GOODLAND CITY COMMISSION
Joint Commission Meeting
September 11, 2018 7:00 A.M.
Meeting was called to order by Mayor Brian Linin with Vice-Mayor Jay Dee Brumbaugh and Commissioner Annette Fairbanks responding to roll call. Commissioner John Garcia and Commissioner Jacque Schields were reported absent.
Sherman County Commission Chairman Larry Enfield called meeting to order with County Commissioner Rod Blake and County Commissioner John Topliff responding to roll call.
Also present from the City were Rich Simon – Director of Public Works, Dustin Bedore – Director of Electric Utilities, Joni Showalter – Police Chief, Suzanne McClure – Economic Development Director, Brian James – Fire Chief, Mary Volk – City Clerk, and Andrew Finzen – City Manager. Also present from the County were Crissy Livengood – Communication Director and Ashley Mannis – County Clerk.
Mayor Linin led Pledge of Allegiance
DISCUSSION AND ACTION ITEMS
- Wolak Building Agreement and Generator – County Chairman Enfield stated, when the power went out we discovered our generator did not run entire building. Dustin stated, the Wolak building cannot be tied into the City generator because wiring in two buildings are different voltage. City generator is three phase. County Chairman Enfield stated, we had Charles Moser, County Attorney review the inter-local agreement for this building. Charles stated, I drafted an addendum to the agreement for Section 12, related to insurance. It clarifies that the City carries property and contents insurance while County is responsible for liability insurance for property. We added to Subsection A to indicate both parties should be listed as insured on building. County is responsible for personal injury liability and City insures hazard and inventory of contents whether own property or not because have an insurable interest with agreement. This agreement requires the County be listed as additional insured on City policy. Mary stated, the City currently lists the County as additional insured on building but insurance will not allow the City to insure County equipment in the building, that has to be insured by the County. County Commissioner Topliff stated, the original agreement stated the County is responsible for repairs to building but City carries insurance. With last hail storm monies were not made available to County to repair doors when the City was paid to replace the door. Mary stated, the decision to not replace the doors was made by Fire Chief as it was minimal cosmetic damage only. The money remains in the City storm account. Charles stated, if the City is not going to replace doors the County would need to get a waiver from City to ensure the City is responsible when the doors need to be replaced. County Commissioner Topliff stated, I feel we should get doors replaced to protect County. Mayor Linin stated, we have all seen a situation where claim was filed but feel only cosmetic so do not make repair. Probably a little different with government facility but if funds are set aside for future maintenance there should be no problem. County Chairman Enfield stated, if they are not replaced we would need waiver that City would replace if damaged in future since will not get insurance money again. Consensus of City Commission is there is no problem signing a waiver or replacing doors. County Chairman Enfield asked, what about sheet rock damage? Mary stated, we have been waiting on our contractor, who assessed damage yesterday. Mayor Linin stated, we need to get an opinion from our insurance company then discuss addendum at next joint meeting.
- Convention and Visitors Bureau – County Chairman Enfield stated, we would like County Attorney to review information before item is discussed.
- Central Dispatch – County Chairman Enfield stated, we have been almost two years discussing this and we need to move forward. The Dispatch Center is a rough area to keep help. What are City plans? Andrew stated, it has been difficult coming up with numbers but we received an estimate for layout presented in the amount of $113,000 with cost variations of $25,000. Renovation is quoted with City doing in house work with sheet rock and new furnishings. County Chairman Enfield asked, if City moves forward with project, what is time frame? We want to get something done. Commissioner Fairbanks stated, we agree but we just received information and would like to review. County Commissioner Blake stated, after budget we determined we have to make least impact on tax payers, and this appears to be the direction we should go. County Commissioner Topliff stated, this does not meet FEMA requirements and what if there is a water main break in basement. We need to look ten years down road, this is just a band aid. The operation needs to be moved above ground. County Commissioner Blake stated, show us the money. County Commissioner Topliff stated, Crissy has applied for grants. County Chairman Enfield stated, with water main break you can install a sump pump for water levels. Mayor Linin stated, this is an improvement to our facility. The issue is balancing protection with what we can afford to make it a better work environment for department. I disagree, if we were building a server room I feel it should be underground. I feel a water line break is more under our control than a tornado. This is a cost effective solution for City that we can afford to do for operations. County Commissioner Blake asked, if City spends money in basement and you want County to have more skin in the game, what if we sign a four year agreement for firm service, then a rolling agreement to renew? If County Commissioner Topliff comes up with way for County to build new facility, City will have new office space. Mayor Linin stated, I would like a longer term agreement, like twenty years. County Commissioner Blake stated, I will not sign a twenty year agreement. Mayor Linin asked, what is County Commission’s opinion on this project? County Commissioner Blake stated, this option is least cost to tax payer. Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh asked, would County agree to ten year agreement? Crissy stated, our overall goal is to ensure department is correct size to have efficient operation. County Commissioner Blake stated, Crissy will need input on layout of department. County Commissioner Topliff stated, this layout does not expand operation. Andrew stated, this layout doubles size of dispatch. County Commissioner Topliff asked, would you have room for mutual aid if other counties go down? Crissy stated, on a short term basis. Mayor Linin asked, how far down hallway does layout go? Andrew stated, the entire south side except records room. There is a conference room and evidence room on north side that is not included in layout but are available. Crissy stated, this layout will work for Sherman County, if other counties are in the picture, we will need to reconfigure what we are doing. County Chairman Enfield stated, I feel this is a huge improvement to the current facilities. Crissy stated, yes I agree. The important thing is the center is manned twenty-four hours. Andrew stated, with last water leak City crews were dispatched and responded diligently to repair. Rich stated, it is plumbing, any new line can leak at any point. County