City of El Dorado 2020 Budget Approved

El Dorado Boy Scout Troop #222 made a visit to the City Commission meeting to lead the Pledge of Allegiance.

The City of El Dorado Budget for 2020 was approved Monday night. City Manager David Dillner explained to the Commission that the Total Budget Authority for the year is expected to be $32.9 million.

Jordan Buxton, El Dorado Chamber of Commerce Director, along with Sue Hoefgen of Augusta Chamber of Commerce, shared information on the Butler County Act Program.

The goal of the Butler County Act Program is to create an ACT ready community. ACT Work Ready Communities Program (WRC) empowers states, regions and counties with data, processes and tools that drive economic growth.

Commissioner Wilkinson stated, “As a former educator I appreciate it is not just the schools involved but the chamber as well.” Mayor Haines added that he appreciates the bridge between the workforce and schools.

A date of September 12th is scheduled to launch the program. To learn more contact Jordan Buxton at the El Dorado Chamber of Commerce or Sara Hoefgen at the Augusta Chamber of Commerce.

Also appearing before the Commission was the HollyFrontier Western Celebration chairman, Tabitha Sharp. She was joined by the newly crowned Miss Frontier 2019, Naomi Galindo. They shared information about the upcoming festival and invited the Commissioners to attend this year’s event.

The festival begins Friday, August 9 with Mutton Bustin’, the Extreme Bull Blowout, and a concert by Kyle Park.

Saturday includes a parade through downtown, the Kids Korral at East Park in partnership with the Butler County History Center and Kansas Oil Museum. A Junior Ranch Rodeo will be held at 1p on Saturday followed by the Butler County Ranch Rodeo and a concert with Jason Callahan.

The weekend rounds out with Cowboy Church on Sunday. Tickets are $10, can be purchased at the gate, and provide admission to the festival all weekend. The City of El Dorado is a sponsor of the HollyFrontier Western Celebration. The HollyFrontier Western Celebration is a committee of El Dorado Main Street.

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City Commission

At the El Dorado City Commission meeting Monday night, the consent agenda was approved (4-0) with Commissioner Badwey absent. On the consent agenda was the following items:

  1. Approval of City Commission Minutes from June 3, 2019 and City Commission Special
  2. Minutes from May, 15, 28 and 29, 2019.
  3. Approval of Appropriation Ordinance No. 06-19 in the amount of $4,260,102.71.
  4. Temporary Beer License for BCC at Drums Across Kansas.

Items of business brought before the commission began with Brian Minnis, Chief Development Officer of GreatLIFE Golf and Fitness.  He appeared before the Commission to answer questions regarding the lease and transaction process with the golf course. There is a delay with finalizing the transaction due to one of the five partners retiring and divesting his investment in the company.  The Commission approved the execution of the Prairie Trails Lease Agreement 4-0

Jay Shivers from the Engineering Department presented the Special Use Permit (SUP) application for the expansion of Deer Grove RV Park onto 2.3 acres at 2953 SE Highway 54.  A SUP allows specific uses to take place on a property. The zoning ordinance allows campgrounds with a SUP on this property, which is zoned Manufactured Home Park Residential District. The Planning Commission held a public hearing on May 30th, 2019, to review the application and they voted to unanimously recommend approval of the application.  Conditions may be placed on the SUP .

The current zoning district allows single-family residential and manufactured home parks. The SUP was  approved with condition of a 6 foot privacy fence to limit the impact of the special use. It was approved 4-0.

The City of El Dorado requested bids for the rehabilitation and sealing of runway 4/22 at the Captain Jack Thomas Memorial Airport.  The lowest and best bid was determined to be from Pearson Construction at $236,311.38. The City has requested assistance from the FAA and has been granted funding in the amount of 90% of the project. The cost to the City will be $36,100 which has been budgeted in the airport fund.

The Commission authorized the City Manager to execute the contract with the FAA and upon concurrence from them, award the contract to Pearson Construction for the Runway 4/22 project, 4-0.

