GOODLAND CITY COMMISSION
June 6, 2016 5:00 P.M.
Meeting was called to order by Mayor Brian Linin with Vice-Mayor Annette Fairbanks, Commissioner Gary Farris, Commissioner Gwen Mai and Commissioner John Garcia responding to roll call.
Also present were Rich Simon – Director of Public Works, Joni Showalter-Police Chief, Alex Weis – Code Enforcement, Brian James – Fire Chief, Mary Volk – City Clerk, Jake Kling – City Attorney, and Gerry Bieker – City Manager.
Mayor Linin led Pledge of Allegiance
- Julie McCauley public citizen stated, I would like to discuss the Verizon tower being constructed next door. I live next to it. The City Manager informed us the City was putting up a small tower to put all antennas on a central location. He never mentioned to me it would be a cell tower and everything they were adding with the tower. I reviewed previous minutes of Commission meetings and have additional information for the Commission pertaining to the negative health effects of living close to a cell tower. Our east windows are twenty-four feet from the generator and forty-seven and half feet from the tower. The tower lowers the valuation on my property. I suffer from Lyme disease and am pretty emotional about this issue. Studies show the tower increases the chance of neighbor’s suffering from cancer. The City Manager discussed the tower with my husband today and said they would be putting up a fence around the tower and bushes along our property. How can the City put bushes on my property? Gerry stated, the fence will be on property line. Julie asked, are the bushes on my property? Gerry stated, today I offered to put bushes in if you would like to have them. The plan was to put bushes on south side but no room for it so I offered them on the west side. Julie stated, I would like something there because the tower was not there when I bought my property. How long will the generator be running? Mayor Linin stated, only when power goes out and for maintenance. Julie stated, the supervisor on the job said it will be running every month. Mayor Linin stated, yes for maintenance to ensure it runs when it is needed. Gerry stated, it will be run for maintenance like the generator behind City Hall and the one for Wolak Building across the alley from your property. Mayor Linin stated, I presume it will have a muffler on it like the City generator. Gerry stated, the City generator is about four times the size of one on this tower. When we discussed this a year ago I apologize for any miscommunication on tower; I thought that we had informed you that it was a cell tower. In the tower world this is a small tower. Julie stated, I did not know it was a cell tower until I talked with supervisor working on the project. Gerry informed us they are moving all antenna’s over to this tower which would be an improvement. We just did not know it was a cell tower. Commissioner Mai stated, I feel bad for you and your health risks and problems but I understand low frequency towers are less of a health hazard. Vice-Mayor Fairbanks stated, the information from American Cancer Society says we can test tower the frequency if someone wants them tested for possible hazards. Gerry stated, I feel we need to test frequency and if unacceptable range we need to address it. Mayor Linin stated, I appreciate information and we will look at where we are on frequency. Julie stated, I do not know how it will affect my home value but we may need to address this issue with City again.
- Patrick Gleason: Community Partners for Prevention and Education (CPPE), Pathways to a Healthy Kansas – Dr. Gleason stated, Sherman County ranked 93 out of a 101 in the State. CPPE is a group working to improve health in Sherman County. We found a grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield to put together a program to improve and encourage healthy living habits in our community. We submitted our grant application through County Health Department. The grant awards eight communities $100,000 August 1, 2016. The community is then eligible for $215,000 in non-competitive grant monies over a three-year period. We are hoping if we are awarded grant this will help us update our health needs assessment plan with KSU. It can also provide $10,000 to the schools. Even if we are not awarded the grant we need partnerships to move and engage programs like this to encourage healthy habits. Commission thanked Dr. Gleason for the information.
- Unfit Structure: 415 Sherman Avenue – Mayor Linin opened the hearing at 5:30 p.m. Gerry stated, this property was discussed at previous Commission meeting; we have had no contact with property owner. Alex stated, it is a local owner and notice was sent certified mail and owner refused pickup. Mayor Linin closed hearing at 5:31 p.m.
