Beauty of Picturesque Nature

General Information

General Information

The Alma Chamber of Commerce is a voluntary, non-profit organization of businesses and professional people working together to promote business and assist community development. Special events sponsored by the Chamber include Easter Egg Hunt, Oktoberfest and Christmas Festivities.

The Alma Community Center is located at 244 E 11th and is available for rent on a first-come-first-served basis with both hourly or daily rates. A $50.00 deposit is required. This will be returned when the center has been checked out to make sure that it was left in satisfactory condition. Contact City Hall to rent the community center.

Alma has a full-time professionally trained City Marshal, who can be reached at City Hall ((785) 765-3922) for non-emergency calls.

Our fire protection is provided by Wabaunsee Fire Department #6; a volunteer fire department of 17 people. You can leave non-emergency messages for the Fire Chief at City Hall ((785) 765-3922).

The Wabaunsee County Sheriffs Department tests the sirens during Spring in readiness for the upcoming tornado season every Monday at noon. In case of an approaching tornado, the siren will be sounded should you need to seek cover. Please remember that the Community Center basement will be opened when the siren sounds for those of you who do not have a basement. If the siren does sound, please take cover immediately and remain there until the all clear is sounded.

The City of Alma contracts out the trash removal for the fee of $15.25 per month. You can obtain a poly cart to hold your trash for a fee of $17.25 per month. Recycle service is offered at $9.50. However, your trash is to be bagged if you do not have a trash container. Trash must be placed curbside by 7:00 a.m. on Thursdays.

The City provides a site for dumping yard debris such as leaves, grass clippings, trees and shrubs. The dumping of other than approved materials is prohibited. Violators are subject to prosecution. The site is located southeast of town on Highway 99, just past the new water plant on the south side of the highway. It is open 24 hours a day.

As a community, Alma takes a lot of pride in its appearance, so we ask residents to keep their yards groomed and free of discarded appliances and inoperable vehicles. See Ordinance Chapter VIII.

The City of Alma provides electric, water, gas and sewer utilities as well as trash pick up to residents. There is a non-refundable service charge of $10.00 per utility for new customers. Meters are read on or around the last day of each month. Charges for these services are billed to customers on the 10th of each month, and are delinquent after the 20th. All utilities, including trash service, are billed on one bill. Payment of bills can be made either by online, direct bank draft, credit card or check. A drop box is located outside the front entrance of City Hall for your convenience.

If you are a new resident of Alma, or moving to a different residence within the city, you must register to vote at the Wabaunsee County Courthouse before the registration books are closed 20 days prior to an election. All federal, state and local elections will be announced in the local paper.

If you are new to Kansas, you will need to purchase your car tags at the Wabaunsee County Courthouse.

Under the Fair Housing Act, it is Against the Law to: Refuse to rent to you or sell you housing:

  • Tell you housing is unavailable when in fact it is available
  • Show you apartments or homes only in certain neighborhoods Set different terms, conditions, or privileges for sale or rental of a dwelling
  • Provide different housing services or facilities
  • Advertise housing to preferred groups of people only
  • Refuse to provide you with information regarding mortgage loans, deny you a mortgage loan, or impose different terms or conditions on a mortgage loan
  • Deny you property insurance
  • Conduct property appraisals in a discriminatory manner
  • Refuse to make certain modifications or accommodations for persons with a mental or physical disability, including persons with HIV/AIDS-related illnesses, and persons recovering from alcohol and substance abuse. Fail to design and construct housing in an accessible manner
  • Harass, coerce, intimidate, or interfere with anyone exercising or assisting someone else with his/her fair housing rights

If you feel you have been discriminated against please call the Department of Housing and Urban Development at +1 (800) 669-9777.

Thank you,

Maurice Baker, Mayor
City of Alma, Kansas

City Personnel

City Personnel
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City ClerkSherry Smithssmith@cityofalma-kansas.com
Assistant City ClerkLindsey Silvaassistantclerk@cityofalma-kansas.com
City MarshalJon Sielaffcityofalmamarshal@gmail.com
Cemetery SextonGary Ringelgarytrishringel@embarqmail.com
(785) 580-3851
City SuperintendentMichael Slobodnikalmaewg@cityofalma-kansas.com
Assistant City SuperintendentTrent Viergeverassistantsup@cityofalma-kansas.com
Utility EmployeesJeff Clark
Kevin Griffith
Curtis Havenstein

Minutes

Minutes

The Governing Body of the City of Alma met in regular session at the Alma Community Center, at 6:00 p.m., with the following Council Members being present: Pam Bales, Dan Deiter, Paul Gronquist, and Chris Torrey. Council Member Karen Wright was absent. Mayor Maurice Baker declared that a quorum was present and called the meeting to order. City representatives in attendance were City Clerk Sherry Smith, City Superintendent Michael Slobodnik, and City Attorney Tom Barnes. Also present were Bobby Daniel, Barb Frank, Jim MacGregor, Charles McGhee, Michael Stubbs, and Doug Hull.

Public Comment:

Bobby Daniel asked if there was an update for the development of the vacant Park Valley lots. He voiced his concern about the citizens of Alma possibly paying to have streets put in at Park Valley. Bobby was reassured that the cost of new streets will be assessed to adjacent property owners by special assessment.  He was also concerned about the drainage along the new street.

Doug Hull voiced his concern about cars speeding on West 3rd street coming into town. He asked for bigger signage. Mayor Maurice Baker said that the best way to get people to slow down will be for a warning or citation to be given. After much discussion it was decided to have the City Marshal run radar and to also check into a digital radar speed sign. Doug left the meeting at 6:29 p.m.

Barb Frank asked for an update for the property at 506 Grand. Council said that this topic will be discussed later in the meeting as the property owner was on the agenda at 7 to present answers to questions posed by the Council last meeting.

Jim MacGregor-Wabaunsee County Economic Development Coordinator thanked the council for the use of the Community Center for the Flint Hill Regional Council Meeting to be held on May 21, 2021. He also gave an update on the American Rescue Plan. All Cities will receive funds based on their population. The funds will be distributed in June or July. Jim left the meeting at 6:27 p.m.

Michael Stubbs, Wabaunsee County Historical Society Board Member, reported on work the Board is doing in the City Cemetery. They are renovating section 12 also known as Potters’ Field. Currently there are 111 graves in that section, but only 11 headstones remain. There is a plan to refurbish the existing stones and to replace the missing stones. In June a ground penetrating radar device will be used to survey the site so plots can be properly charted. He also asked about possibly getting all cemetery records digitized. Michael left the meeting at 6:27 p.m.

Council Member Chris Torrey left the meeting at 6:36 p.m.

Council Member Pam Bales moved to approve the minutes of May 4, 2021 as corrected. Council Member Paul Gronquist seconded. Motion carried.

Council Member Paul Gronquist moved to approve the bills in the amount of $ 188,773.34. Council Member Dan Deiter seconded. Motion carried.

City Clerk Sherry Smith reported that she spoke with Christy Hitch of Tri County Waste, and that the Property owner at 506 Grand has only paid for one trash pickup. Council Member Dan Deiter said that this can be discussed later in the meeting when Sarah Degand arrived.

City Superintendent Michael Slobodnik reported on the following:

  • He has prepared specs for the sidewalk project to be done this summer.
  • There is a sidewalk at the 410 E 6th, with no sidewalk on the properties on either side, the owner has asked if he can remove the sidewalk. After much discussion it was decided he may remove the sidewalk as there is no connecting sidewalks.
  • Several months ago, Council gave approval to purchase a plow truck from Purple Wave, but the City was unsuccessful in its bid. He asked if he could use those funds to bid on another plow truck. Council Member Dan Deiter moved to approve Michael to bid no more than $20,000.00 on a plow truck. Council member Paul Gronquist seconded. Motion carried. He also has 2 trucks that he plans to put up for auction with Purple Wave to help offset the cost of the plow truck.
  • He got an estimate to replace the roof on the stone house at the City Park and the Well house at Railroad Park. After much discussion it was decided to get several more estimates.
  • He received bids to Mill and Overlay parts of 4th Street and Illinois as well as Overlay 2 inches of asphalt by Alma Creamery.
  1. Shilling Construction: $129,999.00
  2. Bettis Asphalt:         $132,525.75
  3. Bayer Construction: $100,260.00

Council Member Pam Bales moved to accept the bid from Bayer Construction in the amount of $100,260.00. Council Member Paul Gronquist seconded. Motion carried.

Council Reports

Council Member Pam Bales reported that the Flint Hills Regional Council meeting will return to open meetings at the Alma Community Center on May 21, 2021. She also presented a short video about a new proposed National Park named for Zebulon Pike.  It follows the route covered during his explorations of the area in the 1800’s.  the National Park survey is seeking input and suggestions concerning this trail.  The Council will consider a letter of support at the June meeting.

Council Member Paul Gronquist did not have anything to report.

Council Member Dan Deiter asked about the ditch on Railroad Street across from the Welcome sign. City Superintendent Michael Slobodnik said the City will mow it. There was some discussion about the new sewer line that is to go in on east 11th Street.

Maurice Baker will attend a meeting with the Watershed district where he will propose installation of a syphon tube with a valve to regulate the amount of water released daily as is required.

At 7:18 Council Member Dan Deiter moved to go into executive session for Attorney Client privilege for 10 minutes and to have City Attorney Tom Barnes in attendance.

City Clerk Sherry Smith, City Superintendent Michael Slobodnik, Barb Frank, and Bobby Daniel left the meeting.  They returned at the conclusion of the executive session.

The regular meeting continued at 7:28 p.m.

There was no action taken coming out of executive session.

At 7:36 p.m. it was determined Sarah Degand was not in attendance as she had agreed at the last meeting.  She was to provide information requested by the Council on the property at 506 Grand Street.  City Attorney Tom Barnes recommended the City move forward with condemning the property at that location. Sarah was to present a budget for repairs as well as a timeline to complete the repairs. Additionally, the Council asked for documentation from all legal owners of the property giving Sarah Degand (1/5 owner) permission to live at the property. The owners have failed to comply with requests set forth by the council at previous meetings. After much discussion Council Member Pam Bales moved to proceed with condemning the property at 506 Grand, due to noncompliance and failure to prove actions to Council. Council Member Paul Gronquist seconded. Motion passed.

At 7:39 p.m. Council Member Pam Bales moved to adjourn to the regular meeting on June 1, 2021 at 6:00 at Alma City Hall. Council Member Paul Gronquist seconded. Motion carried.

Meeting adjourned.

Sherry Smith, City Clerk

 

President Pam Bales called the Special Meeting of the Alma City Council to order at 6:00 p.m. with the following Council Members present: Pam Bales, Dan Deiter, and Paul Gronquist. Mayor Maurice Baker and Council Members Chris Torrey and Karen Wright were absent. Council President Pam Bales declared that a quorum was present and called the meeting to order. City representatives in attendance were City Utility Superintendent Michael Slobodnik, City Clerk Sherry Smith and City Attorney Tom Barnes. Also in attendance was Austin Masters of USDA and Sam Johnson of BG Consultants. Mayor Maurice Baker arrived at 5:35 p.m, Sam Johnson arrived at 5:45, and Karen Wright arrived at 5:47 p.m.

