Public hearing to be held on Midtown Building

After receiving comments from the public following the last Sabetha City Commission meeting, the board decided to hold a public hearing to discuss the fate of the building.

This decision was made during the Monday, Dec. 9 meeting. Present for the meeting were Mayor Doug Clark, Commissioners Nick Aberle, Norm Schmitt, Julie Burenheide and Maridel Wittmer, City Administrator Doug Allen, Assistant City Administrator Bill Shroyer and City Clerk Steve Compo. Guests present were Sabetha Police Chief Robert Wahwasuck, Bob Ruddick, Ed Steinlage, Doug Brammer, Lora Key, Jessica McCulloch, Glenn Hennigan, Rachel DeMint, Lisa Demint and Sara and Dan Homan.

Although there were people present at the meeting to discuss the Midtown Building, Clark suggested holding a public hearing for those who wished to come speak on the matter. After discussion, the board voted unanimously to hold a public hearing regarding the building during the Monday, Jan. 13, 2020, regular meeting. The commission also mentioned bids would still be collected for demolition, but that no work would be done on the building from now until the public hearing.

McCulloch asked about the comments Schmitt had stated at the previous meeting.

“I just wanted to ask, last meeting he [Schmitt] had mentioned something about in order to pause anything, it had to be done in the quarter, and there had to be a motion in advance to pause whatever is going on.”

“I did send a response to the newspaper and to the attorney,” Schmitt said. “My comments two weeks ago, were based on Robert’s Rule. The attorney has since said the code has changed, and we now use the Code of Procedure for Kansas Cities. So that no longer applies.”

Clark reminded those present that until the board decides to accept a bid, the building cannot be torn down.

“It will require additional action on our part,” Clark said.

Also on the agenda was “Purpose – Built Facility Opportunity.” This topic was tabled until later. Clark did say that the topic was regarding the possibility of building a multi-purpose building for baseball and softball teams, as well as Boy Scouts and other interested groups to use, if the Midtown Building were to be torn down.

Police Report

Chief Wahwasuck gave his written report to the commissioners.

Dogs

According to his report, there had been six dog calls since Nov. 7. The first call was to advise the dog had been out, but was called back in by the owner. The second was an owner advising their dog was out and they had already informed city personnel should they locate it. The third was a dog on the loose, which was picked up by city personnel.

The fourth was a call of a dog on dog bite. The officer spoke with both parties and an agreement was made between the two parties to pay any veterinary bills. The fifth call was for a dog running loose, but it could not be located by city personnel. The sixth call was for a barking dog, which was in its own yard and city personnel placed it in its own house, since the door was found standing open.

Codes

1411 Virginia – Still needs to be removed.

403 N. Sixth – City personnel has been busy with other projects. Once there is the manpower, the nuisance will be removed.

520 S. Seventh – The trucks and trash have been removed. According to Wahwasuck, they will continue to work on a better storage of the company’s roll-off boxes.

811 Florida – This is a residence without a tenant. Wahwasuck said they are currently trying to contact the owner to make repairs to the structure.

Department

According to Wahwasuck’s report, the injured officer has not been cleared to return to service and will be reevaluated in six weeks.

Officer Daniel Ross continues to do well in the academy and is scheduled to graduate Dec. 20.

According to Wahwasuck’s report, all end-of-year evaluations were completed and discussed with employees. The department also is trying to get employees’ vacation times down to the carry-over number.

Department for Children and Families, as well as Adult Protective services, are lacking people and hindering some of the departments’ efforts to provide services to those in need. Sabetha Police Department is happy to help where they can.

Sabetha EMS

Brammer and Steinlage were present to present bids to the board for a new ambulance. According to Brammer, it has been six years since they have gotten a new ambulance, and ambulances usually are on a five-year rotation.

Brammer said the bid from Osage – who built the last two ambulances for Sabetha – was the lowest at $212,950. This new ambulance has a power-load cot system, which allows for the cot to be loaded into the ambulance versus the power-lift cot they currently have.

“This [power-load cot] makes it safer for the patients and the EMTs,” Brammer said. “We realize that they cost a lot of money, but we think it’s a good thing for EMTs to help our patients.”

Brammer also said the interior design will be different, which is also why this ambulance is a little more expensive than the last one they purchased.

“What we’re trying to do is keep the EMT that is taking care of the patient seated and strapped into the ambulance, and have everything that they need around them, as opposed to the trucks we have now,” Brammer said. “If we need something while we’re going down the road, the EMT has to unstrap to go to the cabinet to get it. It is just a lot safer if they can stay seated and strapped in while we’re going down the road.”

The board approved the purchase of a new ambulance at $212,950.

State Budget Amendment

The board approved unanimously the State Budget Amendment. According to Allen, this amendment covers the new Sabetha Health and Wellness Center and the Sixth Street Project.

“If you remember the State Budget from 18 months ago, we didn’t have that all covered because we didn’t have the revenue that time,” Allen said. “It’s a huge jump in our budget, but it’s covered through those two main items.”

Also at the meeting:

The board approved the minutes from the Nov. 25 meeting.

Following a 15-minute executive session, the board unanimously approved the Annual Wage Resolution that gives a 3 percent raise across the board for some of the lower-paid city employees.

The board approved the Christmas Holiday Schedule for non-essential employees, which includes a half day off on Christmas Eve, and full days off on Christmas and New Year’s Day.

The next Sabetha City Commission meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 23, at Sabetha City Hall.

Heather Stewart184 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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