City discusses lift stations

The Sabetha City Commission met at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 14, for their regular meeting. Present for the meeting were Mayor Doug Clark, Commissioners Nick Aberle, Norm Schmitt and Julie Burenheide, City Administrator Doug Allen and Assistant City Administrator Bill Shroyer. Guests present were Police Chief Robert Wahwasuck, Todd Grimes and Cole Grimes.

Shroyer said the City was going to start cutting trees that hang out over the street. There is a 14-foot limit. Shroyer said that if anyone wants to get their own trees cut by someone else, that they need to start working toward that.

Allen provided the commission an update on the Sixth Street project. Allen said the weather looks favorable, and if it stays dry they hope to get the section from Lincoln Street to the south ball fields entrance poured this week.

Lift Stations

Clark said they City received a letter from the engineers Schwab Eaton about the Keim and Kellenberger Lift Stations.

“We asked them to look at the cost of what we can do to alleviate the problems at the Keim and Kellenberger Lift Stations,” Clark said.

According to the letter, Schwab Eaton recommended the following:

• Seal the manhole lids that may have perforations/pick holes in them.

• Additional manhole rehabilitation – According the Schwab Eaton, the manhole rehabilitation project previously focused on the ones determined to be in the worst condition at the time of inspection. They recommend the City undertaking another round of manhole rehabilitation on the one identified as lower priority in the initial inspection. Schwab Eaton estimated $50,000 for 60 manholes.  According to Shroyer, city personnel found 142 manholes with 1,034 feet total that need fixed. The city estimates the cost to be around $100,000 to fix the manholes.

• Improve lift station pumps – There are multiple options for improvement at both the Keim and Kellenberger lift stations. Costs for improvement can range from $3,000 to $25,000.

• Replace lift stations – a complete replacement of the lift stations with a much larger pumping capacity could cost between $750,000 to $1 million for each lift station.

Allen said they will look into if the cost for this project could be added to the City’s current loan with KDHE. Allen also said they would look into everything and get back to the commission.

“I would like consideration to start for a long term plan, for the replacement of these lift stations,” Schmitt said. “That way we can start scheduling that in the future.”

Zoning Regulations

Allen told the commissioners since the City’s comprehensive plan was completed, they have been reviewing the zoning regulations manual. Allen suggested that the City hire someone to look at the City’s zoning regulations, because it hasn’t been updated since 2004.

Allen said Marvin Planning Consultants met with Sabetha’s Planning Commission on Thursday, Oct. 3. According to Allen, Sabetha’s planning commission recommends Marvin Planning Consultants, and will cost $15,000 for them to review the City’s zoning regulations. The commissioners approved this contract.

Police report


Wahwasuck presented his report to the commissioners. According to his report, there have been five dog calls since Sept. 19. On the first one, city personnel was dispatched and the dog was returned to the owner. The second, the owner reported their dog missing, and the dog was never missing and at home. The third was after hours, and the owner was contacted and they picked up the dog. The fourth, the dog was impounded. The last called was a report of dog confines, which was investigated by Sabetha Police Department, and the owner was spoken to about correcting the issue.


1411 Virginia – Kansas Gas dug up, shut off and closed the service. Rettele is going to be removing the structure in the coming weeks.

1015 Dakota – The City of Sabetha had Kansas Gas shut off and close service to the structure. City personnel also went into the structure and had to clean out all of the materials left inside. Rettele is also coming in the next few weeks to remove the structure. Two trees were cleared by the city to make way for machine access to remove the structure.


Wahwasuck reported that the injured officer is still in physical therapy, with a possible return of late November.

Officer Daniel Ross is in the academy and is still doing well, currently maintaining one of the top five in his class.

The intersection of 14th and Oregon Streets is improving as more people become accustomed to the four-way stop.

Juvenile intake once again had to be called for assistance as we took action in a juvenile incident.

SPD officers went out and performed breath tests for the high school prior to the homecoming dance.

The department made two visits to the elementary school for their community helper’s week presentations.

The department is still short staffed, and it’s beginning to take its toll. Officers are working long weeks and long hours with even the Chief working several overnight shifts and weekends to maintain coverage. Wahwasuck said the officers are getting burnt out, but they are trying to keep each other’s heads up.

One officer attended a two-day training in Kansas City, which counted toward their required annual training hours. That resulted in more schedules being adjusted.

“I commend our guys for remaining flexible with our fluid schedule,” Wahwasuck said. “I tell the officers to check the schedule daily as it is ever changing.”

Smokes Parking Lot

Allen said the owner of Smokes approached Sabetha Community Hospital about purchasing the parking, and Hospital CEO Lora Key approached the City of Sabetha. According to Allen, there are campers in the parking that currently have leases until Jan. 1, 2020, which is when the purchase date would be. After discussion, the city agreed to go in with the hospital to purchase Smokes parking lot. This parking lot will be used for the Fire Barn parking and EMS building parking, as well as for hospital parking.

Also at the meeting:

The commissioners approved the minutes from the Sept. 23 meeting.

Allen said there are three dump trucks that go up for auction on Purple Wave on Tuesday, Oct. 15. Allen isn’t sure what the City would paying for the dump truck yet; however, they do have it planned for in the budget. The commissioners voted in favor of the City placing bids on those trucks.

Heather Stewart188 Posts

Heather Stewart is a reporter for The Sabetha Herald, where she has been on staff since 2015. She specializes in court and sports reporting, as well as photography. Heather is a 2011 Kansas State University graduate with a degree in psychology. She lives in Sabetha with her husband.


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