Those present pledged allegiance to the flag.

Austin Masters presented loan and grant information pertaining to the Gas Line Project. Due to the unexpected loan expense the City had to take to pay for the high gas cost, the city was able apply for a grant for additional funding to go towards the gas line project. The amount of the grant is $303,300.00. This would not be possible if not for the low interest rate loan from the state.

Council Member Pam Bales moved to approve Loan RD-1940-1 in the amount of $1,173,700.00 at the interest rate of 2.125%. Council Member Paul Gronquist seconded. Motion carried.

Council Member Pam Bales moved to approve the Rural Development Grant RD-1942-46 in the amount of $303,300.00. Council Member Paul Gronquist seconded. Motion carried.

Austin Masters left the meeting at 5:46 p.m.

City Attorney Tom Barnes gave an update on the property at 506 Ohio. Family members have made contact with the City and would like to make repairs to bring the property back into code compliance. They will attend the public hearing on April 6, 2021.

Sam Johnson gave an update on the gas line project. He submitted a Substantial Completion Certificate for NPL. Council Member Pam Bales moved to approve the Substantial Certificate of Completion. Council Member Paul Gronquist seconded. Motion carried.

He submitted Change order #2 for NPL. Council Member Pam Bales moved to approve the change order. Council Member Paul Gronquist seconded. Motion carried.

He submitted Pay App #4 for NPL. Council Member Pam Bales moved to approve Pay App #4 in the amount of $88,532.40. Council Member Paul Gronquist seconded. Motion carried.

He submitted Pay App #5 for NPL. Council Member Pam Bales moved to approve Pay App #5 in the amount of $35,730.58. Council Member Paul Gronquist seconded. Motion carried.

He submitted a Completion of Work Certificate for Michels. Council Member Pam Bales moved to approve the Completion of Work Certificate. Council Member Paul Gronquist seconded. Motion carried.

Council Member Pam Bales moved to approve the Notice to Proceed for design of Phase 2. Council Member Paul Gronquist seconded. Motion carried.

Sam Johnson left the meeting at 6:18 p.m.

At 6:20 p.m. Council Member Pam Bales moved to go into executive session for 10 minutes for Attorney client privilege. Those in attendance were City Superintendent Michael Slobodnik, City Clerk Sherry Smith, council members and City Attorney Tom Barnes. Council Member Paul Gronquist seconded. Motion carried.

At 6:30 p.m. Council Member Pam Bales moved to extend executive session for 5 minutes. Council Member Paul Gronquist seconded. Motion carried.

The regular meeting resumed at 6:35 p.m.

As a result of executive session Council Member Pam Bales moved to authorize City Attorney Tom Barnes to draft a letter to BlueMark Energy regarding the amount the City is disputing for the February invoice. Council Member Paul Gronquist seconded. Motion carried.

At 6:38 p.m. Council Member Pam Bales moved to adjourn. Council Member Paul Gronquist seconded this motion. Motion carried. The next meeting will be at 5:45 on April 6 at the Community Center.

Meeting adjourned.

City Clerk

The Governing Body of the City of Alma met in regular session at the Alma Community Center, at 6:00 p.m., with the following Council Members being present: Pam Bales, Dan Deiter, Paul Gronquist, and Karen Wright. Council Member Chris Torrey was absent. Mayor Maurice Baker declared that a quorum was present and called the meeting to order. Also present were Sam Johnson of BG Consultants, Amon Taylor of Waste Management, Jim MacGregor of Wabaunsee County Economic Development. City representatives City Clerk Sherry Smith, Assistant City Supervisor Trent Viergever, and City Attorney Tom Barnes.
Public Comment:
Amon Taylor of Waste Management visited with the Council in regard to trash pickup service. He introduced himself, talked about the company, and said he would be sending in a bid for trash and recycle pickup. He left the meeting at 6:10 p.m.
Jim Macgregor introduced himself to the Council as the new Director of Economic Development for Wabaunsee County. He visited about his position.
Sam Johnson gave an update on the gas line project. The railroad bore is underway and should be completed by January 15, 2021. He submitted a change order. Council Member Pam Bales moved to approve the change order contingent with KDOT approval. Council Member Paul Gronquist seconded. Motion carried. Council Member Pam Bales moved to approve the Certificate of Substantial Completion. Council Member Paul Gronquist seconded. Motion carried. Sam left the meeting at 6:30 p.m.
Pam Bales moved to approve the minutes of the January 5, 2021 meeting as corrected. Paul Gronquist seconded. Motion carried.
Paul Gronquist moved to approve the bills as presented. Dan Deiter seconded. Motion carried.
Approvals
Tyler Holloman sent in documentation in regard to a grant to build Moderate Income Apartments above City Hall. Council Member Pam Bales moved to approve all documents be signed. Council Member Paul Gronquist seconded. Motion carried.

City Clerk reported for City Marshal Jon Sielaff. She gave an update on the property at 506 Grand. Marshal Sielaff will have a resolution for the Council to sign at the next meeting. She also reported that the City will have to pay the interest on the 2012 Water Bond. This is due to the closing of the refinance taking place after February 1, 2021.

Assistant City Superintendent Trent Viergever reported that City Superintendent Michael Slobodnik has figured the cost of the sewer line work on West 11th Street. Council Member Dan Deiter moved to approve the sewer line work at a cost not to exceed $7,000.00. Council Member Karen Wright seconded. Motion carried. He reported that the Wabaunsee County Fair Board would like to add a porch on the east building. The sidewalk project is almost complete. The contractor will send a separate bill to the property owner at 903 Kansas. The plow that has been advertised for bid on Purple Wave was not purchased. He asked to bid on pallet racks (to store wire spools) on Purple Wave. Council Member Dan Deiter moved to authorize the City Superintendent to bid on pallet racks not to exceed $3,000.00. Council Member Pam Bales seconded. Motion carried.
Pam Bales gave an update on the Flint Hills Regional Council.
Karen Wright reported that she visited with a representative from Catholic Charities in regard to individuals who need assistance with paying utilities.
Dan Deiter did not have anything to report.
Paul Gronquist reported that he was approached by a citizen in regard to putting the trash service out for bid. He reassured the citizen that because it is out for bid, does not mean the City will not necessarily be engaging a new provider. He also had concerns raised by a citizen about a citizen that is selling guns and ammunition out of his home. City Attorney Tom Barnes will research this matter.
At 7:30 p.m. Paul Gronquist moved to go into executive session for 15 minutes for matters of non-elected personnel and to have City Attorney Tom Barnes in attendance. Dan Deiter seconded. Motion carried.
City Clerk Sherry Smith and Assistant City Superintendent Trent Viergever left the meeting.
The session ended at 7:45 p.m.
There was not action taken coming out of executive session.
At 7:50 p.m. Pam Bales moved to adjourn to Tuesday, February 2, 2021, at 6:00 at the Alma Community Center for regular city business. Paul Gronquist seconded, and the motion carried.

Meeting adjourned.

Sherry Smith, City Clerk

The Governing Body of the City of Alma met in regular session at Alma City Hall, at 6:00 p.m., with the following Council Members being present: Pam Bales, Dan Deiter, and Karen Wright. Council Members Paul Gronquist and Chris Torrey were absent. Mayor Maurice Baker declared that a quorum was present and called the meeting to order. City representatives in attendance were Assistant City Superintendent Trent Viergever, City Marshal Jon Sielaff, and City Attorney Tom Barnes. Also, present were Bobby Daniel, Barb Frank, Don Westhoff, Scott Hallenbeck, and Janna Williams of the Flint Hills Regional Council.
Dan Deiter moved, and Karen Wright seconded to add discussion of the city budget to the agenda. Motion carried
Public Comment:
Barb Frank asked about having the sprinklers at the city cemetery turned on. Trent Viergever said they had talked about doing that in the next couple of days.
Janna Williams of the Flint Hills Regional Council addressed the council on a new grant on locating and abating Brownfield issues. FHRC has had great success in this area and are seeking locations in Wabaunsee County needing this service. Sites with asbestos, lead paint, underground fuel tanks, closed landfills, and mold abatement are being considered for inclusion in the grant. She will be in contact with the City at a later time for possible locations.
Council Member Pam Bales moved to approve the minutes of the June 20, 2021, Public Hearing on Flood Plan Management as presented. Dan Deiter seconded, and the motion carried.
Council Member Pam Bales moved to approve the minutes of the June 20, 2021, regular meeting as presented. Dan Deiter seconded, and the motion carried.
Council Member Pam Bales moved to approve the minutes of the June 28, 2021, continued meeting to be approved as corrected, Dan Deiter seconded, and the motion carried,
Karen Wright moved to approve the bills in the amount of $49,614.46, Pam Bales seconded, and the motion carried.
The matter of the city budget was discussed. Neither the 2020 audit or the 2021-2022 budget have been presented by the city accounting firm. As the City is under constraint by law to hold a public hearing to address the budget in a timely fashion, to meet the stated time for a public hearing on said budget on August 17, the accounting firm will be contacted once again, and the Wabaunsee County Clerk’s office will be notified concerning the issue. The City faces repercussions if the budget is not approved by August 25th. The City Clerk or Assistant City Clerk will contact the accounting firm and the county seeking what needs to be done.
Attorney Tom Barnes addressed the issue of ARPA funds which are available from the County, which among other things can be used for Water and Wastewater projects. Mayor Baker will speak with Economic Development Director Jim McGregor on possibly applying for some of the funds for the 11th Street sewer project and the Mill Valley street at Park Valley sewer project.
He also addressed researching the steps involved in requesting the vacating of a public easement. The petition must come from the individual(s) seeking such vacation. Information on this topic is located under KSA12-504 et,seq.
Marshal Jon Sielaff reported that he will be moving to town. He is working on the exact location for one of the new traffic cameras and thanked the City for buying the equipment. He also mentioned that he has two more locations to be considered for cameras. The matter of the property at 506 Grand is ongoing. There have been a few hiccups, but it is to be completed in the next one and a half to two weeks. The tenant at the property at 111 E. 10th St. will be moving, and Mr. Nations will be responsible for the property being brough back into compliance with City Codes. He also asked about the procedure for speed limit signs of twenty miles per hour being placed on the street around not only City Park, but also in front of the day care on 8th street starting at Lyndon St, proceeding east to Ohio, and then north to Ninth Street. Attorney Barnes will prepare an ordinance upon receipt of the exact location information. He also inquired into obtaining a new pistol – a Glock 19 and necessary ammunition to replace his current weapon. The current weapon with its ammunition will be sold. Member Dan Deiter moved, Pam Bales, seconded and the motion carried to obtain the new sidearm and ammunition for an amount of $400.00.
Assistant City Superintendent Trent Viergever presented bids on replacing the roof on the Park House and the Well House. The acceptance of the low bid of $6,979.55 for the Park House and $3,427.40 for the Well House prepared by Dusty Thowe was moved by Member Pam Bales, seconded by Dan Deiter, and the motion was approved. A portion of the cost will be paid from the Gnadt Fund for park improvements. The AC unit at the Community Center is currently being installed.
Member Pam Bales asked about the median at Park Valley. There had been some concern about liriope being used as it can encroach on the sidewalk along which it had been planted. It was decided that its growing over the curb at the median should not be an issue and as time allows, it will be planted.
Member Karen Wright had no concerns.
Member Dan Deiter was going to ask about the bid for the Park and Well House roofs, but that had been discussed earlier. He had a few other items but will wait to talk about them later.
Mayor Baker reported that he had inquired of Attorney Barnes about Developer William Mah being able to obtain a bond for security on the building of the street fronting his lots in the undeveloped part of Park Valley. This will be discussed later. Mr. Mah has presented a request for five building permits on some of his lots in Park Valley. Lineman Curtis Havenstein reported during the power outages it was noticed that the lines are old and may need replaced. He would like for the City Engineer to come look at the lines.
At 7:05 Member Pam Bales moved to adjourn to the Budget Hearing at 5:45 on August 17 at City Hall to be followed by the regular meeting for City business at 6:00, Dan Deiter seconded, and the motion carried.

