June 25, 2020 Commission Minutes
GOODLAND CITY COMMISSION
June 15, 2020 5:00 P.M.
Mayor John Garcia called the meeting to order with Vice-Mayor Aaron Thompson, Commissioner Jay Dee Brumbaugh and Commissioner J. J. Howard responding to roll call. Commissioner Gary Farris was reported absent.
Also present were Rich Simon – Director of Public Works, Joni Showalter-Police Chief, Dakota Roubideaux – Code Enforcement, Sarah Scheopner – Office Clerk and Andrew Finzen – City Manager.
Mayor Garcia led Pledge of Allegiance
- 06/01/20 Commission Meeting Minutes
- Appropriation Ordinances: 2020-12, 2020-12A, and 2020-P12
ON A MOTION by Vice-Mayor Thompson to approve Consent Agenda seconded by Commissioner Howard. MOTION carried on a VOTE of 4-0.
ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS
- Resolution 1566: Unfit Structure at 1521 Kansas Ave – Dakota stated, Resolution 1566 sets the public hearing date of August 3rd for property at 1521 Kansas. From the pictures, the house is in disrepair and needs a lot of maintenance. It has heavy fire damage from the accident that occurred April 30th. Mary Cabral is property owner and is currently in a nursing home. Her daughter has power of attorney. The daughter is planning to speak at the public hearing. Commissioner Brumbaugh asked, for clarification, the County is releasing this property from investigation and insurance purposes so we can move ahead and nothing will come back on the City for moving quickly on property? Andrew stated, we reached out to the County Attorney regarding property. They have confirmed they do not need anything else preserved or taken from this property. They have given us authorization to proceed with the unfit structure process. Mayor Garcia stated, during the investigation process at the last meeting Chief Showalter was going to get us some information on this case. Chief Showalter stated, he has been charged with arson which requires probable cause. To my knowledge, the tenant was offered information from Red Cross and other places but he has not taken any of that help. Mayor Garcia stated, I want to make sure there are no reciprocating consequences coming back on us later. Chief Showalter said the County is the one responsible for prosecuting. They do have probable cause to prove without a doubt that the Municipality will be in the clear. Andrew stated, any individual is innocent until proven guilty, but there is an individual being charged with arson on this property that is not the City. The City is limited in what we can say, but feel confident that this is not something we are responsible for and it is something we can proceed with. ON A MOTION by Commissioner Brumbaugh to approve Resolution 1566: Unfit Structure at 1521 Kansas Avenue, seconded by Vice-Mayor Thompson. Motion carried on a Vote of 4-0.
- Economic Development Incentive Agreement: Taco Grande of Goodland – Andrew stated, in your agenda packet is an incentive agreement between the City and Taco Grande of Goodland. Mr. Spomer is present this evening. Taco Grande is planning to open early July or within that timeframe. Mr. Spomer has requested the City’s reduced utility rate incentive for new business which is a six month utility rate at cost. The reason for this is outlined in the application and agreement. This project has a capital investment of $150,000 and the creation of four full-time and a dozen part-time jobs. This business will fill an empty building on Commerce Road. Mayor Garcia extended his gratitude to Mr. Spomer, as he had several municipalities offer a solid base of incentives. In talking with Mr. Spomer he knew Goodland was home and he needed to be a part of the community. I have no problem granting the incentives to Mr. Spomer so he knows the municipality is behind him in the endeavor and we wish him well. ON A MOTION by Commissioner Brumbaugh to approve Economic Development Incentive Agreement: Taco Grande of Goodland, seconded by Commissioner Howard. Motion carried on a Vote of 4-0.
- Review of Board Applicants-Economic Development/ CVB/Chamber Board – Andrew stated, I emailed applications received from Jessica Cole, Gennifer House, Jerry Fairbanks and Anthony Spomer to the Commission earlier today. Bill Biermann has expressed interest but has not returned application. Application deadline is July 6th. Mayor Garcia stated, other names we might reach out to are Jacque Livengood and Steven West. We can open discussion to select our three board members this evening since the County Commissioners are meeting in the morning. However, we have only ran one publication and I have no problem waiting until application deadline. Vice-Mayor Thompson stated, we can easily pick three from the applicants we have but we would be doing a disservice if we cut applications off before the deadline if we have others who desire to turn in an application. Commissioner Howard stated, you really cannot do anything until the deadline. Commissioner Brumbaugh stated, I am thrilled with the response; it will be a tough decision. There is obviously a lot of excitement with what is being done which is great to see. Andrew stated, I received questions as to whether this board will be involved with day to day operations or do they just oversee the director and provide input that way. My response is that it will be a hybrid, they will not be involved with the day to day on the director’s side of things but there are a lot of decisions. It is all new, I am not sure I am giving the correct answer. Commissioner Brumbaugh stated, I think the first year will be a lot of hands on. You do not want to micro manage the director but everyone has to feel their way and provide guidance. We have a lot of good people to get it done. Vice-Mayor Thompson stated, until the by-laws and expectations are approved it is hard to answer that question, but I imagine there will be some hands on from the board members. Andrew asked, has the Commission received any questions that need discussed or are any other community members we need to reach out to? Commissioner Brumbaugh stated, I have only received positive responses. Mayor Garcia stated, I have talked to several people and responded the vision and mission statement outlines the direction of CVB, Economic Development and Chamber of Commerce. I think with the six board members, then the board selecting the seventh member it is the desire of both the City and County Commissions to give this board complete control to implement the mission and vision statements. City Commission duties will be to step back and monitor whether progress is being progressive and if the board members are carrying out the mission statement. If there are conflicts, at that time the City and County Commission will become involved to help resolve the issue or change board members. I believe this will be a win-win for the community.
