City Commission Recap Feb. 3


The McPherson City Commission met Monday morning for regular session and here is what you need to know:

Building Inspector


The number of permits this year as compared to this time of year in 2019 is down. In 2019 by this point the city saw 49 permits as compared to the 35 this year. This also impacts the year-to-date cost comparison as in 2019 it was at $3,011,129 versus this year’s $1,051,340.

Projects that currently in progress include the Viega Racking System Building, Best Western Plus, Johns Manville and Piping Technology. No new or upcoming projects were reported.

Fire Department

The McPherson Fire Department has an annual replacement schedule for Self Contained Breathing Apparatus. The current replacement schedule keeps the majority of the SCBA inventory within regulation and breathing air standards set by Occupational Safety and Health Administration and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The department is part of a county-wide initiative driven by public and private entities to bring uniformity to SCBAs and breathing air equipment. CHS and Pfizer have already switched their fleet of SCBAs. The fire department will purchase two SCBA ensembles from Feld Fire for $18,804.80.

The new county radio system should be operational mid-summer and older radios will not function on the new system. The fire department has seven total radios that do not meet the standards set by the county for encryption and phase II capability. The department will be purchasing four APX 6500 mobile radios and three APX 6000XE portable radios for the fire department from Motorola Solutions for $29,071.80.

Police Department

The McPherson Police Department will also be updating their radios. They will be purchasing two Harris XL-185 portable radios and four batteries from Ka-Comm., Inc. for $7,166.02. 

In order to maintain certification with Axon using a taser, officers are required to shoot two cartridges a year. The cartridges are $34.50 each and the department needs to purchase 64 of them. They also need two new targets as the old ones have been used to capacity. The targets are $34.50. The officers will shoot the old cartridges, and they will be replaced with new cartridges. This is a yearly budgeted expense. The department will purchase 64 Axon Taser Cartridges and two targets from Axon Enterprise Inc. for  $2,277. 

Public Lands & Facilities

The Cemetery Department has a request to purchase one 2020 half ton pick-up truck from Midway Motors of McPherson who will honor the state contract price.  The department will purchase a one half ton 2020 truck from Midway Motors of McPherson for $21,825. They will also purchase two 2020 half ton trucks from Midway Motors of McPherson for $41,151. This comes in lower than the budget set for the purchase which was $62,000.

A McPherson Park Department employee was involved in a two vehicle accident Sept. 29, 2019, at the intersection of Main and Marlin Streets. The Gator was a total loss. The department will purchase one 2020 Polaris Ranger 500 from Jay Hatfield Motorsports of Wichita for $10,823.92.

The City of McPherson has a postage meter for outgoing mail $5,000 in postage to the Municipal Center postage machine has been added.

The department will purchase the annual mulch and supplies for the Parks, Golf Course and Cemetery flower beds from Gard’N-Wise Distributors, Inc. at 5.16 per bag delivered. The cost will be $2,900. Approximately 11 tons of mulch are used annually.   

Public Works
The department has developed an eight-year sign replacement program to comply with MUTCD requirements.  They are currently in the fourth year, and have approximately 350 signs scheduled to be replaced in 2020.  The cost for signs, posts, and hardware is just under $25,000 from National Sign Company Inc. and J & A Traffic. 
The department needs to acquire an easement from McPherson Apartments Co., L.P. to construct the Northview Drainage Improvements Project.  They are willing to donate the easement, however, they are required to notify the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.  HUD has a standard agreement letter they require.  HUD’s standard has been modified by the City Attorney and McPherson Apartments Co., LP has agreed to the changes. The letter has now been approved and signed.

Work was slowed with the moisture received last week on the Grimes/Anna Street Reconstruction Project. Work continued on sidewalk and driveways between 1st and Loomis Streets. Storm sewer pipe installation continued between Loomis Street and Hulse Street on the east side. Anna Street remains closed from Barber Street to Grimes Street.  Grimes Street is closed from 1st Street to Loomis Street. Beginning today, Hulse Street will be closed East of Grimes Street, and Grimes Street will be closed North of Hulse Street.  This closure is expected to last two weeks.  As always, the timeline is weather dependent.

No work was accomplished on the Hartup-Elizabeth Street Reconstruction Project again last week.  The contractor is still holding off on any further removals at this time. Hartup Street (Avenue A to Hancock Street) is closed to through-traffic, with local access from both Avenue A and Hancock Street.  Local traffic can also access Hartup Street from Seitz Street.  Through-traffic on Hartup Street is detoured onto Park Street.  

Sanitary sewer work on Hulse Street between Myers Street and North High Drive has progressed slowly due to weather on the Hulse Area Drainage Project.  No other work was accomplished due to the wet and cold weather. Hulse Street will be closed to through-traffic from North High Drive to Crescent Lane.  Residents will be blocked out of their drives for up to two days as the sanitary sewer work starting at North High Drive progresses west toward Crescent Lane.

Work will be held up indefinitely on the Plaza East Place Street Construction Project. This time of year we do not get much drying time, and we received more moisture last week.

Mayor Announcement

The city of McPherson received a recent donation made by an anonymous citizen in the amount of $200,000. This donor has requested that the donation be split equally between the McPherson Museum and Erosion Control projects specifically related to the city’s municipal golf course.


Commissioners approved the draft Charter Ordinance No. 44 which will allow the cancellation of up to four City Commission Meetings per calendar year. Currently, Kansas Statute requires that, for the commission form of government, all meetings be held each week with no exception.  The use of this Charter Ordinance will allow exceptions to be made to Kansas Statute on this matter.  The exceptions could be used in situations including but not limited to planned opportunities when more than one commissioner must be absent, shortened weeks due to holidays or other events, or weeks when it is known in advance that agendas are limited.  On weeks when the commission does not meet, the city administrator, with the concurrence of the city treasurer, may authorize and pay any obligation of the city with the requirement that such authorization is reported to the commission at their next meeting. No two consecutive meetings can be skipped in a calendar year. 

On July 15, 2019, the McPherson City Commission passed Resolution No. 19-15 (attached) expressing their desire to place a moratorium on accepting or acting on any requests to approve any wind turbine project within the city’s extra-territorial area.  The concern for the city arises with the potential impact that commercial wind turbines have on the growth areas for the City of McPherson.  The moratorium passed in July expired in January.  The city commission has approved a continuation resolution be prepared to extend this moratorium.  Resolution No. 20-02 extends the moratorium to Jan. 1, 2021. In addition, the commission should specifically request that City zoning staff and planning commission carefully review and modify the McPherson Comprehensive Plan to address potential concerns regarding the impact of commercial wind turbines on future city growth.

City Clerk/HR Officer Tammy Seely, will attend the City Clerks and Municipal Finance Officers Association Spring Conference in Manhattan, Kansas on March 11-13 for $859.60 for travel expenses like registration, lodging, meals and mileage.

Commissioners approved a request from Manske and Associates, LLC along with their housing partner the McPherson Housing Coalition for a resolution of support for a proposed development of Low Income Housing Project in McPherson. In an effort to strengthen their applications for tax credits, the proposed resolution and utility availability letter from the city of McPherson will be helpful. The proposed development as identified in the letter would go south of the Barnstormers West Field Addition Replat and would be subject to platting and utility extensions.  

The Seamless Docs subscription for 2020 has been renewed. Seamless Docs is used for all of the Event Planning Forms, Contractor License Renewals, and several other forms used throughout the City. The three-year renewal costed $4,908.75 per year.

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