Meeting adjourned.

Pam Bales, City Council President

Mayor Maurice Baker called the Special Meeting of the Alma City Council to order at 6:00 p.m. with the following Council Members present: Pam Bales, Dan Deiter, Paul Gronquist, Chris Torrey and Karen Wright. Mayor Maurice Baker declared that a quorum was present and called the meeting to order. City representatives in attendance were City Utility Superintendent Michael Slobodnik, City Clerk Sherry Smith, Assistant City Clerk Lindsey Silva and City Marshal Jon Sielaff. Also in attendance were Lori and Larry Senne, Dorine Schley all of McFarland. Kerri Cole and Bobby Daniel.

There was discussion pertaining to the unprecedented increase in natural gas price. The City bill for BlueMark Energy and Kansas Gas is $656,306.23. The City is applying for a low interest loan with the State of Kansas. The State of Kansas is asking the city to pay as much as possible out of reserve funds. The City is applying for $501,451.23. There is no guarantee that the City will get the amount applied for.

An Ordinance allowing the City to apply for a low interest loan with the State of Kansas due to the unprecedented increase in natural gas price:
was considered and discussed. Council Member Pam Bales moved that said Ordinance be passed. Council Member Paul Gronquist seconded this motion. The motion carried by the vote being as follows:
Council Member Pam Bales: yes
Council Member Paul Gronquist: yes
Council Member Dan Deiter: yes
Council Member Chris Torrey: yes
Council Member Karen Wright: yes
Mayor Maurice Baker declared said Ordinance be adopted. The Ordinance was numbered Ordinance 523, was signed and approved by the Mayor, and attested by the City Clerk.

A RESOLUTION IN THE CITY OF ALMA, KANSAS, ALLOWING THE CITY OF ALMA TO APPLY FOR A LOW INTEREST LOAN WITH THE STATE OF KANSAS DUE TO THE UNPRECENDENTED INCREASE IN NATURAL GAS ENERGY
was considered and discussed. Council Member Pam Bales moved that said Resolution be passed. Council Member Paul Gronquist seconded this motion. Motion carried. Mayor Maurice Baker declared said Resolution be adopted and the Resolution was then duly numbered Resolution 2021-5 and was signed and approved by the Mayor and attested by the City Clerk.

 

Three (3) payment options were presented to help the citizens pay their bill as well as repay the loan.
1. Bill out the entire amount owed and set up payment agreements.
2. Bill out the entire amount owed with the option to pay in full or pay a standard gas rider.
3. Place gas rider on all gas bills.
After much discussion Council Member Pam Bales moved to accept Option 1. Council Member Paul Gronquist seconded. Motion carried.

It was decided to allow the citizens to spread their gas payment out over a period of 4 years.

A contract between the City of Alma and Tyler Holloman in regard to insurance on the Limerick building that City Hall is located in was submitted for approval. The City will pay the invoice and Tyler will reimburse for his portion. The City portion is 12.23% of the building and Tyler Holloman’s portion is the remaining 87.77% of the building. Council Member Pam Bales moved to approve the agreement from this day forward. Council Member Paul Gronquist seconded. Motion carried.

At 6:48 p.m. Council Member Pam Bales moved to adjourn. Council Member Paul Gronquist seconded this motion. Motion carried.

Meeting adjourned.

City Clerk

The Governing Body of the City of Alma met at the Wabaunsee County Fair Barns for a tour of the facilities at 5:15 p.m., with the following Council Members being present: Pam Bales, Dan Deiter, Paul Gronquist and Karen Wright. Council Member Chris Torrey was absent. City representatives that also attended the tour were City Clerk Sherry Smith and City Attorney Tom Barnes.

ALMA CITY COUNCIL
July 6, 2021
6:00 P.M

The Governing Body of the City of Alma met in regular session at Alma City Hall, at 6:00 p.m., with the following Council Members being present: Pam Bales, Dan Deiter, Paul Gronquist and Karen Wright. Council Member Chris Torrey was absent. Mayor Maurice Baker declared that a quorum was present and called the meeting to order. City representatives in attendance were City Clerk Sherry Smith, City Superintendent Michael Slobodnik, City Marshal Jon Sielaff, Kate Gronquist and City Attorney Tom Barnes. Also, present were Bobby Daniel, Barb Frank, Stephanie Small and David Nations.
Public Comment:
Stephanie Small asked for clarification for condemning a property. City Attorney Tom Barnes spoke on behalf of the city. A property must be safe for persons to enter, if it is not safe, the city can then remedy the situation at the cost of the homeowner. Stephanie let the council know that she has 2 more contractors scheduled to give an estimate on cost of repairs to the most needed portion of the front porch. The property owner David Nations was in attendance, when asked if he had any questions, he replied that he may have to retain ownership of the property and make the needed repairs to bring the property into compliance.
Stephanie Small left the meeting at 6:27 p.m.
Council Member Pam Bales moved to approve the minutes of June 15, 2021, as submitted. Council Member Paul Gronquist seconded. Motion carried.
Council Member Paul Gronquist moved to approve the bills in the amount of $ 76,081.00. Council Member Dan Deiter seconded. Motion carried.
An Ordinance amending and modifying, (Ordinance No. 436) of the Code of the City of Alma, Kansas regarding ADOPTING AND REFINING FLOOD PLAIN MANAGEMENT REGULATIONS, and repealing Ordinance Nos. 436, and all Ordinances or parts of Ordinances in conflict therewith:
was considered and discussed. Council Member Paul Gronquist moved that said Ordinance be passed. Council Member Dan Deiter seconded this motion. The motion carried by the vote being as follows:
Council Member Pam Bales: yes
Council Member Paul Gronquist: yes
Council Member Dan Deiter: yes
Council Member Chris Torrey: absent
Council Member Karen Wright: yes
Mayor Maurice Baker declared said Ordinance be adopted. The Ordinance was numbered Ordinance 524, was signed and approved by the Mayor, and attested by the City Clerk.
An Ordinance regarding a franchise agreement with Wamego Telecommunications:
was considered and discussed. Council Member Paul Gronquist moved that said Ordinance be passed. Council Member Dan Deiter seconded this motion. The motion carried by the vote being as follows:
Council Member Pam Bales: yes
Council Member Paul Gronquist: yes
Council Member Dan Deiter: yes
Council Member Chris Torrey: absent
Council Member Karen Wright: yes
Mayor Maurice Baker declared said Ordinance be adopted. The Ordinance was numbered Ordinance 525, was signed and approved by the Mayor, and attested by the City Clerk.

A RESOLUTION IN THE CITY OF ALMA, KANSAS, PROVIDING FOR THE REMOVAL AND/OR ABATEMENT OF A NUISANCE EXISTING AT 111 W 10th, ALMA, WABAUNSEE COUNTY, KANSAS PURSUANT TO CITY OF ALMA, ORDINANCE NO. 365 CHAPTER VIII, ARTICLE TWO
was considered and discussed. Council Member Pam Bales moved that said Resolution be passed. Council Member Paul Gronquist seconded this motion. Motion carried. Mayor Maurice Baker declared said Resolution be adopted and the Resolution was then duly numbered Resolution 2021-10 and was signed and approved by the Mayor and attested by the City Clerk.
City Pool Manager Kate Gronquist gave a report for the month of June. She also talked about a Junior Lifeguard Camp that will be held at the pool for kids ages 8-12 years.
Kate left the meeting at 6:50 p.m.
City Clerk Sherry Smith gave an update in regard to the City web page. She also asked if the council would be interested in updating the City logo that is used on letters. The cost to update the logo is $200.00 with GoDaddy. This includes a digital copy. She also reported that the City auditors will be on site on July 7, 2021 to work on the 2020 audit. August 17 at 5:45 was set for a public hearing for the City and Rec 2022 Budgets.
City Superintendent Michael Slobodnik reported that the dump station is in place at the RV Park at McKnight Park. The council discussed the new rate since all hookups are now available. Council Member Dan Deiter moved to raise the daily rate to $15.00. Council Member Paul Gronquist seconded. He also reported the Kansas Department of Labor will be performing safety inspections at City buildings.
City Marshal Jon Sielaff reported the city wide clean up went well. He said that the signs for the City Lake have been installed. He also inquired about the Degand property. He asked if the city is to proceed with condemnation since the property has sold. City Attorney Tom Barnes said that the until ownership has officially changed, the city is to proceed with condemning the property. He also inquired about a location that could be used for target practice.
City Attorney Tom Barnes reported that the wrecked vehicles on Missouri Street are in violation of state code. City Marshal Jon Sielaff will visit with the property owner.
Council Reports
Council Member Pam Bales reported that the Flint Hills Regional Council will hold the next meeting via zoom. She also reported that there may be a grant that could help the city with addressing the standing water that attracts mosquitos. She also asked if a barrier could be placed on the walls in the council chambers so the chairs do not destroy the wall.
Council Member Karen Wright did not have anything to report.
Council Member Dan Deiter asked for an update on the gas bill that the City is disputing with BlueMark Energy. There is no update currently. He also asked if the roof of the well house could be replaced. He said there are 2 handicap ramps that are full of debris and dirt. There is a camper and a jeep that he would like City Code Enforcement Officer Jon Sielaff to visit with the owners.
Council Member Paul Gronquist asked about a line item in the 2022 budget for pool maintenance.
Maurice Baker asked about the possibility of obtaining a roll off dumpster to keep at the City Shop at all times. To cover the cost of the dumpster, a small charge could be added to each citizen’s utility bill. He also suggested angle parking on the 100 block of East 4th Street starting at the alley going east to the corner of 4th and Ohio. This would accommodate the extra cars when the apartments are rented. He also reported that the water at the City lake is too high to install the flow valve, once the water goes down, the valve will be installed.
Council Member Pam Bales asked to add the entrance to Park Valley to the unfinished business portion of the agenda.
At 7:28 p.m. Council Member Pam Bales moved to adjourn to July 20 at 6:00 p.m. to conduct regular city business. Council Member Paul Gronquist seconded this motion.

