City Commission holds first meeting in 2023

The Sabetha City Commission met at 6 p.m Monday, Jan. 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, and City Clerk Steve Compo. Guests present were Police Chief Robert Wahwasuck, Jason Enneking, Megan Bunck, and the AP Government Class from Sabetha High School represented by Jenna Rokey, Taylor Menold, Nyah Strahm, and Alexia Hayden. The meeting was called to order by Mayor Bletscher and the Pledge of Allegiance was recited. 

Police Report

Chief Wahwasuck presented the police report to commissioners. 


There were six dog calls since Nov. 22. 

There were two dog at large reports. City personnel/officer responded and no dog could be located. 

There was one dog at large report and city personnel/officer responded and dog was impounded. 

There was one dog at large report and city personnel/officer attempted to catch dog and was unable. 

There was one dog at large report and city personnel/officer responded and owner was notified and retrieved the dog. 


1322 Roosevelt: Unfit structure, maintenance and repair. Ready for abatement. Some work has begun on the house, part of the problem has been torn down and abated by owner. Will continue to monitor. 

523 N. 14th: Unfit structure, ready for abatement. Owners have contracted company to make repairs. Checked again and it is on contractor’s schedule, they will be placing a tin roof on the structure. 

319 N. 9th St.: Blight premise, health and welfare, maintenance and repair. The residence has been sided and roofed and has only to show that electrical has been repaired, the violation is considered abated. 


The Sabetha Police Department (SPD) is continuing with the morning crossing guard duties as well as performing daily walk-throughs at the schools. 

SPD is settling into the winter months with increased accident calls due to weather and road conditions. 

SPD was asked again to attend a school board meeting simply as a civil standby as a precaution to deter any possible unruly behavior. 

The search for training is ongoing for officers with one officer scheduled to attend a class in February. 

SPD assisted with traffic during window opening and walked the streets. It was a successful event and all went well. 

SPD has one officer who has given their tentative last date of employment retirement for March of 2023. There have been no applications of candidates of interest to fill the soon to be vacant position. This brings on the stresses of covering a 24/7 schedule with just four officers. While it can be done and has been done in the past, the conflict arises when someone is sick or takes vacation. We worry about burnout and losing anyone else should we demand too much from them. Hiring is tough and we realize the entire city employment is currently down. 

Also at the meeting:

The minutes from the Dec. 12, 2022, meeting were approved.

The commissioners approved Ordinance 2023-01 for the wage resolution-electrical distribution and hiring of Gavin White as a lineman. 

The commissioners approved the liability waiver for the Sabetha Gun Club for the 2023 school year. 

The commissioners agreed to accept a bid from VLP/Equipment Share and Foley Equipment for a Case 621G Articulated Wheel Loader for $152,492, since the city intends to keep the loader for an extended period of years.

Commissioner Burenheide expressed appreciation to the city workers that were called out in the recent extreme and dangerous cold weather to repair a water line break. She commended the workers for their tireless dedication to maintain our city services.

The next meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 23, at Sabetha City Hall.

Tim Kellenberger79 Posts

Tim Kellenberger serves as Owner, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief for The Sabetha Herald since 2004. He specializes in sports reporting and column writing, as well as sports photography. Tim is a Grace University graduate with a dual degree in agricultural economics and human resource management. He lives in rural Sabetha with his wife and has four grown children and two grandchildren.


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