In an effort to address dangerous and unfit structures, staff has determined from our unsafe-unfit structures list, 5 homes that an ultimate resolution needs to be addressed. Those homes are:

1107 W Carr; 1108 W Carr; 426 W 7th; 802 S Taylor; and 205 N Washington.

Chapter 15.16 of El Dorado Municipal Code sets forth the avenue to rectify the ongoing issues with these structures.  If the owner of the property is unable to cause a structure to be razed the City Commission is the ultimate entity responsible for demolition cost. A special assessment would be placed on the property in hopes of recovering the cost.  The Commission authorized (4-0) the scheduling of a public hearing on August 19, 2019 at 6:30 for the purpose of abating or removing the dangerous structures at 1107 W Carr, 1108 W Carr, 426 W 7th, 802 S Taylor and 205 N Washington.

A public hearing was held for the purpose of considering an application to be submitted to the Kansas Department of Commerce for Small Cities Community Development Block Grant funds under the Downtown Commercial Rehabilitation category.

The project considered for the grant is for the rehabilitation of the building located 142 North Main Street El Dorado, Kansas at the corner of North Main Street and West 1st Street. The proposed rehabilitation project will consist of installing a perimeter drain system inside the building, demolition of roof down to concrete roof slab, install new roof drains with overflow drains, R-30 insulation, TPO roof membrane and fire suppression system. The estimated project cost is $330,600.00, with the grant request for $247,950.00 of the project cost and a local match of $82,650.00.

Under previous ownership, maintenance of the property was neglected resulting in a failed roof and extensive water damage throughout the building. In April of this year, the building was purchased by Nathan and Nicole Ensminger with the intent to bring the building up to code and rehabilitate the interior for occupancy of multiple tenants on the first and second floors. As an anchor building in the core of downtown El Dorado, the property is eligible for Community Development Block Grant funding under the current 2019 Downtown Commercial Rehabilitation program.  Costs for the administration of the grant will be paid from grant proceeds.

The Commissioning approved the declaration of the building as blighted, with respect to the Kansas Small Cities Community Development Block Grant Program. The Resolution certifying legal authority to apply for the 2019 Kansas Small Cities Community Development Block Grant Program from the Kansas Department of Commerce was approved, 4-0.  Additionally, the Commission directed City Manager, David Dillner to execute a contract with South Central Kansas Economic Development District (SCKEDD) for administrative services for the Community Development Block Grant, 4-0.

Kurt Bookout, Director of Public Utilities, appeared to present bids for the Prairie Trails Pump Station.  No bids were received for the project. City staff contacted Electrical Systems, Inc. (ESI) of Wichita, and requested a bid which they submitted a bid in June for the project.  The purpose of the project is to increase the operational flexibility and efficiency of the Booster Pump Station by adding a jockey pump, by-pass piping and valves, pump VFD and controls.  The addition of these items to the station will decrease electrical costs significantly. The bid received was for $55,000 with a discount provided of $5,500, so the actual project cost will be $49,500. The project was budgeted and the water fund is anticipated to fall within their targeted cash range this year.

The Commission voted (4-0) to direct the City Manager to execute the contract with ESI for the Prairie Trails Pump Station.

 

3 Local Girls to Miss Kansas

The Miss Kansas Scholarship Competition is being held in Pratt, Kansas, this week. Three local girls are participating in it and vying for the job of a lifetime – Miss Kansas 2019.

Bailey Smith, Miss Frontier; Sierra Marie Bonn, Miss Augusta; and Suzannah Bowden, Miss Emerald City have each had the honor of serving their community and raising awareness of issues important to them.  We asked them a couple of questions as they were preparing for this week.

Bailey Smith, Miss Frontier
Sierra Marie Bonn, Miss Augusta
Suzannah Bowden, Miss Emerald City

What was the first pageant you entered and why did you decide to enter it?

Bailey: The first pageant I entered in was the Miss Frontier pageant in El Dorado, Kansas. When I was in 6th grade I went to watch the pageant and after it was done I looked to my grandma and told her I want to dress up and look like a princess! So the next year I competed and have competed ever since. I have grown to love pageants because it has benefited me in so many ways! It’s has helped me to get out of my comfort zone and speak in front of people, I have also been able to find my confidence, I have been able to raise awareness for Improving Mental Health for Newly Diagnosed Diabetics, and finally I have been able to create an amazing sisterhood with most of the girls and you can find that sisterhood anywhere else!

Sierra: The first pageant I entered was the Miss Frontier Pageant as a Teen contestant.  I decided to compete for the scholarships but most importantly, I wanted to serve my community.