- Executive Session – Under authority K.S.A. 75-4319 (b)(1) for a preliminary discussion relating to personnel matters for nonelected personnel – Mayor Linin made a motion at 5:32 p.m. to recess into executive session under authority of K.S.A. 75-4319 (b)(1) for personnel matters of nonelected personnel not to exceed fifteen minutes. I request the Commission, Gerry and Mary be present. Commissioner Garcia seconded the motion. MOTION carried by a VOTE of 5 to 0. Meeting resumed at 5:47 p.m. Vice-Mayor Fairbanks made a motion at 5:49 p.m. to recess into executive session under authority of K.S.A. 75-4319 (b)(1) for personnel matters of nonelected personnel not to exceed fifteen minutes. I request the Commission, Gerry and Mary be present. Commissioner Garcia seconded the motion. MOTION carried by a VOTE of 5 to 0. Meeting resumed at 6:04 p.m.
- 05/10/16 Special Work Session Commission Meeting Minutes
- 05/16/16 Commission Meeting Minutes
- Appropriation Ordinances 2016-11, 2016-11A, 2016-P11 and 2016-P11A
ON A MOTION by Vice-Mayor Fairbanks to approve Consent Agenda seconded by Commissioner Mai. MOTION carried on a VOTE of 5-0.
- Ordinance 1690: Rezone 401 Caldwell – Gerry stated, the Commission has the hearing information from the Planning Commission regarding rezoning property at 401 Caldwell from R-1 to C-1. The Planning Commission unanimously approved rezoning the property. Shelby Hall stated, I have chosen to purchase property to open a dance studio. Dance has been an outlet for me in my life so I moved back to my hometown to make my dream of owning dance studio a reality. I feel it is important to have a place where people can turn to get away from the noises in life. Dancing fosters the creative process to educate youth and provides another place to exercise healthy habits. Property used to be a church and is located close to schools and other commercial real estate. There are some issues the property has with parking but we are not looking at bringing in a crowd but ten to twelve students per class so there will not be a number of vehicles at location for extended period of time. We have policies that families will be expected to follow with streets that neighbor property. We do not want people parking in areas not designated for studio. We have outlined a draft schedule of class times. The building is brick so we do not expect a lot of noise. There is a lot of traffic in area with the schools. I am excited to be back in my home town with this opportunity. We have had about forty youth interested in joining already since the other studio in town has closed enrollment. Mayor Linin asked, have you purchased the property or is it pending approval of zoning. Shelby stated, my purchase is pending rezoning decision. I have looked at other property in town but main reason I do not want a studio on Main Street is it will be difficult if I have to expand or move. This building has a vacant lot next to it so I have room to grow, which provides an opportunity for us. Commissioner Garcia stated, from the minutes it appears there are two concerns: traffic and scheduling. From your presentation you are in control of traffic or people using parking area. Shelby stated, that is correct, I feel a solution can be worked out with size of lots and parking available. Marilyn Gittinger, neighbor to north stated, I am not protesting the studio; our concern is the extended hours of operation and the problem parking could create. With sessions scheduled she will create fifty to sixty additional cars on the street in front of our home. Her business is in the residential zoned side of the area. We have a neighbor buying property from the land owner that did not get proper notice. We do not want her to not have the studio, we are just asking for a compromise to shorten hours and to use the south side lot for parking. We have lived in our home for twenty-five years and do not feel we should have to put up with excess traffic. We would like to ask her to move all parking to south side. We are the only neighbors present because other properties in area are rental properties. Vice-Mayor Fairbanks asked, Shelby if your classes were scheduled from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. does that eliminate adult classes? Shelby stated, the reason I have scheduled classes later is I have interest from Junior and Senior high school students involved in sports. Vice-Mayor Fairbanks stated, if people work you have to start early for them to be able to participate. Commissioner Garcia stated, the major concerns are parking and hours. Shelby has addressed parking so there is no problem with that compromise. To be fair and equitable we are all neighbor’s and need to get along. To cut her schedule is monetarily impossible. She has met you half way with parking concerns. There is a