Power outages occupy Wamego City Commission

Wamego officials responded Tuesday night to a complaint about power outages. At Tuesday’s City Commission meeting, Mark Jensen, who lives in the 700 block of Lincoln Avenue, brought the issue of variations in power, power outages and brown-outs that occur in his neighborhood on a regular basis. He said he’s been a resident since 19-80, and the issue has been a problem for years.

City Manager Merl Page said the City was aware of the situation, and hopes with the installation of the new 3 point 2 mega-watt generator and increasing the circuitry to the East industrial area, the issue will be resolved. He pointed out the area in question is part of the Dyer Substation, which services two schools, businesses and several older housing developments. Page added he feels the City needs to monitor the main line to the area residents to see if there might be a transmission issue. He feels the new Automated Meter Reading system just installed, will allow the city to identify exactly where the outages are.

Wamego offficials signed on as sponsoring agent for another Emergency Shelter Grant. Page introduced Community Health Ministry’s Business Manager Lorena Carlson, who made the request. Carlson said the Emergency Shelter Grant has been changed to the Emergency Solutions Grant, but the monies will be used for the same purpose, but changes have been made to pare down the list of those who get the help.

According to Carlson, the terms of the new grant allow Community Health Ministry to work with families at or below 30 percent of median income range, which for a family of 4 is 14-hundred 95 dollars and 83 cents per month, from 3 months to up to 2 years. To qualify, the client needs to follow a set of goals, which could include budgeting and counseling classes, and if the client doesn’t meet these requirements, they are dropped from the program.

Carlson’s concern is that half the people they are currently working with are the working poor that make too much to qualify for this grant, and she’s afraid other funding sources will not be adequate to help these families. The Commission approved the sponsorship request.

Wamego officials are asking citizens to be prudent in their outside water usage.  Mayor Bill Ditto asked the question about water usage. City Manager Page said the water supply is currently OK, despite one of the wells pump is still in rehab. He said the City has cut back and prioritized what they water, and is asking constituents to voluntarily conserve by watering early in the morning and not during the hottest part of the day. He added the City has an emergency plan when it is determined it is needed, and staff continues to monitor daily usage.

In other business, Chamber of Commerce President Scott Kohl and Executive Director Mary Lyn Barnett shared their plans for a new and exciting OZtoberfest this year. After sharing the plans, they asked the Commission to give their approval so they can file for the necessary permits from the State. The new plan will require a new ordinance which will be addressed at the August 7th City Commission meeting. They were given the green light to proceed.