Motion carried Meeting adjourned.

Sherry Smith, City Clerk

The Governing Body of the City of Alma met in regular session at the Alma Community Center, at 6:00 p.m., with the following Council Members being present: Pam Bales, Dan Deiter, Paul Gronquist, Karen Wright, and Chris Torrey. Mayor Maurice Baker declared that a quorum was present and called the meeting to order. City representatives in attendance were City Clerk Sherry Smith, City Superintendent Michael Slobodnik, City Marshal Jon Sielaff, Assistant City Superintendent Trent Viergever, Utility Employee Jeff Clark and City Attorney Tom Barnes. Also in attendance were Marc Shepherd of Copeland Insurance and Sara Jacobson of Bluemark Energy. Citizens in attendance were Romana Miller, Jeannie Palenski, Mary Moege, Agnes Haller, Margaret Esfeld, Bobby Daniel, Joyce Diehl, Ervan Stuewe, David Zeckser, Lorelie Wilson, Jeanette Rohleder, Judy and Turk Peddicord, Sharon Stahl, Gary Lesline, Mike Orton, Gerald Stuewe, Jack Turner, Chuck Heigert, Ronald Redmon, Jared Schultz, Diane Flerlage, Andrew Toney, Brenda Ridder, Vicki Swenson-Fager, Sandy Clark, Luka Henderson, Emily Olson, Christina Hauck, Bryan McBride, Lisa Keidel-Odom and Heather Beggs.

Public Comment:

The unprecedented high cost of gas was discussed. Several questions were asked;

  • Are any other towns refusing to pay their high gas bill? Currently the City has no knowledge of any towns refusing to pay. Kansas cities have to follow the cash basis law, this means that a city cannot have an outstanding debt unless it is a General Obligation Bond.
  • Are the gas prices back down to normal? A few days after the OFO (Operational Flow Order) was lifted the gas prices returned to normal.
  • Eskridge and surrounding towns have not seen an increase in their bill, why has Alma? Eskridge is handling their billing differently than Alma.
  • What is the interest rate of the loan the City applied for? The rate currently is .25%. Every year it will change depending on the rate market, our loan rate is set to be always 2% under market rate.
  • Can steps be taken in the future to prevent high cost in gas rates? Due to this situation, there will likely be steps or rules put in place to help prevent this from occurring again.
  • If there is a class action suit, will the City join the suit? City Attorney Tom Barnes replied that if a suit comes up, he will be looking into it. That does not mean the City will join.
  • Is there any grant money that could help the Cities with the high bills? Currently the city has not gotten any information regarding any available grants.
  • What was the point of the rolling black outs if everyone’s furnaces kicked back on at the same time when the electricity came back on? The City has no control over such a procedure.
  • If business owners have to cut their expenses shouldn’t the City cut its expenses as well? City Attorney Tom Barnes made the observation that the City Council has acted very responsibly in keeping expenses down. However, with interest rates being as low as what they currently are it is wise to make necessary infrastructure repairs that simply cannot be put off an longer such as the City’s gas supply line which is at the end of its serviceable life.

Diane Flerlage thanked the City for keeping the heat on. It was worth the high price of gas to not have her pipes freeze and cause more expense.

Christina Hauck complimented the City on their cost of utilities compared to surrounding towns in which she has lived.  She also reiterated that this was not expected and in the future that lessons learned from this experience can be used.

City Attorney Tom Barnes said the entire region is facing the same issues as the City of Alma.

Sara Jacobson of BlueMark Energy spoke about the procedure that BlueMark follows for billing.

Everyone that came for the gas rate issue left the meeting at 7:00 p.m.

Marc Shepherd presented the insurance policy for 2021-2022.

Marc left the meeting at 7:22 p.m.

Council Member Pam Bales moved to approve the minutes of March 16, 2021 as presented. Council Member Paul Gronquist seconded. Motion carried.

Council Member Pam Bales moved to approve the minutes of March 5, 2021 special meeting as presented. Council Member Paul Gronquist seconded. Motion carried.

Council Member Paul Gronquist moved to approve the bills in the amount of $206,509.37. Council Member Dan Deiter seconded. Motion carried.

Approvals

A request for City Marshal Jon Sielaff to attend a Crisis Intervention Training in Hutchinson Kansas was approved.

City Personnel Reports

City Clerk Sherry Smith asked the council when the community center could be rented again. After much discussion it was decided that as long as all county guidelines are followed people could rent the building. Signage of the rules will be displayed as well as added to the application.

She also gave the Pool report for Kate Gronquist. 15 out of the 18 lifeguards from last summer will be returning this summer. She will hire one more lifeguard. She is currently working on the following items:

  • Contacting the health department to check on guidelines and expectations.
  • Getting signage made for rules and people/businesses who donated for the slide.
  • She will talk to Michael about painting, slide and diving board installation.
  • Updating the employee handbook, forms and signs.
  • Setting up certification class dates.

City Marshal reported that he has been working on code violations. The public Hearing for 506 Grand will be on April 6, 2021 at 5:45 p.m.

City Superintendent Michael Slobodnik reported that grass is starting to be planted on the properties that were affected by the gas line project.  

Council Reports

Council Member Pam Bales gave an update on the Flint Hills Regional Council.

Council Member Karen Wright moved to waive the franchise fee for the month of February. Council Member Paul Gronquist seconded. Motion carried.

Council Member Chris Torrey said that the only concerns citizens approached him about was the high cost of gas.

Council Member Paul Gronquist did not have anything to report.

Council Member Dan Deiter reported that WTC is interested in taking over the old gas line and use it as a conduit.

Maurice Baker asked if a permit is needed for a gun shop to be ran out of a home. City Attorney Tom Barns said that a city permit is not needed, but the person needs to hold a valid ATF license. He believes a copy of said license could be kept on file at the City office.

At 8:06 p.m. Council Member Pam Bales moved to adjourn to the Public Hearing at 5:45 p.m. on April 6, 2021. Council Member Paul Gronquist seconded. Motion carried.

Meeting adjourned.

Sherry Smith, City Clerk

Mayor Maurice Baker called the Public Hearing of the Alma City Council to order at 5:50 p.m. with the following Council Members present: Pam Bales, Paul Gronquist, and Chris Torrey. Council Member Dan Deiter arrived at 5:51 p.m. Council Member Karen Wright was absent. Mayor Maurice Baker declared that a quorum was present and called the meeting to order. City representative in attendance were City Utility Superintendent Michael Slobodnik, City Clerk Sherry Smith, Assistant City Clerk Lindsey Silva, City Marshal Jon Sielaff and City Attorney Tome Barnes. Also in attendance were Bryan and Sharon McBride, Barb Frank, Bobby Daniel, Patricia Hornsby, Chris Degand, Sarah Degand and John Waugh-Attorney.

The purpose of the public meeting is to close out the CDBG-Covid 19 Grant for local business.
The mayor asked if there was any public comment. There was none.

Council Member Pam Bales moved to close out the CDBG-Covid 19 grant hearing. Council Member Paul Gronquist seconded. Motion carried.

Meeting adjourned.

City Clerk

Mayor Maurice Baker called the Public Hearing of the Alma City Council to order at 5:45 p.m. with the following Council Members present: Pam Bales, Dan Deiter, Paul Gronquist, and Karen Wright. Chris Torrey was absent. Mayor Maurice Baker declared that a quorum was present and called the meeting to order. City representatives in attendance were Assistant City Utility Superintendent Trent Viergever and City Clerk Sherry Smith. Also in attendance were Don Westhoff and Bobby Daniel.
The purpose of the public hearing is for Flood Plain Management.
There was no public comment.

The public hearing ended at 5:47 p.m.

City Clerk

The Governing Body of the City of Alma met in regular session at the Alma Community Center, at 6:00 p.m., with the following Council Members being present: Pam Bales, Dan Deiter, Paul Gronquist, Chris Torrey and Karen Wright. Mayor Maurice Baker declared that a quorum was present and called the meeting to order. Also present were Sam Johnson of BG Consultants and Bobby Daniel and City representatives City Clerk Sherry Smith, City Superintendent Michael Slobodnik, City Marshal Jon Sielaff and City Attorney Tom Barnes.

There was no public comment.

Sam Johnson gave an update on the gas line project. The railroad bore is underway and should be completed by January 15, 2021. He submitted a change order for NPL Construction. Council Member Pam Bales moved to approve the change order in the amount of $37,738.50. Council Member Paul Gronquist seconded. Motion carried. Michels Construction has completed Phase 1 Segment 2, they will come back in the spring to finish the seeding. Michels submitted a 13 change orders, after much discussion it was decided that a meeting with Michels will be had. 10 of the change orders were reasonable but three of them need to be discussed further with Michels.

Sam left the meeting at 6:26 p.m.

Pam Bales moved to approve the minutes of the December 1, 2020 meeting as presented.  Dan Deiter seconded.  Motion carried.

Paul Gronquist moved to approve the bills as presented.  Dan Deiter seconded.  Motion carried.

Approvals

2021 Plumbing licenses were approved for the following:

William Glotzbach dba Bill’s Heating and Plumbing submitted a plumbing application. Pam Bales moved, and Dan Deiter seconded the motion, and the motion carried.

A RESOLUTION IN THE CITY OF ALMA, KANSAS, PROVIDING FOR THE REMOVAL AND/OR ABATEMENT OF A NUISANCE EXISTING AT  506 GRAND AVE, ALMA, WABAUNSEE COUNTY, KANSAS PURSUANT TO CITY OF ALMA, ORDINANCE NO. 365 CHAPTER VIII, ARTICLE TWO

was considered and discussed.  Council Member Chris Torrey moved that said Resolution be passed.  Council Member Paul Gronquist seconded this motion.  Motion carried.  Mayor Maurice Baker declared said Resolution be adopted and the Resolution was then duly numbered Resolution 2021-1 and was signed by all and approved by the Mayor and attested by the City Clerk.

 

Council Member Paul Gronquist moved to approve the City of Alma joining Flint Hills Regional Council at a cost of $499.00. Council Member Karen Wright seconded. Motion carried.