Suzannah: My first pageant was Miss Frontier in 2017. I truly entered it because I wanted to say I had done a pageant. I also wanted to gain some sort of confidence and elegance from it. Oh boy did I gain more! I have completely strayed from stage fright, found my voice, and grown into the woman I am today. I found my elegance and confidence and that is why I continue to compete. Pageantry is a great platform to stand on to empower all women to find their elegance.

What is your social initiative?

Bailey: Improving Mental Health for Newly Diagnosed Diabetics: Don’t Sugar Coat It, Rise Above it.

Sierra: “Let’s Go Full STEAM Ahead!” is an initiative to promote STEAM education, engagement, and empowerment for young women. As an engineer I recognize the gender disparity in STEAM fields and want to make a positive difference.

Suzannah: My social initiative is RISE. Radiate. Inspire. Serve. Engage. This platform promotes the personal growth and progression of others throughout their community engagement.

What has been the highlight of your year?

Bailey: My highlight of the year was going to visit the CMN Hospital and getting to learning and see all of the amazing things they do for the kids

Sierra: I have been able to go into classrooms, camps, and college campuses across the country sharing “Let’s Go Full STEAM Ahead!”  and have had the privilege of representing Augusta in its historic 150th year and I am so excited to make Augusta proud on the Miss Kansas stage!

Suzannah: The highlight of my year was landing my original dream job! I work with Rise Up For Youth as their community outreach VISTA. I promote the achievements of the students we touch daily! Now I have bigger goals!

What are you look forward to during your week at Miss Kansas?

Bailey: I’m looking forward to getting to spend the whole week with all of the girls and getting to know them and creating friendships

Sierra: I have had the privilege of representing Augusta in its historic 150th year and I am so excited to make Augusta proud on the Miss Kansas stage!

Suzannah: I cannot wait to be in the community of Pratt, KS! They are so kind and welcoming with open arms! The sisterhood built during this week is another big thing that I am looking forward to! I am also, so excited to be able to grow more with this experience, but also show Kansas how much I have grown throughout my year!

Miss Kansas Competition will hold Preliminaries on Thursday and Friday evenings with the top 11 Finalists competing on Saturday night.  The top 10 are selected by the judges and one girl is selected as the “People’s Choice” through online voting. The final competition will be live-streamed online

Work on Tennis Courts to Move Forward

Mayor Haines recused himself by declaring a conflict of interest on the topic of the Tennis Courts to be built in North Main Park.  The City of El Dorado along with USD 490 have entered into an agreement to construct an 8 court tennis complex. As Vice Mayor, Wilkinson assumed chairmanship of the Commission for the discussions.  

A request for qualifications were mailed out to 16 firms, out of which, 5 submitted statements of qualifications. A review committee of 6 members (2 City of El Dorado, 3 USD 490, 1 At Large) reviewed and independently voted on 10 factors:

  1. Commitment of Interest to Project. Use your judgment to determine commitment based on submittal.

  2. Ability to perform the desired services within the time prescribed. Was the firm able to identify a timeline to
    complete the work for use within the next school year?

  3. Past performance of the firm. Your experience with the firm and their performance

  4. Approach to the Design. Your thoughts on how they identified their design process.

  5. Previous experience with Tennis Courts. Based on the submittal your opinion.

  6. Individuals Experience. Team members identified in submittal and their individual experience.

  7. Accessibility of Firm’s Office. Location of office to the project.

  8. Firm’s familiarity with project area. How familiar are they with El Dorado, did they investigate the site,
    community?

  9. Firm’s knowledge of design procedures. Was the firm able to identify their procedures?

  10. Other Factors. Please rank based on anything you deem important outside of the questions above. Please write that factor in the space below.

The cumulative highest ranking firm was Professional Engineering Consultants (PEC), who proposed a design build process to ensure the courts would be available for next fall.

Commissioner Lewis expressed his concern of the public’s perception of a conflict of interest.

Stating that PEC may potentially subcontract out the design work, for the restroom/concession building that will be at the tennis facility, to Gravity Works.  

Commissioner Guthrie agreed that there could be an issue with public perception but he cited poor execution by PEC on a previous project.  Commissioners Badwey and Wilkinson noted that they wanted local businesses to be considered for projects and not be automatically disqualified because of the public’s perception of a conflict.  Lewis changed his objection to concur with Guthrie’s assessment of poor execution on a previous project and the motion failed 2-2.

