The street that runs in front of the new middle school now has a new name.
The El Dorado City Commission approved changing the name to Wildcat Way during their meeting Monday evening.
“I brought this up months ago because we have two 30th Streets on the north end of town,” said Herb Llewellyn, city manager.
The city had sent out a survey for name suggestions and received about 110 responses.
There were six top choices:
Wildcat (of some variety) - 19 votes
Learning - seven votes
Cat - six votes
Opportunity, pride and Givens - three votes
Mayor Mike Fagg said a concern he had was the middle school was not the Wildcats, but Llewellyn told him they did change their name to be the Wildcats and changed their colors to red and black.
Llewellyn suggested they go with Wildcat Way because of how it sounded and the uses of it.
The commissioners agreed they liked Wildcat Way.
Commissioner Nick Badwey said he was OK with it, although he had been leaning toward something for Mr. Parsons, who he said had a great impact on the middle school.
“I was thinking the same way,” Fagg said.
But they decided since the public chose Wildcat that was what they would go with. It was approved 5-0.
In other business, the commission:
• approved, 5-0, a petition for the paving of Belmont Heights 3rd Addition - Phase I. The total cost is an estimated at $264,353, with an estimated $175,000 for the benefit district and the rest for the city at large.
Fagg stated he didn’t know why the city doesn’t require a letter of credit for financials for developments like many other cities do.
“I’m concerned you will have a project like we have west of town that is going to get behind on taxes and we bite the bullet,” he said. “That’s something long-term we need to look at and consider.”
He also asked if there was a development review committee.
Scott Rickard, assistant city engineer, said while there is not a committee, they do talk with department heads and staff as a project comes together.
• approved, 5-0, a petition for sanitary sewer for Belmont Heights 3rd Addition - Phase I for a total cost of $94,084, which is paid 100 percent by the benefit district.
“I appreciate the work you’re doing to get a new development going in El Dorado,” Commissioner Bill Young told the developers, Ted and Alice Farmer.
Page 2 of 5 - “Alice and I both thank the mayor and council for their careful consideration of our request and their approval of it,” Ted said.
• approved an ordinance amending the El Dorado Municipal Code pertaining to traffic and referencing the Standard traffic Ordinance for Kansa Cities Edition 2013. These are the changes approved by state legislation and put together into a booklet by the Kansas League of Municipalities. Cities can have stricter requirements than the state but not more lenient.
• approved an ordinance amending the municipal code pertaining to public offenses and referencing the Uniform Public Offense Code Edition 2013.
• held a discussion on fireworks as had been requested by the commission.
Commissioner Chase Locke said what brought it up for him was the phone calls he had received about their animals and the fact fireworks were going off too late.
“We have some additional rules other cities and communities don’t,” Locke said. “I wasn’t aware we were the exception to that.”
“This is a discussion we have every year,” Young added. “I don’t know, and correct me if I’m wrong, that anything has changed in the last five years. My first year as commissioner I got the standard calls from people. Nothing has changed within the city other than I feel like we have better education of citizens who are buying fireworks. The Youth Commission has done a great job of getting the information out on rules and regulations. I think we’ve been proactive with that.”
He asked if anything else has changed they need to discuss.
Llewellyn said it is an annual discussion which has centered around, for the most part, the health and well-being of pets.
“I think anyone that is old like me knows that some dogs absolutely positively are hiding for that week or however long we allow it,” he said. “That is generally the discussion.”
He said as they have been more vigilant about getting information out, the citations and complaints have gone down.
Interim Police Chief Curt Zieman had dispatch run the last three years of calls from June 27 to the weekend after the Fourth.
In 2011, they got 60 complaints, 2012 brought 44 complaints and 35 complaints were made this year.
Young said his impression is the amount of fireworks being shot off after the fireworks curfew has gone down drastically.
“I really believe the Youth Commission initiative has played a big role in educating the public and mitigating those challenges we had in people not understanding the ordinance completely,” Young said.
Page 3 of 5 - Commissioner David Chapin said he was sympathetic with pet owners, but he sees the majority of people enjoying shooting off fireworks.
