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  • Writer's pictureRoger Sims, Journal Staff

Update: Mound City Council adopts new set of city codes

Updated: Jul 18, 2023

By Roger Sims, Journal staff

Update to this story that we first ran on Thursday, May 11: The full text of the ordinance establishing new codes for Mound City can be found by clicking on this link.

MOUND CITY – Jacob Bush, Mound City’s codes enforcement officer, has complained to the city council for months that city codes there are outdated and unclear.

It has been difficult to enforce codes that need interpretation, he told them, asking that the city look at finding a universal set of codes that in black and white would spell out what needed to be enforced.

While members of the council agreed that something needed to be done, there was not enough push to move on it, so Bush started writing.

Looking at codes for other cities (La Cygne and Pleasanton codes are available online) he began drafting a new set of codes for Mound City. In that process, city attorney Burton Harding stepped in to review the proposed codes to make sure they were enforceable and litigation-resistant.

At the council’s regularly scheduled meeting last week on May 2, Bush asked the council to read the set of codes he had prepared. And in a special meeting on Wednesday, May 10, the council – after making some changes to the document – voted unanimously to adopt an ordinance that made Bush’s document official.

Despite adopting new codes, however, the council unanimously voted to hire Ranson Financial Group LLC, a Wichita firm that specializes in municipal codes, to go through those codes, provide changes and upload those revisions onto the city’s website.

After Wednesday’s special meeting, Mayor Wade Doering said that adopting the codes Bush wrote was an interim step to get something enforceable on the city’s books, and the council wanted to have the company develop the codes that would be used long term.

During the meeting, City Clerk Shelby Murray said the quote for the initial work would be $3,750 with annual updates costing $1,250.

While Bush thought the cost was “pricey,” Murray said she could enter the information on the website to reduce the cost.

Harding said it was unclear whether the company will use any of the codes Bush has prepared or whether it would start the process from scratch.

He said that once the city upgrades the codes, it will make it easier for Bush to write citations, a concern that Councilwoman Shayla Lamb voiced during the discussion.

The council also adopted an ordinance that will increase fines for dogs running at large. The fine for the first offense is now $50, $100 for the second, and $200 for the third offense. Court costs are in addition to those amounts.

The council also approved applying for nearly $16,000 for a second phase of the improvements at Mound City Lake. The application was made to Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, and if granted, the city will pay a little more than $22,000 as its share.

Funds from the grant will be used for angler access and erosion control, according to city Superintendent John Bruns.

Bruns and his crews have been working at the lake, and projects include a walking path around the lake as well as improved camping facilities in one area.

Asked by council members whether the paths could be used by recreational vehicles at a meeting earlier this month, Police Chief Paul McKee said that motorized vehicles were not allowed on those paths.

(In an earlier version of this story, the quote about motorized vehicles not being allowed on the walk paths was mistakenly attributed to John Bruns. We regret the error.)

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