City Makes Appointments, Talks Electricity

By REX ZIMMERMAN

Kiowa’s City Council made annual appointments and discussed electrical issues at Monday night’s monthly meeting. Council members present were Russ Molz, Bill Watson, R.L. Simpson, Tom Wells and Brian Hill, along with Mayor Brandon Farney.

In opening action, the board approved the agenda, previous minutes, and bills for payment

Annual Items

Mayor Farneyt made annual appointments – the First State Bank and Peoples Bank were named as official city depositories, and The Kiowa News was appointed as the official city newspaper

Funds Transferred

In previous years, council has agreed to transfer an amount of money equal to the remaining funds in the Fire Department’s budget to the Public Safety Equipment Fund for future use by the department. This year, council again approved that request and transferred $2,833 from the Electric Fund to the Public Safety Equipment Fund.

GAAP Waiver Approved

Next item of business was approval of Resolution No. 270 which gives the city a waiver of the GAAP accounting procedures, a move most cities of Kiowa’s size make annually.

Electric Maintenance Contract

The current contract with Alfalfa Electric Cooperative (AEC) to provide a journeyman lineman expires on January 31. Eric Sommerhauser and Dusty Robinson from Strom Power Services were on hand to present a proposal to provide the city with an electrical lineman until the city has hired a new one, and services beyond that if needed.

Their proposal called for a fee of $3,500 per month which would provide the city with a two-man crew for 20 hours of work per month. A fee of $175 per hour would be charged for more than 20 hours.

The two men said Strom has several crews based out of Anthony and even more in other area cities and could respond to Kiowa’s need in 30 to 40 minutes. They said the contract proposal would guarantee Kiowa has a dedicated crew to respond to needs – and more help if it is needed.

“We’re just wanting to help,” Mr. Sommerhauser said, adding that no work would ever be done without Kiowa’s request. Their company can also do a complete assessment of the city’s electrical system from the generator on up if requested.

Council had several questions for the two men and thanked them for their proposal.

Administrator’s Report

The city administrator told council members he has began working with the Rural Water District board and the City of Hardtner to purchase chlorine at a bulk rate, which he said should see each group a savings of almost $23 a bottle, which over the course of a year will add up.

He noted that ten applications have been received for the lineman position and he would like to get that number down to three or four for the council to look at.

Mr. Leone also said that staff is working with consultant Greg Wright on the electric rates so the city can be prepared to bill properly when the transition to KMEA is completed. He said staff is also working on an ordinance to adjust the current billing dates to better align it with KMEA’s invoice procedures.

It should be a fun opening at the Kiowa Swimming Pool on Memorial Weekend as Coca-Cola has agreed to provide a banner and five to 10 cases of water and soda.

In final notes, Mr. Leone said he is working on an agreement for volunteers who wish to provide services to the city, and he and City Superintendent Gary Johnson are beginning to look at purchasing a new trash truck. The current trucks are 2009 and 2002 models. There is around $125,000 budgeted this year for a new truck.

Final Notes

Police Chief Steven Johnson reported on successful gift giveaways during Christmas and Fun Day at the grade school, which he hopes will be an annual event. He also said the county attorney is providing some new targets for the shooting range, and discussion continued into who should have access to the range and the liability involved.

Mark Lambert also visited with the council to request improvements on Commercial Street as it is very muddy after the pipeline work done last year. Council agreed to check into it and possibly get a rock surface on it.

Council finished the meeting with two executive sessions. No action was taken.