City ‘actively’ looking for Midtown lot buyers

The Sabetha City Commission met at 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 28, at Sabetha City Hall. Present for the meeting was Mayor Cody Bletscher, 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 Robert Wahwasuck, Kinsley Bletscher, Jason Enneking and Charli Enneking.

Midtown Land Policy

The commissioners discussed the “conditions” that they preferred to sell the old Midtown lot under, since the Jadwin Construction project fell through during the last meeting.

The conditions are as follows:

• Preference given to residential construction;

• Construction must start within six months of land purchase;

• Detailed plans must be approved by commission prior to purchase including landscaping and curb appeal.

The commissioners all agreed that they are “actively” seeking buyers for the property under the above conditions. However, they will consider other ideas, if someone brings a “good” idea to them.

Police Report

Chief Wahwasuck presented his written report to the commissioners.

Dogs

According to Wahwasuck, there were 19 dog calls since Jan. 6.

There were two instances of dogs at large, where city personnel or an Officer responded, but were unable to locate the dog in the area reported.

One instance was for a barking dog. An officer responded, gave verbal warning to the owner about the issue.

One call was for a barking dog. An officer responded to the area and was unable to locate the source of the complaint.

One call was for a dog at large, where city personnel or an officer responded. Two dogs were reported, one dog was able to be caught, the other ran away. City personnel returned the dog to the owner.

There were two instances of a dog at large, where city personnel or an officer responded. The dog was picked up and returned to the owner.

There were two calls for a dog at large, where city personnel or an officer responded. The owners were on scene getting the dogs when we arrived.

Five calls were for a dog at large. City personnel or an officer responded, and the dog was taken and impounded.

One call was for a dog at large, where city personnel or an officer responded. The dog was located but kept running off, and was unable to be caught.

One call was for a dog at large. An officer took a report, but was not something currently going on, but a complaint was filed that it has been happening. An officer spoke to the owners and gave verbal warning of the issue.

One call was for a vicious dog. An officer responded to a dog bite complaint, and a report was taken and paperwork forwarded to the prosecutor. The dog was known between families and it was agreed to quarantine in the home.

One call was for a vicious dog. An officer responded to a dog-on-dog fight complaint. A report was taken and paperwork was forwarded to the prosecutor. The dog was impounded when no owner was located.

One call was for a vicious dog. An officer responded to a dog attacking chickens. A report was taken and paperwork forwarded to prosecutor. Chicken permit was current and coop was broken into. The dog was picked up by city personnel.

Codes

1322 Roosevelt: Junk vehicle was abated. Unfit structure, maintenance and repair. Ready for abatement. Owners have covered the problem areas of the roofs, but they have not begun repair. Wahwasuck will be contacting them to let them know that the city shall move forward with contacting contractors for abatement.

523 N. 14th: Unfit structure, ready for abatement. According to neighbor-to-neighbor, they have never been contacted about assisting with this property. Wahwasuck will be making contact with the owners to let them know that the city will be removing this structure at the earliest possible convenience of the contractor.

216 S. 13th: Blight premise, junk vehicle, ready for resolution and abatement. The owner has done some work, but Wahwasuck told them they need to keep working on it. The owner told Wahwasuck that he will continue to make strides.

319 N. Ninth: Blight premise, health and welfare, maintenance and repair. People planning the repairs have moved out and in the process to locate actual owners to serve paperwork.

210 Oregon: Junk motor vehicle, in process.

Department

Wahwasuck reported the following about the department:

• COVID-19 and illness was prevalent in the department as both officers and dispatchers missed substantial time due to COVID-19 and COVID-19 protocols. Other officers and dispatchers worked a lot of overtime covering for COVID-19 quarantined and sick coworkers. Dispatch had one employee out for an extended period and other dispatchers worked overtime, including missing days off.

• The Sabetha Police Department (SPD) continues to assist with the school crossing duty in front of the elementary, when possible, in the mornings. Recently, the SPD have prioritized driving around and picking up walking children and giving them a ride to school in the cold over working the crosswalk, the school was made aware and they arranged someone for the crosswalk.

• The SPD continues to try and be a positive presence daily in the schools.

• The new dispatcher has completed on-site training and is now in regular service. They currently are working with a temporary certification, but are signed up for the next available class to finish their training.

• The new officer is settling in, and due to their knowledge of the city and experience in law enforcement, not a lot of training was necessary. They are currently in service and taking calls.

• The SPD accepted an officer’s resignation and they are leaving of their own accord. The SPD will miss them and wish them well, but that puts our department back at four officers and a chief.

• The quote has come in for the new dispatch console to integrate with the new siren system, and the SPD is planning and moving forward for the hardware’s installment.

Also at the meeting:

The commissioners approved the minutes from the Monday, Feb. 14, meeting.

The commissioners approved spring burn dates for March 1 through May 2.

The commissioners are planning to discuss the solar project by the airport at their next meeting.

The commissioners will meet again at 6 p.m. Monday, March 14, at Sabetha City Hall.

Heather Stewart226 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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