City purchases EMS Stryker Power Load System

The Sabetha City Commission met at 6 p.m. Monday, May 13, at Sabetha City Hall. Present for the meeting were Mayor Cody Bletscher, Commissioners Jason Enneking, Nick Aberle, Maridel Wittmer and Trevin Edelman, City Administrator Doug Allen, Assistant City Administrator Bill Shroyer, and City Clerk Steve Compo. Guests present were Ed Steinlage, and AP Government students Eve Bailey, Krae Aberle and Brecken Edelman.

EMS Stryker Power Load System

The commissioners discussed the purchase of an EMS Stryker Power Load System with Steinlage and how it would make transferring patients safer for staff and the patients.

“The power load system is basically a way to get rid of back injuries. We’ve got it on our newest truck, right now,” Steinlage said. “Especially when we have two women doing transfers, they don’t have to ask for any help to get people in and out of the truck. I think it’s a good thing — they are very expensive — I won’t disagree with that, but I think from a back standpoint, I think they do a lot in making it safer for our EMS staff.”

After discussion, the commissioners approved the purchase of the Stryker Power Load System in the amount of $62,017.98.

Power Plant Help

The commissioners discussed the hiring of Joseph Richey for the electrical department at the Power Plant.

“Marty Yates is going to be retiring at the end of the year, so we have started looking for help,” Allen said. “Joseph looks like a good candidate for it. He has worked around here about 12 years, 10 years at CW, currently welding for Fisher.”

“Do you have anymore details on him?” Enneking said.

“Like, what is it you are needing? We need help?” Shroyer said.

“My question is, where did we advertise or how did we find someone that’s been a welder for 11 years? That’s the only information that we’ve got, and we just heard that general services has been in dire straits and we have to roll summer help over into general services to get our general services stuff done. What qualifies him to go work at the power plant for a guy who is retiring at the end of the year?” Aberle said.

“The power plant guys — you just don’t pick it up, they really are no good to you for a year. There’s just so much training in there, if you wait until he is gone and then fill the position… It’s a year or two before you are worth anything at the power plant,” Allen said.

“I understand, and given that, I think that that should be a higher standard, and I’m not saying that he’s not. I don’t know the guy, other than what’s been said here. But me, like quite a few of the citizens of Sabetha, that’s my back up generator, saving me from having to buy one and I want it to work, and I think it’s the most important department we have. They’re all very important. We gotta have clean water, sewer, distribution, but that one in particular is going to be the biggest squeaky wheel we’ve got if it fails, as we know, as we discussed with Scott [Shreve], that’s what makes or breaks us… I want to make sure that when we hire somebody that… I mean, where did he find out about the job? Was that in the paper?” Aberle said.

“Actually, he just came in for general services,” Allen said. “We haven’t advertised, we’re way short, he came in for general services and we’ve tried to push him into this, that’s to say, this is a need we have immediately. We can use summer help to do the general services task for this summer. We’re still looking, but we gotta go somewhere. Nick, we gotta find somebody, and there’s not people beating down the door for it.”

“Yeah, that seems like a job with a level of importance that we ought to be using someone, like a municipal headhunter that could find someone with experience who could step right in on a job of that magnitude,” Aberle said. “And my other question involving that is, that’s a three-man crew right now?”

“Yes,” Allen said.

“I know with Troy’s four-man crew, they have to work together and they depend on each other for their lives, so it has to be a cohesive thing, so my question is, what does Matt, Jacob and Marty think? Are they in favor?” Aberle said.

“Yes, Doug and I interview them and then we take them to the department head and they do their thing,” Shroyer said.

“For every interview, they go through the department head to see if it’s a good fit, walk them through all the processes they’re going to do and then they give us feedback,” Allen said.

Following discussion, the commissioners agreed to hire Joseph Richey, 4-1, with Aberle voting nay.

Also at the meeting:

The commissioners approved the minutes from the April 22 meeting.

The commissioners approved Wage Resolution No. 2024-06 for 90-day orientation for Katelyn Poe.

The commissioners approved Wage Resolution No. 2024-07 for Ivan Echeverria as summer help.

The commissioners approved Wage Resolution No. 2024-08 for Joseph Richey in the electrical position at the Power Plant.

The commissioners approved Resolution No. 2024-09, adding a monthly stipend for the monthly class instructor and the monthly QA Review.

The commissioners approved a liquor license for El Canelo.

The commissioners approved the following municipal appointments: City Clerk, Steve Compo; Police Chief, Robert Wahwasuck; Fire Chief, Jim Johnson; City Treasurer, David Herbster; City Attorney, Martin Mishler; Assistant City Attorney, Luke Sunderland; Municipal Judge, Scott Anson; and EMS Director, Bobbi Dillon.

The commissioners approved the cemetery board members including Reappointments Scott Aberle and Mary Ryan. Allen announced that they are still needing four members appointed to the planning committee, two of which need to be outside the city limits.

The commissioners approved the Fire Department application for Colton Strahm.

The board approved the purchase of a used 2020 Ford pickup truck with 60,000 miles for $25,000 to be used in general services and parks and recreation.

Shroyer gave the commission an update on the two new lift stations that went online last week.

The commission meeting has been canceled for Monday, May 27, due to Memorial Day. They will reconvene for their regular meeting at 6 p.m. Monday, June 10, at Sabetha City Hall.

Julie Shafer56 Posts

Julie Shafer is a reporter for The Sabetha Herald, where she has been on staff since 2021. Julie lives in Morrill with her husband and three of her five children.


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