Outages draw council concern
Baldwin City employees say they are doing the best they can to fix the city's electricity problems.
At the Baldwin City Council meeting Tuesday night, Utility Director Terry McKinney said a majority of the electrical problems the city has experienced this summer has been the fault of Kansas City Power and Light.
McKinney said Baldwin is trying to work with KCPL to fix the frequent electrical outages.
"We are working hard to get those corrections made," he said.
City Administrator Larry Paine said even though there have been several outages, the power plant equipment has been working like it should.
"Everybody needs to recognize that in the whole process, the equipment has been doing what it's supposed to," Paine said. "It's there as a safety precaution both to the residents and the equipment. It's doing what it's expected to."
Baldwin resident Galen Murray said he wanted to know why the electricity problems have not been solved.
"From looking at my bill, I'm buying the best electricity there is," Murray said. "But that doesn't seem to be the case."
Mayor Ken Hayes said the city is working on a solution.
"It's a problem that's not something easy to fix," Hayes said. "There is no quick fix. This is going to take time. But we're not going to forget about the problem."
In other business, the city council awarded a contract for asphalt overlay materials for city streets to Killough Construction of Ottawa in the amount of $76,072.
Assistant Utility Director Bill Winegar said the overlay material, which is a 10 percent recycle mix, will wear a little better and last a little longer than the 30 percent recycle mix on which the city also received bids.
The 2,450 tons, at a cost of $31 a ton, will be used on several streets throughout Baldwin, including sections of 10th Street, Main Street, Chapel Street, Baker Street, Grove Street and Dearborn Street.
Winegar said the contract states the work must be complete within 45 days.
"It will be completed before the Maple Leaf Festival," he said. "I think they will get going on it pretty fast."
After much discussion, the council tabled the issue of new trash receptacles for downtown Baldwin.
The Community and Economic Development Committee, along with the Baldwin Chamber of Commerce, has plans for the addition of 10 new trash receptacles in the downtown area.
Council member Todd Cohen said if the city purchases six trash receptacles, the Chamber of Commerce would agree to build four similar to the ones the city purchases. The ones the Chamber would build would have planters on top of the receptacles for flowers.
The trash receptacles the city would purchase, at a cost of $588 a receptacle, or $4,000 for six, would be square, green metal, wood-style receptacles.
"I think it's a fairly small investment with good results," Cohen said. "It'd at least spruce up the downtown somewhat."
Council member Marilyn Pearse said she wasn't sure of the price.
"It just seems like such a huge price for a trash holder," she said.
Council member Ted Brecheisen said he wanted to see all of the receptacle uniform, not six one style and four another.
The trash receptacle issue will be addressed at the next council meeting after further research.
In other business, the city council:
Approved a lease purchase with Baldwin State Bank at a 4.9 percent interest rate and a $2,748 semi-annual payment for four years for the John Deere Skid Loader the city purchased from Heritage Tractor.
Approved a contract for demolition of the wastewater treatment plant digester to DWD Construction of Butler, Mo., for $18,996.
Approved to extend the contract with Lowenthal, Singleton, Webb & Wilson, Certified Public Accountants, for conducting the annual audit for the fiscal year 2001.
Selected Hayes and council member George McCrary as voting delegates for the League of Kansas Municipalities 2001 annual conference Oct. 6-9 in Wichita.