 

City Clerk Sherry Smith presented a letter regarding trash disposal pick up. After much discussion it was decided to have bids be turned into City Hall no later than February 2, 2021 at 4:00 p.m. She also reported that City Hall has changed their phone and internet service to WTC. There have been issues with the phone system, so a new phone system has been ordered. The state has released the funds for the CDBG-CV grant for local businesses. The checks have been distributed to all that applied. The City Office will return to regular business hours Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

 

City Marshal Jon Sielaff said that he has had questions about hunting fowl at the city lake. After much discussion it was decided that hunting is prohibited. Signage will be put in place, so citizens are aware.

City Superintendent Michael Slobodnik reported that he has measured the sewer line on west 11th Street. After much discussion it was decided that the city would remedy the problems with this section starting at the manhole on 11th and Ohio going west to the property line of 125 W. 11th. He asked Council if he could pursue purchasing a truck for snow plowing and other uses on Purple Wave. Council Member Dan Dieter moved to approve the purchase not to exceed $16,000.00. Council Member Paul Gronquist seconded. Motion carried. The City responded to a call for carbon monoxide, before entering the property they were informed the resident is Covid-19 positive. The city crew took necessary precautions when going into the home.  It was recommended that any time the crew enters an enclosed area that they be sure to take all safety precautions including but not limited to gloves, N-95 masks, and eye protection,

There was discussion about the temporary work schedule, the utility crew will continue to work 4, 10-hour days. There will be a person available 5 days a week.

Pam Bales reported that Tyler and Morgan Holloman have been approved verbally for the grant to turn the space above City Hall into apartments.  Neither they nor the City have received any paperwork on the grant,

Karen Wright was approached by a citizen with concerns about putting the trash service out for bids.

Chris Torrey followed up with the trash bid discussion.

Paul Gronquist asked about the timeline for WTC to get citizens connected. He also asked if the millings that Hafenstine Construction donated were spread Manor Circle Dr. Michael replied that it was just finished that day.

Dan Deiter asked if there was an update on the service station that is going in on Highway 99 and I-70.

At 7:45 p.m. Dan Deiter moved to go into executive session for 30 minutes for matters of non-elected personnel and to have City Superintendent Michael Slobodnik in attendance. Chris Torrey seconded. Motion carried. 

City Clerk Sherry Smith, City Attorney Tom Barnes and Bobby Daniel left the meeting

At 8:15 p.m. the executive session was extended for 30 minutes.

City Superintendent Michael Slobodnik left the executive session.

The session ended at 8:45 p.m.

City Superintendent Michael Slobodnik returned to the meeting.

Coming out of executive session Council Member Pam Bales moved to approve pay wages as discussed. Council Member Dan Deiter seconded. Motion carried.

At 8:55 p.m. Pam Bales moved to adjourn to Tuesday, January 19, 2021, at 6:00 at the Alma Community Center for regular city business.  Paul Gronquist seconded, and the motion carried.

Meeting adjourned.

Sherry Smith, City Clerk

The Governing Body of the City of Alma met in regular session at the Alma Community Center, at 6:00 p.m., with the following Council Members being present: Pam Bales, Dan Deiter and Paul Gronquist. Council Members Karen Wright and Chris Torrey were absent. Mayor Maurice Baker declared that a quorum was present and called the meeting to order. City representatives City Clerk Sherry Smith, City Superintendent Michael Slobodnik, City Marshal Jon Sielaff arriving at 6:38 p.m. and City Attorney Tom Barnes. Also present was Bobby Daniel.

Public Comment:

Bobby Daniel had concerns about the potential high gas prices. At this time no information was available to pass along.

Council Member Pam Bales moved to approve the minutes of February 2, 2021 as corrected. Council Member Paul Gronquist seconded. Motion carried.

 

Council Member Paul Gronquist moved to approve the bills in the amount of $ 509,535.30. Council Member Dan Deiter seconded. Motion carried.

Approvals

Michels submitted a Pay Application for approval. Council Member Dan Deiter moved to approve payment in the amount of $ 418,635.36. Council Member Paul Gronquist seconded. Motion carried.

An agreement with Governmental Assistance Services for a CDBG Grant was submitted for approval. Council Member Pam Bales moved to approve the agreement. Council Member Dan Deiter seconded. Motion carried.

A contract with Tri County Trash was submitted. Council Member Dan Deiter moved to approve the 3-year contract. Council Member Pam Bales seconded. Motion carried.

Change order number 1 was submitted for the gas line project. Council Member Pam Bales moved to approve change order number 1. Council Member Dan Deiter seconded. Motion carried.

Change order number 2 was submitted for the gas line project. Council Member Paul Gronquist moved to approve change order number 2. Council Member Pam Bales seconded. Motion carried.

There was discussion about insurance for the City Hall building. It was decided that Tyler Holloman will talk to Copeland Insurance regarding cost. There was also discussion about refurbishing the building’s sewer line.

City Clerk Sherry Smith reported for City Marshal Jon Sielaff that notices were hung on doors to citizens who have failed to purchase city dog tags. If not purchased by March 4, 2021 a ticket in the amount of $100.00 will be issued.

City Superintendent Michael Slobodnik talked about the rise in gas prices during the cold snap. At this time there was not a lot of information to pass along. There was discussion about the situation.

Michael Slobodnik asked the council if he could purchase squeeze off tools for the new 6-inch gas line. These tools would be used to maintain the line as needed. The money will come out of the gas line project fund. Council Member Pam Bales moved to approve the purchase not to exceed $12,000.00. Council Member Paul Gronquist seconded. Motion carried.

City Marshal Jon Sielaff apologized to the council for being late, he was assisting at a fire outside of town. He reported that he had a citizen visit with him about concerns in regard to a property. He asked the council to consider putting a school zone sign on East 9th street. He visited with the council about placing larger speed limit signs on Missouri street. He also informed the council that he enrolled in training courses. He will have the information at the next meeting. He would also like the Council to consider getting a roll off dumpster for spring cleaning.

Council Member Dan Deiter reported on several properties in need of attention. He also picked up shotgun shells at the City Lake.  He asked that the signage be replaced so citizens know that shooting is prohibited. He also reported that there are tire tracks in the City Park as well as by the railroad tracks.

Council Reports

Council Member Pam Bales gave an update on the Flint Hills Regional Council. They are currently assisting communities in preparing walking trails.

Council Member Paul Gronquist reported that there has been interest in the scrap metal at the City Shop. He also asked when the dump station will be installed at the RV Park at McKnight Field. City Superintendent Michael Slobodnik said that is on the work order list to be done this spring.

Council Member Dan Deiter asked how the sewer line project on east 11th street was going. He reported that WTC is interested in the old gas line under the bridge leading into Wamego. He reported that all the gates at Mill Creek Lake have been replaced but no other work has been done.

Maurice Baker did not have anything to report.

At 7:36 Council Member Pam Bales moved to adjourn to the Public Hearing at 5:45 p.m. on March 16, 2021. Council Member Paul Gronquist seconded. Motion carried.

Meeting adjourned.

Sherry Smith, City Clerk

The Governing Body of the City of Alma met in regular session at Alma City Hall, at 6:00 p.m., with the following Council Members being present: Pam Bales, Dan Deiter, Paul Gronquist and Karen Wright. Council Member Chris Torrey was absent. Mayor Maurice Baker declared that a quorum was present and called the meeting to order. City representatives in attendance were City Clerk Sherry Smith, Assistant City Superintendent Trent Viergever and City Attorney Tom Barnes. Also, present were Bobby Daniel, Barb Frank, Scott Hallenbeck, Don Westhoff, and Stan Jones- Stifel and Associates.

Public Comment:  

Scott Hallenbeck addressed the council regarding the streets that will be put in place once houses are built in the Park Valley addition. He said that he already paid specials for his property, those specials paid for streets. If new streets are going in, the specials should be applied to the property of the new homes. Council advised Scott that no action has been taken on the matter, it will be discussed at future meetings. They thanked him for his concerns and feedback.

There was no public comment.

One sidewalk bid was submitted for project 2021-2. The bid is from J&J Construction in the amount of $37,600.00. Council Member Paul Gronquist moved to accept the bid. Council Member Dan Deiter seconded. Motion carried.

Stan Jones of Stifel and Associates gave an update on the General Obligation Bond for the Gas Line Project. This council meeting will continue on July 28, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. to present the offering and sign documents.

Stan left the meeting at 6:23 p.m.

Council Member Pam Bales moved to approve the minutes of July 20, 2021, as corrected. Council Member Paul Gronquist seconded. Motion carried.

Council Member Paul Gronquist moved to approve the bills in the amount of                  $ 214,540.28. Council Member Dan Deiter seconded. Motion carried.

City Clerk Sherry Smith reported on the following:

  1. She asked about pay raises for the 2 employees that mow. Council Member Karen Wright moved approve pay raises as recommended. Council Member Dan Deiter seconded. Motion carried.
  2. She obtained a quote from WTC for 2 additional cameras. The cost is $1,417.20. After much discussion Council Member Pam Bales moved to purchase the additional cameras. Council Member Karen Wright seconded. Motion carried.

Assistant City Superintendent Trent Viergever reported on the following;

  1. The AC unit at the community center needs to be replaced. Three bids were given. Two of the bids were for a single-phase unit with one bid being a 3-phase unit. After much discussion it was decided to wait until a 3-phase unit was available could be installed.

Council Reports

Council Member Pam Bales reported that the Flint Hills Regional Council held their monthly meeting in person in Junction City.  She attended via zoom. She talked about grants that may be available. She also talked about the entry way leading into the Park Valley addition. It was decided to replace the dirt and weeds with fresh dirt and plant liriope (also called lilyturf).  The trees will be left in place for now. She also asked about roll-off dumpsters being placed on city streets. They can be there if it is temporary. She asked how long temporary is.

Council Member Karen Wright reported that Amy Cassell has a copy of the city logo, which a student had refreshed.  She will send it to the City after school starts.

Council Member Dan Deiter asked if the payment for the signs at the lake came from the lake fund, City Clerk Sherry Smith said it came out of the Marshal fund. It was decided to transfer the money, so it came out of the lake fund.

Council Member Paul Gronquist did not have anything to report.

Maurice Baker talked about an easement that the city currently has on the west end of west 11th street. The current landowner would like the city to vacate the easement so a house can be built. Due to the 2 towers in the vicinity, it is not feasible to build very many homes due to the towers’ fall radius. After much discussion, the council has no issue vacating the easement. City Attorney Tom Barnes will follow up with the correct procedure for the city to vacate and turn ownership over to the current landowners.  Don Westhoff had a few questions about how one goes about requesting the City’s vacating an easement.  Tom Barnes will research this item.

At 7:28 p.m. Council Member Pam Bales moved to continue the meeting on July 28, 2021, at 6:00 p.m. to conduct regular city business.  Council Member Paul Gronquist seconded this motion.  Motion carried Meeting will be continued on July 28, 2021.

