Rick Poppitz
Special to The Gardner News
Gardner city council met on Feb. 5 and had a full agenda of items to work through. They approved several agreements and contracts, adopted four resolutions and approved an ordinance. There were no executive sessions

Aquatics Center filter replacement
The council considered pool filter replacement for the Gardner Aquatics Center.
Jason Bruce, parks superintendent, said the filter system currently in use at the new pool at the Gardner Aquatic Center is an 11 year-old system which is not operating at its appropriate flow rate and is failing to backwash.
In 2017, overtime was incurred because staff had to come in for two hours every other night after closure to manually backwash the filter.
Inadequate filter performance also caused the Aquatic Center to shut down for four days in the 2017 season due to cloudy water and that costs the city about $2,465 per day in lost revenues.
In addition, $1,350 was spent on service calls related to the pool filter.
A request for proposals resulted in three bids for the project. Staff recommended the lowest bid of $188,730 from Capri Pools and Aquatics of Edwardsville, Ill.
Carrothers Construction Co.  of Paola, Kansas was a close second at $189,000.
After discussion, council decided to go with Carrothers because of the local proximity, in case maintenance and repairs are needed.

Personnel Policy Manual
The council was asked to consider staff recommended changes to the City of Gardner Personnel Policy Manual.
Alan Abramovitz, human resources manager, went through a list of policy items one by one, asking council to decide to amend as recommended or leave as is.
The topics included employee overtime pay, on call pay, holiday pay, sick leave, promotional increases and cell phone policy.
There was discussion about a reference to four weeks notice of resignation for management level staff.
Mark Baldwin, council member, asked why it was four weeks notice instead of two. Abramovitz said four was standard for management level.
Lee Moore, council president, asked why this couldn’t be left up to managers. Abramovitz said whatever they do it should be consistent and that consistency is important in human resources.
Council discussed the scenario of what if they didn’t want someone to stay two or four weeks.
“What you can say in number two is […] special circumstances may be evaluated on a case by case basis,, said Steve Shute, mayor, suggesting wording for the policy amendment.
“That’s what I was thinking,” responded Moore, “Give some flexibility to the manager to say, ‘it would be beneficial to both parties if this person just leave’.”
Cheryl Harrison Lee, city administrator, indicated the city had the flexibility to do that.
After tallying up council direction on each item, the amendments were adopted via Resolution No. 1981 with a 5-0 vote.

Vacating right of ways
Council passed Ordinance No. 2666, vacating a portion of a public street located in the northwest quarter of Section 25, Township 14 South, Range 22 East in the City of Gardner, Johnson County.
A plan to extend a portion of Kane Street has been abandoned, and the city no longer needs the right of way.
After passing the ordinance, council considered and approved authorizing the city administrator to execute four documents related to the Center Street Reconstruction (Kane Street to I-35) & Kane Street Realignment Project.
These documents are as follows:
(a) A Quitclaim Deed to transfer ownership of vacated Kane Street right of way to Brenda Rodriguez;
(b) A Quitclaim Deed to transfer ownership of vacated Kane Street right of way to Robert Cook;
(c) A Right of Way Dedication for the realigned section of Kane Street;
(d) A Permanent Drainage Easement Dedication for the storm sewer constructed as a part of the Center Street Reconstruction (Kane Street to I-35) & Kane Street Realignment Project.

CARS funding for Sante Fe
Council considered signing the 2018 County Assisted Road System (CARS) agreement for the Santa Fe, Waverly to Poplar project.
The county has approved the city’s submission for CARS funding and is asking the city to sign an agreement.
CARS will provide up to $1,146,000 towards the project. In addition, the City will receive up to $1,291,575 from the Johnson County Stormwater Management Program for construction.
Based on the preliminary estimate, the city is expected to provide $1,587,425 toward design and construction of the project. Funding will come from the Special Highway Fund.
Council approved signing the agreement by ‘aye’ vote with none opposed.

• Council approved the Utility Advisory Commission recommendation of a contract for the Inflow & Infiltration Study & Analysis Project. The purpose is to develop programs to proactively deal with excess flows within the wastewater collection system and treatment of those flows at the Kill Creek Water Resource Recovery Facility (KCWRRF). The contract with Trekk Design Group, LLC, is not to exceed $432,943.00
• With a 5-0 vote, council approved Resolution No. 1983, establishing pole attachment and related fees for the use of the City of Gardner’s street light poles.
Expecting more requests for mounting wireless communication equipment on poles, staff wants to establish consistent and market-based compensation rates and rules.
• Council’s approved a Master License Agreement with Mobilitie, LLC, a telecommunications and wireless infrastructure service provider proposing to install, maintain and collocate small cell wireless communication equipment and related wireless support equipment on or within city facilities, primarily city street light poles, to provide wireless communication services.
• Council considered a resolution adopting supporting a Belmont Development Company LLC application for Low-Income Housing Tax Credits to construct 60 one, two and three bedroom apartment units along N. Moonlight and University Drive. The apartment complex will be called Gardenwalk of Gardner. Resolution No. 1982 passed with a 5-0 vote.
• As a result of the previous council work session, Larry Powell, business and economic development director, presented staff recommendation for council to direct the Planning Commission to review specific planned zoning districts around the I-35 interchanges. Motion to do so was made and carried with none opposed.
• The approved consent agenda included authorization of a purchase order for asphalt work on the 2017 Trails Replacement Project and a contract for janitorial services for all city facilities.