Former Mayor Bob Kastrup was on hand at last night's September Glen Elder City Council meeting. He came as a member of the city's housing board which is responsible for facilitation of the ongoing CDBG Housing Grant program in town. Kastrup asked the council to rescind the contract the city has with M & R Construction out of Mineola, Kansas to rehab the Everett Linton home. He told the council that 7-months have passed and no work has been done on the house. The council voted unanimously to rescind the contract and to also re-award the project to Snell Construction.
They've been talking about the need to raise the city's utility rates since January, and last night the council finally took action by raising the rates across the board. The rate hikes were relatively small however, following a prompt from Council Member Lindsey Clark. She told her colleagues, "We need to do a little at a time, just a steady increase each year."
The new rate structure includes a jump from $25.00 for hookups to $30.00, an increase of $1.50 in the monthly minimum electric rate and a $2.00 increase in the monthly minimum rate for both water and sewer service. In addition, there will be a 3% increase for electric and water usage.
One big purchase at last night's meeting. The council OKed a new backhoe from Vernon L. Phillips Company out of Topeka. The stripped-down model or "plain Jane" as City Superintendent Eldon Behymer called it, will cost the city $35,000 now and $8,500 each of the next 3-years.
In other action last night, new Glen Elder business owner Mike Becker got an OK from the council to set up a 500-gallon propane tank to heat his building this winter. Becker who just opened an automotive repair shop said it would be a temporary fix because of the distance and rugged terrain between his shop and a natural gas line. He told the council he would look into the use of electricity and see if that would be a feasible long term solution.
The last thing the council took up was the repair work done on Hobart and Kansas Streets by the Kansas Department of Transportation. The repair work was a part of the contract to allow a detour off U.S. Highway 24 during bridge repair north of town. The short discussion gave the council an opportunity to vent frustrations concerning the level of the KDOT repairs. No one on the council appeared to be happy with the work and as a result agreed to ask Leland Tice from the KDOT office in Mankato to return to Glen Elder to take another look at the repairs.
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