Hospital numbers and equipment purchases on Wamego City Commission agenda

Wamego City Commissioners heard more advisory board updates at Tuesday’s meeting. City Manager Merl Page introduced Wamego Hospital Association’s Chairman of the Board, Lanny Bosse, who said Wamego City Hospital continues to do well and grow. He said the management team of the Hospital is nationally recognized, and former  Administrator and current Mercy Regional Health Center Administrator John Broberg still oversees Wamego’s operation.

According to Bosse, some of the 2011 highlights include the renovation of the area around the Emergency Room to add privacy; renovating a recently vacated Doctor’s office to add space for visiting specialists and funded Chemotherapy equipment purchases, so the treatment can be provided in
Wamego.

Bosse concluded his report by announcing the Hospital’s revenue is up 6 per cent, expenses are down by 25 percent, and there is adequate cash for unexpected expenses that may come up.

Planning Commission Chairman Cliff Meyer reported a normal year, while Board of Zoning Appeals Chairman Woody Sirs reported twice as many appeals as the year before.

Page reviewed a tabled issue from the last meeting; the purchase of a new Wheel Loader. Three proposals were received and reviewed at the last meeting, but Commissioner’s wanted to look at other options. Of the three proposals, the City wasn’t too excited about one where the unit is no longer in production. Representatives from the two other companies were in attendance at Tuesday’s meeting, and presented their case. One is a Case , the other is a Caterpillar . The Caterpillar unit is over 22-thousand dollars more than the Case, but the Board voted to go with the Caterpillar, because some of the attachments needed are produced in Wamego at the Caterpillar Work Tools Plant.

Page told about needing to purchase a new Chipper after a mishap with a hitch caused the Chipper to hang up on the railroad track, and was subsequently hit by a train. He said the insurance check has been received, but he would like to look at purchasing a different piece of equipment that is needed more. He was given the authority to look at the numbers on purchasing a new Skid Steer.

Page asked for approval of an Ordinance for Underground Electric Clearance, requiring a 3 foot clearance from both sides of the utility before any structure or planting can be located. The ordinance originally asked for 2 foot clearance, but a discussion brought up the need for a 3 foot clearance, and the need to restrict rooted vegetation to be included. The board approved the Ordinance with these modifications:

:The Governing Body approved the Library Board appointment of Bridget Darey and Eric Benson, both to expire in 20-16.
:They approved the placement of a Relay for Life banner on the Chrysler Visitors Center grounds.
:Approved the expenditure of 15-hundred dollars for additional hooks to make the Shade Structures at the new Sports Complex easier to put up and take down.
:Approved the final operating agreement with Westar on the Energy Management Project, making Wamego a full member of the Project even though they signed up in January. Page said there were earlier concerns on both sides that were worked out successfully.

Wamego will be the destination location for an upcoming event. At Tuesday’s City Commission meeting, City Manager Page announced the First Annual Governor’s Flint Hills Freedom Ride will take place on Saturday, June 16th. He said the ride begins at the State Capitol and will conclude at the Wamego City Park where Governor Brownback will honor all veterans, Ft. Riley soldiers and families for their dedication to freedom. The public is encouraged to attend. Anyone interested in participating can register online at www.KSOutdoors.com/FlintHillsFreedomRide. This is a Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism event.

In other business, the March sales tax numbers show a dramatic increase in the city-wide tax over a year ago, with the County sales tax showing a slight decrease in the same time period.