Kiowa City Council ends year with good finances


January 24, 2018

Last week part of the business conducted at the Kiowa, Kansas, city council’s over three-hour meeting ran in a story in the Newsgram. The remainder of the meeting follows below.

Retiring Mayor Brandon Farney called the meeting to order with all members present including: Tom Wells, Russell Molz, R.L. Simpson and Bill Watson. Also seated at the council table were City Administrator Lou Leone, City Attorney Laurel McClellan and City Clerk Trish Brewer.

As reported, newly elected Mayor Ron Rohr took his place at the head of the table for the first time after taking the oath of office.

Leone’s End-of-Year Review

In his end-of-year review, Leone said that despite less tax revenue and the severe storm damage to the city, Kiowa was off just 1.28 percent of their budget. That’s although the city was 5.28 percent shy of projected revenue. Tax revenue from Barber County was short $20,000 and from the city $10,000, he said.

Before the end of 2017, the council approved an amended budget (to have funds if needed before the end of year) of which they needed only about half of the amount. This is with all the city’s storm damage paid for, he said.

“We are doing good,” Leone said of finances.

He distributed sheets for council members to create their budget priorities for the new year.

Kiowa Council Action and Discussion Items

The council approved their annual considerations:

• Appoint the First State Bank and the People’s Bank as the city’s official depositories.

• Appoint Kiowa News as the city’s official newspaper.

• Adopt Resolution No. 18-286 that requests a waiver of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) requirements.

• Annual transfer to the Public Safety Equipment Fund (for future fire equipment) in the amount of $12,500.

EBH Engineering Associates Representative Michael Younger addressed the council about what they offer from their Pratt office. Knowing that Kiowa plans to do water improvement projects, Younger explained how EBH specializes in water and wastewater projects, including beautification. The council thanked him for coming.

Council members reminded that a factor holding their progress in getting funding for a water project going is getting some citizens to complete their LMI Survey (low to moderate income).

Ordinance No. 18-449 received council approval. This makes the city administrator under a contract basis, not an appointed position. Leone has two-years remaining on his four-year contract, he confirmed.

At the Kansas Rural Water Association Annual Meeting, the council approved Leone as Kiowa’s voting delegate and Mayor Rohr as alternate. Rohr will also be a delegate for KMEA.

Administrator Leone Reports

The electric department is completing their second connection line to the city to the Kiowa District Hospital. Leone said this is to insure the hospital has an alternate to their own generator in a disaster event.

The city pool house that was heavily damaged in the August storm is not finished. Leone said it’s still not ADA compliant and has other issues like lead paint, etc. It’s probably going to have to be torn down and rebuilt, he said.

New software is operational for the city. Payroll will now be direct deposit.

Leone said members of the Kansas Municipal Energy Agency (KMEA) came to Kiowa to visit about the city’s electric needs.

Leone and the council have talked about hooking in to Southern Pioneer as another power option for the city. In discussions with KMEA, Leone said the city is paying Western Farmers $42,000 annually. The payment to Southern Pioneer would be $128,000.

When the city renews with KMEA in three years, there is the Nextera project to consider, Leone said. This will lock the city into a mixed source of electric power. The goal is to lock prices of natural gas as a way of reducing costs of purchasing power for the city.

At the end of the meeting there was a short executive session to discuss an employee performance with no action taken. At the request of Hill, another five minute executive session was called with no action taken.


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