Chairman Enfield stated, I do not see water leaks being a problem with technology today. Crissy stated, the only benefit of a new building is to give the Commission, Emergency Management and Communication Center a safe meeting place. County Chairman Enfield stated, I like the idea because we need to pay attention to tax payer dollars. Mayor Linin stated, we all need dispatch services for emergency services, which is why I do not see as a problem with a long term agreement. County Commissioner Blake asked, is an inter-local agreement enough? Mayor Linin stated, I feel it is. If we are making changes I want it to be long term. Charles stated, there are no legal barriers, just policy issues to consider for an agreement. Crissy asked, does the City feel this catches you up with current operations with County? Andrew stated, I am unsure that inter-local agreement protects City in event County builds a new facility. Charles stated, that is problem with long term agreement. You do not want to get in position with agreement where facility does not meet requirements for future Federal money. I hesitate making agreement long term. City and County are always going to be neighbors and there is a lot of trust that goes into that fact. Crissy stated, we need to be certain as we move forward that employees and facility can keep up with regulation and operation changes. Currently there are not many requirements for the dispatch operation. Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated, I feel this is reasonable option; we do not want to spend a lot of money then in two years the center be gone. There is not enough money to build new and we cannot keep coming up with every situation that may happen. I feel this is the reasonable route to proceed. Crissy stated, I would like to make a secure entrance for dispatch so people are not coming to basement and banging on our door. County Chairman Enfield stated, I would like to pursue this with Crissy having input. Commissioner Fairbanks stated, I feel it is a good plan, but the other Commissioner’s need to review it before we make quick decision. I feel we will get a consensus to move forward. Mayor Linin stated, I would like everyone to review plan and let us know if you have suggestions. Andrew stated, an agreement would not be to lock you in to basement, it is that City provides facility while County provide services. County Commissioner Blake stated, we need to consider Federal requirements.
- Fire Department Cost-Sharing – County Chairman Enfield stated, this item is being considered for City and County Fire Departments to cost share equipment purchasing. Charles what do you think? Charles stated, it can be accomplished with an inter-local agreement because discussing the disposition of an asset, just have to go through proper channels. From a policy stand point it is Commission decision. Mayor Linin stated, if our end result is to share assets, I feel purchase of future assets should be a cost share. County Commissioner Topliff stated, it all goes back to the agreement in 1967, if one party does not want to cost share, they can sue other entity and go out on own. County Commissioner Blake asked, what is not working at this point, everything seems to be working. If we have an asset that does not work then weed it out and replace with needed equipment. Mayor Linin stated, I thought purpose was for us to cost share on future equipment. County Commissioner Blake stated, my understanding the agreement with Fire District 1 is that the City and County will each buy equipment for their entity. Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated, we cannot continue to do this with services that are duplicated. We cannot let these be barriers. Mayor Linin asked, is the barrier the 1967 agreement? Charles stated, it is a resolution that created a service. Mayor Linin stated, we need to look at that agreement and start there. If that is stumbling block for Kanorado and Brewster, we need to include them in the conversation. County Commissioner Topliff stated, we need to look at joining forces to save tax money for both police and fire. Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated, we need to get barriers out of the way and work together to move forward and be efficient. Mayor Linin stated, let’s get agreement to everyone to review.
- Tax Sales – Andrew stated, we want to look at ways to have more frequent tax sales and to ease burden of tax sales. Charles stated, if the idea is to use tax sales to get rid of dilapidated property, it is not likely to happen. Purpose of tax sale is to get delinquent taxes off record and get new owner to pay taxes. Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated, our purpose is to get properties to the tax sale and save the property. Charles stated, I understand but having done a number of these sales, it does not work that way. Taxes have to be delinquent three plus years to be included in tax sale. Andrew stated, our focus is not to recoup taxes but keep property standing and on tax role. County Chairman Enfield asked, does the State set out the process for tax sales? Charles stated, yes and it is not an easy process. Some firms will do the work for you but they are expensive. When we have an office that does other things, it is not a simple process. The process is outlined in statute, but to some extent it is at discretion of County Commission. Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh asked, would there be an interest in contracting service and sharing costs?
- Sales Tax – Andrew stated, the City has been looking at avenues far a sales tax initiative when current tax sunsets. I believe we need to let I-70 traffic help pay for projects instead of putting burden on tax payers. What does the County think on the tax? County Commissioner Topliff stated, there is the thirty mile stretch of Highway 24 that needs to be redone. County Chairman Enfield stated, the tax has to sunset then tax payers have to vote on it. County Commissioner Topliff stated, tax payers need to decide if they want to lose Highway 24. Andrew stated, I understood when County Commission budget increased ten mills a number of years ago, it was to maintain this highway. County Chairman Enfield stated, the County ended up with highway maintenance because State forced it on us because highway is one mile from I-70. Mayor Linin asked, is your plan to go back to voters for sales tax on Highway 24 again? We talked about splitting the tax again with the concept that when 1% expires, we want both City and County to benefit from tax. We talked that it might be tough to keep tax rate at 9% so we could slightly lower tax and still be able to promote our projects. Commissioner Fairbanks stated, the City is discussing a plan because we understand bond is paying off earlier than first anticipated. Mayor Linin stated, if we are going to do something with tax we need to promote plans to inform public.
- Schedule Next Meeting – Consensus is to schedule next meeting for November 13th at 7:00 a.m. at Wolak Building.
ADJOURNMENT WAS HAD ON A MOTION Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh seconded by Commissioner Fairbanks. Motion carried by unanimous VOTE, meeting Adjourned at 8:30 a.m.
ATTEST: Brian Linin, Mayor
Mary P. Volk, City Clerk