August 5, 2019 Commission Minutes

City of Goodland, KS, Minutes

GOODLAND CITY COMMISSION

Regular Meeting

 

August 5, 2019                                                                                                                            5:00 P.M.

Mayor Brian Linin called the meeting to order with Vice-Mayor Jay Dee Brumbaugh, Commissioner Annette Fairbanks, Commissioner John Garcia, and Commissioner Jacque Schields responding to roll call.

 

Also present were Rich Simon – Director of Public Works, Dustin Bedore – Director of Electric Utilities, Joni Showalter – Police Chief, Suzanne McClure – Economic Development Director, Dakota Roubideaux – Code Enforcement, Sami Philbrick – Museum Director, Mary Volk – City Clerk, and Andrew Finzen – City Manager.

 

Mayor Linin led Pledge of Allegiance

 

PUBLIC HEARING

  1. FY 2020 Budget – Mayor Linin opened public hearing for 2020 Budget at 5:00 p.m. Hearing no public comment, Mayor Linin closed hearing at 5:01 p.m.

 

PUBLIC COMMENT

 

PRESENTATIONS AND PROCLAMATIONS

  1. 24/7 Travel Store Presentation – Mark Augustine, President/Owner of 24/7 Travel Stores and Butch Stucky, Vice President of 24/7 Travel Stores stated, we plan to update our Goodland store like we have other locations, such as Abilene. It will not just be a facelift, but a demolition of existing and build new.  We need assistance with egress and ingress in our discussions with KDOT.  We are still courting food options for the store, but our current issue is getting traffic in and out of property.  We visited with KDOT in Topeka last week and they indicated they would like to hear from City officials regarding local feelings and safety issues for additional curb cut closer to the off ramp to route traffic on the property.  They will consider widening existing lane by fifteen feet but still pretty tight for trucks.  KDOT is suggesting a frontage road to campground road.  We like our plan but KDOT does not because of controlled access for Highway 27.  There are options but need to find a way to get trucks in and out of property.  Mayor Linin asked, on properties like Abilene, did KDOT allow two drive access to enter property?  Mark stated, the Abilene store has two drives but we had to do some talking for them to remain.  We think it works well but KDOT does not.  If they exist KDOT has a hard time changing them which is the reason they do not want to add a drive.  KDOT wants to move ingress and egress away from interstate entrances.  Mayor Linin asked, will it work for us to present a letter in favor of the egress and ingress?  Mark stated, I understand local KDOT representatives have their rule book and will be the ones carrying our plan to Topeka.  Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh asked, if no one signs up for food option, is that off the table.  Mark stated, yes if we cannot find one it will be off the table; it is tough to build if we do not have a commitment.  In the store, we build and lease space to food operator.  Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh asked, so you will not build space in hopes they will come.  Mark stated, no, our plans allow us to build later; it is tough to build without commitment.  We cannot justify spending $1,000,000 without someone to lease the property.  We would ask Commission for support to work with Suzanne, Andrew and Kevin Cowan for incentives with a CID and IRB.  I do not feel a TIF is advantageous to us.  We talked with City Staff before meeting about planning for the future to add electric charging.  A stumbling block on this is that reselling electricity is not permitted.  Will the City consider reselling electricity?  Another issue we discussed is trash removal; it needs to be more efficient with more containers which only takes up more space on my property with trash blowing around.  We need to look at options.  I know this is County operation, but other communities have considered an incentive for dumping costs on demolition.  Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh asked, if all goes well what is time frame?  Mark stated, I am working on several communities but the community that gets everything complete first will be updated first.  In addition to Goodland, we plan to update Russell and Colby.  Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh asked, are you updating both Colby and Goodland, or is it only one of them.  Mark stated, we are doing all stores just waiting to get everything in place.  Mayor Linin stated, we appreciate what you have done to get it moving ahead.  We will do what we can to help.  Mark stated, we will continue to work with Suzanne and Andrew.  Andrew stated, I want to be assured Commission will support Suzanne on options we come up with.  Mayor Linin stated, we want to allow them to pursue plan of choice and if KDOT has an issue we need to know why so we can evaluate what needs to be done.  I do not see a problem with their plan.  Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated, I feel their plan is safer.  Commissioner Garcia stated, we need to facilitate and expedite the process.  We need to initiate conversation as soon as possible.  Mayor Linin stated, we have an opportunity to develop the sight which is what the State wants for rural Kansas.  Commissioner Fairbanks stated, I see problem KDOT has with the one way lanes and cars being a traffic hazard.  We need to mark it clearly.  Mark stated, we can add some subtle hints but cars definitely do not obey traffic rules as well as trucks.  Mayor Linin stated, I do not see a big issue and I feel we have less traffic than Abilene.  Mark stated, we need to make it easier for the trucks.  Commissioner Garcia stated, this store has increased volume in recent past.

