Midtown demolition bids to be presented at next meeting

Spencer Lourance and Jacob Garber, Boy Scouts from Troop 77, join the Sabetha City Commission for their meeting on Monday, February 10. Pictured (L-R) are Commissioner Norm Schmitt, Spencer Lourance, Commissioner Nick Aberle, Jacob Garber, Commissioners Maridel Wittmer and Julie Burenheide, City Administrator Doug Allen and City Clerk Steve Compo. Not pictured is Mayor Doug Clark.

The motion on the demolition of the Midtown Building that was tabled on Jan. 13 will be discussed at the next Sabetha City Commission meeting on Monday, Feb. 24. This was decided during the Monday, Feb. 10, meeting when City Administrator Doug Allen said he should have four bids regarding the demolition by Thursday, Feb. 13. The commissioners also anticipate voting on the demolition during next meeting.

Present for the Feb. 11 meeting were Mayor Doug Clark, Commissioners Norm Schmitt, Nick Aberle, Maridel Wittmer and Julie Burenheide, City Administrator Doug Allen, City Clerk Steve Compo and Sabetha Police Chief Robert Wahwasuck. Guests present were Bob Ruddick, Jason Enneking, Angie Lourance, and Boy Scouts Jacob Garber and Spencer Lourance.

Garber and S. Lourance actively participated in the meeting to achieve a Boy Scout requirement. S. Lourance led those present in the Pledge of Allegiance. Garber called the meeting to order and presided as Mayor.

Midtown Building

Aberle inquired the status of the tabled motion on the Midtown Building from the Jan. 13 meeting.

“It just sits there until someone wants to vote on it,” Clark said.

“I think I will have four bids [to tear the building down] on Thursday,” Allen said.

“So the next meeting we could talk about that,” Clark said. “That would be a good time to deal with the motion, then.”

Aberle asked Wahwasuck how opening and closing the Midtown Building for public use is going.

“Are people respecting property and so forth?” Aberle said.

“I just got a report today that one of the city personnel said they thought someone had been smoking in the building,” Wahwasuck said.

Aberle also said he had heard some complaints on the timeliness of opening and closing the building.

“I heard one complaint that happened one day, but the officer was actually doing something and didn’t get there to get it open that morning, but got it opened later on,” Wahwasuck said. “That is the only time I can think of that it hasn’t been opened on time.”

Wahwasuck said the Midtown Gym is currently open for public use from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

Police Report

Wahwasuck presented a written report to the board and asked if they had any questions regarding his report.


Wahwasuck’s report states that there has been nine dog calls since Jan. 9.

• One call was received after hours. Personnel was notified and a miscommunication occurred. It has been addressed, and corrective measures have been taken.

• Caller advised that a dog showed up at their house, and they will keep it until the owner is found.

• Two calls where the callers said there is a loose dog, or dogs, and city personnel could not locate any dogs in the reported area.

• Caller reported their own dog missing, because their child was walking the dog and it got loose.

• Caller reported a possible abandoned dog. An officer investigated, and city personnel picked up the dog and impounded it. According to Wahwasuck, charges are pending.

• Caller reported loose dogs, and city personnel responded. The owner picked up the dog.

• Caller reported loose dog, and city personnel picked up and impounded the dog.

• Caller reported loose dogs, and city personnel responded as the owner was corralling the dogs. The officer issued citations.


Carol Goodwin was cited for two dogs at large.

1411 Virginia – Teardown is almost complete.

403 N Sixth – Weather has not cooperated, and one cannot enter onto property without doing significant damage to the yard.

811 Florida – Police Department is working with the owner, who is going to continue to make the necessary corrections.

Grant Street – A trailer legally parked on the street, but it’s creating a hazard in certain situations. The owners agreed to remove it.

Oregon Street – Possible junk vehicle was removed after an officer made contact.

Right Stuff Thrift Store – A complaint was made about items being left out by the dumpster. Officer contacted a neighbor who said only one of the items had been there longer than a few days, but the other items were new. The store claimed the items were put out that morning for pickup, and sometimes, if the truck is full, they will not pick up larger items, but will usually return. The situation is being monitored.

1003 Harrison – Junk vehicle was removed after an officer made contact.


The injured officer has not been cleared to return to services, and will be reevaluated on whether the officer will be able to return to duty at all.

Cameras were purchased and installed at the Midtown Gym.

A school dance is set for Saturday, Feb. 15, with which the department will help.

The dispatch computer continues to create issues with connection between the department and the KBI. Bachelor Controls and Wahwasuck have troubleshooted the issue several times and have narrowed down to the problem, but the resolution could require hours of IT work.

Wahwasuck also wanted to remind everyone – with the snow and freeze imminent Wednesday night into Thursday – not to park downtown, so that the city can work on snow removal.

Sixth Street

Wittmer asked if Allen could update them on the progress on Sixth Street.

“We met last Thursday for another construction meeting,” Allen said. “They’re basically done with ripping anything up until the spring gets here. Mid to late March is when they are looking at starting to tear up again.”

Allen said the next step will be from the tracks to Harrison Street.

“They gave us a best case scenario for the end of July, weather permitting,” Allen said. “I wouldn’t hold my breath.”

Allen also said they will start with the alleys right away, so people can have access to their property.

Also at the meeting:

The commissioners approved the Jan. 27 meeting minutes.

S. Lourance asked about the pavement on Kansas Road.

“It is awful. You have to drive up the left side of the road so you don’t ruin your car,” S. Lourance said.

“We have fixed that [the chip and seal portion] several times. It needs some attention,” Allen said. “We’re waiting for the weather to cooperate.”

Wittmer asked whether or not the City of Sabetha was counting cars on various streets in town.

Allen said he is unsure of what the counters are and plans to look into it.

Wittmer also asked whether or not there was something in the City’s ordinances that addresses how long trailers can be left sitting on city streets. Allen said the only thing the ordinances address is the length of trailers – maximum of 27 feet – that sit on city streets.

Wittmer asked if they could review that ordinance. Allen said he would get with City Attorney Martin Mishler about the ordinance.

The Sabetha City Commission will meet again at 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 24, at Sabetha City Hall.

Heather Stewart152 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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