Brown Elected City Council President

Mayor Tom Naasz opened the floor for nominations for the office of Council President at the start of the Beloit City Council meeting last night. Councilman Bob Richard nominated Councilman Rick Brown for the office. No other nominations were made and the council voted unanimously to elect Brown to that office. Brown accepted the nomination.

City Administrator, Glenn Rodden, reported there hasn't been an update on the Downtown Revitalization Grant winners as yet. He hopes to hear sometime this week. Speaking of the sale of refinancing revenue bonds on the swimming pool project Rodden said they should have a bond rating by sometime next month. The interest rates are looking pretty good at the present time, he said. The Revenue Bonds for the Electrical Systems projects for Sunflower Manufacturing and Kohler projects were issued at zero percent interest and the sale is going well.

Addressing the problem of bad tasting and smelling water, Rodden said, the water tower maintenance is still going on. The foul taste is partly because of the water chemistry. This will get better when they flush the system and this is done every April. They have gotten a lot of calls about the problem. There are a lot of theories about what causes this and what can be done to remedy the situation to get rid of the strong odor. However, none of them are cheap solutions and it would take twenty to thirty thousand dollars to do this. The city has problems every year at this time so this is nothing new, he said. Rodden said he met with a developer last night about developing the land on the North Campus.

The Administrator asked City Attorney Katie Cheney to clarify the ATV Ordinance No. 2127 that was passed at the April 2 meeting as far as riding up and down Hershey Street. Cheney said she has checked and since Hershey is also a state highway ATV's can cross the highway but can not ride up and down that street at any time.

Riders can get a registration form for $25 at the Mitchell County Law Enforcement Center. A lot of people have shown an interest in this and are applying for the license. All riders must be 18 or over, have insurance, proper permits and a valid drivers license. There will be a $50 fine for infractions and the driver will have to go before the judge. Cheney will be publishing a copy of the ATV Ordinance in the county newspaper that will hopefully clear up a lot of questions about what is in the ordinance.

Rodden said the hospital and hospice are interested in coming up with a proposal to use the old library building. Also, the FAA has approved the final plan for the airport and they hope to get the bid information out in June.

Councilman Lloyd Littrell asked about the lease bids for the farmland on the North Campus. Attorney Cheney replied they are waiting on her to get the descriptions finished. Councilman Bob Petterson asked about progress on the street in the Industrial Park and was told nothing has been done due to the recent weather. Petterson said there is a lot of interest in something being done to the street on East Main. Administrator Rodden said they would not be able to get any help from the state to do this work and there is no curb and gutter there so that would have to be done too. Peterson asked to get this put on the agenda.

The Council approved Resolution 2013-7 for ratification of the Mayor's appointment of officers and members of boards and commissions by a vote of 8 to 0.
These include: City Attorney - Katie Cheney; Municipal Court Judge - Bonnie Wilson; Health Officer - Dr. Chris Marozas; Official City Newspaper - Beloit Call; City Engineer - Stewart Porter and Cemetery Endowment Board - Jim Bell, Aaron Lampert, and Phil Roberts.

City Administrator Rodden was named as Director #1 for the KMEA Board of Directors and Plant Foreman Henry Eilert as Alternate Director. The board for the Solomon Valley Raceway was granted a beer license for the entire grandstand area for all races except the Mitchell County Fair Race.

After discussion the council voted 6 to 2 to approve the Kansas Municipal Utilities Power Plant Certification Program as recommended by Ronald Sporleder, Director of Electric Operations. This training will be required for all new employees and be optional for existing employees. Some of the members had issues with some of the provisions in the program and how it would affect different employees.

A 10-minute closed session including the governing body, Administrator Rodden and Attorney Cheney was held to discuss non-elected personnel after which the council went into a work session. City Code Enforcement Officer Chris Jones and City Attorney Katie Cheney made a proposal that the city council amend portions of Chapter 7 of the city code for repeat violators. This would apply to health nuisances (trash), junk, vehicles, and open burning. It would not apply to weed control since Ordinance 1836 provides for repeat violation of weed control. The amendment essentially eliminates the repeat violator's right to a hearing before the governing body and requires them to go directly to court.

This amendment provides for the following procedure: Any person found to be in violation of Article 2 (health Nuisances) 3 (Junk Vehicles, or 4 (Open Burning) who has been issued a violation notice for the same offense with in the proceeding twenty-four (24) months, shall not be entitled to a Notice of Violation but rather to Code Enforcement Officer shall have the authority to issue an immediate Complaint or Citation and Notice to Appear in Municipal Court.

Several members of the council did not approve of some of the changes that are being proposed such as the repeat violator's right to a hearing before the governing body and requiring them to go directly to court without being able to present their case to the city council. No decisions were made since this was a discussion item only. Although it was not formally announced Councilman Matt Otte, who had questions about four parts of the amendment, said after the meeting he was sure it would be on the May 7 agenda.

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