City Renews Contracts, Hears Reports at November Meeting

By REX ZIMMERMAN

Kiowa’s City Council met Monday, November 6, for its monthly meeting and set a burn period, renewed contracts and service agreements, and acted on several other items. Council members present were Bill Watson, R.L. Simpson, Russ Molz, Brian Hill and Tom Wells. In the absence of Mayor Brandon Farney, council present Watson opened the meeting.

After approval of the agenda, previous minutes and bills for payment, council first heard from resident Ernie Godley, who had a problem with water running off the county/city fire station building on 7th Street washing out the gravel he has put in his driveway. He would like the water drained out to the street if possible. Council acknowledged the problem, but since the building is owned by the county they don’t have the authority to make any changes. It was decided to contact the county commission on the matter for their help and hopefully take some action next month.

Mop Contract Dropped

A proposal by Nicole Perez, who is contracted by the city to clean the Community Building, could save the city a little money. The city currently has a contract with Uline to provide mops and supplies as needed to the building at a cost of $744 per year. Eliminating the contract and purchasing mops and supplies itself, the city could save around $300, it was estimated. Council voted to not renew the Uline contract when it expires and purchase supplies as needed.

No Beer Cans, Please!

City administrator Lou Leone gave an overview of the budget as the end of the year nears and said overall it is below budget. The Electric Fund is the one exception due to the costs of last summer’s storms and other projects going on. A budget amendment might be required, he said, to bring that fund up to requirements before the end of the year.

The sewer cleaning project was also discussed and Mr. Leone noted that the cleaning crew found one section of sewer pipes clogged with Coors beer cans. Council had a few chuckles about the situation (one said he was a Bud Light drinker so it wasn’t him), but realize that it can become a serious situation and asks residents to please not put items down the sewer that could permanently clog it up.

City Office Needs Work

David Moreland with American Metropolitan Environmental, Inc. next visited with council concerning an inspection he had conducted of the city building, which was originally constructed in 1929. Water has leaked in from the roof causing mold in the upper ceiling tiles, which have also caused problems in the drop ceiling now in the building. Fiberglass from old insulation was also detected. Mr. Moreland also said the west wall of the building needs repairs and the windows on that side need to be replaced or sealed up. He noted that the contaminates in the air might or might not be a health problem to employees and the public, depending on how their immune system reacts.

Discussion then turned to what other improvements the city building might need, such as updated wiring, inside remodeling, etc. Council decided to take first things first and talk to a roofer to get the leaks stopped before undertaking major improvements inside.

Burn Period Set

Council voted to authorize a burn period inside the City of Kiowa through November 22. Citizens are reminded not to burn in street gutters or on windy days.

Contracts Approved

Next on the agenda were several annual contracts and other items for council to consider.

The city administrator first received council approval for the Kiowa Chamber of Commerce to decorate and light Centennial Park downtown and also the Island Park.

The contract for the annual city audit with Busby, Ford & Reimer was approved. The fee of $9,350.00 for 2017 reflects no increase for the new contract.

The renewal of a contract with Data Tech was also approved at a cost of $5,094.40. This is for software and licensing costs for the city’s billing software.

Movie Theater Expenses

Council next heard a report on the movie theater’s projection system. The projector is five years old and out of warranty, the city administrator explained. A recent failure of a needed part in the projector is costing the city $8.000.00. Sonic, the company that presently maintains the theater equipment, offered to replace the part at no cost (with the exception of over $500 travel expenses) if the city renews the warranty for two years at a cost of $4,444.00.

Council accepted that agreement, then were asked to renew the movie theater’s security agreement with Sonic to provide a firewall for the theater’s computer system to protect downloads. (The city pays for the internet service for the theater). Council also approved that agreement for $269.55. Council was reminded that these agreements are in addition to the monthly fee the city already pays Sonic for a service agreement contract.

Lou Leone said that while the two year warranty agreement will buy the city some time, the projection system is five years old and with one part failing, others will most likely follow. He said the city needs to be thinking about replacing the projection system at some point in the future, at an estimated cost of over $65,000.00. One councilman noted that the old projection system lasted over 40 years.

In other action, council:

  • Gave approval for City Clerk Trish Brewer to attend City Clerk’s School.
  • Was informed that the final draft plat for 12th Street is completed and the approximately 12 property owners along the east side of the street will be contacted by letter providing information on next steps to take if they wish to claim the additional property they are eligible for.
  • Approved $600.00 for an application with the Dept. of Water Resources to extend the city’s existing water rights for another five years. The rights include the wells near Sharon and also the rights around the south water tank and the well northeast of town, which may have good enough quality water to be of use again for a potable water source, the city administrator said.
  • Was presented the Police Report from Chief Steven Johnson. He said a live disaster drill, held primarily for the hospital personnel, went very well.

See last week’s paper for the administrator’s report.