Cheryl Harrison-Lee (right), city administrator, briefs Gardner city council members on meetings and events she has recently been involved with, at the June 5th council meeting. Photo courtesy of Rick Poppitz

Rick Poppitz
Special to The Gardner News
Gardner City Council met on June 5; several items were discussed during council updates, including issues related to Gardner Municipal Airport and communications with USD #231.

Gardner Municipal Airport
Lee Moore, council member, initiated discussion on issues at Gardner Municipal Airport, during council updates.
“One of the perceptions we’re going to have to deal with at some point, is that, since the city’s taken over the airport, we now no longer have a lessee in that location, and we now no longer have a bathroom at the airport,” said Moore.
Michael Kramer, public works director, reviewed the situation.
The septic system is failing and the interior bathroom has now been closed. Staff does not think the septic system should be replaced with the same lateral line placement, yet there is no alternate location available.
To hook into the city sewer system would cost roughly $135,000. There are no budget funds for that.
There’s currently a porta-potty outside the building, and no plan in place to improve upon that.
“We’re going to have to do something. I don’t know what the proper course of action is – but definitely not a $130-135,000 project,” said Moore.
Steve Shute, council president, noted that the airport was not in great shape when the city acquired it, and the airport is operating at a loss.
“We’re going to have to look closely at lease rates again,” he said.
“Right now, we’re subsidizing the airport, it’s at a loss. As long as it stays that way, we’re not going to be able to do the improvements that are needed,” said Shute.
There was discussion of potential for grant money and building more hangars. No immediate solution has materialized.
Shute said he understands the problem needs to be resolved.
“We just gotta figure out how to pay for it,” he said.

USD 231 and Parks and Recreation
During council updates, Rich Melton, council member, asked Scott Garrie, parks and recreation director, if he had been in contact with the school district about winter sports programs.
Garrie said that he and the city administrator were scheduled to meet with the school superintendent and board president on June 13.
“So you haven’t had a meeting with them since… we brought this up originally on the 17th of March?” asked Melton.
“As I mentioned at previous meetings, I made a few requests to meet with them and as I indicated before, they told me this was a busy time of year and they would get back to us when their schedule allowed,” replied Garrie.
“But have you walked over there and checked, just knocked on the door or anything?” asked Melton.
Garrie said he had been told by the superintendent to work with her assistant to schedule appointments.
Melton said sometimes things get lost in modern communications.
“I think we might just need to go knock on the door sometimes and go, ‘hey you got five minutes you can give me, and try to make this work,’” Melton said.
The topic came up again late in the meeting.
“We created this problem because we weren’t being cooperative with these programs,” said Steve Shute, council president.
Todd Winters, council vice president, and Kristy Harrison, council member, both disagreed.
Shute asked how they saw it.
“I see it as there were commitments that were made, rules to be followed and the school district on several occasions broke those rules,” said Harrison.
Harrison detailed an event she was involved with as an example.
“I’m not saying there’s a hundred percent fault on either side, I’m just saying there’s a lot more to the story,” she said.
“The root of this is insufficient communication, whether it’s the school board or the city, we’re not communicating well,” added Shute.
Chris Morrow, mayor, said the city has been reaching out and the June 13 meeting is a result of that.
“We’re trying to communicate, we’re trying to get together with them – and if we all can cooperate amongst ourselves, maybe we can get that done soon,” said Morrow.

Permit to serve alcohol
A special event permit was discussed which would allow Olathe Health Charitable Foundation to sell alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises for their event to be held June 22, 2017. The event is described as “a casual, fun street party and local business showcase.”
Kimberly Garrison, city clerk, presented the item background and staff recommendation.
South Elm Street will be blocked from Main Street to the alleyway. There will be live music, food, casual seating and 1-2 mobile bars.
Olathe Health Charitable Foundation has notified all surrounding property owners of the event.
This event is a fundraiser to benefit the new NICU/Birth Place at Olathe Medical Center. Tickets will be sold.
Groundhouse Coffee, Edward Jones and Spinning Earth Pottery have agreed to be involved with the event, staff said.
An OMC representative said they do these events once a quarter in various locations, and they want to do one in Gardner because Gardner is an important part of OMC’s service area.
Council approved the special event permit to sell alcoholic beverages with a unanimous voice vote.

Amending Resolution Number
New Business Item No. 2 was a housekeeping item.
Previously passed Resolution No. 1968, regarding dates and times for allowed discharge of fireworks, should have been Resolution No. 1967.
The fireworks resolution was mistakenly recorded as 1968, it should have been 1967.
Resolution No. 1968 regards the bond question.
Council was asked to approve the amendment of resolution number.
“It’s not changing any of the verbiage in the resolutions, it’s just amending the numbers. It doesn’t require a roll call vote,” said Garrison.
Council approved amending the resolution number with a unanimous voice vote.

June was proclaimed as Kansas Business Appreciation Month.
Two agreements and a contract were approved in the Consent Agenda: the KCP&L-Gardner Interconnection Agreement, an agreement with Johnson County Parks and Rec for the Kill Creek Trail Project and a contract with Captiol Electric for traffic signal modifications at Center and Madison Streets.
Two executive sessions were scheduled at the end of the meeting.
The first was for attorney-client privileged consultation.
The second was to discuss personnel matters relating to non-elected personnel.
The next council meeting is June 19.