Wamego City Commissioners Re-organize

Wamego City Hall

The Wamego City Commission went through reorganization, also known as Sine Die at Tuesday’s meeting. City Clerk Shanda Jahnke administered the Oath of Office to newly re-elected Commissioner Bob Morse. Vic Enns is the new Mayor and Cliff Baughman is the Mayor Pro-Tem.

As Mayor, Enns presided over the meeting. Carl Riblet was appointed to Planning Commission Board. Leo Tower and Deb Kiker were both re-appointed to serve on the Housing Authority Board for another year.

Two ordinances were introduced for approval, the Building Code Update and the Fire Code Update. Building Official Mac Campbell said the updates included the 2012 International Building Code, and the 2011 Electrical Codes. Before asking for a motion, Attorney Britt Nichols introduced a possible amendment to the existing building code to include safe rooms in new multi-family structures, since they are not currently in the code. After discussions, the Commission voted to approve both Ordinances as written after Campbell said they could amend the codes at any time.

The Wamego City Commission heard the Kansas Sampler Festival recap. Kansas Sampler Festival’s Michele Crisler went over the preliminary numbers of the weekend’s festival. She first thanked the Commission for all their support in making it all happen. She said the attendance number of 11,728 for the entire weekend is a record number for the 25 years the Festival has been running, and Wamego was the smallest community that’s ever hosted the Festival.

According to Crisler, attendees have been asked for an evaluation, and once returned, will be evaluated and considered for the second and final year as host of the Festival. She said even though a high percentage of positive comments were received from visitors, volunteers and City Staff, the plan for next year s Festival will probably be revised a little. The 2015 Kansas Sampler Festival dates are May 2nd and 3rd. Any funds remaining after final expenses of both years Festivals will be used for attraction development in Wamego.

Wamego’s Recreation programs have seen substantial increases. At Tuesday’s City Commission meeting, Recreation Advisory Board member, Joe Steele addressed the Commission as a parent and coach, and not as a Rec Advisory Board member. He said there are 501 kids signed up for T-Ball, baseball and softball, and this number represents 40 teams.

According to Steele, there is a problem. There aren t enough places to practice. With only 6 ball fields, they are limited to one (1) hour of practice once a week. His question to the Commission, with the number of kids participating, are there any plans in the future for more ball fields?

City Manager Merl Page said he was not aware of the situation and advised Steele , as a Rec Advisory Board member, to meet with parents and coaches to identify the needs for the future and bring it to the City for inclusion in the Community Comprehensive Plan. In the meantime, he will work with
Superintendent Denise O’Dea, to see if there is school property that could be used as a practice field.