Alva Review-Courier -

Kiowa Council approves resolution to start bond process for city hall renovation

• Sets public budget hearing and special meeting for Aug. 29, 6 p.m.


August 21, 2019

Last week the Newsgram reported on part of the five-hour Aug. 12 meeting of the Kiowa City Council. Trying to reach an agreement for a proposed 2020 tax budget dominated most of the meeting and was covered in that first story. A divided council finally approved the budget proposed by Councilmember R.L. Simpson and others. The proposed budget eventually was approved by a vote of 3-2. Voting yes were Simpson, Tom Wells and Russ Molz. Brent Shaffer and Brian Hill voted no.

Since that meeting, the council held another meeting that was primarily in executive session the evening of Aug. 16. Mayor Bill Watson said the meeting lasted over one hour. Upon return to open session, the council signed a contract with LEAPS, which is a part of the Kansas League of Municipalities that helps with a city's search for an administrator.

The following Tuesday and Wednesday the council interviewed two different candidates for city administrator, according to the mayor.

As reported in the Newsgram last week, the council approved a meeting for the Public Budget Hearing Thursday, Aug. 29, at 6 p.m. The city hall/police department building renovation project will also be on that agenda.

Watson said a representative from Ransom Capital will also attend that meeting to discuss bond financing for that renovation project. The mayor explained to the council that the city will go into debt by $295,000 for 20 years. He said this cost includes remodeling; roof repairs and furnishings (like new desks and other office furniture to replace the old and in need of replacement pieces).

Ransom needed the council to pass a resolution that night so they can start the process to obtain bond funding. The council passed Resolution 19-295 in favor of having Ransom start the process. The motion passed 4-1 with Hill voting no.

Other City of Kiowa Business

Presenting the cash and budget report for the month, Watson said the city is “on target.”

Following an under-30-minute executive session mid-meeting, the council approved new employee health benefits.

The following annual ordinances were approved: Ordinance No. 19-459 regarding the Uniform Public Offense Code; and Ordinance No. 19-460 regarding Traffic Ordinances.

Regarding the planned electrical outage the previous Sunday night, reports are that the generators ran well and three electric poles were successfully changed.

Street Superintendent John Duvall got council approval for Circle C Paving to do chip and seal for $40,508. The council also approved Duvall's request to purchase tires for the trash truck for $1,697 from Kenny Evans at Kiowa Tire. He reported transmission is going out of a 2007 city vehicle with an estimated 70,000 miles.

Police Chief Nate Houston reported 83 contacts this month. He spoke of the human and sex trafficking seminar he attended at the hospital, which he said was beneficial. The chief said Officer Chad Hacker received DARE certification and was second in his class. He said “Retro Bill” will return Sept. 9 and 10 to speak in schools and to the public. The character was a huge hit with everyone when he visited last school year.

Kiowa District Hospital (KDH) requested the city waive the rental fee for the Kiowa Community Building for their Jeans and Gems fundraiser Sept. 21 for their wellness addition. KDH needs the building two days prior to the event to set up for the dinner and auction. After much conversation, the council agreed to waive the fee. They will charge KDH the refundable $300 fee since alcohol will be served at the Saturday night event.

Watson told the Newsgram he wants to clarify the cost of the city shirts ordered for employees. He said the cost is $24 per shirt, not $59 as some are saying.

City Attorney Brandon Ritcha reminded the council they need to work on making a strategic plan.

Public comment regarded too many stray cats, who has the authority to order an audit of the city, and real estate.


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