Sabetha City Commission 3.9.20

Trevin LaVoie and Logan LaVoie, Boy Scouts from Troop 77, join the Sabetha City Commission for their meeting on Monday, March 9. Pictured (L-R) are Assistant City Administrator Bill Shroyer, Commissioners Norm Schmitt and Nick Aberle, Logan LaVoie, Trevin LaVoie, Mayor Doug Clark, Commissioners Maridel Wittmer and Julie Burenheide, and City Administrator Doug Allen. Not pictured is City Clerk Steve Compo.

The Sabetha City Commission met at 6 p.m. Monday, March 9. Present for the meeting were Mayor Doug Clark, Commissioners Nick Aberle, Norm Schmitt, Maridel Wittmer and Julie Burenheide, City Administrator Doug Allen, Assistant City Administrator Bill Shroyer and City Clerk Steve Compo. Guests present were Police Chief Robert Wahwasuck, Bob Ruddick, Angie Kreider, Nolita LaVoie, Trevin LaVoie and Logan LaVoie.

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

Angie Kreider with Rainbow Communications presented to the board about the changes Rainbow is implementing. Kreider said that Rainbow Communications will discontinue offering their traditional cable television service on June 30, 2020, due to the number of people who are now streaming their television services. Therefore, Rainbow Communications has increased their internet speed.

“After the shutdown of cable on June 30th, we will be able to proceed with an upgrade for the Sabetha residential services through cable T.V. modems, so everyone will be capable of having 100 megabit internet at their residence by the end of the year,” Kreider said.

Kreider also discussed the franchise agreement that Rainbow Communications has with the City of Sabetha for cable television. She said since the television is disconnecting June 30, Rainbow is proposing a telecom/telephone franchise fee.

Kreider presented the telecom/telephone franchise agreement for 20 years, at 5 percent of gross revenue, which is the max amount that State statute allows.

“It would pay out just like the cable does, it would just be based on telephone lines, instead of cable T.V.,” Kreider said.

Kreider also said there is a separate agreement – a pole attachment agreement – that Rainbow Communications has with the City of Sabetha. It is a 10-year agreement, at $8 per pole. The previous rate was $3 per pole. This price can be renegotiated after five years.

According to Kreider, Rainbow Communications had not completed a pole audit “in a long time.” Rainbow said they originally had Sabetha recorded at 357 pole attachments, but during a recent audit, it was found that Sabetha actually has 787 pole attachments. Since there was a difference of 430 pole attachments, Kreider said the amount Rainbow Communications will pay to the City of Sabetha for attaching onto our telephone poles will increase from $1,071 to $6,296 per year.

Aberle asked about the 5 percent franchise fee.

“The pole attachment comes out of Rainbow’s pocket, but the franchise fee is passed to the customer?” Aberle said.

“Right,” Kreider said.

“By allowing you to do it, the City gains 5 percent of your gross proceeds,” Aberle said.

“That’s coming from the customer, yes,” Kreider said. “The franchise fee covers being able to use your alleys and right of ways.”

Police Report

Wahwasuck presented his written report to the commissioners.


Wahwasuck reported two dog calls since Feb. 7. The first was from an officer on duty. The officer spotted the dog and knew the owner kept the dog in a privacy fence, but the dog manages to unlock it at times. The officer was prepared to issue a citation if the owner either let it run, or would not retrieve it. The owner left immediately to retrieve the dog. The second call was about a dog seen running around by city personnel. The dog was picked up and impounded.


1411 Virginia – Tear down is finishing up.

403 N Sixth – Just needing the time and man power.

Right Stuff Thrift Store – Item previously talked about was removed the following week.

419 N 13th – Junk vehicle notice was issued for removal.

328 N Ninth – Has been condemned due to disrepair. No owner at this time can be located, but we continue to look. One person with an interest in the property is involved in litigation, and would like to see the property taken down.


The Midtown Building continues to be locked and unlocked by officers.

Sabetha Police Department assisted in a school dance without incident.

A new computer was installed in dispatch, but previous issues continue.

Two officers attended a “Response Tactics When Responding to Missing Children” training that took place in Mayetta.

Two dispatchers attended Terminal Agency Coordinator training in Topeka.

Wahwasuck spoke to a certified officer who was interested in coming to Sabetha.

Aberle Ford believes the new patrol vehicle will be delivered in March.

The Department is testing a dual band hand-held radio. Wahwasuck said each radio runs approximately $2,500 each. Wahwasuck said the department would need to purchase a minimum of eight radios.

Scheduling continues to change, and officers continue to check for schedule changes.

Wahwasuck said there was a tornado siren back up failure on Monday, March 9. According to Wahwasuck, a power surge hit the building and the siren’s battery backup failed. When the siren lost power and started back up, it caused the siren to cycle.

The commissioners discussed the cinder block building located behind the Midtown Building, which is currently being used for City storage. The City received a call from a neighbor who lives close to the building, saying they were interested in purchasing the land if the City was planning to tear it down. The commissioners decided to wait on making a decision until they’re able to research other options for storage. The commissioners plan to give a definite answer in a few weeks.

Also at the meeting:

Commissioners approved the Feb. 24 meeting minutes.

Commissioners approved the following items: Ordinance No. 1550, which is the Franchise Electric Utility; Ordinance No. 1549, which is the Franchise fee with Rainbow Communications; and Neighborhood Revitalization Plan Notice, Resolution 2020-02. This resolution sets a public hearing for the Neighborhood Revitalization Plan for 6 p.m. Monday, March 23, at Sabetha City Hall. See both ordinances and the resolution on Page 9A of this week’s Herald.

Burenheide asked about the letters falling off The Main Event sign. Allen said kids have been climbing on them, and they will be fixed soon.

The next regular City Commission meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, March 23.

Heather Stewart164 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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