noise ordinance but I do not feel it will be violated. Marilyn stated, her schedule seems to be excessive hours. Kendal stated, if she expands her business it would become an issue. Marilyn stated, I would like to see that she abides by the parking. I agree to extend hours past 5:00 p.m. but she does not need to go so late. Commissioner Mai stated, the Commission cannot regulate the hours of her business. You have to consider facts presented from the recommendation of Planning Commission to rezone property. Mayor Linin stated, there are properties zoned commercial in area so this is not considered spot zoning. Building is perfect for the dance business and the Planning Commission approved the request. Marilyn stated, we are the only house that is close to the property and are right across street. Rose Anderson, Realtor stated, Shelby is a wonderful citizen who takes pride in her home property on Arcade Street and I cannot see her doing anything but improve property to fulfill dream. I do not feel increased traffic will increase noise level. Commissioner Mai stated, when school is out the families will stop at studio to let children off so I do not feel you will see increase in noise level. Commissioner Garcia stated, I would like to emphasize workability to accommodate concerns. Vice-Mayor Fairbanks stated, this concern is between the parties, the City cannot control time the business is open. Commissioner Garcia stated, I understand she is buying business and we cannot control hours but I would like for them to work together so the two can get along. Vice-Mayor Fairbanks stated, we can encourage them to work together but we are here to vote on recommendation from the Planning Commission. Shelby stated, I am concerned I will have someone filing a noise violation on my business every night and I do not want to see that. This property works for my business. I am trying to accommodate children that have expressed interest in my business. ON A MOTION by Vice-Mayor Fairbanks to approve the recommendation from the Planning Commission to rezone the property at 401 Caldwell from and R-1 to C-1 seconded by Commissioner Mai. MOTION carried on a VOTE of 4-1 with Commissioner Farris casting the dissenting vote.
- Resolution 1479: Unfit Structure-415 Sherman Avenue – Gerry stated, this resolution begins the nuisance process on the property at 415 Sherman Avenue. ON A MOTION by Commissioner Garcia to approve Resolution 1479: Unfit Structure-415 Sherman Avenue seconded by Vice-Mayor Fairbanks. MOTION carried on a VOTE of 5-0.
- Approval of APAC Pay Request #3 for Waterline Improvements Phase I – Gerry stated, pay request #3 has been reviewed by engineer, we recommend payment in amount of $152,971.20. Jerry Nemechek, EBH Engineering gave an update on project status. Phase I of project is approximately 20% complete. We are in final stages of putting together phase II of project to get information to bidder. ON A MOTION by Commissioner Mai to approve Pay Request #3 from APAC for Waterline Improvements Phase I in the amount of $152,971.20 seconded by Commissioner Farris. MOTION carried on a VOTE of 5-0.
- Auto Insurance – Gerry stated, at last meeting we indicated there are some issues with our insurance policy. EMC will not cover a few employees and Staff has researched options to ensure we have another policy in place that insures all employees if Commission approves. Kristan Martinez from Eklund Insurance stated, I caution the City of a gap in coverage when you separate pieces of your insurance package. It gets sticky determining who is responsible. I am concerned as your agent and a tax payer. Jeanette Ruddell, Eklund Insurance stated, we have been working with EMC because this is a new practice with EMC. We have contacted several standard companies who all felt it was a concern. We also contacted an excess line company and received a quote and when they requested the employee MVR’s they will not insure the policy. When an employee is driving a City vehicle it is City liability. If go with alternate company, you do not have same liability coverage. Just want the City to consider what we are saying. Jacque Livengood, Eklund Insurance stated, we provided information for the City to review; they are going in direction of negligent entrustment. Kristan stated, once you change your policy they can pull MVR’s and drop coverage. Gerry stated, the carrier we are proposing assured us of those concerns and have reviewed these specific employees. Mayor Linin asked, is there a company you have that will insure all our employees. Our priority is to stay local but we have to ensure our employees are covered. Jeanette stated, I do not have one that will insure one employee. Kristan stated, we want to make sure the City is aware of risks and has adequate coverage. Commissioner Mai stated, we