Public hearings held, resolutions approved

The Sabetha City Commission met at 6 p.m. Monday, May 9, at Sabetha City Hall. Present for the meeting were Mayor Cody Bletscher, Commissioners Norm Schmitt, Nick Aberle, Maridel Wittmer and Julie Burenheide, City Administrator Doug Allen, Assistant City Administrator Bill Shroyer, and City Clerk Steve Compo. Guests present were Rose Mary Saunders, Nancy Gafford, Alan Meyer, John Pierson, Jim Johnson, Jason Enneking, Berti Enneking, Kirsten Hartter, Kristi Edelman, Samantha Arnold and Carly Hartter.

Public Hearings

Wastewater Improvement Revolving Loan Fund Public Hearing

Saunders was present to give an overview on the wastewater improvements at the Keim and Kellenberger Lift Station. The total cost of the project will be $1,597,217.

Mayor Bletscher opened the public hearing and with no comments from the public, the public hearing was closed. Then, the commissioners passed Resolution No. 2022-10, to move forward with the Keim and Kellenberger Lift Station improvements. The approval allows the application for the project to be completed and submitted to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment for the project’s funding.

Wenger Tax Exemption Public Hearing

Gafford and Pierson were present for this public hearing. Gafford said they were asking for a tax abatement for their $17 million restoration of Wenger Technical Center. The total square footage of the Technical Center is 60,500 square feet. Gafford said the Wenger tax abatement will show $2 million in benefits to the City of Sabetha and Prairie Hills USD No. 113. Gafford said Nemaha County will benefit as well, but doesn’t have “as high a rate of return as the city and school district.”

According to Gafford, the tax abatement would begin Jan. 1, 2022, and be in place for 10 years.

Mayor Bletscher opened the public hearing and with no comments from the public, the public hearing was closed. Then, commissioners passed Resolution No. 2022-11, to approve the 10-year tax abatement.

Fire Department

Sabetha City Fireworks

Meyer asked the commissioners for permission to shoot the City of Sabetha’s fireworks on Sunday, July 3, and also asked the commissioners for monetary support for purchasing fireworks. Burenheide suggested the city approve $500 more than last year’s donation, due to the increase in costs of fireworks. After discussion, the commissioners decided to approve $3,000 for fireworks, which is $500 more than last year. They also approved the Sabetha Fire Department to shoot off fireworks on Sunday, July 3.

ISO Rating

Johnson said every five years the Sabetha Fire Department has a company come to town called the Insurance Service Office (ISO).

“They rate fire, communications and water department in your city to get the city’s ISO rating,” Johnson said. “Since I have been Chief, I have been trying to – every five years when they come – get the ISO rating down, which helps insurance agents for manufacturers and residential.”

Johnson said that this year, they dropped to a five rating – with a score of 52 points – inside the city limits of Sabetha. Previously, the rating for Sabetha’s ISO was six. The ISO rating goes into effect June 1.

“Thanks to the commissioners over the years for equipment, trucks, more pumping capability, and hydrants put in on new construction,” Johnson said.

Also at the meeting:

The commissioners approved the minutes from the April 25 meeting.

The commissioners approved Wage Resolution No. 2022-12 for additional summer help.

The commissioners approved Resolution No. 2022-13, which supports the Oregon Street sidewalk project.

K. Hartter, K. Edelman, C. Hartter and S. Arnold were all present for their AP Government class.

The next regular meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, May 23.

Heather Stewart208 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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