Fairview City Council: City approves new sewer rates

The Fairview City Council met at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 4, at the Fairview Community Center. Present for the meeting were Mayor Art Vonderschmidt, Council Members Charlie Kramer, Bridget Harvey, Doug Bletscher and Sierra Renner, Code Enforcement Officer Ashley Martinez, City Maintenance George Blanton, Community Center Manager Joann Keim, City Treasurer Kim Rettele, and City Clerk Christine Rosenberger. Guests were Ron Rettele, Jesse Davis and Paul Reynolds. Council Member Steve Holthaus was not present.

Old Business

The demolitions at Doug Bletscher’s home and the United Church of Christ are complete. After reviewing the bills for each, the council approved paying $2,000 for each demo.

Vonderschmidt reported the following:

• He contacted Jason Hinkle about the estimate for spray foaming at the old Checkers building, but he has not heard back.

• Blanton installed the 20 miles per hour signs at the grain bins coming into town.

• Tin blew off the north wall of the Checkers building. He contacted Ricky Deluna about repairing this, but he has not heard back. K. Rettele added that the party walls on the Checkers building only have liability on them. She said their insurance recommended the City contact the other businesses who share a wall, and work up a Hold Harmless contract. The council did not decide anything at this time.

• David Lambertson has suggested the city pursue creating a mural in town. Vonderschmidt said the State of Kansas has a grant available for murals. He asked if anyone on the council would want to do more research on the potential project. Vonderschmidt said the application period has already passed. Renner said she would be interested in doing more research on this.

• The restrooms at the park have been fixed, and the rural water meter has been run to the park.

Sewer Rates

The council reviewed the monthly average for water usage for the top 10 businesses in Fairview, as well as the monthly average for water usage for residential customers.

After a lengthy discussion about new rates for sewer usage, the council approved the following scale retroactive to the beginning of 2023:

• Up to 5,000 gallons: $10 per month;

• 5,001 to 20,000 gallons: $20 per month;

• 20,001 to 40,000 gallons: $30 per month;

• 40,001 to 60,000 gallons: $40 per month;

• 60,001 to 80,000 gallons: $50 per month;

• 80,001 to 100,000 gallons: $75 per month;

• 100,001 plus gallons: $100 per month.

This scale is approved pending Rosenberger checking with city attorneys Martin Mishler and Luke Sunderland that the city doesn’t need to run an ordinance announcing these new rates.

New Business

Vonderschmidt asked the council to approve a Sunday beer sales ordinance. Harvey and Martinez said they believed this to be a Brown County issue. After discussion, the council decided to follow up with Mishler and Sunderland.

Vonderschmidt said three council positions — Harvey, Renner and Kramer’s positions — are up for reelection this year.

Vonderschmidt wanted clarification on the definition of “abandoned properties,” and what the city could do about the abandoned properties they have been taking care of for multiple years. The council decided to reach out to see if Mishler and Sunderland would attend the June 1 meeting to answer multiple questions.

Martinez asked — on behalf of the Hiawatha Elementary School PTO — if the council would be willing to give a monetary donation for snacks and drinks when they take Kindergarten through fourth grade students to the movies as a reward for good behavior throughout the school year. Vonderschmidt said he was unsure if the city is legally allowed to donate “the taxpayers’ money.” Vonderschmidt said they also do not have anything in the budget for donations. They decided to ask Mishler and Sunderland this question as well. The council also said to contact FCDA.

Martinez also said she has not taken the right-of-way certification test yet.

Vonderschmidt asked Martinez about the loose dogs in town.

Blanton said he was still spraying, had mowed, drug the ball diamond, pushed back to brush pile, and grated some of the alleys.

Vonderschmidt said the following will be earmarked for the COVID relief funds: fixing some of the storm drains in town, the waterline at the city park and plumbing at the park.

Martinez suggested the city look into the possibility of putting a splash park in the city park.

K. Rettele said she called the Brown County appraiser on the old Checkers building.

Also at the meeting:

The council approved the following: minutes from the April 13 meeting, the bills to pay and the treasurer’s report.

The council went into a 15-minute executive session to discuss employee wages. Following the executive session, the council decided to give a 10 percent raise to salary employees and raise hourly employees to $18 per hour.

The next regular meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 1, at the Fairview Community Center.

Heather Stewart165 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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