Sabetha City Commission 06.28.2021

The Sabetha City Commission met at 6 p.m. Monday, June 28, at Sabetha City Hall. Present for the meeting were Mayor Doug Clark, Commissioners Norm Schmittt, Nick Aberle, Maridel Wittmer and Julie Burenheide, City Administrator Doug Allen, Assistant City Administrator Bill Shroyer, City Clerk Steve Compo and guest Jason Enneking.

Resolution 2021-12

The commissioners voted 4-1 on Resolution 2021-12 for Brown County Emergency Management. According to Allen, the resolution presented to the commissioners was provided by Don Pounds with Brown County Emergency Management. Allen said Pounds encouraged the City to pass the resolution “in order to be eligible for FEMA funds, if there is an emergency.”

Aberle asked if there was more information available, other than the one-page resolution given to the commissioners to approve. Allen said the document was 1,700 pages long.

“This document doesn’t really say anything,” Aberle said. “We don’t know what we’re signing. No one in the city has read 1,700 pages.”

Following discussion, the commissioners voted 4-1 in favor of passing the resolution, with Aberle opposed.

Resolution 2021-13

The commissioners discussed Resolution 2021-13, which states that an immediate nuisance exists and is seeking abatement for the property located at 917 Grant Street in Sabetha.

According to Allen, this resolution allows the City to abate the property after the owners failed to abate the property according to City Code. Allen also said that any costs for the abatement will be held against the property. The owners of the property are Larry and Lorene Strahm.

The commissioners approved this resolution. See Resolution 2021-13 on Page 7 of this week’s Herald.

Walking Trail

Allen said he received a contract and quote for $189,000 from Union Pacific Railroad to complete the walking trail over the railroad tracks on Sixth Street. While Union Pacific would complete all of the work, Allen said the City has been going back and forth with the company on completing the project, and the $189,000 was higher than expected. However, in addition to the $189,000, Allen said Union Pacific is wanting to charge the City an annual $2,100 maintenance fee.

“We stipulated we would do that cost [$189,000], but I don’t want to do the $2,100 a year fee that we don’t pay now,” Allen said. “They are making us rebuild it, and then we have to pay a maintenance fee of $2,100 a year. To me, that doesn’t make any sense. You’re charging us to rebuild it, and then you’re making us pay $2,100 a year, after it’s been built.”

The commissioners questioned what other options they might have in order to move forward.

Allen suggested that, “for now,” the sidewalk could be turned into the street across the tracks and then turned back into the sidewalk.

“That’s an option, if you guys want to look at it for now,” Allen said.

The commissioners agreed to Allen’s temporary solution, while the City continues to negotiate with Union Pacific.

Also at the meeting:

The commissioners approved the minutes from the June 14 meeting.

Wittmer discussed parking on Sixth Street by Wenger Manufacturing and traffic being narrowed to one lane when cars are parked on the east side of the street. Allen said he would have Police Chief Robert Wahwasuck complete a traffic study.

The commissioners will meet again at 6 p.m. Monday, July 12.


Heather Stewart202 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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