By The Sun Staff


CHETOPA — The city of Chetopa was set to sell bonds to refinance a past water line project, but the market turned before the sale, putting the transaction on hold.

The Chetopa City Council met with Rick Ensz of Cooper Malone McClain Inc. during a July 6 regular meeting to discuss the refinancing of 2014 general obligation bonds that were used to repair water lines. Ensz had just received word that the bond market had improved for sellers and planned to arrange for Chetopa’s new bonds to be offered for sale the following week.

Ensz informed the board that in order to keep a date that was given to the state treasurer, the council would need a special meeting on July 13 to sign documentation and approve the issuance of the refinanced bonds. The council agreed to meet. City Clerk Toni Crumrine said on Tuesday that the meeting was later canceled because the market changed again, making it not feasible to sell the bonds.

Mayor Tammy Bushong expressed concerns during the July 6 meeting that the city had not been kept informed on the delay in selling the bonds.

The council agreed to execute paperwork for the bonds in a May 18 meeting and passed a resolution authorizing the issuance of the bonds on June 1.

In other business the council:

— Heard from attorney Shane Adamson that the city has an easement on private prosperities near the street, but property owners own their properties to the edge of the street. Bushong requested that a notice be given to city residents that moving forward it would be the responsibility of property owners to mow ditches and cut trees on their properties.

— Agreed to not pay lifeguards for training hours required for certification. Council member Ernie Wulf voted no. Bushong asked that no other organizations be requested to pay the training hours. Crumrine had contacted a listing of cities, and all but one stated they didn’t pay for training hours.

— Agreed to pay swim lesson instructor Colby Riddle $15 per student and Nicki Adams $10 per student as a lifeguard helping with the lessons. Jolee O’Brien will get $5 per student because she was only there for half of the lessons. The city charges $35 for each student.

— Heard from Bushong about a camper with an offensive sign at the park. The camper was asked to take the sign down but then put it back up. The camper was asked to leave. Bushong asked for consideration of an ordinance prohibiting political and offensive signs in the park.

— Approved smoke testing of sewer lines to be performed by the Kansas Rural Water Association at a cost of $550. Smoke testing helps locate cracks in sewer lines.

— Approved a request for funding from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to pay BG Consultants for engineering work on the sewer rehabilitation project. KDHE is the temporary funding source for the project.

— Approved payment of the city’s annual dues of $547.40 to the Kansas Rural Water Association.

— Agreed to give Agnes Stephens an additional 30 days to Aug. 28 to bring vehicles into compliance with the city’s codes. Stephens said she had applied for a new title on a vehicle and was in the process of getting it inspected.

— Heard Cameron Snyder discuss his plans for the lots that he purchased. He plans to add structures to the property. The minimum housing standard ordinance will be reviewed to check on the size needed, and Snyder was instructed to apply for a building permit.

— Heard from Bushong that the Sharen Neel and William Hafley properties had been cleaned by Anthony Conard.

— Agreed to begin paying mileage for city employees using their personal vehicles for city business retroactive to July 1 at the IRS standard mileage rate, which is 56 cents per mile driven.

— Heard Bushong discuss an air conditioner at City Hall not working during Fourth of July. She requested the city staff to get quotes for annual maintenance on all city building heating and air units.

— Heard that a letter will be written to Carson Tree Service to rescind a bid awarded for cutting down a tree because of the length of time it has taken to do the work.

— Discussed the logging of gas used by the police department. Police Chief Scott Feagan said his officers will start recording the amount of gas used on log sheets in addition to calling dispatch to report the amount.

— Agreed to seek bids for electrical work for the installation of LED lights at the library.

— Heard from Crumrine that the Insurance Services Office has upgraded the fire department to a rating of 5 after a recent inspection. ISO ratings are used by the insurance industry to determine fire damage risks.

— Agreed to pay part-time police officers $16 per hour with no shift differential. Council member Gary Bryant voted against the raise.

— Heard from Crumrine that she had completed an application for the American Rescue Plan and that funds should be received soon.

— Approved the purchase of a Ditch Witch line locator with wand for $5,500. The city’s old line locator that was used to mark water and sewer lines quit working. It is obsolete, so parts are unavailable.

— Approved the purchase of signs for the campgrounds and skate park and a sign about fireworks in the park.

— Heard that Crumrine was working with Adamson to complete a programmatic agreement to submit to the Osage Nation, which has requested a cultural survey in the city because a sewer line rehabilitation project is planned.

— Heard that items were being finalized to give to the auditors for the 2022 budget.

— Heard that quotes were being sought from Teeter’s Paving, Quapaw, Oklahoma, and Heckert Construction, Pittsburg, for street overlay.

— Heard that city staff was unsure if a payment had been made to David Carter for damage to his building incurred when Nash Brush Clearing was demolishing two adjacent buildings on Maple Street. The council also heard that Carthen Nash of Nash Brush Clearing would be sent a letter requesting an itemized list of charges on the last invoice the city paid as well as a copy of the permits and results from asbestos inspection for city records.

— Approved a request to contribute $200 to the Chetopa Merchants premium funding for the Labette County Fair.

— Approved a request from Shane Taylor to use East River Park for a gospel ministry.