The city of Chetopa will continue shutting off utilities for those who fail to pay their bills.

In a Nov. 19 regular meeting, the Chetopa City Council agreed to proceed with shutting off utilities in houses occupied by people owing past-due bills. Councilwoman Geraldine Castle introduced the topic by talking about such a house. The council asked City Supervisor Bryan Midgett if there were other violations such as those, but he didn’t know.

The city operates the water, sewer, electrical and sanitation utilities in Chetopa.

Also during the meeting, Castle questioned whether someone was living in a travel trailer next to First Christian Church, and police officer Travis Rakestraw planned to check on it in the morning while on duty. A city ordinance prevents people from living in trailers.

Castle also asked if a nuisance complaint letter had been sent to the property owner at Seventh and Elm regarding weeds and a mound of dirt. She asked about the status of other letters for vehicles in violation of city code. Police Chief Scott Feagan said he had compiled a list and would give it to Debbie Darnell to send the letters. 

In other business the council:

— Met in executive session for five minutes to discuss nonelected personnel with attorney Shane Adamson, City Clerk Toni Crumrine, Feagan and police officers Rakestraw and Michael Billingsly. The council went back into closed session for another 15 minutes with the addition of Corie Brown. The council then approved Mayor Terry Robison’s appointment of Brown as a police officer. He was to start working for two more weeks at his old job. Brown was on the police force previously before resigning and later deciding he wanted to rejoin the department.

— Heard a report from Robison on the floodplain meeting with the Federal Emergency Management Agency in Parsons that he, Councilman Gary Bryant and Crumrine attended.

— Heard from Crumrine that Blanche North had requested “Slow” signs be placed on the streets near Mulberry Estates where she walks. Discussion followed, but no action was taken.

— Heard Robison read a thank-you from the Chetopa High School volleyball team and a proclamation congratulating the team for qualifying for the state tournament. It was the first state trip for Chetopa’s volleyball team. After the reading, Robison presented the framed copy of the proclamation to coach Jill Blackledge, and Crumrine presented individual proclamation copies to team members.

— Met in executive session for 15 minutes to discuss pending litigation with Adamson, Crumrine, Feagan and Rakestraw.

— Approved spending up to $2,000 for the city employee Christmas party and allowing Councilman Carthen Nash to buy gifts. The party will be at 6 p.m. Dec. 14 at the community building.

— Heard from Midgett that the lift station generator was not working properly and he was waiting on prices for parts. The generator was running, but the evaporator was faulty. Prices on a generator maintenance program had not been received, but Midgett thought it would not be worth the cost.

— Heard from Midgett that tires for a trash truck had been ordered at $305 per tire and two had been purchased. Midgett is set to take the driving portion of the commercial driver’s license test on Dec. 11, and the old tires would not have passed inspection. Midgett also gave an update on Colton Vanatta getting his CDL. He also informed the council that he would need dirt for a condemnation in process, and it had been priced to him at $80 a load.

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