Archive for Thursday, May 10, 2007

Wagner takes position on city council

May 10, 2007

There was a changing of the guard at Monday night's Baldwin City Council meeting, but not much of one.

Ken Wagner took his place on the council. He served a four-year term from 2001 to 2005 and gained election in April. Council Members Tony Brown and Ted Brecheisen Jr. were re-elected. Finishing fourth for the three spots was Nancy Brown, who was presented a plaque at Monday's meeting by Mayor Gary Walbridge.

"Nancy, we want to say thank you for all your hard work," said Walbridge. "Good job."

Although N. Brown won't be on the council anymore, her affiliation with the city is far from over. Recently, she was appointed as city treasurer. She will also continue to serve on the public health and safety committee.

In addition to the installation of new officers, the council also approved appointments to the various committees Monday. City Administrator Jeff Dingman said the appointments are ongoing and people are still being sought for many of them.

"We're still pursuing people," said Dingman. "Most are current committee members."

Council President Amy Cleavinger will chair the budget and finance committee, Wagner chairs the community/economic development group, T. Brown heads the public health and safety committee and Brecheisen the utilities and public works. Those represented a few changes.

"I just want you to know I didn't ask to bump you off as chairman, Tony," Wagner joked to T. Brown regarding the development committee.

There were only two items of business addressed. The first involved the sale of three megawatts of power to the City of Gardner for the third year in a row. It has meant about $30,000 to the city.

"As we've done the last two years, they'll be purchasing power from us," said Dingman.

"This isn't going to run us short, is it?" asked Brecheisen.

"No," said Dingman.

The council approved the agreement unanimously, as was the case with the other business item, the agreement with the Baldwin City Recreation Commission to manage operations at the Baldwin City Municipal Pool for the summer.

"This is similar to the one we've used the last two years," Dingman said of the agreement.

"Any changes?" asked Brecheisen.

"Just the dates," said Dingman.

The city pays the commission $30,000 to run the pool. Unlike years ago, the city does not share in profits or losses and provides additional maintenance. The commission has lost money and the council discussed whether to help more. Dingman said the additional maintenance work costs the city more and that the commission hasn't asked for additional funding.

"We spend about $70,000 on it," he said of the pool.

Dingman also said the pool was scheduled to be paid off in 2014, but may be paid off three years earlier.

The council also heard from Stan Vickers, who is spearheading the efforts this year for the Planes, Trains and Automobile event in June in downtown Baldwin City. Vickers was asking for additional street closures for a Friday night movie. Walbridge asked Police Chief Mike McKenna for his thoughts on the closures.

"I'd like to talk to Stan more about it," said McKenna.

"Take time to study it and get back to us with your recommendations," said Walbridge.

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