Herington city manager Ron Strickland told Herington City Commission members during a regular semi-monthly session Tuesday the task force would not be meeting pending an opinion from the Kansas Attorney General’s office about whether or not task force sessions are subject to the Kansas Open Meeting Act.
The issue was raised several weeks ago by Stephanie Berry, news editor of The Herington Times. She told commissioners she had spoken via telephone with Dickinson County Attorney Keith Hoffman.
Recently, Herington City Attorney Brad Jantz wrote to the AG’s office for an opinion.
Members of the task force include Strickland; Pat Moyer, the hospital’s chief financial officer and interim chief executive officer; commissioner Fred Olsen; and Wally Salonka, Herington Municipal Hospital board of trustees member.
The task force was formed during the summer and met twice weekly for several weeks prior to a town hall meeting in October during which the group’s recommendations were made public.
At Tuesday’s meeting, Strickland said the Herington Unified School District was interested in selling Tripp Field to the city at a nominal cost. The athletic field is being abandoned by the district since a new football field has been constructed near Herington High.
Strickland said Jason Baird, recreation commission director, had expressed interest in the purchase. Baird would be responsible for maintaining the field facilities.
In another matter at Tuesday’s meeting, Mark Detter, who serves as a financial ad is to the city, reported he was now working with Central States Capital Market in Wichita. He also met in two closed session with the commission for a total of 40 minutes.
Jantz was included in the sessions, which were held under the attorney-client privilege exception to the Kansas Open Meetings Act.
No action was announced following the sessions.
Buck Driggs, owner and project manager for SMC Consultants in Manhattan, spoke with the commission concerning replacement of a bridge in the 700 block of North Broadway. Commissioners agreed to contract with him for engineering services.
The city has received a Kansas Department of Transportation grant for the project, which Driggs is budgeting at a cost of $400,000. The KDOT will pay 80 percent of the construction costs, while the city will pay 20 percent and the engineering costs.
Driggs estimated construction would start no sooner than 18 months, noting it would take time to develop engineering options and for the KDOT to review the final plans.
City commissioners also approved a mutual aid with the Fort Riley Fire Department pending correction of the spelling of the city’s name in the agreement.
Cereal malt beverage sale licenses were approved for 2012.
The Spot received a license to sell on premise and on a package basis.
On-premise licenses were granted to Herington
(See: Herington, page 8)
(Continued from page 1)
Lanes/Railer Cafe and Pizza Hut.
Packaged-only licenses were given to Ampride and Barnes IGA.
Robert Gentz and Howard Rigg Jr. were reappointed to 4-year terms on the Housing Authority board of directors. Their terms will expire Dec. 31, 2015.
During the city commission comments portion of the meeting,
Commissioner Scott Melcher suggested a professional Web designer be hired to develop a City of Herington page, which could help persons access information about the city and also pay bills on-line.
Strickland said this was being considered, as was giving the city a presence on Facebook.
Commissioner Melcher also asked about the status of demolition proceedings on condemned residential properties.
Strickland said the city was waiting for company who received the bid for the work to begin tearing down the structures.
The next regular city commission is scheduled at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 3, at City Hall.