Archive for Thursday, February 22, 2007

Council business is routine

February 22, 2007

Retirement, redoing subdivision regulations, updating an electrical contract and a yearly employee review were among the items on a fairly routine Baldwin City Council agenda Monday.

On second reading, the council unanimously approved a change in retirement benefits for city employees in the Kansas Public Employee Retirement System (KPERS). The change provides employees with the option of putting more into retirement than just KPERS. At the last city council meeting, about 15 employees were on hand to express concern about the plan.

Council Member Doyle Jardon asked City Administrator Jeff Dingman if there had been additional comments made on the plan.

"I think the response has been positive," said Dingman.

"They appreciate the effort," said Council Member Tony Brown.

The measure passed 4-0. Council President Amy Cleavinger was sick and didn't attend the meeting.

The change in the contract with the Kansas City Board of Public Utilities' Nearman Station was mostly housekeeping to update from when the contract was originally written to how electrical power is now sold. The city's contract with Nearman is for 2.5 megawatts.

"This is what we're doing all ready?" asked Brown.

Dingman said yes.

"Will this make it too open?" Brown asked. "This is the way we're doing it now. This just does it more fluidly?"

Again, Dingman answered yes and the measure passed 4-0.

As for the changes in subdivision regulations, nothing has happened yet, but Dingman wanted the council to be aware.

"At the last planning commission meeting, they had a discussion about subdivisions," he said. "They're not where they want to be. They are going to have a work session on March 6 on the subject and will come up with five or six recommendations.

"They want to change it before new developers come in," said Dingman. "They also want the council to not consider any new subdivisions until these items are decided on."

The changes could involve street widths, sidewalk requirements and building setbacks, among others.

"They just want to get everybody on the same page," said Bill Winegar, director of utilities. "In general, it's not a bad document, it just needs some moving around."

Following a 30-minute executive session, the council concluded the yearly review of Police Chief Mike McKenna and awarded him a 3.5 percent raise to roughly $70,000 a year. It was the only other action of the evening and the meeting was adjourned.

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