New Mayor in Wamego

It was Commission Reorganization time in Wamego Tuesday night,  with Vic Enns being sworn in for another term as Commissioner, and the election of a new Mayor. Commissioner Bill Ditto is the new Mayor, with Bob Morse elected as Mayor Pro-Tem.

In other business,  City Manager Merl Page told about receiving a call asking the City to provide the water at no charge for the Community Garden again this year. According to Page, the City has done this for the past 4 years and the cost to the City is minimal, but the benefit to the community is lots of fresh vegetables. The Commissioners unanimously approved the request.

Wamego put its stamp of approval on some outstanding projects. At Tuesday’s City Commission meeting,  Page asked the Commission to approve an ordinance authorizing the City to issue Taxable Industrial Revenue Bonds (IRB’s) for the Roadrunner Project, which is a multi-family residential development. Gilmore & Bell’s Sara Steele was present to explain the IRB issue. According to Steele, the bonds are issued to exempt all the materials going into the project from sales tax. The City is not liable for the debt on the bonds, but acts as conduit between the property owner and the bank. At an earlier meeting, the Commission approved the resolution of intent to issues these bonds, and this action approved the ordinance to issue the bonds.

In other business, the Commission approved the Comprehensive Community Plan ordinance that will take effect and be in force after the newspaper publication, and the Commissioners approved the Planning Commission board appointment of Robert Adams.

Wamego City Commissioners approved a Street Advisory Committee recommendation at Tuesday’s City Commission meeting,  Page said the Advisory Committee recommended reconstruction of Julie Drive in the Mansfield Addition as a project for this year. The Commission approved the projects engineering agreement after a proposal was received from Schwab-Eaton because the design includes replacement of the water line to the area. Page brought up another issues, and said the subdivision was developed without walkways on both sides of the street. After discussion, it was decided to approve the engineering agreement as written, and the City staff would study further needs and request and addendum at a later date.

In other business, the Commission approved the Electric Incentive Update ordinance, which would bump up the reimbursable electric credit from 50 to 75 dollars. Page said the reason for updating the incentive was to assist or promote growth in the community, and encourage residential improvement.

Wamego has ventured into hi-tech metering. At Tuesday’s City Commission meeting, Page  deferred to Building Official Mac Campbell on an update on the installation of the Automated Meter Reading System. Campbell said all the residential electric meters are in place, and will begin installing the water meters. He said there have been a few bumps since the system is online, but nothing that wasn’t worked out. Page said the new system creates efficiencies, and the staff can track outages on visual screens, which will hopefully cut down on both the outages and the duration of them. He said there are Smart Phone and Laptop options the customer can use to track their usage. Page said the new metering system is an excellent benefit to the customer.