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Tuesday, December 9, 2008 – 7:00 p.m.

The governing body of the City of Coldwater met in regular session with the following present: Mayor Tony Smith , presiding, Council members Penny Bruckner , Klete Hackney , Charles Salisbury, and Richard Thompson , Public Works Director Danny Shaw , Water Operator Chad Mull, City Attorney Skip Herd and City Clerk , Kristal Sherman.

Guests included Roger Lousch, Teresa Jones, Jerry and Janis Allen and Chris Bruckner.

Mayor Smith called the meeting to order, led the flag salute and announced there would not be a quorum until Councilman Klete Hackney arrives from his previous commitment. 

Roger Lousch, with his pit bull “Kane” in attendance, told the council he did not feel it was necessary to outlaw pit bulls in Coldwater. Roger explained that Kane, although protective, is a gentle, well-trained dog and agreed with the council that dog owners should be required to take care of their dogs and further agreed that a suitable fence for a dog is preferred over keeping them on a chain. Teresa Jones left the meeting and returned with her pit bull “Rufus” which was not such a good idea cause the two dogs immediately started barking and growling at each other. Teresa was then asked to remove her dog from the meeting. She came back inside and proceeded to tell the council she feels the same way as Roger, pit bulls should not be banned from the City. She has two pit bulls and she explained they are good dogs and have never been mean to anybody. Councilman, Richard Thompson told Teresa he had received a complaint from a citizen that a man has been seen around town walking her two dogs and two other dogs and at times did not seem to have the dogs under control, telling her it was a big concern of his also if they would happen to get away from him. Mayor Smith told both Roger and Teresa the dog ordinance will be discussed later in the meeting and they will be notified if a new ordinance is adopted.

Mayor Smith presented Treasurer Jerry Allen with a clock/plaque award representing Jerry’s 40 years of service as City Treasurer. The council thanked him for his time served. Mayor Smith also recognized, and the council congratulated John Schmeidler ’s accomplishment as valedictorian of his class at the KLETC academy, receiving the 2nd highest grade ever at the academy, and also Councilman Chuck Salisbury was recognized for his 80th birthday, occurring the end of October. At that point, everyone took a break to enjoy cookies and punch served by the City Clerk to celebrate these accomplishments. 

Back to Business….. Lake Manager , Pat Puderbaugh reported there is currently $18,400.00 left in the 2008 lake budget and passed around a list of items/materials amounting to $14,022.00 he would like to see purchased to go toward completion of several projects at the lake. The council told Pat they would wait until later in the meeting to discuss the matter when they have a quorum present.

John Schmeidler reported on matters he has taken care of since returning to work from the academy. John passed around the “Larry D. Welch Award of Excellence” he received for finishing first in the class. John reported he is going to start working the school zones in the mornings and has also showed the council he has developed a daily log system. He also told the council he was going to ask to purchase a taser gun, but by the looks of his budget he will wait until 2009. John also explained he was the only one at the academy whose department did not have a patch, but has since designed one and will submit it to the council for their approval.

Councilman Klete Hackney arrived at the meeting.

City Attorney, Skip Herd reported he is finishing the paperwork on the sale of the Comanche Estates lot to Nathan Strandmark, Skip explained that Nathan waited until after the closing of the lot to tell him he wanted title insurance on the lot. Skip asked the council if they would like to donate to the Lions Club Christmas Candy fund. Richard Thompson made a motion to donate $200.00 to the Lions Club Christmas Candy fund, seconded by Penny Bruckner and the motion carried. Skip announced they will be assembling the candy sacks Thursday, December 18th here in the Veteran’s Building if anyone would want to volunteer to help.

The council filled Klete in on the items Pat Puderbaugh wanted to purchase with the 2008 budget funds. After discussion, Chuck Salisbury made a motion to purchase the miscellaneous items in the amount of $14,022.00, seconded by Richard Thompson and the motion carried.

