The McPherson City Commission met Monday morning at its regular meeting. Here is what you need to know:
1. The proposed solid waste trash rate for 2018 reflects a 3.5 percent increase by McPherson Area Solid Waste Utility to base residential trash rates as well as a $.05 increase per month to the residential closed landfill fee.
City commissioners approved Resolution 2017-12 which calls a special question election in the city to for implementing a one-half percent citywide retailers sales tax for the purpose of financing the city's street infrastructure commencing Jan. 1, 2021 and to remain in effect for 10 years.
"The current one-half percent sales tax funding street infrastructure was implemented January 1, 2011 and is valid for ten years," Public Works Director Jeff Woodward said. "Resolution 2017-12 would commence January 1, 2021 and will terminate 10 years later. It is important to bring this to vote prior to the termination of the current sales tax issue to allow for appropriate planning."
2. The McPherson Police Department saw two changes in personnel. Effective July 31, Mark Brinck will take of the executive sergeant position, left vacant by MO Hawkinson. Also effective July 31, Shannon Quinn will be promoted to detective.
In addition, a motion was approved to continue the recruiting and hiring practices in an effort to fill the open positions and to establish a hiring list to pull from, if needed.
3. The Public Lands and Facilities Department will say goodbye to a couple of its employees. Floyd Summers of the cemetery department will retire Aug. 31 and Ken Gent of the park department tendered his resignation effective July 28.
The department will begin the recruitment process to fill those position.
4. To date 8,614 feet of new sewer line and 30 manholes have been installed on in the Centennial Drive Sewer Project. The project is approximately 81 percent complete.
All but 60 feet of the retaining wall has been placed in the Avenue A project. The last section is scheduled to be placed on Monday. Work continues on the fill in sections of the sidewalk at Maxwell and Woodthrush. Woodthrush is scheduled to be for the rest of the week.
5. A public hearing will be held at 9 a.m. Aug. 7 at the Municipal Building to discuss and approve the 2018 city budget. Commissioners have requested a budget that maintains a mill levy similar to past years maintaining at 51.618. A nearly fully staffed Police Department, as well as a proposed increase in Fire Department personnel with the assistance of federal SAFER Grant to assist for a three year period, are some of the highlights of the budget.
Another public hearing will take place at 8:30 a.m. on Aug 7. The City of McPherson continues to move forward with the process of applying for a second Community Development Block Grant for Housing Rehabilitation to be applied for in August and be announced for potential funding in January, 2018. As part of that application, a target area and scope need to selected for the proposed grant. Based on the pre-applications received and character and condition of the neighborhoods, a target area is being proposed for the upcoming grant application. There are a total of 311 residential properties in the proposed target bounded by Main Street to the west, First Street to the south, Hulse Street to the north, and Barber Street to the east. We are looking at doing four owner occupied properties, seven renter occupied properties and two demolitions with this grant, if funded.