are left with no choice as we have qualified employees and need to work them. It is nothing against Eklund Insurance or EMC and we are not doing anything to jeopardize the City. Jake can you explain negligent entrustment. Jake stated, negligent entrustment is when you know there is an issue and you allow them to continue doing it when it is wrong. It does not matter what my opinion is if insurance company says it will not cover the policy. This is not my decision and I will not give an opinion on this matter. Generally, multiple repetitive offenses lead to negligent entrustment. Kristan asked, at what cost do we hire employees? Gerry stated, these employees went through the same process that any other employee hired by the City goes through until EMC changed their policy and informed us they would not insure all our employees. Kristan stated, overall in the insurance industry premiums are going up and EMC is not the only company that provided this decision. Jeanette stated, we researched about five companies and 3 excess line carriers; it has been a job but I was happy to do for City. Mayor Linin stated, we have to have coverage for our employees. Commissioner Garcia asked, if we allow additional time would there be a possibility that you could work to find another company that will insure the employees. Jacque stated, there are other carriers but not ones we feel comfortable providing City good coverage. We have no other alternative. Vice-Mayor Fairbanks asked, is there any chance you can work with the company that we have that will provide us insurance. Jacque stated, we would be more than happy to look into it if the Commission would like us to. Commissioner Mai stated, if they can work with the policy we received I am willing to have them do so. Jacque stated, we will be glad to check into information. ON A MOTION by Commissioner Garcia to table discussion until next Commission meeting for Eklund Insurance to research the policy we received. Gerry asked, what do we do if Eklund Insurance cannot come back and insure employees? We need to know what we can expect. We are dealing with Berkheiser Hathaway Homestate Company (BHHC). Jacque stated, BHHC is a broker and will not tell us who quoted policy. We need to know what company they are working with. Gerry stated, the agent is reputable but are not local which we would like to have. Commissioner Garcia stated, we have a motion on the floor. Mayor Linin called for a second to the motion. Motion seconded by Commissioner Farris. Gerry stated, I would like to see motion amended to have City research company not specifically Eklund Insurance. MOTION failed on a VOTE of 2-3 with Vice-Mayor Fairbanks, Commissioner Mai and Mayor Linin casting the dissenting votes. ON A MOTION by Vice-Mayor Fairbanks to table discussion so extensive research can be done on underwriter proposed seconded by Commissioner Mai. MOTION carried on a VOTE of 5-0.
- Chickens – Naomi Tew submitted an updated petition with ninety-five signatures to the Commission. I realize some signatures are not citizens of Goodland. I addressed benefits to allowing chickens at your last meeting. Biggest concern is odor but I truly believe you can control it if you stay on top of it. There have been concerns of chickens escaping, but I personally feel safer with a chicken loose than running into stray dog. Commissioner Mai asked, can you provide an overview of your proposal. Naomi stated, allow up to 6 hens and require them to be enclosed, no rooster, and maintain coup so no smell. Commissioner Mai asked, what do owners do when hens stop laying eggs? Naomi stated, it varies, some keep as pets, some give away on Nextech, site to butcher if they wish. Vice-Mayor Fairbanks stated, we have a responsibility to determine what is best for the majority of our citizens not just what we think personally. I did survey a number of people and got many responses, majority were to not allow. I asked them if chickens were in your neighbor’s back yard would you want this in your neighborhood. I am willing to share information if you like. Ninety-five signatures do not represent the majority of citizens in City. There were a number of concerns from smell to what we would allow next in the City to if people want chickens they need to move to county. We need to look at total package and how it affects majority of citizens. Commissioner Mai stated, many people I discussed the matter with asked that we allow chickens. Mayor Linin asked, what do your neighbor’s think? Naomi stated, one said they do not care, one does not want them and other one is on the fence. Majority of citizens will not abuse it. Can you consider a trial period; a City in Oregon is doing a two-year trial period. Vice-Mayor Fairbanks stated, it is usually a handful of people that will spoil it for everyone. I feel