August 2008



August 11, 2008

5:15 P.M.

The city council met in adjourned session from the meeting of July 21, 2008 with the following present: Mayor Jack E. Rowden; Councilmen Mike Eshbaugh, Greg Gill, Kim Harper, and Bob Mason. Absent: Councilman Gary Baughman.

Others present were Outside Utilities Supervisor Dean Banker, City Clerk Thomas G. Hicks, Chief of Police Courtney Leslie, City Inspector Tony Martin, Electric Distribution System Supervisor Gary Rowden, City Attorney Wayne R. Tate, Gary Baker, Dave Bozone, Deanna Burkhart, Neal R. Gillespie, Dorothy Hagman, Nathan Holman, Marc Kliewer, O.D. Littrell, Carol Meyer, Dale Sutton, Mark Williams, and Ruthie Winget.

Mayor Jack E. Rowden presided.

The minutes of the meetings of July 7, 2008 and July 21, 2008 were approved as mailed.

Each member of the governing body was provided a copy of Municipal Judge Sherri Leonard’s report for the month of July, showing 29 new cases brought before the court and $3,359.50 remitted to the city.


City Inspector Tony Martin presented his monthly activities report. Martin also reported he wants to begin working on getting the property at 420 S. Monroe cleaned up. Motion by Harper, seconded by Eshbaugh, to authorize the city inspector to negotiate a demolition fee with the property owner at 420 S. Monroe. Motion carried.


Deanna Burkhart, with Black Hills Corporation, made her annual public relations appearance on behalf of the local natural gas provider.


Dorothy Hagman appeared before the governing body to request a trash receptacle be placed in the city-owned parking lot in the 700 block of Main Street. Outside Utilities Supervisor Dean Banker stated he could set one there. Mayor Jack E. Rowden instructed the chief of police to have her officers pay attention to the litterbugs who frequent the parking lot.


Mrs. Hagman also asked if the city council was considering eliminating the city police department. When told it was being considered, Mrs. Hagman expressed her opinion that such action would be a mistake because the enforcement of city ordinances would suffer.


Carol Meyer, with the newly created Office of Rural Opportunity, notified the city council of her organization’s mission to spur rural community development in cities with 5,000 or fewer residents in the 28 counties in Southwest Kansas. The Office of Rural Opportunity has contacts to provide financial and technical assistance to help attract businesses, employees, and investors to communities.


At 5:32 p.m., the city council met as a budget hearing body. No one appeared in connection with the budget hearing. Motion by Councilman Greg Gill, seconded by Councilman Kim Harper, that the 2009 budget be approved as published. Motion carried. The budget calls for a decrease of 9.15 mills, based on the valuation certified by the county clerk.


A discovery has been made that West Texas Gas has a pipeline that runs down the path of the proposed extension of Seventeenth Street to the west of Main Street that will serve the area being developed for the new Pioneer Manor. The pipeline and the 20-foot easement on both sides will require Seventeenth Street and the city’s proposed pole line to be jogged to the south.


As demanded by the city, representatives of United Prairie Ag were present to discuss safety concerns over the lights, barricades, and signs being deployed when the unit train blocks the streets. The two groups are at odds over the city’s perception that United Prairie Ag is not complying with what the city has requested and United Prairie Ag’s position that the city keeps changing the requirements. United Prairie Ag representatives also stated they are not setting the barricades and activating the warning lights when Cimarron Valley Railroad blocks the streets. Their responsibility for the safety measures is only for the unit train. The attorney for United Prairie Ag, Marc Kliewer, asked the city council to detail the city’s specifications in the still unsigned agreement between the parties, so the document can be executed.


Mark Williams returned to prod the city council into allowing expanded liquor sales on Sundays and holidays. City Attorney Wayne R. Tate passed out information he had researched on the regulations concerning expanded sales and a proposed ordinance. Motion by Harper, seconded by Eshbaugh, that Ordinance No. 753, AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING SUNDAY SALES OF ALCOHOLIC LIQUOR AND CEREAL MALT BEVERAGE IN THE ORIGINAL PACKAGE WITHIN THE CITY OF HUGOTON, KANSAS, be passed. Vote: Councilman Eshbaugh, yes; Councilman Gill, no; Councilman Harper, yes; and Councilman Mason, no. Mayor Rowden broke the tie with a "yes" vote. Motion carried. The Sunday sales do not apply to Easter. The ordinance also allows sales on Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day.