Mayor Haines returned to the Commission Room and upon learning of the motion’s failure asked if it was due to the the inclusion of Gravity Works as a potential subcontractor.  Determined to keep the project moving forward and have it ready for the students to play on this fall, as agreed upon with USD490, Haines withdrew Gravity Works from the bid. The motion passed 3-2. Commissioners Guthrie and Lewis opposed.

City Commission Proclamations and Awards

The City Commission meeting held on Monday, May 6, 2019 began with proclamations and awards.

Citing the fact that Americans are served every single day by public servants at the federal, state, county and city levels. These unsung heroes do the work that keeps our nation working. Public employees take not only jobs, but oaths.  Many public servants, including military personnel, police officers, firefighters, border patrol officers, embassy employees, health care professionals and others, risk their lives each day in service to the people of the United States and around the world.

Public servants include local, state and federal government employees, teachers, health professionals and countless other occupations. Day in and day out they provide the diverse services demanded by the American people of their government with efficiency and integrity; and without these public servants at every level, continuity would be impossible in a democracy that regularly changes its leaders and elected officials.  

Therefore, Mayor Vince Haines recognized May 5-11 as Public Service Week.  

A representative from AAA appeared to present a Platinum Traffic Safety Award to El Dorado Police Department Superior Community Traffic Safety in 2018. The AAA Community Traffic Safety Awards honor police and sheriff departments around the state for their commitment to traffic safety practices and programs.

Barbara Trent, American Legion Auxiliary Unit #81 member and Poppy Chairman presented information to the Commission on the work of the local Auxiliary Unit.  Mayor Vince Haines shared that he recently had the opportunity to visit flanders field then announced a proclamation naming May Poppy Month. Joining Barbara were other unit members including President Carol Smith, Chaplain Lois Cool and Poppy Prince Tatum.

IMG_5626.jpg
El Dorado City Band members at the City Commission, from left to right, Marlene Avery, Barbara Templin, John Templin, Anita Seivley, and Keith West. 

A personal appearance was made by Barbara Templin with the El Dorado City Band.  She was joined by band members Marlene Avery, John Templin, Anita Seivley, and Keith West.  This year marks the 97th season of the El Dorado Band with the first of 10 concerts to be held at the bandshell on May 30th at 7:30pm.  The band will be joined by 35th Infantry Division Army Band for the first concert of the season. The concerts are free and open to the public.

 

 

 

 

National Poppy Month Recognized in El Dorado

Opening the City Commission with public comments, Barbara Trent, American Legion Auxiliary Unit #81 member and Poppy Chairman presented information to the Commission on the work of the local Auxiliary Unit.  However, her main goal was to share the mission of the American Legion Auxiliary Poppy Program celebrated each May.

Poppy Barb
American Legion Auxiliary Poppy Chairman Barbara Trent speaking before the City Commission.

According to the American Legion Auxiliary, “Connecting the visual image of the poppy with the sacrifice of service made by our veterans has been an important goal of the American Legion Auxiliary Poppy Program since its inception in 1921. On Memorial Day and Veterans Day, millions of red crepe paper poppies—all handmade by veterans as part of their therapeutic rehabilitation—are distributed across the country in exchange for donations that go directly to assist disabled and hospitalized veterans in our communities.”

This year, National Poppy Day is May 24, 2019. The red poppy is a nationally recognized symbol of sacrifice worn by Americans since World War I to honor those who served and died for our country in all wars. It reminds Americans of the sacrifices made by our veterans while protecting our freedoms. Wear a poppy to honor those who have worn our nation’s uniform.

After World War I, the poppy flourished in Europe. Scientists attributed the growth to soils in France and Belgium becoming enriched with lime from the rubble left by the war. From the dirt and mud grew a beautiful red poppy. The red poppy came to symbolize the blood shed during battle following the publication of the wartime poem “In Flanders Fields.” The poem was written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, M.D. while serving on the front lines.

On September 27, 1920, the poppy became the official flower of The American Legion family to memorialize the soldiers who fought and died during the war. In 1924, the distribution of poppies became a national program of The American Legion.

In El Dorado, the poppies will be handed out free of charge but donations will be accepted.  All donations received will be used by The American Legion Family for their programs that support veterans, the military community and their families.

