The Beloit City Council unanimously approved Mayor Tom Naasz appointment of David Elam as the next police chief for the City of Beloit. The search committee, made up of Mayor Naasz, City Administrator, Glenn Rodden, City Attorney, Katie Cheney, along with Councilmen Robert Peterson, Kent Miller, and Lloyd Littrell, interviewed two candidates for this position before making their decision.
The committee believes Mr. Elam's experience in the Beloit Police Department, the Mitchell County Sheriff's Office and the US Army makes him the best-qualified candidate for this position. Chief Elam was hired at the pay grade of 34 at level 7 which is a rate of $29.77 an hour or $61,921.60 a year. The council members heartily welcomed Chief Elam to his new job and pledged their total support.
The Council passed Ordinance No. 2137, an ordinance authorizing Sunday sales of alcoholic liquor and cereal malt beverage in the original package and the sales of alcoholic liquor on certain holidays in the original package. The ordinance passed by a vote of 5 to 3 with councilmen Frank Delka, Lloyd Littrell and Kent Miller casting no votes.
After discussion of changes made in the list of fees charged by the city for various services, the Council passed Resolution 2014 - 1 Fee Schedule by a vote of 8 to 0 which set fees charged by the city for the year 2014.
During the Mayor and Council reports Councilman Otte, reminded everyone it is time for dog owners to get new dog licenses. He also said it is time for councilmen whose terms are up to file for reelection. Councilmen up for reelection include Otte, Bob Richards and Frank Delka. Councilor Pat Struble's term is also up but she has served two terms, which is the limit of consecutive terms council members can serve so she is not eligible to run for another term.
Administrator Rodden reminded everyone that U.S. Senator Jerry Moran, Republican from Kansas, would be hosting a town hall meeting in Beloit as part of his Kansas Listening Tour on Friday, Jan. 10, in the Trail Room in the basement of the Municipal Building from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Area residents are encouraged to attend and share feedback with Sen. Moran on the critical issues facing Kansas and the nation.
Rodden also discussed the ongoing problem of animal control. He told the council Dr. Gentry DVM wants to sell his vet clinic property. This would have to be worked out with the Humane Society and they will be meeting this month. Gentry would agree to lease the property to the City or the Humane Society. Rodden said there are other options that can be worked out with Dr. Charles Luke DVM who presently helps house the animals.
Councilman Kent Miller said he and Mayor Naasz talked to Dr. Luke and he has no problem with continuing to help with the animals. The council will talk to the Humane Society and see what they are willing to do. It was suggested they might hire someone to do away with the many feral cats that run loose in the city. The council plans to have a meeting and involve everybody who is interested because this problem needs to be taken care of.
Administrator Rodden said Connie Kopsa recently resigned from the Library Board and they will need to find someone to fill this position. He said they should be hearing back from the Housing Rehabilitation Grant the city applied for in the next few weeks. Heather Hartman, Economic Development Director discussed the terms of this grant and what the money can and can not be spent for.
The council discussed the present City policy as set by council members in 1953 stating the City will waive the cost of the burial for the veteran themselves but the wife is to pay the cost of the lot if she wants to be buried with her husband. Councilor Petterson, a veteran himself, said in most cemeteries the spouse gets buried with the vet free of charge. Council members agreed the present policy needs to be changed to reflect this action.
Mayor Naasz adjourned the meeting and the council went into a work session. Items for discussion include a Codification Review led by Chris Jones, Code Enforcement Officer, who discussed chapters seven and eight of the city code. He provided a model code environmental code from the Kansas League of Municipalities for review. This is a newer and more comprehensive version of the cities health and welfare code.
During the discussion the council found a number of changes that need to be made to bring the code up to date. None of the changes can be voted on until they are brought up on the regular meeting agenda. Chris Jones and City Attorney Cheney will work out the changes that are to be made and present them for a vote. The council will continue to discuss several chapters of the city code during future work sessions until they cover the whole codebook.
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