Council Approves Concealed Weapon Exemption

The Beloit City Council unanimously approved the letter received from Kansas Attorney General, Derek Schmidt, regarding the exemption of municipal buildings pursuant to Kansas House Bill 2052 at their meeting last night.

The Kansas Legislature passed and Governor Brownback signed HB 2053, which authorizes the carrying of concealed weapons in state and municipal buildings. After discussion at last nights meeting, the council voted to exempt these buildings for the upcoming six months. The exemption will end on January 1, 2014, unless further action is taken by the governing body to extend the exemption.

One of the questions members of the council voiced was in regard to how this would affect employees since all of the city employees do not work in buildings. The bill states that Cities may restrict or prohibit the carrying of concealed handguns by their employees while on their premises or while engaged in their official duties if the city does so through their personnel policies. Failure to adopt such restrictions in personnel policies will allow public employees to carry concealed handguns in public buildings and while engaged in their duties.

Katie Cheney, City Attorney, told the council it is hoped the State will have this all worked out during this six months period so the City can then make a decision on where to go from there. Mayor Tom Naasz said his problem with this is he doesn't think the State should pass this law unless they are willing to impose the same law on themselves.

The council passed Resolution 2013-13 regarding the City Street agreement with Mike Cooper by a vote of 7 to 1. This agreement specifies the type of surface (concrete) that will be used to construct the street within the Silver Fox Lane Estates on the North Campus ground that the city recently sold to Mike Cooper.

The council voted to approve the contract as written regarding the sale of real estate to Schroeder Building and Supply LLC. This contract specifies the price of the land and the method of payment for the street. This land is located just north of the property Mike Cooper is purchasing from the city. The REDI committee met with the purchaser to discuss this proposal and recommended the city sell this land to the purchaser at the appraised value. This includes Lots five through nine of block five in the North Campus Addition. The buyer will pay the sum of $19,875 for the property.

The Council authorized the lease/purchase of a used 2011 Vacuum Truck from Red Municipal & Industrial Equipment at a cost of $130,0000 to replace the 2000 model they have now. According to Water/Wastewater Director Kendal Francis, this machine outlines three options for cleaning sewer lines in the city's system.

Beloit Police Chief, Brennon Odle, introduced Bryon Hone as a candidate as a Sergeant with the Police Department of the City of Beloit. Hone would be a patrol officer hired at a starting pay level Level 26, Step 6, with an hourly rate of $19.26. The council approved the hire.

The council went into a 10-minute closed session for Attorney-Client Information with the governing body, Mayor Tom Naasz and Attorney Cheney present. Mayor Naasz announced that no decision was made during the session.

City Attorney, Katie Cheney announced she applied six months ago to the Court of Tax Appeals to allow the City of Beloit to have the $11,000 in tax money paid on the North Campus exempt from the tax and returned to the city. They have approved this action. She will be working on the tax exemption status for the old library building next since it will be leased to the Solomon Valley Hospice.

City Administrator, Glenn Rodden, reported this year's Council Retreat is set for June 24 and 25 and due to space accommodations needed the second day it will be held at the Fire Department Meeting Room both evenings. Meals will be furnished. Monday evening will be for the City Council only. On Tuesday evening the city department heads, members of the Planning Commission and Hanna Keelan, of the Confidence Planning Co. of Lincoln, Nebraska, are invited to attend. Rodden also said the city crew is finished with phase 1 of the Mill Street Project and have gone into phase 2 which is removing the bricks out of that area. They have made good progress in spite of the weather and still hope to have it completed by September 1.

During the Mayor and Council reports, Mayor Tom Naasz, reported Lynn Miller is having a showing at the Community Gardens at 5:30 tomorrow evening and the public is invited. He also voiced the opinion that the railroad crossings on the south end of town are the worst in all of North Central Kansas and hoped something could be done to get the railroad company do something about them. Several others agreed with him. Councilman Matt Otte announced Kansas Secretary of State, Kris Kobach, would be in Beloit on July 23. Councilman Bob Richard asked that something be done about the road on the south side of Sunny Slope Apartments, as it is very sloppy.

During the work session portion of the meeting Heather Hartman, Economic Development Director briefed the council on the 2014 Housing Rehabilitation Grant Program. This program consists of housing rehabilitation, reconstruction, code enforcement and demolition of housing units. The maximum grant for this year is $400,000 including professional services. The applications for Housing are due by August 29th and awards will be made on January 15, 2014. She hopes to publish the Public Hearing Notice in mid July and hold the Public Hearing during the August 6 city council meeting.

Hartman feels there are a lot of homeowners and landlords in this community who can benefit from this program and encouraging people to look into what these funds can be used for. To be eligible to participate in the housing rehabilitation program you must be income qualified with low to moderate income and provide proof of your income. It the home is a rental, both the tenant and landlord must sign the pre-application and submit income information. Only the tenant MUST be income eligible. If the landlord is NOT income eligible they will be required to provide 25 percent of the rehabilitation grant with a maximum match of $25,000.

Hartman said she has already received some applications both for reconstruction and demolition projects. She encourages people to visit with her about this and fill out the application forms. This was one of the first presentations she has made on this grant and will be doing more in the near future. Anyone interested in this should contact her at her office, she said.

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