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City of Ramona
Council Minutes
May 13, 2013
Ramona City Hall

Presiding: Mayor Byron Noeth

Council Present: Art Stroda, Billy Alcorn, AJ Svoboda, Rachel Mealor, Pat Wick

Staff present: Jessica Gilbert, Kathy Matkins, Dave Staatz

Others in attendance: Rohani Alcorn, Jim Thompson, Cassy Thompson, CJ Thompson, Dallen Thompson, Jon & Amanda Gehrke, Commissioner Holub

The meeting was called to order by the mayor at 7:00pm

Jim Thompson immediately began handing out copies of the Kansas State Statute, concerning the regulations on write-in candidates having a prescribed period of time to fill out and return candidate information to the Marion County elections department. Jim said that he checked with the Marion County Clerk’s Office and that Pat Wick, who was to be sworn in at the May meeting, could not be sworn in because she had not returned the required paperwork, therefore was not eligible to be on Council. Pat said she was not aware of any required paperwork; she had been in California for most of April.

Mayor Noeth responded that he has the responsibility to appoint someone to fill a vacancy on council, and his appointment is Pat Wick.

Motion:. Councilwoman Mealor motioned to approve the Mayor’s appointment--Pat Wick--to fill the 5th position on city council.  Seconded by Councilman Stroda. Motion passed: Billy Alcorn and AJ Svoboda voted no; Rachel Mealor and Art Stroda voted yes. Mayor Noeth broke the tie by voting for Wick.

Pat Wick was sworn in by the city clerk.

The City Clerk read April meeting minutes.

Motion:  Billy Alcorn moved to approve the April 2013 minutes. Art Stroda seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously.

Kathy Matkins read the Treasurer’s report and presented the bills for payment.

Motion: Pat Wick moved to accept the treasurer’s report as read; motion seconded by Rachel Mealor, and passed unanimously.

Mayor’s Report
Mayor Noeth reported that the legal case against Ron Kidd, whose dog killed the Makovec cat, is on hold at the moment because Mr. Kidd has moved out of the county. The City Attorney said that the statute of limitations is for two years, so if Ron moves back into Ramona, the case will be reactivated.

The Mayor said he wrote to the Bell family about their home on 4th and B and the trash around the house. The yard has been picked up and the Bell’s neighbor to the north, James Miner, is planning to keep the Bell yard mowed.

The dumpster that had oil in it, that was on the cement slab owned by the Weber family, downtown, has been handled by Jeannie Goza, with the help of Art Stroda and Billy Alcorn.  

The Mayor asked Commissioner Holub if he had anything to say and Mr. Holub said that one of the issues the County Commissioners are working on is the recycling program for the county.  Holub said the county will move to single-stream recycling and urged someone from Ramona to attend the upcoming meeting on May 28.  

City Clerk’s Report
Jessica Gilbert mentioned that the City’s water bill for the City Bldg had an extra fee attached (which means that the city used the allotted amount of water, plus some). She asked Councilman Stroda if he would check as to what might be causing the extra usage.

Gilbert said that the CD at Tampa State Bank, where $5,000 is in savings from the Highway Fund, is coming due for roll over.  She explained that if the CD is re-invested and then in September the city needed the money for road work, there would only be one month’s interest deducted as a penalty.

Motion: Pat Wick moved to extend the Highway Fund CD of $5,000 at Tampa State Bank, for another six months.  Seconded by Rachel Mealor.  Motion passed unanimously.

Gilbert gave the council a new list of city residents for their notebooks.  She also said that the April sewer bills had been sent to everyone who pays twice a year, or who has not made any payments at all.  She went on to explain that residents who had made no payment were warned that if the Clerk had to send a certified letter in August, the resident’s account would automatically be charged an additional $6 to cover the certified mail fee.  If the account is not paid by September 30, that resident will be charged an additional $20 for the work of attaching their sewer bill to the Marion County property tax rolls.

Maintenance Report
Dave Staatz told council that they may need a new lawn mower by next year.

Mayor Noeth asked Dave if he had any further information on the classes Dave would need to take to become certified as the city’s sewer expert. Dave said the class he had known about was cancelled due to State cuts and he didn’t know where to look further.

Dave said he and Councilman Stroda would be repairing the west wall of the park shelter house by Memorial Day.

Council discussed the culvert on the east side of 3rd and D where erosion has taken place between the drainage area and the street.  Dave said he’d call Digsafe. The question was raised as to whether the Council needed to approve this work and Clerk Gilbert said the project had been approved more than two years ago.

Councilwoman Mealor asked about spraying for mosquitoes before long. Dave said he planned to use the City of Herington equipment to spray.

Dave asked the representatives from the Youth Council if they’d like a tetherball for the park. They said “yes.”

Youth Council did not have any special report for the meeting.

Mayoral Appointments

Motion: Mayor Noeth made the following appointments for city personnel:
    City Treasurer:    Kathy Matkins
    City Clerk:        Jessica Gilbert
    City Maintenance:    David Staatz
    City Attorney:        Brian Bina
    City Muni Judge:    Keith Collett
    Council President:    Billy Alcorn
Councilman Stroda moved to approve the Mayor’s appointments. Seconded by Pat Wick. Motion passed (Bill Alcorn abstained).

