Draft Copy Not Official Until Approved by CouncilELLIS CITY COUNCIL



February 20, 2017



Mayor David McDaniel called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. Present were Council members Bret Andries, Holly Aschenbrenner, Susan Eaton, Jolene Niernberger, and Dena Patee.  Also present were City Clerk Amy Burton, Police Chief Taft Yates, Fire Chief Dustin Vine, and City Attorney Olavee Raub.  Council member Bob Redger and Public Works Director Alan Scheuerman were absent.



Public Works Director Alan Scheuerman is ill and unable to attend; therefore, several agenda items will be tabled.


Myles Vine, Westin Vine, Cheryl Kinderknecht, Glen Keller, Gary Luea, and Stacie Minson.


Council member Jolene Niernberger moved to approve the consent agenda containing the Minutes from the Regular Meeting on February 6, 2017, Bills Ordinance #2015, and the October 2016 manual journal entries.  Council member Bret Andries seconded the motion. The Council approved the consent agenda 5-0.






Sanitation: Special Project

Stacie Minson, KSU Watershed Specialist, discussed a joint project with Ellis County and cities within Ellis County to produce and distribute a 5” x 7” magnet featuring resources for recycling, soil testing, rain barrels, and disposal of other types of waste.  The last magnet project was in 2005.  Council discussed mailing options and the projected timeline.  Council will discuss further at a later time. 

Fire: Personnel

Fire Chief Dustin Vine gave his monthly report.  The Department currently has four openings due to resignations involving conflicting work schedules or relocating to other communities.  Six individuals have expressed interest in joining the Department.  Chief Vine noted he is specifically searching for individuals who are available from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. during the work week.

Fire: Disposal

Chief Vine would like to sell the 1983 Ford Van.  The van is in need of repairs and has not been used in service for several years.  Council member Holly Aschenbrenner made a motion to authorize Chief Dustin Vine to sell the 1983 Ford Van on Nex-Tech Classifieds at an asking price of $500 or best offer.  Council member Dena Patee seconded the motion.  The motion carried 5-0.

Water Exploration: Special Project

Gary Luea, Water Advisory Committee, updated Council on a letter received from the Kansas Department of Agriculture.  The Department is requesting additional information regarding one of the proposed wells being located less that the required spacing distance from a domestic well.  Mr. Luea has obtained the required information from the land owner and will submit to the State for further consideration.  Once the permits are approved by the State, the next steps will be to negotiate the purchase of land for the sites and then obtain bids for drillers. 


Streets: Special Project

Discussion on the City assisting residents on West 14th Street with the spreading of millings was tabled to the next meeting due to Public Works Director Alan Scheuerman’s absence. 


General Government: Acquisition

Consideration of bids for a generator for City Hall will be tabled until the next meeting due to Mr. Scheuerman’s absence. 

General Government: Policy

Discussion regarding a policy for after-hours customer or alarm calls will be tabled until the next meeting due to Mr. Scheuerman’s absence.

General Government: Repair/Maintenance

Discussion surrounding a memo submitted by Mr. Scheuerman regarding grant opportunities to improve City infrastructure will be tabled until the next meeting due to his absence.


Public Works

The report from Public Works will be tabled until the next meeting due to Mr. Scheuerman’s absence.


Police Chief Taft Yates reported the Department has recently participated in training on use of force and will attend training on law enforcement officer trauma.  Chief Yates has conducted two presentations on scam awareness and has two more presentations scheduled, one being March 9th at Ellis High School. 

City Clerk

City Clerk Amy Burton presented the Health Insurance Savings Report for January and the 2016 Annual City Car Summary Report.  The October 2016 financial reports consisting of the Statement of Accounts, Treasurer’s Report, and Security Deposit Worksheet were reviewed.

General Government: Meeting

Ellis County officials will meet with the Council on March 6th at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall to discuss topics of joint interest.

The City will host a Town Hall Meeting on March 11th from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. with Senator Billinger, Representative Rahjes, and Representative Phelps in attendance.

Sewer: Financial

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has notified Ms. Burton of an opportunity to delay the City’s first repayment date on the new sewer loan to March 1, 2018, rather than May 17, 2017.  Ms. Burton recommends the City take advantage of the later repayment date due to the existing sewer loan payments ending in September 2018.  The delay would reduce the number of payments “doubled up” and relieve the Sewer Fund from some financial stress due to numerous repairs over the last 12 months.  The Council concurred with Ms. Burton’s recommendation.

Sanitation: Special Project

Ms. Burton inquired if the Council wanted to discuss the KSU magnet project that Stacie Minson presented on earlier in the meeting, or if it should be tabled until the March 6th Council meeting.  Council voiced support for the project and decided to utilize the 9” x 12” envelope in order to enclose other water conservation materials along with the magnet.  Therefore, Council member Jolene Niernberger moved and Council member Holly Aschenbrenner seconded a motion to approve the purchase and distribution of the magnet for residents with an Ellis zip code in an amount not to exceed $700, with funds coming from the Capital Improvements – Special Projects fund.  The motion carried 5-0.


City Attorney Olavee Raub reported the Attorney General has found that Council member Dena Patee’s position with the Ellis Alliance does not create an incompatibility issue with her duties as a Council member.  Ms. Raub will prepare a public statement. 

City Prosecutor Cassy Zeigler was not able to prepare an update on the outstanding code violation issues, although Ms. Raub noted that several of the cases appeared in court on February 17th. 

Ms. Raub prepared a memorandum regarding perceived and actual conflicts of interest for Council members.  The memorandum is to be used as a reference tool in aiding Council members on when they should abstain from discussion and votes on issues involving themselves, family members, business interests, or their employer.

Mayor Update and Announcements

Mayor David McDaniel reported the Complaint Review Board will meet on February 27th to discuss citizen-filed complaints. 

Aaron White, Ellis County Coalition for Economic Development, will attend the March 20th Council meeting to provide an update. 

Mayor McDaniel reported that he has completed the performance evaluations of the Department Heads.

Mayor McDaniel addressed a note submitted into the “suggestion box” expressing concerns with a merit raise given to an employee.  Mayor McDaniel noted that the Department Head is in charge of his/her department and has the discretion to award merit raises as they see fit.  The Department Head acted within his/her authority and Council was made aware of the raise prior to it being awarded.

Council discussed holding a community event in the spring to recognize and thank Committee volunteers and the community.


Council member Dena Patee moved and Council member Holly Aschenbrenner seconded a motion to adjourn the meeting.  The motion carried 5-0.  The meeting adjourned at 8:40 p.m.








City Clerk