By Carol C. Neugent
During last week’s Haysville City Council meeting, council members unanimously voted to terminate an agreement with Sedgwick County for inspection and code enforcement services.
Mayor Bruce Armstrong presented the item to council, stating his concern about Haysville being in charge of its own destiny when trying to attract businesses and individuals to the community.
“I think that we are not truly in control of that (destiny) at this point,” Armstrong said.
He also discussed the loss of revenue for the city, a portion of which could help fund park improvements.
“Council member (Russ) Kessler was concerned about additional income going into park,” Armstrong said. “We know that 10 percent of all our permits (fees collected) go to park, so if you look at the amount of money that basically didn’t go into park, that’s additional income we’re losing.”
The city’s original agreement was effective Feb. 23, 2011. The agreement was then amended in 2012 when Sedgwick County and the city of Wichita inspection and code enforcement departments consolidated.
In a memo presented by chief administrative officer Will Black, the council was informed of ongoing issues Haysville was experiencing.
“After comparing permits issued with completed inspections, it appears some inspections are not being done at all,” he said.
Other issues experienced by Haysville included response times and lack of communication. Black also estimated that the revenue loss for the city could be as high as $44,500, depending on the number of permits issued.
When asked about staffing for inspection, public works director Randy Dorner said that there was already an individual on-staff who was certified and could resume those duties. He also stated that full in-house building inspection services could restart July 1.
“Initially when we passed this, I had some reservations,” council member Mike Kanaga said. “It appears that some of the things I was worried about have happened and I would certainly support taking back city control of the inspections.”
In other business:
• Tony Madrigal with Madrigal & Welch Insurance presented the city with a $10,943.71 dividend check.
• Council member Steve Crum encouraged everyone to take advantage of the summer programs offered at the Haysville Community Library. He also suggested that the city parks were a good place to spend time.
• A bid for $7,305.50 from Helmers Construction was accepted for Clinton Street sidewalk improvements.
• The council approved a change order to the Lamar Street improvements project that added 510 lineal feet.
• A proposal from Murphy Tractor & Equipment Company of $15,848.21 for an attachment to the skid steer was approved. The attachment would add capabilities for road repairs.
• Recreation director Georgie Carter announced upcoming park performances including the Ballet in the Park, “A Prairie Tale Ballet,” at 7 p.m. this Friday, and Shakespeare in the Park, “The Two Gentlemen of Verona,” at 7 p.m. on Sunday. She reminded everyone that the performances are free to the public.
• Ongoing clean up dates were presented by Dorner. East side clean-up is June 8 with permits on sale at the Haysville Community Library and Haysville True Value for $15. Household hazardous waste pick-up is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 15, at the Vickers Building on the corner of North Main and West Grand.
• The council voted to keep the current fireworks detonation times.
• There was discussion about various severe weather issues. Police Chief Jeff Whitfield noted that the only official storm shelter in the city was the basement at City Hall in the west wing. It was noted that pets were discouraged due to space limitations.