CHETOPA — The Chetopa City Council approved an amendment to the city’s 2019 budget that added $100,000 in expenditures.

The budget amendment that was approved in a Dec. 17 meeting added $30,000 more in spending to the general, special highway and sewer funds and $10,000 to the special parks fund.

The general fund increased to $627,191, the special highway fund to $80,000, the special parks fund to $35,000 and the sewer fund to $228,074.

The changes didn’t effect property taxes. The amendment was needed because the city spent more money from the funds than was anticipated when preparing the budget in the summer of 2018. The funds had enough money for the additional expenditures, but the city council had to grant the authority for the spending.

The vote on the budget amendment came after a public hearing, but no one from the public was present to discuss it.

In other business, the council:

— Heard from Mike Tyler, water plant lead man, that a violation letter would be sent to water customers. A sample from the plant had failed a test required by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, but the city did not have to issue a boil water advisory as the water was still safe to drink. Tyler also told the council a drive unit that was recently replaced started smoking, so it was replaced.

— Discussed with Tyler a target date to start a project on the water tower. The council determined the work should begin in April or May. The city will have interior repairs made on the tower and the exterior painted.

— Heard that condemned buildings on Maple Street was scheduled to be demolished by the end of the year. The contractor hadn’t started the work as of Friday. 

— Heard from City Clerk Toni Crumrine that a Kansas Municipal Energy Agency official said the agency is purchasing Midstate Energy Works, Salina, to make it a nonprofit, allowing KMEA to expand the services it offers.

— Heard that the National Council on Compensation Insurance has given the city a worker’s compensation experience rating of 0.85. Crumrine said a number below one is good.

— Heard from City Supervisor Bryan Midgett that the Kansas Department of Transportation intends to replace a culvert across Maple Street (U.S. 59/U.S. 166) near Sixth Street in January or February and would put rock in until the temperature warms enough so that it could be asphalted.

— Heard that the condemnation was complete on the Haraughty property at 107 Plum St.

— Heard from Police Chief Scott Feagan that the alley behind his house was causing water to stand in his backyard. Midgett planned to look into the issue.

— Viewed photos of a house and discussed the condition of the property. Half of the structure is in disrepair and accessible. The council wants to know the appraised value of the property before a decision is made on it.

— Approved the city staff starting the application process for a Kansas Department of Health and Environment waste tire grant. Crumrine informed the council that the grant reimburses 50% of the purchase price of picnic tables, benches and surfacing materials made of recycled tires. She asked permission to start the application process. Councilman Carthen Nash moved that the city apply for four tables, but the motion died for a lack of a second. After that the council agreed to start the process without a specified number of tables.

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