Railroad Crossing
Clerk Gilbert got answers to the Council’s questions about the proposed new railroad crossing equipment on the F Street crossing.

Q: Would they put asphalt down to join F Street?
A: No, this project has nothing to do with asphalt or street repair

Q: Does the City have to publish anything in the newspaper?
A: No

Q: What signage is the city’s responsibility?
A: The round signs that tell the driver that there’s a railroad crossing. (These signs are already in place; they were put there by the Marion County Road Dept.)

Q: Will they pay the city’s maintenance person to put up the signs?
A: No; no need to put up signs.  They’re already in place

Q: Are they going to be blocking the roads?
A: Doubtful and when they do, there’s another road available on D Street

Q: If they damage the roads will they repair?
A: There’s no reason our roads will be damaged; the work is on the railroad property

Q: Why are they doing this project now?
A: All railroad crossing areas are on a master list with the government and our crossing just came up on the list.

Motion: Billy Alcorn moved to approve the Resolution 2013-4-8 authorizing Project No. 57 X-2812-01, RRS-X281 (201) regarding crossing of the Union Pacific Railroad Company tracks and F Street in Ramona, and authorizing the mayor to sign the agreement.  Motion seconded by AJ Svoboda, and passed unanimously.

Tax Exemption on City Property
Clerk Gilbert reported that the west portion of Lot 18 (north of the City Bldg) that was owned by the Stroda family, and divided the two plots of land owned by the City of Ramona, has been traded with the east portion of Lot 21, which was owned by the City of Ramona and adjoins the north edge of Stroda’s property.  By the City and the Strodas trading lots, the City of Ramona now has one contiguous piece of property, which makes it possible for the City to now apply for Tax Exempt Status.

Gilbert said there was some concern about applying for tax exempt status, when the City rents out the city building for purposes other than city business. She gave examples of other cities that were denied exemption because they received income from their property and the state statutes explicitly says that the property in question must be used “exclusively” for municipal purposes.

Councilwoman Wick suggested that perhaps people give a donation for use of the building, rather than officially charging them. Councilman Alcorn suggested the clerk contact the Herington City Clerk, Deb Wendt to see how they handle this issue; Commissioner Holub said he’d make some inquiries because the County Lake properties are experiencing similar issues.  Gilbert said she was waiting on a call back from one of the State tax attorneys.

Chip & Seal on B Street
Clerk Gilbert asked Council if they wanted to take any official steps to chip and seal B Street.  There was discussion about the various issues, and Commissioner Holub offered to have the Marion County Road/Bridge Dept. do the work and suggested someone call Randy Crawford.  He mentioned that the County also had equipment for sealing cracks, since the City of Herington no longer had equipment that Ramona could use.

Miscellaneous Business
Council briefly talked about the city’s gas barrel that still resides next to Brendan Bailey’s residence.  Councilman Alcorn thought there was perhaps 1/4 tank still available. The Council briefly discussed the merits of getting gas cards at Cardie Oil and in Herington at the gas station, rather than keeping gas in the tank. The group agreed to keep the tank where it is; use the gas, move the tank and then discuss the issue again.

Motion: Councilman Alcorn moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:10pm. Motion seconded by Rachel Mealor. Motion passed unanimously.

Jessica Gilbert, city clerk 

City of Ramona
Treasurer’s Report: May 13, 2013

Beginning Balance             21,194.69

    State of Ks.-Retail tax    740.75
    Westar Franchise     173.49
    Atmos Franchise    165.35
    AJ Svoboda (returned council pay)    90.00
    Billy Alcorn (returned council pay)    82.50
    Stroda (bldg. rent)    40.00
Total Income        1,292.09

Balance prior to expense            22,486.78

Ck 4099   Westar (April Street lights)    249.89
Ck 4101   Marion Co. Deeds    16.00
Ck 4102   Hannaford Title    100.00
Ck 4103   void
Ck 4104   Westar (park, shop, city bldg)    78.80
Ck 4105   Atmos Energy    54.82
Ck 4106   U.S. Post Office (Bell Letter)    6.11
Ck 4107   Westar (May street lights)    254.89
Ck 4109   Rural Water    49.45
Ck 4111   Jess Gilbert (clerk hrs)    264.12
Total Expense        1,074.08

Balance as of May 2013            21,412.70
Investment Funds    5,000.00

May 2013

Beginning Balance        `    12,219.83
    Sewer Fees    380.00
    2012-2013     $380.00
    Thompson $10
    Wiles $120
    Calif. Sisters $40
    Stroda, M. $180
    Thornhill $10
    Bailey, Nate $20
Total income        380.00    
Balance Prior to Expense            12,599.83

Ck 4100   Westar    55.42
Ck 4108   Clark Lumber    107.73
Ck 4110   Don Beisel    75.00
Total Expense        238.15
Balance as of May 2013            12,361.68

Investment Funds:     30,000.00

Beginning Balance            13,772.40

State of Kansas    1,081.58
Total Income        1,081.58
Balance Prior to Expense            14,853.98

Total Expense        -0-
Balance as of May 2013            14,853.98

Investment Funds:    5,000.00

Reserve Funds
Reserve Fund:  Park Improvement    458.58
Reserve Fund: 4th of July    1,513.74
Reserve Fund: Memorial Bench repair    500.00
Reserve Fund: Youth Council    417.82