Hearing held for past due sewer bills

The Fairview City Council met at 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 7, at the Fairview Community Building. Present for the meeting were Mayor Art Vonderschmidt, Council Members Bridget Harvey, Sierra Renner, Doug Bletscher, Charlie Kramer and Steve Holthaus, City Treasurer Kim Rettele, City Clerk Christine Rosenberger, and City Employee George Blanton. There also were five guests present.

City Park project

Maggie Wikle was present to ask the council if there were painting supplies and paint down to the City Park for her to use while painting the kitchen area. The council also discussed spray painting the doors at the city park, as well as painting the playground equipment in the future. 

Rosenberger asked about the tables and chairs that Rettele was planning to order. Rettele said she would get them ordered.

Special Assessment Hearing – Sewer Bills

The council opened the special assessment hearing for the past due sewer bills. At previous meetings, the council decided to notify those with past due bills – through their attorney Martin Mishler – and request the payment in full. If the bill was not paid, the past due amount would be added to the tax roll. 

Ashley Dithmart and Dustin Steltenpohl were the only ones present for the hearing. She asked for her sewer bill to be added to the tax roll. Rosenberger said one patron on the list asked to pay on Friday, July 8. Since no other patrons were present to discuss the past due sewer bills, the remaining patrons with delinquent accounts will be added to the tax roll, which means the past due amounts will be added to their taxes through the county. 

The council approved putting the remaining delinquent accounts on the tax roll.

Old Business

Wikle Brick Wall Cleanup

Vonderschmidt said he hasn’t heard anything on the brick wall that has collapsed on Don Wikle’s building. Renner said she believes the council needs to create some kind of “accountability” for the building.

“I think we need to create some kind of accountability for it,” Renner said. “I think Ashley [Martinez] is working on that, but we keep resurfacing it. People are talking about it. We recognize the issue, but I’m not quite sure what we’re going to do about it before it does hurt somebody or become a larger issue.”

The council discussed having City Code Enforcer Ashley Martinez follow up with Wikle and complete an inspection on the building, as well as setting a fine, and setting a timeline for cleanup. 

City Real Estate

Rosenberger addressed the council about the realtor she contacted about the possibility of listing city owned properties. Rosenberger said the realtor needed more “direction” from the council on what they wanted to see certain properties sold for, such as a retail business, residential, storage or other uses. 

The properties marked with a red “X” are the properties being combined into one. The Fairview City Council voted unanimously to close, vacate and abandon the city streets and alleys located wtihin these lots.

The council discussed multiple ideas for the various properties around town. After a lengthy discussion about certain properties, the council voted unanimously to close, abandon and vacate the streets and alleys – except for one portion being used by the city – on the former Butch Rogers property, in order to make them one property, instead of individual lots. The six lots included in the motion are located just east of Chickadee Road and east of Locust Street, between First and Fourth Streets. See the included map. 

Rosenberger said once the city has officially vacated the streets and alleys in the Roger’s property, the council can then consider listing that property, as well as land located by the apartments with a realtor.

Rosenberger also said the council still needed to decide what they wanted to do with the Checkers building. After discussion, the council voted unanimously to get estimates to demolish the bar section of the building.

Park Electric Disconnect

Vonderschmidt said he doesn’t have an update on the park disconnect, but he said some of the lights weren’t working at the ball field, but there were still plenty of lights in order to have a game.

Keim Truck Parking

Vonderschmidt said he and Rosenberger got the Keim Truck Parking property signed, and the check for the property from Keim is in the bank.

Speed Limit Signs

Holthaus asked about the status of the speed limit signs that were brought up in the previous meeting. Vonderschmidt said he would get the speed limit signs ordered.

Park Bridge

Vonderschmidt showed the council a photo of the new park bridge being built by Al Armstrong. According to Vonderschmidt, Armstrong wanted to know if the city was going to provide the cement footings for the bridge. After discussion, the council unanimously approved purchasing and providing the cement footings for the bridge. 

Water Pressure Tank

Vonderschmidt said that Rogers had a water meter on his property, and since the city owns the property, the water meter can be transferred to the park. The council approved moving the meter from the Rogers property to the City Park.

New Business

Hack’s Steak Shack

Vonderschmidt said he toured Hack’s Steak Shack and progress is being made. Vonderschmidt said Hacksaw would like to get a Cereal Malt Beverage License. Vonderschmidt said he would take an application to him.

City Sales Tax 

Vonderschmidt asked for clarification on what the city sales tax – which will be on the voting ballots in November – would be used for.

Rettele said if it is passed by voters, the sales tax will be designated for general purposes, such as “infrastructure, or anything we want to use it for.”

The Council discussed the possibility of having a town hall meeting for the purpose of discussing and explaining the purpose of the November sales tax question. 

Demolition Assistance 

Vonderschmidt said he received a demolition assistance application from Milan Kloepfer. Vonderschmidt said Kloepfer had no estimated contractor cost or estimated landfill cost listed on the application. The council denied the demolition assistance due to it not being filled out properly.

John Schaible Memorial

Rettele said a few years ago, Shane Spangler held a concert at Rettele’s shop, and it was a free will donation for the John Schaible memorial. 

“The money has been laying at the bank for three or four years, and Shane and I spoke the other day and what we could do from the community with that money in memory of John,” Rettele said. “We asked Lori Rieger with the Fairview Willing Workers. She is supposed to bring it up at the July meeting, if we provided the paint with the memorial fund money, if the Fairview Willing Workers would paint our Fairview sign, and maybe plant some flowers. So, my question to the city is would it be okay for us to do that, if the Fairview Willing Workers were willing to do it at no cost to the city?”

The council said they were fine with the project.

Code Enforcement Update

Rosenberger gave an update from Martinez, who was unable to be present. Martinez said she spoke with Wade Holtcamp at KACA, and there is a conference at Prairie Band Casino that would help with the classes she is wanting to take. Rosenberger said Martinez also received her new ticket books.

Martinez also gave updates on tickets she had issued.

The council discussed how the city’s nuisance ordinance goes back to the Kansas State Statutes, which show the minimum building standards.

Also at the meeting:

The council approved the minutes from the June 16 meeting, with correction of the sales tax resolution number being 2022-03.

Vonderschmidt said he received a letter from Evergy saying they were going to do some improvements “from Maple Street over to Front Street, by following the gravel pile down to Coral Berry Road south out of town.”

The council reviewed and approved the treasurer’s report.

Bletscher reported that Brown County is looking at five to six weeks before they get to Fairview to do the streets.

The council approved the bills to pay.

The next regular meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 4, at the Fairview Community Building.

Heather Stewart188 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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