Several important items were discussed and voted on during Monday night’s El Dorado City Commission meeting, but the commissioners also took a few moments to reflect on the past few weeks in El Dorado.
Between Drums Across Kansas, the Dam Music Festival, Frontier Western Celebration, the Butler County 4-H Fair, the Shrine Bowl and even the Veteran’s Reunion among other events, El Dorado has been a hot spot for several weeks, and Mayor Vince Haines said he hopes the CVB and other entities in El Dorado can continue to “Ride the wave” of momentum.
“It was a pretty exciting and energetic couple of weeks here,” Haines said.
“It reminded me why I chose to stay in El Dorado,” commissioner Chase Locke said, echoing Haines’ sentiment.
Haines said he’ll be representing El Dorado in the Wichita Chamber of Commerce’s City to City event again in September, where he hopes to gain more ideas on how to better the city and possibly bring in more events. He also mentioned that Community Image is the kind of project he’d like to get reinitiated to continue attracting people to El Dorado.
Locke already encourages plans for 2018 to be put into motion and make sure the town can be successful again next year, too.
There were two awards presented during the meeting.
The first was a presentation of the Life Saving Award from El Dorado Police Chief Curt Zieman to Sergeant John Thompson and former El Dorado policeman Drew Fortenberry. Thompson was involved in talking a man into coming off the ledge of a bridge.
“This man’s life may very well have been lost,” Zieman said during the meeting.
The second presentation was the Innovation Award to Jason Patty and Patrick Fountain for all their contributions to helping a lot of water facilities operate more optimally. Kurt Bookout, director of public utilities in El Dorado, presented the award to them, which was a first-place plaque from the Water and Environment Federation.
“They actually addressed a problem that a lot of facilities have,” Bookout said. “…If you think about the reason that El Dorado’s facility wins the best in the state every year, it’s because of guys like this.”
The Commission voted to pass several significant motions
1) The City approved a creation of a Community Improvement District (CID) designation for Red Coach Inn. Red Coach Inn will charge an additional two-percent tax on purchases toward the hotel itself that goes back to the city, which will allow improvements to the hotel to be made for as long as it takes to pay projected economic costs, or a span of 22 years, whichever comes first.
No one spoke during the public hearing portion before the City voted 5-0 to approve the ordinance.
2) The Commission approved the motion to consider a working proposal from BG Products to issue a little more than $24 million in taxable revenue bonds. An agreement by the City and BG on subsequent documents as well as all necessary governmental approvals and realty purchasing agreement conditions all are needed prior to the start of construction. The bonds typically don’t begin until the project is near completion to account for any changes in tax-exemption rates.
The motion passed to consider the implementation of said bonds. Should they go through, BG’s plans include a new distribution center and warehouse in the El Dorado Industrial Park.
“Thank you to BG for continuing to invest in our community,” Locke said about the deal.
3) The City and El Dorado Inc. are moving forward with their CDBG Housing Grant as the Commission approved a resolution for the grant application. The money will go toward house rehabilitation for 11 houses, which includes five rentals and six leased homes. The total cost of the project is estimated to be a little more than $358,000. It’s a similar plan to what was done last year, but with a new target area.
4) El Dorado Police Chief Curt Zieman presented updates in both the Standard Traffic Ordinance and the Uniform Public Offense Code, and the City approved the new changes with a 5-0 vote.
Changes to the STO included allowing bikers to wear a flashing red light on their person instead of limiting them to place it on the rear of the bike.
Changes to the UPOC include the following:
—Violation of a protection order now includes sexual-assault orders
—The definition of domestic battery was amended to include dating relationships. This language existed in law previously, but was recently removed until now.
—An addition to the code made it unlawful to use communication facilities in any unlawful manner
—A section for illegal operation of an amusement ride was added
—Wording regarding cruelty to animals and the definition of an animal shelter both were slightly broadened.
City Manager David Dillner broke down a lot of important items during the reports segment of the meeting. First, he said that the Disc Golf Course’s grand opening for this weekend has been postponed due to a scheduling conflict with unspecified guests who originally were going to be a part of the event. Those guests were double-booked, so a later date will be set soon for the opening.
-Dillner also addressed that the city pool had to be closed this past Sunday because of vandalistic acts. There was an unknown agent in the pool that caused the water to change to different colors, such as red and purple. No hurtful chemicals were found in it. The pool reopened Tuesday. There is no security camera at the pool, though, so the city can’t nail down how the perpetrators got in nor identify them.
-Volunteers willing to be coaches are still needed for upcoming youth sports activities. Youth soccer begins Aug. 21 and youth football and youth volleyball both begin on Aug. 25. There currently are not enough coaches for the teams. Anyone interested in volunteering may call the city at 321-9100.
-Dillner said that the selection process for a new fire chief has been narrowed down to five candidates. He said he’ll likely finalize his decision by the end of the week, with an official announcement to follow shortly after.
-Citizens are welcome to utilize the compost pile again. The compost site initially was shut down due to fires and recovery maintenance.
-Commissioner Kendra Wilkinson mentioned reports from the airport advisory board meeting last week. The fly-in with the scouts is still on as scheduled for Aug. 9. She also mentioned that the board is considering altering the drainage situation for improved performance.