presentation of the Budget will be held in the near future.

 


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