- City Manager – 1. Sporer is moving ahead with the street project. They poured the last main line pour on 15th Street today and will finish the sidewalks by the end of the week. They anticipate that traffic will be open by Monday or Tuesday next week. They will continue working at 24/7 Frontage road. 2. The pool opened on June 5th. It seems to be smooth sailing so far. 3. Public Transportation plans to reopen on June 23rd with safety measures in place. 4. Budget presentation will be on June 22nd on 5:00 p.m. 5. July 20th we will have a public hearing for rezoning 16th and Colorado from residential to commercial.
Vice-Mayor Thompson – 1. No Report
Commissioner Brumbaugh – 1. No Report
Commissioner Howard – 1. I went by 3rd and Grand and it looked like they got all the concrete poured and that looks good. 2. I talked to Doug Irvin about the drainage ditch by the railroad tracks going out east of town to his tail water pit and we need to take the time to clean it out. Doug is getting tired of it flowing out onto his circle of corn. He also said he is having some low voltage issues at his house and having to replace appliances. Andrew stated, the drainage does need to be cleaned out but Mr. Irvin has planted in the City’s easement which has impacted the drainage as well. We are still catching up but plan to get it cleaned out. Dustin is not here but we have been checking things at his house for the electric service. We do not have answers yet, but we believe there may be some grounding on his side that has something to do with it. We continue to work with it. City employees are doing well. Mayor Garcia asked, is there a culvert that runs up around the railroad up north. I have heard there is one, but it is not located. Andrew Brunner stated, we have investigated that before but nothing was found. Culvert by the railroad tracks goes from the tail water pit, drains to ditch, then on to the culvert under the county road and out from there. Mayor Garcia asked, how far would we clean in that particular ditch? Andrew Brunner stated, it would be hard to get all the water gravitated to the north side of the tracks. There is no projection as to how much water will be taken off of his property if we clean.
Commissioner Farris – 1. Absent, No Report
- Mayor – 1. I have had several calls from landlords and individuals about letters regarding swimming pools in the yards and the ordinance requiring a fence around the pools. I think with Covid-19 we have made many exceptions. It is not the people’s fault that the pool opened later. I feel we should make an adjustment with the ordinance or tell the people not to put the swimming pool in the front yard. They know they accept all liabilities of it being on their property. Very few people can get a fence built in the time frame we are asking with the economic factor in play. If we can give them a little time to get by this time and then next year let them know they need to put it in the backyard if we do not change this ordinance. Commissioner Howard stated, the Unified Building Code states a permanent pool has to have a fence around it. I am not sure about above ground pools which are usually four foot tall. Mayor Garcia asked, should we execute the ordinance that is written or make concessions and change it? We are only looking at another month and a half to two months of the pools being up. Commissioner Howard stated, they are buying water and paying taxes. Commissioner Brumbaugh stated, I am alright with giving them grace. Vice-Mayor Thompson stated, I looked up the ordinance and it looks to be a subset of a subset of a subset. If people want to put up a temporary pool in their yard then let them put up a pool. Commissioner Howard stated, the Ordinance was written in 2001. Andrew stated, if the Commission does not want Code Enforcement to enforce the code we need to change the code. It puts Code Enforcement and staff in a tough position where we are tasked to go out and enforce the code then someone complains so we decide not to enforce the code. This has been a morale killer to our Code Enforcement officer for several years. If we do not want to enforce codes then we need to change the code. We cannot continue to send mixed signals to staff like this and expect a good outcome. With any code we need to get back to the root purpose of the code. If the purpose of the code is to protect child safety then we need to stick with it. Circumstances do not change with the pandemic or someone’s financial situation. If it is a public health hazard, it is an issue. Mayor Garcia stated, Andrew makes a good point. I am not sure what the correct statement is. There were concessions made with Public Transportation, even though it was mandated by the Governor to remain open. There have been other Ordinances that could have been enforced yet we have chosen not too, simply because it is not the fault of anyone. I thought maybe we could make a temporary ban until we get back to normal then look at it. Commissioner Howard stated, I agree some parents bought pools so they do not have to send children to the pool, in fear they might catch something. Dakota is doing a good job going out and enforcing codes like he is supposed to be doing. Maybe we could send a letter stating we will allow this year, but next year they will have to build a fence, so he is still enforcing it. Commissioner Brumbaugh stated, I understand the difficulty of having to enforce something and then backtrack on it. It is a unique time and it is no one’s fault. It is hard to enforce all the codes. Maybe we can try to get the information out to the public. Not knowing when the pool was going to open, many community members bought pools. I want to be fair to all sides of the public but want to be fair with COVID-19. The fence will probably cost more than the pool did and that could be a problem for some people. I want to let it ride for the summer. Chief Showalter stated, I appreciate your opinions but I ask you to look at it from the law enforcement side where we have pulled children out of pools or assist in death investigations from pool deaths. There are cases where a fence has prohibited a drowning, it is very important to have a fence around any pool.
ADJOURNMENT WAS HAD ON A MOTION by Commissioner Howard seconded by Commissioner Brumbaugh. Motion carried by unanimous VOTE, meeting adjourned at 5:45 p.m. Next special meeting is scheduled for June 22 at 5:00 p.m. Next regular meeting is scheduled for July 6, 2020.
ATTEST: John Garcia, Mayor
Sarah Scheopner, Office Clerk