The Wamego City Commission heard from the Library Board Tuesday night. Board Chair Eric Benson gave an overview of the 2013 Annual Report. He said the Board is exceptionally proud that over 44,000 people visited the Library last year, which is 10 times the population of Wamego. Director Leah Kulikowski reported that over 70,000 items were checked out, which does not include digital. All areas of the Library have seen an increase in usage, especially the public computers with free WiFi, plus the youth and adult class participants increased. Benson said the only thing that isn t keeping pace is funding, but the staff has applied for and received more Grant funds, plus Gifts and Memorials are up. City taxes fund 86 percent of the Library’s budget, and Kulikowski thanked the Commission for its continued support and another amazing year.
In other business, the Commission reappointed Rob Campanella to another 4-year term on the Library Board. The term will expire on April 30th, 2018.
The Commission approved IT support for the City. City Manager Merl Page said the City staff has researched IT support and met with Networks Plus. Networks Plus worked with the Wamego Police Department, and Page said they wanted to be consistent. Networks Plus presented a 2-year proposal to provide 24-7 network support, fund accounting support and off-site backup at a cost of $1,123 per month. City Clerk Shanda Jahnke added the City has 120 day opt-out provision in the contract if the service is not what was expected. A motion was made and approved.
In his project review, Page said there s a lot of action on Kaw Valley Road and Highway 24 with sidewalks going in. Traffic has been reduced from 4 to 2 lanes, and will continue until the project is completed in two months. Page said Phase 2 of the Yellow Brick Road has been started next to the Friendship House. He said the Sales Tax numbers are flat for March, with both City and County up less than one percent. He said the City was notified they cannot burn at the Waste Site during the month of April, but can apply for a special permit in the event of an emergency. Page added the City of Wamego is a participant in the MP3 Project and will begin receiving Hydro Power on May 1st after the transmission study was approved, and the allocation will be received from the Southwest Power Administration on June 1st with no system upgrade. There will be a transmission tariff cost to the City.
Also at Tuesday’ s meeting, Wamego Community Garden President JoAnn Falley reported the Community Garden has grown from 5,000 square feet to over 60,000 square feet. With the extra space, the volunteers have planted over 26 fruit trees, as well as other perennial fruit and vegetables.
The City has provided the water at no cost to the Community Garden. With the Garden located on the First Baptist Church property, they have used the church hydrant and adjust the bill accordingly. With the increased plot size, Falley asked for a connection to the main line with hydrants set close to the different plots. She said they flood-watered the plots in prior years, but will convert to a drip-line system, adding they have received $4800.0 grant to use for irrigation and plantings. A motion was made to provide trenching, taps and meter set,and the water for irrigation. Commissioner Bill Ditto amended the motion attaching a base-line limit set over a 5-year period to set up long-term accountability. The motion was approved.