Water Operator, Chad Mull, asked the council to look at buying a “mole” tool, it bores holes for pipe and will save tearing up the streets, the cost is $4,000.00 to $6,000.00. After discussion on the mole tool, the council decided to wait and have the tool demonstrated before they agree to buy it. Chad also passed around a notebook showing the council how he is converting all his forms to his computer

Public Works Director, Danny Shaw asked the council to consider raising the amount of sick leave the employees can accumulate. As it stands now, 480 hours can be accumulated which converts to 60 days. Richard Thompson told him he has a new proposal for sick and vacation leave and will tell his proposal a little later in the meeting.

Mayor Smith asked the council to read the copy of the letter they received from Jim and Pat Swisher asking them to forgive or reduce the amount of their water bill when they had a major leak at their house at 205 S. Topeka. The council asked the City Clerk how much their water bill was, she said when they had their leak they used 211 thousand gallons of water which amounted to $353.60 of water on their bill. After a lengthy discussion whether or not they wanted to set a precedent of forgiving all or part of a bill anytime someone has a water leak, Klete Hackney made a motion the Swisher’s need to pay their entire bill, seconded by Richard Thompson and the motion carried 3 to 1, Penny Bruckner voted against the motion.

Mayor Smith asked the council if they want to consider allowing employees to have the day after Christmas as an additional holiday this year with Christmas Day falling on a Thursday. Penny Bruckner made a motion to allow the day after Christmas as a paid holiday this year, seconded by Chuck Salisbury and the motion carried.

City Clerk, Kristal Sherman told the council only one bid for the pool pump house roof had come in and asked the council to table approving the bid until the January meeting so it will be paid out of the 2009 budget. The council agreed. 

Mayor Smith told the council the Comanche County Economic Development Foundation has asked that a council member be appointed to the Foundation for 2009. Chuck Salisbury agreed to serve another term for the CCEDF in 2009. 

Richard Thompson proposed a new sick leave and vacation leave policy for the employee handbook. The new proposal changes the sick leave to be accumulated at 3.5 hours each pay period instead of 4.0 hours, but with no maximum hours, instead of a maximum of 480 hours. The vacation leave changes the name to “annual leave” with 0 to 10 years accruing 4.0 hours per pay period with a 120 hour maximum limit; 10 to 20 years accruing 5.5 hours per pay period, with a 150 hour maximum limit; 20 years and beyond accruing at 7.0 hours per pay period, with a 180 hour maximum limit. All hours over the maximum will be lost. Annual leave can be used in place of sick leave. No leave shall be accrued until employee is off probation (probation time shall be set by the council). Employee will not be compensated for accrued sick leave upon resignation, retirement or dismissal. After discussing the new proposal, Richard made a motion to adopt the new proposed sick leave and annual leave policy as stated above, seconded by Klete Hackney and the motion carried.

City Clerk, Kristal Sherman, asked the council to set a special meeting to approve year-end bills. The council set December 29th at 5:00 at City Hall to approve bills.

Richard Thompson made a motion the council go into executive session for twenty minutes, seconded by Klete Hackney and the motion carried. After returning to open session, Klete Hackney made a motion to give Marshal John Schmeidler a $4,000.00 raise in his annual salary for receiving 1st place honors in his academy class, seconded by Chuck Salisbury and the motion carried.

The dog ordinance was again discussed, and the council decided to table the matter for the January meeting.

Minutes from the November meeting were approved as written, motion by Richard Thompson , seconded by Klete Hackney . Motion carried.

No persons appeared for public comment concerning the 2008 amended budget hearing. Penny Bruckner moved the amended budget be approved as published, seconded by Richard Thompson and the motion carried.

Bills in the amount of $73,921.90 were presented for payment. Chuck Salisbury made a motion to approve the bills as presented, seconded by Penny Bruckner and the motion carried.

No further business was presented. Klete Hackney moved the meeting adjourned, seconded by Penny Bruckner and the motion carried.