Sherry Smith, City Clerk

The Governing Body of the City of Alma met in regular session at the Alma Community Center, at 6:00 p.m., with the following Council Members being present: Pam Bales, Dan Deiter, Paul Gronquist, and Chris Torrey. Council Member Karen Wright was absent. Mayor Maurice Baker declared that a quorum was present and called the meeting to order. City representatives City Clerk Sherry Smith, City Superintendent Michael Slobodnik, City Marshal Jon Sielaff and City Attorney Tom Barnes were in attendance. Also present were Stan Jones of Stifle, Nichols, Christie Hitch of Tri County Waste, Michael and Carolyn Connolly, Marsha Rogers, Tonya Hensley, Bobby Daniel and a representative of Waste Management.

Public Comment:

Bobby Daniel had concerns about businesses downtown not clearing the snow on the sidewalk in a timely manner. He asked how many hours they had to remove the snow. Council Member Pam Bales replied that according to ordinance snow/ice is to be removed within 12 hours of the snow/ice stopping.

Marsha Rogers, Tonya Hensley and Michael and Carolyn Connolly visited with the council about putting the trash service out for bids. Council Member Paul Gronquist replied that it is good to see what is out there, but this does not mean that the city will award the bid to another company.

Trash service bids were presented as follows:

  1. Howie’s Trash Service- $15.25 per month. Recycle- $11.00. With a 3-year contract.
  2. Waste Management- $17.40 per month for a 96-gallon toter. An extra toter is $9.85. Bulk items are $15.00. Recycle roll off is $289.00 per month. With a 4–5-year contract, 4% annual increase in cost.
  3. Tri County- $15.25 without toter. $17.25 with toter and recycle is $9.50 per month. With a 3-year contract

Council Member Pam Bales moved to accept the bid from Tri County Waste at the proposed rates. Council Member Chris Torrey seconded.

Marsha Rogers, Tonya Hensley and Michael and Carolyn Connolly, Christie Hitch and the Waste Management representative left the meeting at 6:31 p.m.

Pam Bales moved to approve the minutes of the January 19, 2021 meeting as corrected.  Paul Gronquist seconded.  Motion carried.

Paul Gronquist moved to approve the bills as presented.  Dan Deiter seconded.  Motion carried.

Approvals

Council Member Dan Deiter moved to approve the appointment of City Superintendent Michael Slobodnik as voting delegate #1 for KMEA Board. Council Member Paul Gronquist seconded. Motion carried.

A plumbing license for Whitaker Heating and Plumbing was submitted. Council Member Paul Gronquist moved to approve the plumbing license for Whitaker Heating and Plumbing. Council Member Pam Bales seconded. Motion carried.

Stan Jones of Stifle and Nichols gave an update on refinancing the 2012 Water Bond. He asked that the council approve the Bond Agreement. Council Member Dan moved to approve the Bond Purchase Agreement. Council Member Pam Bales seconded. Motion carried.

City Attorney Tom Barnes reported that he had researched information in regard to a citizen selling guns and ammunition out of their home. Per federal regulations a person who is going to sell guns or ammunition has to hold an ATF License. Council Member Paul Gronquist asked if the home had to be rezoned to commercial in order to sell. City Attorney Tom Barnes replied that it did not.

City Marshal Jon Sielaff presented resolution 2021-3 for the property at 506 Grand.

A Resolution Regarding the Condition of Property at 506 Grand Avenue, Alma, Kansas and Scheduling Hearing Relating to Such Property

WHEREAS, the Enforcing Officer of the City of Alma, pursuant to the provisions of Section 4-604 of the Code of the City of Alma has made an investigation of the structure(s) at the above-named address in the City of Alma; and

WHEREAS, such investigation disclosed that the structure(s) are dangerous and/or unsafe and/or unfit for human habitation; and

WHEREAS, in accordance with the findings of his/her investigation, the Enforcing Officer provided a written report to the governing body of the City of Alma.

NOW, THEREFORE, be it resolved by the governing body of the City of Alma, Kansas, that:

  1. A hearing will be held on the 6th day of April 2021 at 5:45 p.m. before the governing body of the City of Alma, Kansas related to the above-named structure(s) in the City of Alma. Such hearing shall be held at the City of Alma Community Center, 244 E 11th Street, Alma, Kansas 66401.
  2. At the above-named hearing, the owners, the owners’ agent, any lienholders of record and any occupants of such structure(s) may appear and show cause why such structure(s) should not be condemned and ordered repaired or demolished.
  3. At the above-named hearing, the governing body shall hear all evidence submitted by the owners, the owners’ agent, lienholders of record and occupants having an interest in such structure(s) as well as evidence submitted by the Enforcing Officer or his/her authorized representative and shall make findings by resolution. If the governing body of the City finds that such structure(s) are unsafe and/or dangerous and/or unfit for human habitation, such resolution shall fix a reasonable time within which the repair or removal of such structure(s) shall be commenced and such resolution shall state that if the owner of such structure(s) fails to commence the repair or removal of such structure(s) within the time stated or fails to diligently prosecute the same until the work is completed, the governing body will cause the structure(s) to be repaired or removed, as appropriate. If the governing body of the City finds that such structure(s) are abandoned property, the governing body may authorize the rehabilitation of such property as provided by K.S.A. 12-1756a.
  4. The governing body shall cause this Resolution to be published in the official City newspaper. Further, the governing body shall cause a copy of this Resolution to be mailed to the owners, agents, lienholders of record and the occupants of the above-named structure(s) – all of the above shall be in conformity with the provisions of Section 4-606 of the Code of City of Alma.

Council Member Dan Deiter Moved to approve Resolution 2021-3. Council Member Paul Gronquist seconded. Motion carried.

City Marshal Jon Sielaff also asked if a stop sign could be placed at the intersection of 9th and Illinois as well as rollaway stop sign at 3rd and Kansas. After much discussion it was decided to put signage in the requested areas, however instead of rollaway signs at 3rd and Kansas something permanent should be installed.  He also reported that he will obtain an old radio from the County Sheriff’s Office when they upgrade.

City Clerk Sherry Smith reported that County Attorney Tim Liesman has inquired about the use of the Community Center to hold jury selection. Council said that as long as all proper Covid-19 guidelines are followed the County may use the center.

 

City Superintendent Michael Slobodnik reported that the pool will need to be painted this year. With Council’s approval he will put it out for bids. The antenna that will be needed for the new meter reading system is going to be placed on the WTC tower as it is taller than the City water tower and will not need to be removed when the tower is painted. A contract will be drawn up in regard to placing the antenna on the WTC tower. Council Member Dan Deiter moved to approve the contract contingent on City Attorney Tom Barnes’s approval. Council Member Paul Gronquist seconded. He also reported on the sewer line at City Hall being shared by other parts of the building as well.  With the apartments going in above City Hall, the sewer line from the building to the sewer main should be upsized to 6-inch.  Also, the existing sewer line that is shared by City Hall and the Antique Emporium needs to be replaced.  He is looking into the cost to have the sewer line replaced and talk to the owner of the Antique Emporium about cost share. He would also like to mill and overlay some streets this summer season using monies collected from sales tax and from the street budget. It was decided to move forward with this. He also discussed several sidewalks that are on the list to be replaced this summer.

Pam Bales gave an update the Moderate-Income grant that Tyler Holloman has been granted. As well as that the City of St. Mary’s has closed their public swimming pool.

Chris Torrey said he received a compliment from a citizen on behalf of the City crew’s removal of the recent snow.

Dan Deiter reported that the gas line project has finished up and the city may now remove the old gas line connected to the bridge going into Wamego. He will begin making calls to get this taken care of.

Paul Gronquist did not have anything to report.

Maurice Baker reported that he had visited with David Stuewe in regard to a road in Park Valley. It was determined that the road has not been vacated and the citizens that use it to reach the back of their properties may continue to do so.

At 7:40 p.m. Dan Deiter moved to go into executive session for 15 minutes for matters of non-elected personnel and to have City Attorney Tom Barnes in attendance. Paul Gronquist seconded. Motion carried. 

City Clerk Sherry Smith and City Superintendent Michael Slobodnik left the meeting.

The session ended at 7:45 p.m.

There was no action taken coming out of executive session.

At 7:50 p.m. Pam Bales moved to adjourn to Tuesday, February 16, 2021, at 6:00 at the Alma Community Center for regular city business.  Paul Gronquist seconded, and the motion carried.

Meeting adjourned.

Sherry Smith, City Clerk

The Governing Body of the City of Alma met in regular session at Alma City Hall, at 6:00 p.m., with the following Council Members being present: Pam Bales, Dan Deiter, Paul Gronquist and Chris Torrey. Council Member Karen Wright was absent. Mayor Maurice Baker declared that a quorum was present and called the meeting to order. City representatives in attendance were City Clerk Sherry Smith, Assistant City Superintendent Trent Viergever, City Marshal Jon Sielaff and City Attorney Tom Barnes. Also, present were Bobby Daniel, Barb Frank, Stephanie Small and Bryan Dudek.

Public Comment:  

Stephanie Small gave the council an update in regard to her property. After much discussion Council Member Chris Torrey moved that Stephanie Small has until August 17, 2021 to start repairs on the house. If repairs are started a 30-day extension will be allowed to get them completed. Council Member Dan Deiter seconded. Motion carried.

Bryan Dudek visited with the council about a fundraising event he would like to host in the City park next summer. The event is for colorectal cancer research. He would like to have a live band play. He asked about parking for the tour bus that will come in the night before the event. It was decided there is plenty of time to decide the best location to park the tour bus.

Bryan and Stephanie left the meeting at 6:26 p.m.

Barb Frank asked about the USPS van that has been sitting on Missouri Ave for several days. It is hard to see around the van as there are no windows and it is not parked against the curb. It was decided to have City Marshal Jon Sielaff visit with the postmaster.

Council Member Pam Bales moved to approve the minutes of June 1, 2021, as corrected. Council Member Paul Gronquist seconded. Motion carried.

Council Member Paul Gronquist moved to approve the bills in the amount of                  $ 125,274.59. Council Member Dan Deiter seconded. Motion carried.

City Clerk gave a short report for City Pool Manager Kate Gronquist. One lifeguard has obtained his WSI certification. She asked to approve his pay wage as recommended. She also asked to hire 3 addition people to help with swimming lessons. Council Member Pam Bales moved to approve the pay raise as well as hire the recommended people to teach swimming lessons. Council Member Paul Gronquist seconded. Motion carried.

City Marshal Jon Sielaff reported that the signs for the lake are ready to be picked up and installed. He gave a short update on the Unbound Gravel Bike ride, there will be a follow up meeting with the event organizers to go over any concerns that arose from the event this year. He also said that the citizens are getting better about not blowing grass clippings in the street. There was a suspicious person at the city park/pool on Saturday June 12, 2021. He asked about parking of camper trailers on residential streets. There is an ordinance in place that prohibits parking of trailers on residential streets. He will notify the community as needed to move their camper trailers off the street.

Assistant City Superintendent Trent Viergever reported that Wabaunsee County has a storage box that they would like to move. It was decided that it should stay where it is at and needs to be anchored to the ground. A variance will need to be obtained in order to have the storage box.

