Additional truck parking approved

The City of Fairview has decided to present a contract to sell a piece of property to Keim TS for the purpose of building extra truck parking for the Keim Travel Plaza project.

Present for the discussion were Mayor Art Vonderschmidt, who called the meeting to order at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 6, at the Fairview Community Building. Also present for the meeting were council members Bridget Harvey, Sierra Renner, Doug Bletscher, Charlie Kramer, Steve Holthaus, city treasurer Kim Rettele, city clerk Christine Rosenberger, and 10 guests.

Before approving the additional truck parking, new council member Renner, and re-elected members Harvey and Kramer recited the oath of office, and Fairview patron Jessica McCulloch addressed the council.

Truck parking discussion

McCulloch – who requested to be on the agenda – was recognized by Vonderschmidt. McCulloch said she had concerns about the December 2021 meeting.

“My concern is at the prior meeting, it was said in the meeting there was another meeting in addition to the regular monthly meeting,” McCulloch said. “I was curious for one why that was not publicly made known?”

“No one has asked to be advised of special meetings with the exception of the request you just put in, in December,” Rosenberger said.

“We don’t have to announce when we have a [special] meeting other than to the people that request to be notified,” Vonderschmidt said.

Then, McCulloch said she felt like the city should negotiate harder with Keim TS, because they have done a lot for Sabetha.

“You’ve seen what they’ve done for Sabetha, why should we be giving them, or gifting them more land, for next to nothing?” McCulloch said. “What can they do for us? Keim is bringing this business to town, yes, that is one thing that we want, but they can’t just dangle it over our heads like an apple. Let them sit on the land, it’s costing them more money not to have that building built there. We’re not losing anything, so, put it off for a little while.”

“This was all brought up last meeting,” Vonderschmidt said. “I don’t feel like we should bring it up again.”

“For me, I am just saying that, why can’t we negotiate harder with them?” McCulloch said.

“What is there to negotiate? They can build whatever they want down there.” Vonderschmidt said.

“That’s fine, but as far as the truck parking, honestly as a businessman, does it make any sense to you that a restaurant would stipulate overnight truck parking,” McCulloch said. “Now, I could see 40 parking spaces with a high turnover, because they don’t care if anybody spends the night. They care if people are eating there.”

“It wasn’t specified overnight, it was specified 40 truck spaces,” Bletscher said.

“This restaurant is trying to make money on participants and its primary location is a travel plaza,” Vonderschmidt said. “They want to guarantee they have enough spots for the trucks that come in there.”

“I understand that,” McCulloch said. “I’m just saying as far as the community, if we’re going to be giving up some land from the community, besides just bringing their business that is going to be earning them money, what can they bring?”

“What else do you want?” Vonderschmidt said.

“Can they even guarantee that they are going to put up a fence, not just a fence, but a privacy fence,” McCulloch said. “One that is completely inclusive of the park”

“Did you see what the wind storm did to the wood fences in town?” Bletscher said.

“I did,” McCulloch said.

“That isn’t gonna work,” Bletcher said, “and a wood privacy fence is not going to stop the kids [in the park] from looking around.

“Well that’s the thing, the parents are responsible for the kids,” McCulloch said. “Honestly for safety, it would be good to have a privacy fence, but could they offer us more equipment for our park?”

“Do you know what our final negotiation is going to be with this?” Vonderschmidt said.

“I don’t think anybody really honestly does,” McCulloch said.

“That’s right,” Vonderschmidt said. “So, why are you speaking out of turn and acting like we have already sealed the deal? I mean we are probably going to vote on this ground tonight. This has all been brought up at the last meeting. We’re not going to have a whole other meaning over all this again.”

“I understand, but if you’re voting on this, I just want you to take into consideration because nobody knows the final end, but you shouldn’t be talking about the final end the day you make the final decision,” McCulloch said.

“We’ve been talking about this for over four months,” Vonderschmidt said. “It’s boiled down to the very bare minimum that the city can give them to help them out. It started out wanting the whole ball field. And then they wanted part of the park. We conceded. We’ve given into that request. Now we’ve got it down to where we can make this thing work and we got a good crowd the other night [December meeting] that all agreed with the truck parking.”

“But what can they do for our city?” McCulloch said.

“They can put in a $4 million truck stop, that is going to generate $6,000 a year in property taxes,” Vonderschmidt said.