Mayor Vince Haines shared that he recently had the opportunity to visit Flanders Field then announced a proclamation naming May Poppy Month in El Dorado.  Joining Barbara were other unit members President Carol Smith, Chaplain Lois Cool and Poppy Prince Tatum.

PoppyProclamation
From left to right, Lois Cool, Carol Smith, Barbara Trent, Mayor Vince Haines with the Proclamation and in front, Poppy Prince Tatum.  Tatum is the grandson of Barbara Trent.

 

 

City Commission | April 15, 2019

During the public comments section of the meeting, the Commission welcomed Morgan Barnes from Wichita State University Hugo Wall School of Public Affairs.  Ms. Barnes presented City of El Dorado Human Resource Manager, Haley Remsberg with her MiniMPA. The mini Master of Public Administration (MPA) course is a professional development series geared toward public and nonprofit managers.  

Haley Remsberg MiniMPA
Morgan Barnes, left, from Wichita State University Hugo Wall School of Public Affairs presented Haley Remsberg, right, with her MiniMPA before the City Commission. 

Haley attended 16 weeks of classes to successfully complete the Executive Development in Public Administration course. Haley encourages others who are interested in continuing their education in Public Administration to take the program.  

The City received $28,042.39 in Liquor Tax Revenue during 2018.  Each year, the funds generated by the Liquor tax are redistributed to non-profit organizations.  The money can only be distributed to organizations that assist children who are victims of domestic violence. Three organizations submitted requests to receive funds for a total of $20,000. Family Life Center requested $12,000, which is a decrease of $1,000 from last year. SCARF requested $3,000, a decrease of $1,500 from last year. And a new organization to submit a request, Thrive Butler, requested $5,000.  

Commissioner Badwey questioned whether any organization could request the funds, and what would be done with the remaining approximately $8,000.  City Manager David Dillner reminded him that anyone could make a request but would be subject to the statutory requirements. City Clerk Tabitha Sharp added that the remaining funds would be available for future requests from either one of the current awardees or other organizations who make a request during the current year.  The requests were approved.

The Commission approved the awarding of Marmaton Road Project No. 520 to Pearson Construction as they submitted the lowest and best bid of $603,738.00.

Also presented to the Commission was a recommendation from the Planning Commission to approve a Special Use Permit with conditions for the property located at 409 N. Taylor Street.  Those conditions are: privacy and wrought iron fencing, trees, landscaping, and siding on the front wall of his building. The recommendation was approved by the Commission by a vote of 4-1, Commissioner Wilkinson was opposed

The replat of Patten Addition was presented with a unanimous recommendation from the Planning Commission.  The Patten Addition was platted in 2016. Property owners in the area have worked together to purchase larger lots from the original owner, Bryan Patten. The replat of the Patten Addition primarily rearranges a number of lot lines by enlarging many of the lots created in the 2016 plat. One new oil well easement is proposed and no new right-of-way dedications were proposed.  The replat was approved.

Commissioner Guthrie reported that he was inspired by the recent survey comments to visit the local cemeteries.  Citing potholes and poor road conditions at Belle Vista Cemetery, he made a request to have City staff look into what needs to be done to fix the roads.  Commissioner Guthrie stated that [City of El Dorado] owes it to the original residents to keep up the location they selected as their final resting place.   Mr. Guthrie also referenced recent traffic accidents along K-254 and his own experiences of potentially hazardous situations, and requested City staff investigate the possibility of banning phone use while driving or requiring Bluetooth technology.  

City Manager David Dillner reported on the newly completed playground at Gordy Park and the upcoming projects at the Library Park, East Park Shelter, and the Tennis Courts at North Main Park.

He also informed the Commission on the need for a new roof at the Activity Center and that costs for those repairs will be shared with USD 490.  Finally, he noted that the restrooms at the city parks have been opened except for those at Rice Park as they are being repaired and will be reopened once the repair work is complete.

The City Commission then recessed  into executive session to discuss ongoing litigation related to the Wind Turbine.  Upon returning from recess, the Commission accepted the settlement agreement with George Butler Associates Inc and GBA Builders.

The Commission recessed a second time into executive session to discuss ongoing litigation related to the Hasting lawsuit.  They returned from recess and no action was taken.