Council Reports

Council Member Pam Bales reported that the Flint Hills Regional Council will be going back to Zoom meetings rather than meet in person. They thanked Alma for hosting the first in person meeting since the COVID-19 pandemic started in March 2020. She also asked if the council members were ok with the letter of support for the Pikes Peak Trail. All members are on board with the letter.

Council Member Chris Torrey did not have anything to report.

Council Member Dan Deiter talked about an article in the Kansas Governmental magazine about ways for a municipality to collect unpaid utility bills. He also talked about the portion of road on east 9th street that is incomplete. It was the consensus of the council to visit with the new property owners about taking steps with the City to get the small portion completed.

Council Member Paul Gronquist asked about the Unbound Gravel Bike ride clean-up.

Maurice Baker reported that there is a small section on the 600 block of Ohio street where there is no sidewalk, but the properties adjacent have sidewalks. It was decided to include this portion to be completed with the next sidewalk project.

At 7:13 p.m. Council Member Pam Bales moved to adjourn to the Wabaunsee County Fair Grounds on July 16, 2021, at 5:15 for a tour of the new buildings then return to City Hall for the regular meeting. Council Member Paul Gronquist seconded. Motion carried.

Meeting adjourned.

Sherry Smith, City Clerk

The Governing Body of the City of Alma met in regular session at the Alma Community Center, at 6:00 p.m., with the following Council Members being present: Pam Bales, Dan Deiter, Paul Gronquist and Chris Torrey. Council Member Karen Wright was absent. Mayor Maurice Baker declared that a quorum was present and called the meeting to order. City representatives in attendance were City Clerk Sherry Smith, City Superintendent Michael Slobodnik, Assistant City Clerk Lindsey Silva, City Marshal Jon Sielaff and City Attorney Tom Barnes. Also present were Bobby Daniel, Barb Frank, Stephanie Small, and William Mah. Sarah Degand arrived at 6:08 p.m.

Public Comment:

Barb Frank asked for an update for the property at 506 Grand. City Code Enforcer Jon Sielaff reported that there is still much work to be done to bring the property into compliance. Sarah Degand said that she is taking care of it, there is more work to be done than initially thought. She asked the council to give a little more time. After much discussion it was decided to allow more time. Sarah is to return to the May 18, 2021 meeting with a budget for repairs as well as a timeline in order to complete the repairs. The council asked for a written agreement from all persons that are on the deed. This is to show that Sarah does in fact have permission from all to live on the property. Sarah left the meeting at 6:38 p.m.

Stephanie Small addressed the council about a noncompliance letter she had received. She asked for more time to get the items on the list back into compliance. Council asked her to return to the June 1, 2021 meeting with a timeline for getting the property back into compliance. Stephanie left the meeting at 6:47 p.m.

William Mah has purchased 20 vacant lots at Park Valley.  He will be building homes on the lots. He asked the Council what type of homes they would like to see built, and if they would consider replotting the lots to make them smaller, allowing for more homes. Council Member Dan Deiter said he is not in favor of making the lots smaller.  Mr. Mah plans to have the homes completed within 2 years. He asked about building streets and about utility lines. Council said that something can be worked out between the City and Mr. Mah. He is ready to start building on the lots that are developed. William will return to a future meeting with photographs of other homes he has built. He left the meeting at 8:00 p.m.

Council Member Pam Bales moved to approve the minutes of March 20, 2021 as submitted. Council Member Paul Gronquist seconded. Motion carried.

 

Council Member Paul Gronquist moved to approve the bills in the amount of                  $ 62,875.18. Council Member Dan Deiter seconded. Motion carried.

City Clerk Sherry Smith asked how the City is going to collect payment for any individual who made an agreement for the high gas cost in February 2021 who sell their homes and do not pay the bill. City Attorney Tom Barnes suggested utilizing a collection agency. Sherry said that the unpaid bill can be placed on the Kansas Debt Setoff. After much discussion it was decided to visit this situation as it arises.

City Superintendent Michael Slobodnik reported on the following

  • Torrey Brothers Construction submitted a bid in the amount of $28,900.00 to sandblast, paint and fiberglass patch the cracks in the pool. This will be paid for out of Capital Outlay. There was $70,000.00 left over in the General Fund from fiscal year 2020, which will be transferred to Capital Outlay Misc. fund to help pay for the pool.
  • He has visited with William Mah about building homes at Park Valley.
  • He will have bids at the next meeting for street mill and overlay on 4th Street, Illinois Street and Asphalt in front of Alma Cheese.
  • At a previous council meeting the bill from Evergy was discussed. Evergy is saying that the bill will be approximately $80,000.00 more than normal. We have not received the bill yet, so we do not have exact numbers in order to come up with repayment options. At this time City Clerk Sherry Smith has asked the state if the City may use a portion of the funds from the low interest rate loan the city obtained for the high gas cost in February 2021. More people than anticipated paid their high gas bills in full leaving funds from the loan available for the electric bill. The state approved, so, at this time, the bill will be paid with the loan funds and then a plan can be put in place for repayment from the citizens.

City Marshal Jon Sielaff gave an update on some criminal activity that took place at 506 Grand. He also gave an update on 2 vehicles at 1035 Ohio. He reported that the city may obtain a roll off dumpster from Tri County Waste for $350.00 for 3 weeks. After much discussion it was decided to hold a city wide clean up on June 18th and 19th, 2021. During this weekend, if citizens have large items, but are unable to transport them to the roll off, volunteers will assist those who need it. The dumpster will remain at the shop until June 30, 2021. A detailed flyer will be available at a later date. Council Member Pam Bales moved to approve the use of the roll off dumpster for $350.00. council Member Paul Gronquist seconded. Motion carried.

Council Reports

Council Member Pam Bales reported that the library would like to use the Community Center 4 times during the summer to show movies. Because of COVID restrictions the library is not big enough, and while it has been suggested to hold the event outside. It was decided that the library could use the community center. She also was asked about the sidewalk on the north side of 300 block of East 3rd Street. She talked to a few citizens about the possibility of having bees in town. Most were not against it.

Council Member Paul Gronquist did not have anything to report.

Council Member Dan Deiter inquired about citizens receiving utility bills in the mail after they are due.  Penalties for such bills will be waived.  The postmarked envelope may be required for the waiving of the penalty.

Maurice Baker talked about the need to change the locks at the community center.

At 8:05 Council Member Paul Gronquist moved to go into executive session for Attorney Client privilege for 15 minutes and to have City Attorney Tom Barnes, City Clerk Sherry Smith, Assistant City Clerk Lindsey Silva and City Superintendent Michael Slobodnik in attendance.

City Marshal Jon Sielaff, Barb Frank and Bobby Daniel left the meeting

The regular meeting continued at 8:20 p.m.

At 8:22 p.m. Council Member Paul Gronquist moved to go into executive session for 10 minutes to discuss non-elected personnel. Council Member Dan Deiter seconded. Motion carried.

Michael, Sherry, Lindsey and Tom left the meeting.

At 8:32 p.m. Council Member Paul Gronquist moved to extend the executive session. With City Marshal Jon Seilaff to join. Council Member Dan Deiter seconded. Motion carried.

The regular meeting continued at 9:00 p.m.

There was no action taken coming out of executive session.

At 9:00pm.m Council Member Pam Bales moved to adjourn to the regular meeting on May 18, 2021 at 6:00 at the Community Center. Council Member Paul Gronquist seconded. Motion carried.

Meeting adjourned.

Sherry Smith, City Clerk

Mayor Maurice Baker called the regular meeting of the Alma City Council to order at 6:00 p.m. with the following Council Members present:  Pam Bales Dan Deiter, Paul Gronquist, and Karen Wright.  Chris Torrey was absent.  Mayor Baker declared that a quorum was present.  All present pledged allegiance to the flag.  City Representatives in attendance were City Utility Superintendent Michael Slobodnik, Pool Manager Kate Gronquist, and City Attorney Tom Barnes.  Also in attendance were Bobby Daniel, Sam Johnson, David Arteberry of Gilmore and Bell, and Stan Jones of Gilmore and Bell.

 

Council Member Pam Bales moved to approve the minutes of April 6, 2021, as presented. Paul Gronquist seconded.  Motion carried.

Council Member Pam Bales moved to approve the minutes of the special meeting of April 6, 2021, for the closeout of the CDBG-CV grant as presented. Paul Gronquist seconded.  Motion carried.

Council Member Pam Bales moved to approve the minutes of the special meeting concerning the Degand Public Hearing on the property at 506 Grand St., Alma KS, of April 6, 2021, as presented. Paul Gronquist seconded.  Motion carried.

Council Member Paul Gronquist moved to approve the bills in the amount of $140,708.23.  Council Member Dan Deiter seconded.  Motion carried.

There was no public comment.

David Arteberry of Gilmore and Bell presented information for the Council to consider concerning financing for the up-coming Gasline Project Phase 2.  The Council agreed that it is in the best interest of the City to have the financing in place while interest rates are low.  Mr. Arteberry will be returning to present plans for the Council’s consideration at least twice more in the next ninety days.  The Council thanks Mr. Arteberry for the information and look forward to his return.  Mr. Jones, Mr. Johnson, and Mr. Arteberry left the meeting at 6:24.

City Personnel:  City Superintendent Michael Slobodnik asked to hire Jared Schultz and Gaige Smith as summer help.  Paul Gronquist moved to approve hiring the summer help at the recommended wage.  Dan Deiter seconded.  Motion carried.

On June 5 the Unbound Bike Race (formerly The Dirty Kanza Bike Race) will again be coming through Alma.  Marcy Merritt is in charge of coordinating the set up and take down in Alma. 

He is pursuing costs for prepping the Alma City Pool for the upcoming season.  Costs will include sandblasting, painting, and repairing cracks in the fiberglass.

He presented information released by Evergy concerning electrical costs incurred during the unprecedented cold spell in February.  He will have more information at the next meeting.

He is still looking into what to do with the old water tower.  Purple Wave is not interested in listing it for sale on its site.  There is a company in the area that will remove and haul off the tower for $12,600.  At this time, that project is on hold.

The request from WTC to place a sign in the park was denied.

Research on the request for beehives being located in the city will be continued next month.  Marshal Sielaff will present information.

Inquiries into the trash accumulating at the residence on 506 Grand have been made.  Payment from those responsible for the trash is required by the trash company before they can remove it.

City Attorney Tom Barnes reported on the ongoing issue of the Bluemark Energy bill which is being contested by the City.  A Bluemark attorney is claiming that the energy charge was due to force majeure, which is being denied by the City.  At this time Bluemark is requiring the City prepay the gas nomination each month as required by contract.  The City was reminded that since it is represented by counsel, all comments from the Bluemark Energy attorney are to be directed to Attorney Barnes or his representative.  Investigations into the validity of the prices charged for natural gas in February continue. 