 

CONSENT AGENDA

  1. 07/15/19 Commission Meeting Minutes
  2. Appropriation Ordinances, 2019-15, 2019-15A, and 2019-P15

ON A MOTION by Commissioner Garcia to approve Consent Agenda seconded by Commissioner Schields.  MOTION carried on a VOTE of 5-0.

 

ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS

  1. Ordinance 1724: Garages as Principal Use – Andrew stated, last time we discussed this the questions were whether should allow as principle stand-alone structure and whether face street or alley.  I want to consider an alternate option drawing the line between larger and smaller lots.  With larger lots, structure could be allowed to face alley allowing for future development on lot.  Smaller structures would be required to face street as there is no room for future development on small lots.  Setback requirements would come into play on a large lot.  Commissioner Schields stated, I like this idea and that small lots should face street.  Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated, I feel it sounds reasonable.  Commissioner Garcia stated, on Section 1 Item 5: Driveway Requirements, we require asphalt, concrete or stone? Andrew stated, that language has been in the ordinance since Commission began discussing.  If they are building a garage, I feel they should take extra step to build drive.  Commissioner Garcia stated, I agree with structure but if people are on hard times that could get expensive.  I would like to ask J.J. Howard who works with construction what he thinks.  J. stated, if they are going to build a garage why not go extra step on driveway?  It also depends on length with the setback.  Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated, I feel setback is going to come into play with structure alternatives.  I would rather error to be sensitive to neighbors as it will add to aesthetics of neighborhood.  If structure is facing street I would like a hard surface.  I do not want to make it too tough but let’s see if people start building.  We need to remember drainage and guttering and it needs to be finished surface for drive.  Ones that have put up structure have put in hard driveway and have basically set standard.  Commissioner Schields asked, what is our setback?  Andrew stated, it goes with the building line so everyone is in line which depends on the street.  Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated, it will add to cost of project.  Andrew stated, on property facing street these will be smaller lots so will not have a large driveway and hopefully not be a large expense.  Mayor Linin stated, I feel ordinance is pretty balanced.  If the Commission will review we can bring back to next meeting.

 