Motion by Harper, seconded by Mason, to accept the resignation of Brad Musgrove as a member of the board of convention and tourism activities. Motion carried.


Mayor Rowden announced the appointment of Neal Gillespie to the board of convention and tourism activities to replace Musgrove. Motion by Harper, seconded by Mason, to confirm the appointment. Motion carried.


The annual League of Kansas Municipalities conference will be held in Wichita on October 12–14, 2008 in Wichita.


Motion by Mike Eshbaugh, seconded by Bob Mason, to increase the mileage reimbursement rate for city employees using their personal vehicles on city business to 50 cents per mile. Motion carried.


Motion by Bob Mason, seconded by Mike Eshbaugh, to allow the ministerial alliance to set up a nativity scene in Smith Pioneer Park during the Christmas season. Motion carried.


After owning the bobcat for one year, the city has the option of trading for a new bobcat for relatively little cost. Motion by Harper, seconded by Mason, to approve the trade-in proposal of $3,594.72 from White Star Machinery. Motion carried.


The residences at 731 S. Lincoln, 730 S. Washington, 720 S. Washington, and 706 S. Washington are tied into the city’s sewer main through a private line that runs underneath Washington Street to the east alley in Block 61. The city has been approached to extend the sewer main south from Washington Place to a location behind the house at 731 S. Lincoln. Then, the property owners in that area could connect to the new main. The outside utilities supervisor was directed to get an engineer’s estimate of the cost. The property owners will have to petition the city for the improvement and provide the necessary easements.


Outside Utilities Supervisor Dean Banker reported water well #9 is pumping only 287 gallons per minute. City staff originally thought the meter on the well was not registering properly, but after replacing the meter, it is clear a more serious problem exists. Motion by Mason, seconded by Gill, to authorize the outside utilities supervisor to contact a water well drilling company for their recommendations and to approve the expense of inserting a camera into the well, if deemed necessary. Motion carried.


Returning to the budget, City Clerk Thomas G. Hicks provided city officials with a breakdown of the revenues and expenses that comprise the 2009 budget. Historical data on mill levies and debt totals was also provided.

Claims against the city were presented and audited. Motion by Eshbaugh, seconded by Mason, that Appropriation Ordinances No. 1867 and 1868 be passed. Motion carried.


Returning to the unit train, members of the city council and city staff expressed their reservations about ever getting the desired results with the safety measures previously discussed. Motion by Councilman Eshbaugh, seconded by Councilman Gill, to instruct the city attorney to notify United Prairie Ag that the city will now require an automated, lighted crossing arm. Motion carried. The crossing arm will protect the intersection regardless of whose train is blocking the streets. The only warning light that would then be required would be west of town.

Motion by Harper, seconded by Mason, that the meeting go into executive session in regard to personnel matters. Motion carried. Mayor Rowden called the meeting into executive session at 8:05 p.m. with the meeting to reconvene in open session at 8:10 p.m.

The meeting reconvened in open session at 8:10 p.m.

Motion by Harper, seconded by Gill, that the meeting go into executive session in regard to personnel matters. Motion carried. Rowden called the meeting into executive session at 8:10 p.m. with the meeting to reconvene in open session at 8:25 p.m.

The meeting reconvened in open session at 8:25 p.m.


Motion by Harper, seconded by Mason, to authorize the chief of police to advertise for a part-time animal control officer to fill in on evenings and weekends. In favor of the motion: Councilmen Gill, Harper, and Mason. Opposed: Councilman Eshbaugh. Motion carried.

Motion by Harper, seconded by Eshbaugh, that the meeting be adjourned to September 8, 2008 at 5:15 p.m. Motion carried.




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Last modified: August 15, 2008