City Council Faced With Many Decisions

The Beloit City Council discussed many issues at their meeting Tuesday night with formal issues dominating the regular meeting agenda. All eight council members were present.

In his staff report City Administrator Glenn Rodden reminded the council of their yearly Council Retreat coming up in a few weeks with John Devine once again serving as meeting facilitator. Rodden said the first night will just be for council members to take part but he has invited the Comprehensive Planning Commission and some others to set in and observe the proceedings on the second night so this will make a bigger crowd than usual. This retreat is held each year and is a time when the council sets goals and makes plans for projects they want to achieve in the upcoming year.

The council approved the bid from Phillip and Lucas Murrow for the lease if the 134,2 acres of farm ground near the wastewater treatment plant in the amount at $201.53 an acre. Bidding was very competitive on this land this year with seven bids being received. The land is currently leased at $65 an acre.

The council unanimously approved the lease on the old library building with the Solomon Valley Hospice. This agreement is for 10 years and is a great re-use of the building that has served the community well for decades. The lease will be automatically renewed for an additional 10 years unless either party desires to terminate the agreement. There will be no rent for the property.

The council approved the design engineering agreement with Schwab Eaton Engineering for the sewer project on the North Campus by a vote of 8 to 0. The cost for this service will be $59,300 with funding coming from the city's 2013 capital improvement projects fund. This fund has a current balance of $418,321. The total cost of this project for phase 1 will be $476,430.00.

Two bids were received for the demolition of the old block hangar at the Moritz Airport. This building will be replaced by a new one paid for by Travis Lattin .The council approved the bid from Zig's Backhoe Services LLC, Beloit, in the amount of $6,969. Funding for this item can be found in the Capital Improvement Fund.

The Council approved the Beloit Fire Department request to include Brett Beck as a fire fighter for the department. Brett is a computer technician with the NCK Planning Commission. This puts the department at 25 active volunteer firefighters, which puts the department at full capacity, according to Councilman Bob Peterson.

The council adjourned their regular meeting and went into their work session agenda. These are discussion only items.

Councilman Peterson brought up the subject that three weeks ago three people retired from the City. "These people have put in many years of service and I feel it is our duty to recognize them at one of our meetings." Peterson said. "Some other people who retired have received plaques as recognition and I feel these people should be recognized too." This was a discussion item only and no decision was made.

Brad Waller, Kansas Division Manager for the Alfred Benesch Corp., Manhattan, was at the meeting to discuss the Airport Expansion Project. Waller said there isn't a whole lot of update at this time. The council hired Alfred Benesch and Burns and McDonnell to take charge of this project. Waller showed a sketch of the current pavement conditions at the airport and said there are no issues with any of the pavement at this time. The north end turn around will be removed. The concrete apron is in fair condition and should last up to 5 or 10 years with maintenance. They plan to extend the north end of the pavement. Waller said they have almost completed the design for the project and will submit it to the FAA on Friday. They hope to close out the land agreement in the next few weeks.

The FAA had planned to fund the whole project at once but due to lack of funds have decided not to fund the project until two years from now. They will be grading for the future paving of 583' X 75' runway extension and turnaround area and for the future widening of existing 3,617 X 60 runway to 75' width.

The next item for discussion was the sale of land on the north campus to Schroeder Building and Supply LLC. Brad Schroeder was present at the meeting. This is the property located just north of the property Mike Cooper is purchasing from the city. This is composed of Lots 5,7,8, and 9 of Block five. The buyer will pay the sum of $19,875 at closing. They plan to build two houses on the five lots. This will complete the circle where the road goes around it, Adm. Rodden said.

The council discussed various charges on properties on the north campus that will be involved in the connecting, tapping fees for the sewer and water lines and the cost of the streets as they will be accessed back to the property owners. Chris Jones, Code Inspector said a total of 11,000 will be accessed on each lot amounting to $400 for the water, $400 for the sewer and $450 for the electricity. The lift station will be the largest expense because all the rest of that area will feed into it, he said.

Administrator Rodden explained the loan the City could get from the KDOT Loan Project Fund at 3 percent interest to be paid back over 20 years time. It could be used for roads, curb and gutter or sidewalks. If they want to do all the roadwork at one time they could use this. It could also be used on East Main or other street projects as well. There is a limit as to how much you can borrow. They also need to talk about Walnut Street since there will be more traffic on that now. He said they could talk about these projects and priorities at their Council Retreat.

Councilman Bob Richards asked about Sturgis Street and if this could be used for it. Paul Abram was at the meeting and said if everybody else on Sturgis wants to do this he would go along with it. Richard asked Mike Haeffele of the Streets & Transportation Department, what the cost per foot on curb and guttering for Sturgis would be. Haeffele did not have the information with him at the meeting but will get it for Richard, he said.

Last but by far the most spirited discussion of the evening came with the subject of new Concealed Carry Regulations just received from the State in Tuesday's mail. This information came with the recent closing of the legislation session in Topeka. The City will have to make a decision on how they want to handle this by July 1 as the ruling goes into effect on that date. This ruling will impact everyone that owns property and tells what we can and can't do, Rodden told the council.

David Chase said, as he understands it, this will impact the City Bldg, the Courthouse, the NCK Tech College and the hospital as well as some other public buildings. He said it would affect the council room several different ways since the room is also used as a courtroom and for other uses. Councilman Rick Brown sited the fact he requested they have a law enforcement officer or a security officer on duty at the entrance to the council room several months ago but nothing has been done about it.

City Attorney Cheney said she has not had time to look this information over and would like to take some time to look into what can and cannot be done. The council can elect to delay this for several months if they make this decision in the near future. Cheney said she would like to come back to the June 18, meeting and approve an exemption by sending a letter to the State Attorney General at that time This will be discussed again at the next meeting.
The City Code was on the agenda but Administrator Rodden said no additional information has been received on this subject and the meeting adjourned.

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