Members of the Southwest Johnson County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) posed for a photo with Edgerton city council at the council meeting on April 13. Photo courtesy of Rick Poppitz

Rick Poppitz
Special to The Gardner News
The Edgerton city council met on April 13 to consider donating to Johnson County CERT, clarification of Edgerton museum ownership, and heard the city’s 2016 audit report.

Johnson County CERT
The council heard a presentation for the Southwest Johnson County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).
Aaron Winkler, FD #1 captain and Justin DeLong, Southwest Johnson County CERT president, teamed to give the presentation. CERT is made up of citizen volunteers from the community, trained to assist Johnson County Fire District #1 in case of disaster or emergency. Members training provide skills and resources that can save lives in emergency situations.
“They go through specialized training to learn everything from search and rescue to emergency medical care. And they even help out with events, such as Festival On The Trails, Edgerton’s Frontier Days and fireworks. So they’re not just there in crisis situations, they’re there to help us with community events,”said Winkler.
Winkler said FD #1 was going to elevate the level of training this year. “It’s going to exceed what the average CERT team can do,” he said.
“This is an awesome group of individuals. They are volunteering their time, and it’s not just an hour here and an hour there. They put in hours at home studying, a lot of them have their own certifications through ICS… they all have put in extra time to be able to serve the communities here,” Winkler said.
DeLong told council the local CERT group had about 100 members and they averaged about 30 to 35 members participating in each training exercise.
Clay Longanecker, council member, made a motion for council to donate $1,000 to CERT, seconded by Darius Crist, council member, and passed by a 4-0 vote. Cindy Crooks, council member, was absent.
Rob Kirk, FD #1 fire chief, was in attendance and spoke to council after the vote.
Kirk gave a brief update of services the fire district provides to Edgerton and thanked the city for their donation to CERT.
“We could not do what we do, especially in southern Johnson County, without our volunteers and the CERT people,” said Kirk.
Museum ownership
Council considered action to clarify the city ownership of the grounds and structure of the Edgerton Community Museum. Several members of the museum were in attendance.
“Based on some recent research by the historical society members, ownership of the structure has come into question. It seems to be unclear whether or not the structure was originally deeded from the previous owner to the city of Edgerton or the historical society,” said Beth Linn, city administrator.
Linn said the city does in fact own the structure and that was per the wishes of the original owner, Donna Bratton.
There is no argument over ownership – both the city and historical society agree that the city owns the property and structure – the problem is that legal records fall short of making that clear.
Staff recommendation was for the city attorney to draft a document for both council and historical society to approve, that would clarify that ownership is with the city.
Patrick Reavey, city attorney, said it would be a simple document.
Don Roberts, mayor, commented, “This is just to clarify, so there won’t be questions in the future  – it’s done. Now is a good time to get it fixed, so we know what it is and there’s no questions in the future.”
Council authorized the attorney to draft the agreement and it will be presented for consideration at a future meeting.

Financial audit
April Swartz, with Varney & Associates, presented a summary of the city’s recently completed 2016 financial audit to council. The audit looks for errors, discrepancies and violations of statute in the city’s financial records and operations.
“There were no adjustments to the numbers that were prepared by Karen Kindle. Whether you know it or not, you have one of the best accountants in the state performing your accounting,” said Swartz.
Swartz said Edgerton had a clean audit and great staff. This is the second year in a row Edgerton’s audit has had no discrepancies.

8th street sidewalks
Linn, said eminent domain for easements on the 8th Street sidewalk improvement project had been granted and formal bidding would open on April 20.
Linn said eight contractors had attended a pre-bid meeting last week. The project bids will be considered by council at the April 27 meeting.
Assuming a bid is approved, Linn said staff expects the job to be complete on August 20.

Resident concerns
At the March 23 meeting, two residents expressed concerns related to intermodal development.
One patron thought that city streets, especially older ones, were lessor priority than intermodal areas. Linn reminded council of upcoming budget work sessions and noted that would be an opportunity to prioritize projects.
The other concern regarded trash and water drainage from the JB Hunt facility ending up on the patron’s residential farm property.
Kenneth Cook, community development director, said he had met with JB Hunt about the issues.
“They had their engineer on site and a contractor they’re working with, to figure out some different options for what needs to happen to hopefully help with the erosion issues,” said Cook.
He said they expected to move quickly to complete a plan to address the water drainage issue.
Cook said JB Hunt had already addressed the trash issue from the operational side, by speaking to employees and in addition were looking at other ways to keep trash from blowing off the property.