it is difficult to go backwards. I know this is an agriculture community but many have said that is why they live in the City and not county. I have heard from many that do not want chickens. Rachel Brookshire citizen stated, I moved to Goodland three years ago and live at 16th and Clark. I thought there would be more exposure to agriculture in the City but you do not see it. I want Goodland to succeed and allowing chickens is getting to be an accepted practice. If this is something we continually turn down it says something about the people we attract to our community. Alex stated, I made phone calls to numerous City’s that allow chickens. Wichita does not have a lot of problems with them other that people trying to get roosters. The have only had one to two sanitary issues. St. Francis has had no issues. Atwood has issued four permits with only one issue of a runaway chicken. Denver and Topeka did not call me back. Vice-Mayor Fairbanks asked Kevin Bottrell from Goodland Star News if he could ask citizens to comment on issue so we can make decision that is in their interest. Brenda Fisher citizen stated, in the 1970’s my parents had chickens and we had no problem until a neighbor complained. We had a neighbor that had chickens run all over their back yard yet we had no problems. Naomi stated, I have searched for ways to find responsibility for my children; I feel more responsibility is taught when you have to take care of an animal that relies on you. Vice-Mayor Fairbanks asked, what is our next step? Gerry stated, if the Commission want to head this direction, the next step is to compile an Ordinance with detail the Commission feels necessary. Commissioner Garcia stated, I feel it would be appropriate to determine that is the direction we want to go first. Mayor Linin stated, I do not see this as a huge deal unless someone thinks this is a precedence and wonder what we allow next in the City. It is comforting to know other communities have allowed it and there are not many problems. Alex stated, Atwood has had luck with their restriction based on size of yard. Gerry asked, does the Commission want to wait two more weeks for additional feedback? Consensus of the Commission is to wait till next Commission meeting for additional feedback.
- City Managers Report- 1. Joni stated, I received information today that I was accepted to attend a Child Exploitation Seminar in Virginia where they will pay all expenses. It is at the end of this month for one week. I will be allowed to bring back supplies and training at their expense. 2. Suzanne is out of town this meeting but is compiling information on the references for Buxton Group. We have had a request to change the budget work session on June 13th to the same time on June 14th. Consensus of Commission is to reschedule budget work session for June 14th at 5:00 p.m. in City Commission Room.
MAYOR AND COMMISSION REPORTS
- Commissioner Reports
Commissioner Mai – 1. Thank you to Shauna Johnson and her tour of City facilities with the Junior Commission. It was very good information they received. The more people understand how the City runs the more impact we will have. Mayor Linin asked, have we considered tours of City facilities for different age groups and clubs? I feel it would be good information for public.
Commissioner Farris – 1. No Report
Vice-Mayor Fairbanks – 1. I have had two phone calls concerning sidewalks. I understand it is property owner’s responsibility to replace the sidewalk if they remove it. Gerry stated, yes it has to be accessible and ADA accessible but the sidewalk has to be replaced at property owner’s expense.
Commissioner Garcia – 1. The Survey that came out with bills looked good. 2. I have had a request asking for us to consider allowing the side by side vehicles; they are like a car with seat belts. The vehicles are on the tax role. Gerry stated, this was discussed before I arrived in Goodland and then I understood the Commission did not want to look at them. Commissioner Garcia stated, I do not understand why we do not allow them here with their safety features. Gerry stated, the League of Kansas Municipalities has a draft Ordinance for these vehicles. Jake stated, if the Commission would like to allow them, one thing you want to watch out for is the liability and insurance issues. They may be a safe vehicle but insurance is not only meant for the vehicle but also the liability. Mayor Linin stated, in previous discussions we were including many types of recreational vehicles. Gerry stated, Staff will research if the Commission would like to consider them again.
- Mayors Report – No Report
ADJOURNMENT WAS HAD ON A MOTION Commissioner Garcia seconded by Vice-Mayor Fairbanks. Motion carried by unanimous VOTE, meeting Adjourned at 7:57 p.m.
ATTEST: Brian Linin, Mayor
Mary P. Volk, City Clerk