Recent enforcement of Chetopa’s vehicle registration ordinance sent several people scrambling for more time to comply.

Six couples or individuals attended a Sept. 15 Chetopa City Council meeting to request an extension on the 10-day deadline they were given to have vehicles registered and tagged or removed from public sight.

The ordinance has been in effect for many years, but the city wasn’t enforcing it much until recently when the police department sent letters to property owners around town where an officer could see a vehicle without a valid and current tag.

After a lengthy discussion on the code and amending the ordinance, the council granted all of the property owners more time to comply. Robert and Lenora Humphrey were given 60 days to build a fence to block the public’s view of their vehicle as was Freedom Moore. The Humphreys had discussed an off-road title. The also council granted requested time extensions for others to have their vehicles tagged or removed, including three days for Andrew Folsom, 60 days for Jody and Cheryl Paxson and Freda and Joseph Grant and 30 days for Justin Ventle.

In other business, the council:

— Tabled action on a request from Justin Martin to allow him to install a gate at his driveway so that the request could be reviewed further. Martin said his house is somewhat isolated because of a long driveway and items are getting stolen. It was noted that city workers would need to have access to the property to check utility meters, which would be inside the proposed gate.

— Decided not to reimburse Tabatha Rumbaugh for a bill from Conard Services. Rumbaugh at an earlier meeting had presented an $1,800 invoice because she wanted the city to help pay recovery costs after flooding at her home. The main reason for denying the request was that the council had not been approached before the work was done.

— Heard from Councilwoman Geraldine Castle that the stage gate by the public swimming pool had been fixed.

— Heard that broken playground equipment will be checked after Councilman Ernie Wulf questioned it.

— Agreed to allow Brad Bryant and his band to use the park to play music.

— Received a reminder from City Clerk Toni Crumrine that purchase decisions need to be considered for the use of coronavirus relief funds passed down from Labette County. The money must be used on expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic and needs to be spent by the end of the year.

— Agreed to buy four tires for the trash truck at $291 each.

— Agreed to allow Steve Blackledge to level the ground where the old fertilizer plant was located across from the Hornet Addition. Blackledge offered to do the work because many people drive through the property to the highway.

— Agreed to hire Carson Tree Service to cut down two oak trees near Pat Robison’s property for $2,500. Cutting Edge Tree Service also presented a quote of $4,500.

— Decided to allow 30 days for condemnation to be completed on the Neel property. Proceedings had been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak. The decision to allow 30 more days came after Crumrine reported on what the League of Kansas Municipalities said about the issue. A resolution was to be prepared for the council’s next meeting.

— Approved ordinances to adopt the 36th edition of the Uniform Public Offense Code and the 47th edition of the Standard Traffic Ordinance for Kansas cities.

— Approved an ordinance making and levying a special tax on all lots in the city liable for the cost of mowing in July and August and for condemnation expenses for January.

— Took no action on a building permit for Terry Hall to move a 40-foot by 8-foot storage container to 430 Mulberry. It was not staked out when the building inspector visited the property.

— Approved a resolution to adopt and provide for U.S. Department of Agriculture’s standards for procurement, bidding and contract awards. The resolution was necessary for the city to receive a grant from USDA for a proposed sewer project.

— Heard from Bushong that it had been determined that employee drug testing could only be done pre-employment and after accidents.

— Accepted the resignations of Marilyn Sue Headley and Betty Withrow from the museum board and confirmed appointments of Barbara Harris and Barbara Evans to the board. The council also accepted the resignation of Virginia Davis from the library board.

— Met in executive session for five minutes to discuss attorney-client privileged information regarding pending litigation with Police Chief Scott Feagan, police officer Corie Brown and Crumrine. Feagan requested the closed session. No action was taken afterward.

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