The Wamego City Commission made decisions on several key issues at Tuesday’s meeting. City Manager Merl Page requested permission to move forward with negotiating an agreement with MCM (Midwest Concrete Products) for leasing 5 acres of land south of their plant on Balderson Boulevard to use as a practice facility for the different sporting activities offered in Wamego. According to Page, MCM’s CEO Rob Eichman offered the land for a lease of $1.00 per year to use for practice fields until MCM needs the property.
Page said the issue of needed practice fields came to light after the Kansas Sampler Festival used the existing fields during their May 2014 event. Page was able to negotiate an agreement to use the space behind the Catholic Church property now owned by USD 320, then Eichman made the offer. A motion was made to move forward and was approved by a vote of 5 to 0.
Also at Tuesday’s meeting, City Manager Page reviewed the purchase/rollover agreement the City uses for major equipment purchases. In this case, it was for a Skid Steer Loader that was discussed at the last meeting. Page said another program became available with Foley Equipment, who proposed rental on an annual basis rather than as an as-needed basis. The rental fee would be $5,000 for 350 hours of annual use, and a $15 per hour rate for over 350 hours.
KanEquip offered the rental fee of $5,500 for 200 hours and a $35 per hour rate over 200 hours. Page said he would like to try the program for 12 months and recommended Foley Equipment’s proposal . Approval was given by a vote of 5 to 0.
In other business, the City’s Health insurance renewal was discussed at the last meeting, but had not been reviewed by the Insurance Committee. Page said the committee recommended renewing for another year with Blue Cross/Blue Shield with tier increases from 6.25% to 6.75%. Page said the life insurance element will increase 75 cents per month. He added that the City program was grandfathered in under the Affordable Care Act and for that to continue the City has to maintain a certain level of participation. The recommendation was approved by a vote of 5 to 0.
And the Commission approved restoration of the Historic Bandstand. Page reviewed the project that began about a year ago to restore the Historic Bandstand located in the City Park. He said at that time the repairs were thought to cost around $50,000, and donations and grants were procured in the amount of over $9,000. However, he feels some of the repairs can be done by the City, as well as in-kind services for less than $45,000.
According to Page, the plan calls for stabilizing the quartzite walls and adding a performance patio at ground level around the structure, plus the addition of a sound system that is required by the performers. The Board approved moving forward with the restoration project not to exceed $45,000. Page said tax-deductible donations would still be accepted, and could be sent to the Wamego Community Foundation Bandstand Project Fund at P. O. Box 25, Wamego, KS 66547. For more information on the project, contact Michelle Crisler at 785-456-9119.
In other business, the Commission approved the proposal from Bennington State Bank for the City’s main interest bearing checking account. Both Kaw Valley Bank and the Flint Hills Bank submitted proposals too. Also, the Commission approved the issuance of temporary notes for the West Highway 24, Unit 3 project by a vote of 5 to 0.
Lastly, Commissioner Bill Ditto recommended giving City employees the Friday after Christmas as a paid holiday. Robert Morse added that the extra day shows how much the City appreciates everything the employees do for all the events within the City, like the 4th of July and Kansas Sampler. Approval was given