FORMAL ACTIONS

  1. Airport Fixed Base Operator (FBO) Contract – Andrew stated, the FBO contract is with Butterfly Aviation which relieves them of the four cent fuel cost being paid to the City to offset some mowing costs at airport.  Scott Collett, President stated, in past we traded the cafe building, the old shop which now belongs to us so we pay taxes on it and the old barrel roof hangar that John Topliff now owns, for mowing. We only have five spots in big hangar for compensation of mowing which is reason we are asking to eliminate the four cent fuel tax.  Mayor Linin stated, we appreciate what you do at airport; we are asking questions because that is money we lose in our budget.  Commissioner Garcia asked, what are your mowing costs?  Scott stated, we normally spend 100 to 105 hours per season.  I figure depending on year and moisture cost is about $7,000.  Over last five years average fuel cost paid City was $9,100.  Scott asked, what is four cent tax on gas for?  The way we understand is long ago Mark Nelson was wanting to build on airport and they taxed him the four cents and we received the same tax.  Jonathon Collett stated, we checked with other communities that assess a tax but the City’s own the tanks.  In Goodland we own the tanks so do not understand why taxed.  This is our first contract since we bought the business and a lot has changed at airport.  Commissioner Fairbanks stated, I feel this is a reasonable question and reason we look at the contracts.  Jonathon stated, if it is our equipment, we do not understand why we should pay tax on the product.  ON A MOTION by Commissioner Schields to approve Fixed Based Operator Contract with Butterfly Aviation as presented seconded by Commissioner Fairbanks.  MOTION carried on a VOTE of 5-0.
  2. FY 2020 Budget – Andrew stated, the budget was published as requested by Commission at the last meeting, adding one mill and provide my recommendations on distribution of the additional mill. One mill is estimated at $33,194 and my recommendation to utilize monies is $5,000 to Signage, $7,000 to Pool Improvements, $11,000 to Street Sweeper and $10,194 to ED Incentives.  I provided a breakdown showing how one mill affects individual tax bills.  Commissioner Fairbanks stated, as an example property appraised for $100,000 will only increase taxes $12.53 for us to stay on track.  Andrew stated, yes that is correct.  Commissioner Garcia asked, you have three options on the wage comparison and impact to constituents.  Andrew stated, the options show aggregate employee’s wages and benefits paid with $1 increase as compared with 2% or 3% increase.  Information includes all funds, but not all funds paying wages and benefits are subject to mill levy.  Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated, on insurance benefits, if we do the 8% payroll deduction, ACA does not limit us on plans other than for the employee.  I have been thinking since our last meeting, I will have a hard time raising taxes if we have not done everything we can before we ask tax payers for more money.  I feel this was a rock bottom budget but the benefits have us looking at salaries, so we need to look the benefits.  No one pays 100% of family insurance.  Most employers pay a single plan and anything above that is paid out of pocket.  I have a hard time asking tax payers to pay more when their insurance does not subsidize such a benefit.  We are coming to a point we cannot afford to fund some things with increased costs.  We have taken on the burden when a spouse has other options and do not utilize them because the City has better insurance.  I am fine with budget and $1 increase but without additional mill levy.  I know employees like plan but we need to look at options.  It is a great benefit but becoming more comfortable with wages we need to look at different plan options when look at renewal.  With budget presented, we cannot continue down this road.  I fight hard for employee but I also fight for tax payer.  Commissioner Garcia stated, I agree with some points.  The whole conversation of raises started with Police Department, which I agree but it escalated to everyone.  I felt last year Rhonda Hernandez executed what she felt we needed.  For the benefit of employees we need to request bids from other companies.  Last budget year the conviction was we cannot afford raises, now in 2020 we shaved budget but I feel we are going backwards.  We have to look at the long term and what are we going to do in future.  Commissioner Schields stated, last year we approved a 2% merit raise and this year have been discussing $1 merit raise.  Healthcare is part of their wages if we cut benefits you have to increase wages.  Last year Commissioner Garcia stated employees need to consider insurance part of their wage.  Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated, there is a huge disparity in costs from single to family plans.  Commissioner Schields stated, when you look at their wages, you have to consider their wage with benefits.  If we decrease benefits we need to look at increasing wages.  Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated, that is why need to be competitive in wage option.  Right now health care exceeds wage benefit.  Need to look at what is fair to employee but also what is fair to tax payer.  I will not increase taxes until it is fair on both perspectives.  Commissioner Schields stated, a year ago we discussed that Colby Police Department was paid more but the employees paid more of their health insurance.  When we look at changing City plan there is more we have to consider.  Joni stated, the benefit package for Colby is different than ours and you need to look at all the information to compare a package that is apples to apples.  They offer other incentives.  Commissioner Schields stated, I do not want to look at what Colby is doing, when we change the plan you are taking money from the employee with benefits that they do not pay taxes on it.  When we change insurance benefit we have to increase wages for what the employee lost or we will see employees leave.  Commissioner Fairbanks stated, it is more difficult to take something away from the employee than giving them a wage increase.  We should have had the discussion long before now, the budget needs approved.  Commissioner Schields stated, we have to keep our employees in mind.  If insurance costs increase a lot I agree we need to look at options.  Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated, that is my reasoning going forward, I cannot justify when no business can afford to do this.  Commissioner Fairbanks stated, I understand we need to look at it but we need to fund a mill levy increase going toward other items we need to fund.  Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated, we need to do everything we can and I do not feel we are there yet.  I do not want a tax put on that is hard to remove, just like the four cent tax on airport fuel where no one knows why it is on.  Commissioner Fairbanks stated, we keep putting items on the back burner and I feel we are going to find ourselves in a mess.  The money has to come from somewhere to keep incentives and equipment up to keep Goodland moving forward.  On a $75,000 house it is $9.40 which is not a huge increase that people will see as a problem.  