New 911 System in Wamego

Wamego City Hall

Wamego’s 911 system is taking a new direction. At Tuesday’s City Commission meeting, City Manager Merl Page said the earlier plan of action has changed. At the last meeting, the Governing Body approved a temporary patch to the current system to allow more time to evaluate the appropriate equipment upgrade. Police Chief Mike Baker and Assistant Chief  Paul Schliffke announced at this meeting, the  patch would not work with the City”s system and offered a solution.

According to Schliffke, for a cost of $47,000, a satellite could be installed in Westmoreland, which would enable call transmission to Wamego’s Dispatch Center. The system requires 3 – T-1 Lines at a cost of $18,000 per year, plus $9,000s for a service contract for three years. He said the cost of the Lines and the Service Contract could be absorbed with the 911 funds. Page added there were ample 911 funds to cover these costs. The Commission approved the new plan contingent on approval of the contract by City Attorney Jake Pugh. The current system will not be operational after March 1st.

City Manager Merl Page, also, introduced Dusty Thomas, Imagemaker’s Director of Business Development, who brought revised design concepts for the new Water Tower, which is to look like a Hot Air Balloon. The Board approved the design changes, which will allow the project to go out for bid. Page said the whole project depends on the total cost of the proposals, so it’s not a done-deal yet.

Also, refinancing of the bonds to construct the ecreation Complex was recommended by the Public Building Commission in an earlier meeting. Page said this will save over $106,000 after all the fees are deducted. The Board approved the ordinance for refinancing.

In other business, Page said the County authorized easement of a section of the Senior Center Property to allow expansion of the Yellow Brick Road project into the City Park sometime in the future. The easement request was made over a year ago by the Vision Oz Committee, and Phase 2 of the Yellow Brick Road is in the works.

Wamego will participate in an Energy Efficiency Low-Interest Loan program. City Manager Merl Page said he d received information from the Kansas Communication Commission (KCC) about a low-interest loan program that allows small business owners to install energy efficient lighting. The City would act as collector of the loan through the businesses utility billings.

According to Jake Pugh,City Attorney, there would be no risk to the City. The City can withdraw participation in the program at any time, but any outstanding loans would continue to be collected by the City. Page said if they chose to cancel, they wouldn’t offer any new loans. Approval was granted.

Page, also, said he received notice from the State of Kansas that the property located at 615 Elm, formerly known as the Trout House, was designated as a National Site of Historic Places. This home is on the Christmas Home Tour on December 7th and 8th.

Also, the November sales tax figures were given.  Page stated they were 2.2% for the County and up 4.5% for the city for the same period a year ago. He added that the City’s Standard and Poor’s Bond rating went from an A to an A+ in just a year. He said this is very good.