Fall is in the air and the City of Wamego is getting ready. At Tuesday’s City Commission, City Manager Merl Page introduced Columbian Theatre’s Director Ariane Chapman and the Oz Museum Director, who were asking permission to have Lincoln Street from 4th to 6th closed during OZtoberfest scheduled for October 1st and 2nd. Because Lincoln Street is also Highway 99, closing the street requires permission from the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT). According to Page, this has been done before and the City staff sees no reason not to honor the request.
In other business, Page announced the new train in Wamego’s City Park will be dedicated on September 24th at 10 a.m. The operation of the new train has been long-awaited, and the plan is to operate it two day’s a week, Saturday and Sunday, for two hours each day. According to Page, his office has fielded lots of questions about the train for a while, and there have been numerous requests for private train use, so the Commission approved a charge of 1-hundred dollars for maximum of one hour. Page said there were still a lot of operational bugs to be worked out, but staff is excited to have the train running again.
Beginning October 1st, credit card payments will be accepted in Wamego. Page reminded the Commission they authorized the City Staff to draft an ordinance to accept credit card payments for City services, after review of the state statute allowing the City to recoup the transaction costs by passing it on to the consumer. Page said according to the ordinance, the issue needs to be published in the local newspaper, and everything will be in place to begin accepting credit cards by the 1st of October. The ordinance was accepted.
In other business, Page said the contract and agreement for the design and construction administration with SMH Construction is about to be finalized. This contract is due to the Highway 24 Corridor Grant for Pedestrian Walkways, bridges with lighting and signals along Highway 24 and Kaw Valley Road. SMH Representative Buck Griggs was in attendance and was asked about the timeline. Griggs said work will begin as soon as the contract is signed, with construction to begin in spring 2012. He said they will be in and out of the project by the time school starts in the fall of 2012.
Page announced receiving correspondence from the Kansas Housing Resource Corporation approving an ESG (Emergency Shelter Grant) to Community Health Ministry for over 17-thousand dollars. The Commissioner’s authorized the City Attorney to sign the agreement to accept the grant on behalf of CHM.
According to Page, the County-wide sales tax saw a slight decline for August, but is still at 11 point 6 percent, which is above the same time a year ago. The City sales tax numbers were also down slightly, but up 6 point 8 percent over last year’s numbers.