Lynne Hermansen
Special to The Gardner News
Budget and housekeeping items were presented and passed at Edgerton’s May city council meeting.
April Swartz, Varney and Associates CPA, presented the city’s 2020 financial audit.
“The audit went smoothly and there were no adjustments,” she said. “There were no exciting or glaring things to discuss. “
Swartz said it was the city’s responsibility as the governing body for the findings of the audit.
Swartz said the auditors opinion was the financial statements were clean. “It’s the highest opinion you can receive,” she said.
Swartz said there was a lot of debt for projects. “There is a lot if things going on in Edgerton as you know,” she said.
Don Roberts, mayor, said he wanted to know how Edgerton compared to other cities.
“ I thought this was a little sad town Kansas and this is going to be easy, “ Swartz said. “Nope-most complicated so far.”
Swartz said Edgerton was more complex than the counties they audit.
“Edgerton is very unique, “ she said. “You have such a good accounting staff and it’s nice when you get people underneath you that can assist and grow.”

In other business:
—29.39 acres at the Southeast of Homestead and 191st Streets were passed for rezoning from rural  land into Logistics Park. A conditional use permit for the land also passed for a cargo container storage, repair and maintenance facility.
Katy Crow, development services director, said the conditional use permit extends the old one another seven years.
The address at 32355 W 191st street was annexed into Edgerton in April 2011 and is owned by Arrowhead Intermodal.
Joshua Cooley, owner, said Edgerton was their second largest customer, and they went from five to 80 employees.
“The advantages of our operation are we have higher paying jobs and full benefits, “ he said. “It’s a necessary evil in the park, but we are the cleanest and highest quality in the Midwest.”
Roberts said he wanted to know the beginning average wage for an employee.
Cooley said their jobs range from $15 an hour to mid $30,000’s yearly wages.
Clay Longanecker, council member, said he hadn’t heard any complaints.
“We appreciate Edgerton’s willingness to work with us and get us to this point, “ Cooley said. “We are ready to move to phase two. “

—Edgerton agreed to work with Raftelis Financial Consultants for the City’s Water Financial Analysis. The agreement is $24,800.
Roberts said they are evaluating whether or not to retain the city’s water utility operations.
“Every year we talk about rates and whether they are affordable or we should fund an alternative,” he said. “As much as I hate to spend money this is a way to get answers that have been asked for many years.”
Edgerton passed a collections services agreement with CBK, Inc.-Collection Bureau of Kansas.
Karen Kindle, city finance director, said the collections are for the city’s unpaid city services, utilities, court and permit fines.
“Most customers pay on time,” she said. “Some things we don’t have a way to compel like the last utility bill.”
Kindle said the Kansas Offset program only works for collections if they have money from the state.
“ If we issue a warrant there is no guarantee they will be picked up or pay the fine,” she said.
Roberts said he wanted to know the collection agency’s success rate.
Josh Lewis, council member, said he wanted to know the city’s policy for sending an unpaid bill or fine to collections.
Kindle said it was a 60 day turn around.
CBK said it was a hit and miss recovery depending on the city, but they average 20 to 30 percent.
“We don’t get paid unless we collect,” they said. “What you do sets a precedent. “
Ron Conus, council member, said he wanted to know if there was a threshold amount the collection agency doesn’t go after.
CBK said if something is older than four years or $25 or less they do not pursue collections.
“Capturing the money we lost helps us keep the same rates and not have other people pay for others, “ Roberts said.
—Edgerton passed two ordinances for handling damages to the Gardner Disposal containers and the city’s water meters.
Katy Crow, development services director, said if a someone damages the disposal container the city is charged $25.
Crow said recently a container was spray painted on the lid.
“It is the city’s best interest to put damage charges on utility bills,” she said.
Josh Lewis, council member, said he wanted to know how the city determines who the responsible party is for damages.
“What if the truck breaks the container,” he said. “How do you determine if it was the customer or service damage, “ he said.
Beth Linn, city administrator, said it depends on the damage, and the city would investigate.
“We are looking for when it is clear the customer damages,” she said.
Roberts said Gardner Disposal has been pretty fair.
“ I just want to make sure we are not just slapping fines, “ Lewis said.
Linn said her perspective was pretty intuitive.
“If it was me and I received a letter I’d be calling,” she said.
Lewis said he wanted to make sure the city gives the resident time to respond to dispute the letter.
Crow said antennas on water meters were being damaged from people driving over them or mowing over them.
“It happens frequently, “ she said.
Crow requested the ordinance for the city to put the fines on residents’ utility bills.