911 Changes Examined By Wamego City Commissioners

Wamego City Hall
Wamego will be making changes to the 911 system. At Tuesday’s City Commission meeting, City Manager Merl Page reviewed what was learned after further study since the issue was tabled from the last meeting. He said technology upgrades with the telephone system will not be compatible with the existing system, but he feels a short-term patch can be installed in order to use the existing system, allowing ample time to study the best 911 system available. He said this would provide ample time to transition to a long-term system. Commissioner Bill Ditto said this was the necessary step in order to do the appropriate thing. According to Wamego Police Chief Mike Baker, the patch will cost approximately $5,000 dollars. Approval was given.

In other business, the Commission authorized allocating $500 to the County-wide recycling program. Page said they have done this on an annual basis for a number of years.

Wamego is looking at painting schemes for the new Water Tower. City Manager Merl Page said staff has revisited the finishing elements of the new Water Tower on the West side of town. He said those elements include fencing and painting. He said different design ideas have been tossed around since the Water Tower was completed.

After contacting Imagemakers , Director of Business Development, Dusty Thomas brought design concepts showing a Hot Air Balloon painting scheme to the meeting for review. Two different colors of the same design were presented and discussed. Thomas was asked to tweek the design and come back to the next meeting. Page said a decision would need to be made soon in order do all the necessary paperwork to begin the project by spring.

In other business, the Commission approved swim party donations to this year’s Diamond’s and Denim, which is the annual fundraiser for the Wamego Hospital Foundation.

The city of Wamego discussed budget issues that could save thousands at Tuesday’s City Commission meeting. City Manager Page said the Recreation Complex Bond holder, Piper-Jaffrey, contacted him about a refinancing opportunity that could save the City $135,000 in interest due to the current low interest rates. He said they would need a resolution of intent from the Public Building Commission (PBC) in order to move forward with the refinancing. He asked the Commission for authority to call a meeting of the PBC to request the resolution, and to sign an engagement letter to Piper-Jaffrey so they could begin the preliminary work on refinancing. Approval was given.

In other business, Page said a budget amendment is necessary to payout the 1.1 million dollars for the Power Plant upgrades approved in December of 2012, but to be paid out of the 2013 budget. He said a Public Hearing is required and he was given approval to publish the Public Notice.

In his project review, Page said work is underway on the new Power Plant’s control panel and transformer with load testing to begin in January. He added the catalytic converters on the existing 5 engines had to be retrofitted at a cost of over $380,000 dollars in order to meet all the new environmental and emission control standards.