After further discussion, the council discussed – amongst themselves – the additional truck parking for the Keim Travel Plaza project. The Keim Travel Plaza Project was approved during the December 2021 meeting.

Vonderschmidt said Stan Keim with Keim TS stated he would give the City of Fairview $15,000 for the additional truck parking, which is the same amount Keim received when he sold a specific piece of land – formerly owned by the City of Fairview – to AT&T.

Vonderschmidt said he wanted to know if the city wanted to sell the land to Keim or if they wanted set up a lease for the property. After further discussion, the council decided to present a contract to sell the property to Keim Travel Plaza for the purpose of truck parking. The property is located next to the Fairview baseball diamond, which is approximately 600 feet south of U.S. Highway 36 and 10 feet east of Old Highway 75.

Jesse Davis Request

Jesse Davis of Fairview approached the council regarding a piece a land owned by the City of Fairview. Davis asked the council if they were willing to sell a small piece of property where the old volleyball poles sit at the city park. Davis said he would need access to sewer and water, because he has been remodeling a 12 by 32 foot, cabin style building and plans to open a small carry out barbecue business. However, Davis stated he did not want this project to “interfere with the Keim situation.”

Vonderschmidt said he was hesitant to approve another project at that time, because of the backlash the city had received regarding the Keim Travel Plaza project.

“I wasn’t trying to intrude on the park,” Davis said. “That is the last thing I want to do, and I knew the parking for Keim was coming in close to it, but I didn’t know exactly where. I just figured I’d bring it up. I’m not asking for it for free. I’m willing to buy it.”

Bletscher said he thought it would be an “interesting deal,” but wasn’t sure where to put the building.

Renner asked what Davis’ timeline was for the project.

“I was hoping to find something by spring,” Davis said.

The council discussed other locations for the building, but made no decision at this time.

Also at the meeting:

The council approved the minutes from the Dec. 2, 2021 meeting with corrections noted.

Vonderschmidt said the council received a Christmas card from BG consultants.

Rettele presented the treasurer’s report. Council members asked multiple questions regarding the report and it was approved as presented.

Bletscher reported that there is a “No Jake Brake” sign up on the east side of Fairview, but is unsure if there is one on the west side of Fairview.

Vonderschmidt said he sent the HEAL grant application off by Dec. 20, 2021.

Vonderschmidt said there is nothing currently happening with the COVID-19 relief funds. Vonderschmidt also said they will need to turn in statements by April 2022.

Rosenberger said she had spoke to Ashley Martinez in October 2021 to see if she was interested in coming back to work for the city doing code enforcement and stray dog pick ups. According to Rosenberger, Martinez said she would consider coming back at a monthly salary of $300. Renner said that the City of Fairview needs to decide what they need Martinez’s job to be, rather than Martinez deciding “what she wants to do.” The council discussed duties that Martinez would be responsible for. No decision was made at this meeting.

Vonderschmidt said he had a building permit for Trentman Farms for a grain bin. The building permit was approved.

The council approved a flood plain ordinance by Butch’s Creek.

The council discussed the insurance coverage for awnings on multiple Main Street buildings, which were damaged during the Dec. 15, 2021, wind storm.

Rosenberger said the Kansas Department of Labor wanted to complete an inspection on the city’s shed.

Vonderschmidt asked about updating contact information on the city’s website. Renner and Rosenberger said they would work on updating this information and accessing the email addresses, which are currently listed on the website. The topic was tabled until next meeting.

Vonderschmidt read information about the Kansas Open Records Act (KORA) and the Kansas Open Meetings Act (KOMA).

Kramer asked about the Wikle building. Vonderschmidt said at some point the city will have to determine it “unsafe,” if repairs aren’t made. The council discussed sending Wikle a letter asking what his intentions are for fixing the building.

Rettele discussed the Butch Rogers property with the council.

Rosenberger said she would bring an updated sewer statement to either the February or March meeting, once all of the bills have gone out and payments have been received.

The next regular meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 3, at the Fairview Community Building.


Heather Stewart175 Posts

Heather Stewart is one of two co-editors for The Sabetha Herald, where she has been on staff since 2015. Heather is a 2011 Kansas State University graduate with a degree in psychology. She lives in Sabetha with her husband.


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