Lynne Hermansen
Special to The Gardner News
No one was present for the Aug. 3 public hearing regarding the 2020 and 2021-22 budget hearings. The council has had several meetings discussing the budget and the hearing date was published in an Olathe newspaper.
During the regular meeting, council members passed an old business item for amending provisions to the Inflow and Infiltration and Fats, Oils and Grease Discharge Programs known as FOG.
The FOG program is for the fats, oils and greases that enter a food establishment system that need routine maintenance and clog the sewer system. The program will use city codes for creating a program to prevent the fats, oils and grease from entering the public system through grease interceptors, inspection, maintenance policies and design requirements.
Todd Winters, council president, said he was concerned it wasn’t fair to new businesses if old businesses were being grandfathered into the program.
Gonz Garcia, utilities director, said no one was being grandfathered into the program.
Steve Shute, mayor, said the program will be applied equally to all businesses.
Other items that passed at the Aug. 3 meeting include:
An amendment to the contract with Central Square for processing credit card payments. Amy Foster, business services manager, said there was no cost to the customer.
A continued cooperation agreement for the Kansas Housing Assistance program passed. The statewide program allows low and moderate income home buyers the ability to purchase homes with reduced interest rates, down payment assistance or both. The original resolution for the program was passed April 17, 1995.
The 2021-2025 County Assistance Road System Program for Road improvements in Gardner was approved.
Michael Kramer, public works director, presented through Zoom. The CARS funding can be used to cover half of the construction costs on the arterial road system. “We are looking for additional funding for the 2024 Gardner Road and I-35 project,” Kramer said.
There were several items were brought up by city staff and council members during the council updates portion of the meeting.
Jason Bruce, parks and recreation director, said they were following the KSHAA guidelines for fall sports, but that most likely fall sports will be cancelled for 2020.
Mark Baldwin, council member, said he had questions about smart meter homes and how to address the future if someone were to move out or move in or if it was a onetime initial installation.
Gonz Garcia, utilities director, said it was a new resident request.
Tory Roberts, council member, said she would like an update on the Super 8 Motel housing people infected by Covid-19.
Steve Shute, mayor, said the last update was two rooms were being occupied and each individual has a room.
Randy Gregorcyk, council member, said he wanted to know Planning Commission’s plan moving forward after two resignations and a retirement.
Rich Melton, vice president, said he had met with Rhonda Humble at The Gardner News about making The Gardner News the paper of record again for the city.
“I said if she was willing to put in five percent of the advertising costs we would love to have you back,” he said.
Melton said an email he had received Humble said they could not afford the five percent but would work on advertising.
“I think we should work out a package deal with them, and a better deal to facilitate more advertising,” he said.
Steve Shute, mayor, said he didn’t think everyone had received that email, and Melton should forward it to the entire city body.
Melton said he had also received questions about letting UTV vehicles being allowed to receive special driver’s licenses to drive on city streets.
Charles Dunlay, city attorney, said he would need more information.
Melton’s final concern he said was about the roundabout that is scheduled to be constructed by Madison Elementary School and Gardner-Edgerton High School.
“How many do we have by a grade school and high school,” he said. “I think it’s a combination problem between younger drivers and kids crossing the street.”
Melton said he worried that even with multiple crossing guards not everyone would still be visibly seen.
“We already lost one kid on a road,” he said. “Don’t want to see one or more.”
James Pruetting, city administrator, said there was a potential need for a second roundabout.
“The fire chief and school superintendent are both against it,” he said.
Shute said they needed the best solution for Gardner. “Thinking about the safety issues is paramount,” he said.
Michael Kramer, public works director, said the fire marshall did look into it including the truck radius around the roundabout and the design of insuring a car entering can see across. “We can come back and revisit the need to have a discussion,” he said. “We can look for the best solution for traffic flow.”
Gregorcyk said he would suggest a survey to parents and receiving feedback from the community.
“We should give people the information  and let them make their own minds up,” Shute said.