I really believe raising taxes a little at a time is a good idea, everything keeps going up.  Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated I am ready to vote for $1 wage increase without increasing the mill.  We need to figure this out because we cannot leave things unfunded.  Mayor Linin stated, if we decrease ED Incentives presented, where would money for incentives come from, rest of ED budget?  Andrew stated, ED Incentive balance is currently $230,000, Commission has obligated $90,000 for road at Holiday Inn Express.  That leaves a balance of $100,000 to $150,000, but if it is put toward 24/7 Travel Store project, there is no money for future infrastructure projects.  Mayor Linin stated, I read minutes from last meeting, I feel signage can fit within ED budget.  If we go back to wage and salary discussion and decrease from $1 to 2% or 3% increase it would give us more dollars to work with.  I agree with Commissioner Schields, it is part of their wage.  If we retain employees we will have to adjust wage in first year, then we may be able to share costs.  We have to approve a budget, my solution is go with a 2% or 3% wage increase which is fair and covers COLA, based on a merit increase.  This would free up dollars to do projects we keep putting off.  Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated, that puts us further away from being able to ask employees to pay for a portion of their insurance.  I never said we are out of line across the board with wages, I feel there were about fifteen of them.  I am strictly looking at wages with what our neighbor’s pay, not including benefits.  Mayor Linin stated, I am looking at wages with benefits so we do disagree.  Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated, 2% does not help us, maybe 4% would help.  If we are going to expect employees to help out, we have to do better at wages, but cannot make it up overnight.  Mayor Linin stated, 3% gives us $44,382 to work with for mill levy funds, $75,000 overall.  ON A MOTION by Commissioner Fairbanks to approve the 2020 budget as presented with the one mill increase seconded by Commissioner Schields.  MOTION failed on a VOTE of 2-3 with Mayor Linin, Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh and Commissioner Garcia casting the dissenting votes.   ON A MOTION by Mayor Linin to approve the 2020 budget as originally presented, without the one mill increase, and limit wage increase to 3% merit increase, then use remaining money from wage change to fund items recommended by City Manager with any additional funds applied to ED Incentives seconded by Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh.  MOTION failed on a VOTE of 2-3 with Commissioner Fairbanks, Commissioner Schields and Commissioner Garcia casting the dissenting votes.  Commissioner Fairbanks stated, we had a good discussion last meeting.  I understand everyone could not be here but we had to make decisions and we did.  Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh asked Commissioner Garcia what his reason for vote on last motion.  Commissioner Garcia stated, I make decisions based on principal not just economics.  We have good staff but we are all part of the community.  When we ask employees to make small contributions it does not hurt to help us move forward.  To me it is absurd to argue over $33,000 when we have cut $1,600,000 from the budget, we have a problem.  We have to look at reality, everyone is re-evaluating their business.  What we have done is haunting us now, my decision is based on principals not economics.  I just had a discussion with two businessmen yesterday who were livid with amount of taxes they pay.  I showed them the culprit is the State.  Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated, the last motion did not raise mill.  Commissioner Garcia stated, I would go with 2% increase for employees.  Commissioner Schields stated, one of our goals was to increase wages to a point we do not keep losing people to others that pay more.  I felt the $1 increase would help lower paid employees more.  Andrew stated, it is obvious the Commission is not in favor of a mill increase.  I would recommend the Commission approve the budget as originally presented at 50.1 mills.  The Commission identified wages needed to be addressed in this budget.  We had 2% last year and had more attrition than the City has seen in some time.  I feel if you do that again, we will see more.  We have committed to the Holiday Inn Express road and we are down employees that I am not sure we can complete the road.  You have asked employees to do more.  We are not retaining staff nor are we filling openings at this time.  We have an issue with employee retainage and I do not feel 2% wage increase will address the problem, especially when CPI is 1.4% at this time.  That is barely keeping up with inflation.   You have been discussing the $1 increase which gave employees hope but if you take that out now, we will continue having difficulties retaining employees.  Commissioner Fairbanks stated, I am not in favor of not increasing the budget by one mill; I feel that is only putting a band aid on it.  Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated, I can live with the 3% but that still does not get us where we need to be.  Commissioner Garcia asked Mayor Linin to make his motion again.  Mayor Linin stated, you just voted that motion down.  Where are we at, what does everyone think about budget published so Mayor Linin polled the Commission.  Commissioner Garcia stated, you know how I will vote, would you make your motion again.  ON A MOTION by Mayor Linin to approve the 2020 budget as originally presented, without the one mill increase, and limit wage increase to 3% merit increase, then use remaining money from wage change to fund items recommended by City Manager with any additional funds applied to ED Incentives seconded by Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh.  MOTION passed on a VOTE of 3-2 with Commissioner Fairbanks and Commissioner Schields casting the dissenting votes.
  3. IFB 2019-09: Electric Department Truck – Andrew stated, we received one bid from Dan Brenner Ford in the amount of $27,395. Money has been put away in equipment reserve fund.  Mayor Linin asked, is the pickup we are replacing still operating?  Dustin stated, it has problems.   ON A MOTION by Commissioner Garcia to approve the purchase of the Electric Department truck from Dan Brenner Ford in the amount of $27,395 seconded by Commissioner Schields.  MOTION passed on a VOTE of 5-0.
  4. IFB 2019-10: Police Department Truck – Andrew stated, we received two bids for replacement of a Police Department truck utilized by Chief.  The trucks are built for police pursuit. The bids are from Dan Brenner Ford in the amount of $35,511.40 and Herl Chevrolet in the amount of $34,424.98. I recommend low bid from Herl Chevrolet.  This truck also comes pre-wired.  Money has been put away in equipment reserve fund.  Mayor Linin asked, what year is the truck we are replacing?  Joni stated, a 2012 it still runs, but we are having transmission problems and it is no longer pursuit ready.  ON A MOTION by Commissioner Schields to approve the purchase of the Police Department truck from Herl Chevrolet in the amount of $34,424.98 seconded by Commissioner Fairbanks.  MOTION passed on a VOTE of 4-1 with Commissioner Garcia casting the dissenting vote.