“The day of the Fourth of July get on a hillside and you will find very little sparkly parts of town,” he said.
“This is why I think it has stayed the way it has and the Youth Commission has done a nice job with doing what they did,” Chapin said.
It also was pointed out the city fireworks display is paid for by the fees from stands, which are between $20,000 and $30,000. He felt if they cut down the days they wouldn’t have those funds that more than pay for the fireworks display, which is about $5,000.
“Plus I believe those are some major fundraisers for our local organizations,” Badwey said.
“It is one of the things that there are good points and bad points, but a majority outweigh the few,” Fagg said.
He did see a petition with about 50 names on it.
They also brought up shortening days, but Chapin felt that would create a bigger mess because people would just go elsewhere to buy fireworks and the city would have less control over what was being sold.
• discussed the stoplights at Haverhill and Central. Chapin said a lot of times no one is going through that intersection as the lights cycle.
Llewellyn said at first they were apprehensive about getting rid of no left turn on red settings. The first change was at Summit and Central, now allowing turns on green. At Village they had a couple of bad wrecks when it changed, but people learned.
Llewellyn said he doesn’t see much concern at Haverhill and Central.
“I don’t have any apprehension about trying Haverhill,” Llewellyn said.
Chapin said he was only talking about Haverhill, not on Central to allow unprotected left turns.
Llewellyn said their apprehension was if a truck doesn’t yield, but staff wanted to talk about allowing unprotected turns.
Llewellyn also pointed out it is important drivers stop at the bar so the camera will know they are there and cycle the light.
• Badwey brought up the issue of sub-pumps draining into the sanitary sewer system. He said a few years ago they had a lot of infiltration into the sewer system from when there were big rains because they were draining into the sewer rather than outside. The city was going to go around and check and there was a big uproar about it.
“I’m not advocating that but I do think with these recent rains we’ve had a lot of people’s sub-pumps are running and I would venture to say quite a few are pumping into the sanitary sewer system,” Badwey said. “I would just encourage everyone to check if you don’t know, or if you do know, and if it is it’s not that big of deal to fix it.”
Page 4 of 5 - Llewellyn said it can cause waste water to back up into people’s basements.
He also said part of it is infiltration into the clay tile.
Kurt Bookout, public utilities director, said the flows today are double what normal is into the waste water treatment plant. He said the rain has caused a resurgence of an old problem of infiltration into the sewer.
The city will be sending out a letter to problem areas.
Another issue is it causes the city to treat storm water, which they should not have to treat.
“We’re reaching out to the public to help us solve the problem that will save us all money,” Bookout said.
Fagg pointed out it is the law.
“How would you feel if it was your basement that was getting this stuff?” Fagg asked.
• Fagg revisited a few issues he had brought up before. He again asked to get the numbers for principal and interest on the lake debt the last five years. He also asked if there had been a conversation with the library board about using the library for a severe weather shelter. A third topic was the rough manhole on North Main, which he said he wanted fixed. He also encouraged people to help their neighbors with mowing.
Another topic was street policy and Fagg asked when the last time they looked at it.
Llewellyn said they have a design in the subdivision standards and who pays for what when it is new, as well as maintenance, but it not all located in one section of the ordinances.
Fagg thought it would be interesting to see what other communities do with street policy. He said there are some streets in terrible shape that they need to be doing something about.
“I don’t have the answer to that, but I think we start with reviewing our street policy,” he said.
Fagg was hoping they could have one street policy that says what they do.
• heard about the tall grass from Lewellyn, including city property and properties they mow because the owners haven’t, which he said was due to the rain keeping the city from mowing and causing them to get way behind.
• heard that the corp has started releasing water from lake. They released more in two days than El Dorado treats in a year.
• heard an update on allowing chickens in the city limits.
Brad Meyer, public works director, said they talked to 17 cities and only three do not allow chickens. It was common to say no roosters and no guineas.
Page 5 of 5 - “Chapin said he would be in favor of looking into writing something up.
Llewellyn said he would create an ordinance before the next meeting.