Pool Manager Kate Gronquist presented a packet of information concerning the 2021 Alma City Pool.  Pam Bales moved and Paul Gronquist seconded approving the staffing recommendations and wages as submitted by Kate Gronquist Gronquist.  Motion carried.

Additional items in her presentation include scheduling hours of operation, lifeguard training, private and public swimming lessons, opening and closing dates, Covid considerations, prices for daily swimming, water aerobics/lap swim, and pool parties.  Additional information was presented on pre-season goals for both pool and city personnel and on the advantages of not offering pool passes.

She will investigate the number of swimmers allowed in the pool area.

She is excited about the upcoming season and reported that the staff is ready, willing, and able.  She has already received questions from patrons wanting to sign up for swimming lessons.

 

She also reported that Family and Consumer Sciences is looking for a place for a meeting with access to a swimming pool on August 6.

Under Concerns of the Council:

Council Member Pam Bales announced that the Flint Hill Regional Council will return to face-to-face meetings next month at the Alma Community Center on May 20 at 9:00.  All recommended Covid precautions will be practiced.  Part of the meeting will include a trip to the intersection of K99 and I-70 to view the new Travel Plaza site.

Council Member Karen Wright presented a check from the Alma Area Foundation for the 2020 annual distribution of the Kenneth and Bonnie Gnadt Bequest in the amount of $2,102.91.  The money is to be used for park improvements and must be matched by City funds.  At the present time the money is being saved for a future project.  One suggestion was to create a Bark Park to alleviate the problems at McKnight Field with people not only not cleaning up after their dogs, but also dogs causing damage to the infields of the ball fields.

Council Member Dan Deiter reported that the main roof on the Park House needs to be replaced soon.  At least one shingle was on the ground and there is damage to other shingles.  He also reported that the rocks protecting the park from trucks backing out of the post office has been hit again.  Camera footage concerning the accident will be investigated.  One solution is to add additional limestone rocks to protect the park.

Council Member Paul Gronquist reported that he has noticed that lights in the shelter house are not being turned off.  Council Member Deiter reported that he has noticed that the Park House porch has the same issue.  City Superintendent Slobodnik will check into the matter.

 

Mayor Maurice Baker reported that Hot Alma Nights will return in August if Covid restrictions are relaxed.  He also reported that Council Member Chris Torrey is still waiting test results and that well wishes for his swift recovery are much appreciated.

Mayor Baker also reported that City Clerk Sherry Smith had questions about the utilities at 506 Grand. 

At 7:45 CM Pam Bales moved to adjourn to 6:00 on May 4,2021 for regular city business at the Alma Community Center.  Council Member Paul Gronquist seconded.  Motion carried.

Pam Bales

Mayor Maurice Baker called the Public Hearing of the Alma City Council to order at 5:50 p.m. with the following Council Members present: Pam Bales, Paul Gronquist, and Chris Torrey. Council Member Dan Deiter arrived at 5:51 p.m. Council Member Karen Wright was absent. Mayor Maurice Baker declared that a quorum was present and called the meeting to order.  City representatives in attendance were City Utility Superintendent Michael Slobodnik, City Clerk Sherry Smith, Assistant City Clerk Lindsey Silva, City Marshal Jon Sielaff, and City Attorney Tom Barnes. Also in attendance were Bryan and Sharon McBride, Barb Frank, Bobby Daniel, Patricia Hornsby, Chris Degand, Sarah Degand and John Waugh-Attorney. 

There was discussion pertaining to the property at 506 Grand. In 2020 the City started legal proceedings to condemn the property after the homeowner passed away in 2019. City Attorney Tom Barnes addressed the council, he gave background information pertaining to the issues of the property. City Code Enforcement Officer Jon Sielaff gave an update on the property. Violations that he noted are as follows:

  • Rot on the outside of the structure.
  • The porch is pulling away from the structure.
  • The bay window has rot along the edges.

City Attorney Tom Barnes asked Jon if he thought the property was habitable in its current condition. In his opinion as Code Enforcement Officer, he does not believe it is. There is possible mold on the inside due to the elements entering where the structure is rotted. It looks as if caulking was used to close holes in the structure. It is now weather worn and cracked. He was asked if the property could be made habitable.  He replied that it might be possible, but he was not comfortable with giving a definite yes or no.

The family members of Candy Degand (deceased) addressed the council. They spent the week prior to the hearing cleaning and making repairs to the property.

April 30, 2021 is the soonest a court date could be set for the probate hearing.

After much discussion Council Member Chris Torrey moved to allow the family 30 days to bring the property into compliance with the following conditions.

  • They must pay a $200.00 deposit for utilities. It was decided to turn the water on so they could find and repair any leaks. The gas line needs to be pressure tested; gas will be turned on when the city has proof of ownership.
  • They will need to continue to work on resolving the issue with the title to the property.
  • They must repair the structure to bring it into compliance with City code.
  • City personnel must have access to the property to inspect utility connections.
  • They will return to the meeting on May 4, 2021 with an update on the property.
  • Rehab also includes the lawn.
  • They are to research if Medicaid will pursue the lien on the property since it is now being rehabbed instead of demolished.

Council Member Paul Gronquist seconded. Motion carried.

The public hearing ended at 6:26 p.m.

City Clerk

 

Mayor Maurice Baker called the Public Hearing of the Alma City Council to order at 5:45 p.m. with the following Council Members present: Pam Bales, and Dan Deiter. Council members Paul Gronquist, Chris Torrey, and Karen Wright were absent. Attorney Barnes said the meeting could start, but no action could be taken without a quorum being present. Mayor Baker opened the meeting to discussion on the issue and when Council Member Karen Wright arrived at 5:50 p.m. he declared that a quorum was present. City representatives in attendance were City Utility Superintendent Michael Slobodnik, City Clerk Sherry Smith, and City Attorney Tom Barnes. Also in attendance were Barb Frank and Bobby Daniel.

There was discussion pertaining to the property at 111 E 10th. At the public hearing on June 6, 2021, the property owner was given until August 17, 2021, to begin repairs on the property to bring it into compliance. If repairs had been started an extension of 30 days would be granted to complete the work. As of this date no repairs have been started. The property owner has taken possession of the house as the tenant has moved. The owner and the tenant were advised to present a bid from a contractor on the cost of repairs as well as a timeline to abate the situation. As of this meeting neither the property owner nor the tenant is present with the required documents. After much discussion Council Member Pam Bales moved to authorize the City Code Enforcement officer to obtain bids to remediate the porch and the other noncompliant items to bring the property back into compliance. Council Member Dan Deiter seconded. Motion carried.

At 5:55 p.m. Council Member Bales moved to close the public hearing, Member Deiter seconded and the motion carried,

Sherry Smith, Clerk

The Governing Body of the City of Alma met in the continued, regular session at Alma City Hall, at 6:00 p.m., with the following Council Members being present: Dan Deiter, Paul Gronquist and Karen Wright. Council Members Chris Torrey and Pam Bales were absent. Mayor Maurice Baker declared that a quorum was present and called the meeting to order. City representative in attendance was Assistant City Clerk Lindsey Silva. Also, present were Bobby Daniel, Scott Hallenbeck, William Mah-Mahnoply Properties and Stan Jones- Stifel and Associates.

Public Comment: 

Bobby Daniel asked the council if building permits should be issued in Park Valley for lots that aren’t yet developed. Scott Hallenbeck also voiced concerns on current residents possibly not wanting curb and gutter put in. Maurice Baker has discussed the situation with William Mah, who said it will be hard to sell a house on a gravel road. Council advised that it will be discussed down the road with landowners once houses are built/sold. Maurice let William know it may be easier to do sewers for all houses at once, but he would have to do the work himself as the city does not have the equipment for the job that needs done. The City may have pipe that they could supply for it. Maurice stated we can go over things when it gets closer to the time and discuss further action at that time.

There was no public comment.

APPROVALS

Council Member Paul Gronquist moved to pass Resolution 2021-11. Council Member Dan Deiter seconded the motion. Motion Carried

Resolution 2021-11

ADOPTING THE KANSAS HOMELAND SECURITY REGION I HAZARD MITIGATION PLAN.

 

Stan Jones of Stifel and Associates presented the bond and temp note agreement for refinancing the gas line project.

Council Member Paul Gronquist moved to pass Resolution 2021-12, Council Member Dan Deiter Seconded. Motion Carried.

A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING AND DIRECTING THE ISSUANCE, SALE AND DELIVERY OF GENERAL OBLIGATION TEMPORARY NOTES, SERIES 2021-1, OF THE CITY OF ALMA, KANSAS; PROVIDING FOR THE LEVY AND COLLECTION OF AN ANNUAL TAX, IF NECESSARY, FOR THE PURPOSE OF PAYING THE PRINCIPAL OF AND INTEREST ON SAID NOTES AS THEY BECOME DUE; MAKING CERTAIN COVENANTS AND AGREEMENTS TO PROVIDE FOR THE PAYMENT AND SECURITY THEREOF; AND AUTHORIZING CERTAIN OTHER DOCUMENTS AND ACTIONS CONNECTED THEREWITH.

Council Member Paul Gronquist moved to pass Ordinance #526, Bond agreement. Council Member Dan Deiter seconded. Motion Carried.

AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING AND PROVIDING FOR THE ISSUANCE OF GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS, SERIES 2021-B, OF THE CITY OF ALMA, KANSAS; PROVIDING FOR THE LEVY AND COLLECTION OF AN ANNUAL TAX FOR THE PURPOSE OF PAYING THE PRINCIPAL OF AND INTEREST ON SAID BONDS AS THEY BECOME DUE; AUTHORIZING CERTAIN OTHER DOCUMENTS AND ACTIONS IN CONNECTION THEREWITH; AND MAKING CERTAIN COVENANTS WITH RESPECT THERETO.

Council Member Paul Gronquist moved to pass Resolution 2021-13, Council Member Dan Deiter seconded the motion. Motion carried.

A RESOLUTION PRESCRIBING THE FORM AND DETAILS OF AN AUTHORIZING AND DIRECTING THE SALE AND DELIVERY OF GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS, SERIES 2021-B, OF THE CITY OF ALMA, KANSAS, PREVIOUSLY AUTHORIZED BY ORDINANCE NO. 526 OF THE ISSUER; MAKING CERTAIN COVENANTS AND AGREEMENTS TO PROVIDE FOR THE PAYMENT AND SECURITY THEREOF; AND AUTHORIZING CERTAIN OTHER DOCUMENTS AND ACTIONS CONNECTED THEREWITH.

Stan left the meeting at 6:30 p.m.

Council Reports

There were no reports from the Council.

At 6:33 p.m. Council Member Paul Gronquist moved to adjourn to August 3rd, 2021, at Alma City Hall at 6:00 p.m. to conduct regular city business. Council Member Dan Deiter seconded this motion. 

Motion carried Meeting adjourned.

Lindsey Silva, Assistant City Clerk