 

DISCUSSION ITEMS

  1. 2019 STO and UPOC Ordinances – LeAnn stated, there were many changes in these codes which will be transferred to District Court.  We are requesting Commission redact drug offenses in UPOC for this purpose. In the STO there are many new offenses that Goodland does not deal with; however, Sections 114.1 and 114.5 now allows Micro Utility Trucks to cross federal and state highways between sunrise and sunset and Section 182.1 clearly sets out seat belts as an infraction.  In reference to Municipal Court, 2019 year to date cases are 223, compared to 274 the same time in 2018.  Everything else is fairly comparable.
  2. Review of Board Applicants – Andrew stated, Paula Etrick is seeking appointment to Museum Advisory Board, staff recommends approval. Application shows she is very interested in history.
  3. Alcoholic Liquor and CMB Location Restrictions – Andrew stated, this item comes up every year around Flatlander Festival.  City code prohibits sale within 300 feet from a church, school, or library which makes sale on Main Street difficult. Many communities have decreased prohibition to 200 feet.   The draft ordinance does just that as well as provides the Commission the opportunity to waive the 200 foot prohibition on a case by case basis.

 

REPORTS

  1. City Manager – 1. Dispatch is still in process of moving to remodeled side and contractor will complete work on current center.  2. Chip sealing is complete, fog sealing scheduled for Friday, weather permit  I have provided a map to show how they are addressing street sealing since 2009 when funding ability decreased.  We cannot afford to seal streets every three years as done in past, but we have prioritized emergency routes.  3.  Contractor is laying bricks on Main Street project, anticipate completion second week of September.  4. Contractor is still on Sherman Street with street project, hoping to open Sherman Street end of August.  The 16th Street intersection at Sherman is open.  At the end of August they plan to move to 25th Street because of concern for colder weather and leaving it open to elements.  There will be a complete street closure for 25th Street.  I have worked with the GAC and school to move flag football to grass corridor west of Grant Historic Residences.  Mayor Linin asked, will Schlosser Concrete have access to their business?  Andrew Brunner, EBH Engineer stated, yes their entrance will be open as we are completing west end and abutting existing concrete on street.  5.  Ossuarium is scheduled to be delivered August 16th and will require road closures with size of structure.  6.  We have had a lot of positive feedback on sand volleyball pit.  I commend City Staff, Lexis McCord, Girl Scout planning project and Tess Smith from GAC for work on project.  Commissioner Schields asked, were there more costs for additional sand?  Andrew stated, yes we increased sand depth.  They received a grant and are doing some fund raising to pay for project.
  2. Commissioners

Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh – 1.  Commend staff on the volleyball pit, I appreciate the benches and there is one shade tree.  I feel it needs a light.  Andrew stated, there has been discussion on a light.  2.  I am excited about 24/7 Travel Store upgrade and Holiday Inn Express Hotel for more revenue in City.  Good things are happening.  2.  I feel we have had good enforcement of ordinances.

Commissioner Fairbanks – 1.  No Report

Commissioner Garcia – 1.  I appreciate the candid conversation we can have; it is never easy sitting on this side of table.  2.  I appreciate the employees we have and would like to commend Dustin Bedore.  When we hired him to oversee Electricity Production and Distribution, operations have become more efficient.

Commissioner Schields – 1.  I would like to thank City Staff with the parade and their efforts to get it set up.

  1. Mayor No Report

 

EXECUTIVE SESSIONS

 

ADJOURNMENT WAS HAD ON A MOTION Commissioner Garcia seconded by Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh.  Motion carried by unanimous VOTE, meeting adjourned at 7:30 p.m.  Next meeting is scheduled for August 19, 2019.

 

 

 

 

_____________________________

ATTEST:                                                                               Brian Linin, Mayor

 

 

 

_______________________

Mary P. Volk, City Clerk