April 21, 2021 Work Session Minutes

April 21, 2021 Work Session Minutes

April 21, 2021 Work Session Minutes

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GOODLAND CITY COMMISSION

Commission Work Session

April 21, 2021                                                                                                             5:00 P.M.

Mayor John Garcia called the work session to order with Vice-Mayor Jay Dee Brumbaugh, Commissioner Aaron Thompson, Commissioner J. J. Howard and Commissioner Gary Farris responding to roll call. 

Also present were Joshua Jordan – IT Director, Mary Volk – City Clerk and Alan Lanning – City Manager. 

DISCUSSION ITEMS

  1. Strategic Planning Session – Alan stated, the intention of this process is to determine direction Commission wants the community to head.  There are different ways to complete the process.  The packet I distributed shows examples of information from the strategic planning process I used in previous City’s.  The plan should show Commission desires for the direction of the City.  I equate it to a tire with the hub, which is what Commission would like to achieve and the spokes being supporting information to get to the hub.  The community represents the outside of the tire to support the hub.  Commission needs to limit ideas to be stable and maintain direction.  Mayor Garcia stated, economic development drives everything to increase our presence on I-70.  Commissioner Thompson stated, I see the main problem is that Goodland has no identity.  We are a farming community but we have nothing to identify Goodland.  With the VanGogh we have had an increase in artwork over the years, but we have no identity for Goodland to the outside.  Alan stated, so a strong feeling is to improve our identity.  Mayor Garcia asked, what does Commission think our identity should be?  Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated, a strong family environment where it is safe to raise a family.  Commissioner Howard stated, we need to get something more than farming to get people to come back to Goodland.  Alan stated, if we want to improve our identity it deals with what economic avenues do you want to support.  We have a lot of good systems, but what do we lack?  Commissioner Howard stated, we lack housing.  Commissioner Farris stated, we need some kind of industry.  Alan stated, financial will support many categories whether it be internal City finances, cost reductions, like you already expressed with in the case of insurance, or consolidation.  These are steps to support direction of Commission.  What economic term does Commission want to improve identity?  Commissioner Thompson stated, I believe the job of the Commission is to provide infrastructure that allows growth in community.  Growth without sustainability is failure.  Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated, sometimes we are too stable and cannot get out of our rut.  Alan stated, Commission responsibility is to create an atmosphere for growth.  My approach with anyone on economic development is to never say no but see what we can do to stay within our rules.  Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated, in many instances we get momentum but then see change and want to go back to our comfort zone.  Commissioner Thompson stated, I do not believe it is change, but the cost to maintain or how it will tighten budgets for a relatively low income community.  To curb the attitude we have to invest in projects the community feels they can enjoy or participate.  Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated, I am talking about how we get people off interstate to compete with our neighbors and help finance projects.  The best thing we have going for us is I-70 and what we do with it will determine where we head. Commissioner Thompson stated, I worry about bringing in another big business at the interstate and setting back our Main Street.  If we focus more on downtown growth it would serve our community better, but does it improve our community.  Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated, our downtown is supported by the community but to get the money in our community we need to get them off interstate.  Mayor Garcia stated I feel we have an identity.  All communities up and down the interstate corridor are trying to pull people off interstate.  We have a good airport, hospital, the best eighteen hole golf course, NWKTC and the schools.  Anyone that stops in Goodland to spend money helps pay for services.  If we do not pull them off we miss out; it is a mobile world.  Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated, there is traffic both ways, we need to find a way to capitalize on it.  Alan stated, from an economic development standpoint marketing on I-70 is very important.  You need to think about your own facilities and what is needed to keep people anchored in Goodland or to draw people to Goodland.  It is important in discussion to remember partners in our plan, such as the college, school and hospital.  Commissioner Thompson stated, in trying to pull people off interstate, people care less about buying things and more about having something to do.  Experiences is what people want now.  We find that with our young population here.  Alan stated, you need to look at amenities can market.  Go back to the idea of consolidation.  As Dakota Roubideaux transfers back to Public Works, I have reached out to Safe Build who provides positions for local governments in a variety of states.  They will do building permits, zoning, inspections and certificates of occupancy.  It is all subject to a price, but this may be a way to consolidate and have cost savings as they utilize staff for neighboring communities.  I have submitted them information to see what cost is.  We are not losing a position or displacing staff as he transferred to another department.  In using a firm like this they have the certification and expertise, similar to your airport FBO.  Commissioner Thompson stated, I like economic sustainability as our direction, it seems to be what we are discussing.  Alan stated, that involves growth and stability, as sustainability is most difficult part.  To support economic sustainability we have economic development and need to look at internal finances of the City with regards to cost reductions, consolidation and marketing services to support the community.  Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated, we have strong staff that have been employed many years and take pride in their work.  We are not necessarily decreasing costs when we bring in new staff.  Commissioner Thompson stated, I agree we will be in trouble soon with the number of people eligible to retire soon.  Alan stated, that comes back to the amenities in the community.  What impact would there be if you could take any salary in the community and add 50%?  Cost reductions are important but what is the impact.  Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated, we cannot fall behind with infrastructure to support growth we want to attract and no one likes bad roads.  Alan stated, overall your roads are good; the place Goodland needs to catch up is water and sewer.  Commissioner Thompson stated, that has slowly been addressed slowly in recent years and needs to continue.  Alan stated, I suggest City have rate studies done.  Goodland charges water by cubic foot; we need to discuss tier rate system.  Rates need to include reserve money to replace system in future years.  Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated, regarding the roads, at a joint meeting with the County, we previously discussed cost sharing equipment such as a rock crusher.  At some point we need to look at removing layers on the streets, we cannot just keep adding.  Alan stated, City needs to take streets out and rebuild base to improve street.  Commissioner Howard stated, many streets in town do not have a base.  Alan stated, another discussion will be annexation.  We met with Midwest Energy this morning to discuss where service areas overlap, reconciling territories with KCC and what need to do to get to that point.  With annexation we can market land with interstate access but you need to support your Main Street.  Commissioner Thompson stated, we need to entice both businesses and people to Main Street.  I liked what Andrew Finzen was doing before he left to market Main Street.  We will need signage to market it.  Alan asked, would the private sector expand housing if there was a need?  Commissioner Howard stated, there is not anyone that can develop the infrastructure, streets and the housing.  Commissioner Thompson stated, houses are being built but they do not want to pay for an entire development.  Commissioner Howard stated, there has to be an incentive for development.  Commissioner Thompson stated, our zoning is not friendly for building apartments, or duplexes.  Mayor Garcia stated, we have the zoning in place for the housing.  We have to find the right grants and pull all our tools together.  There is a need for housing in our community.  Commissioner Thompson stated, a good grant writer can pay for themselves.  Commissioner Farris stated, we need starter homes.  Alan stated, a previous community I was in bought land, had it platted and had staff put in infrastructure to assist builders to build on lots.  There are many ways to do it.  No community has solved the low housing issue.  Mayor Garcia stated, it would be good to have brainstorm session with County Commission as well, as this benefits both entities.  Alan stated, we are working on that meeting.  I will document information and email to commission.  Next work session will be Wednesday April 28th at 5p.m. 

ADJOURNMENT or work session was at 6:38 p.m.

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ATTEST:                                                                                John Garcia, Mayor

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Mary P. Volk, City Clerk

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