Mound City Council shifts meeting nights, approves signs
This "Welcome to Mound City, Kansas" will be posted at each end of Main Street if it is approved by the Kansas Department of Transportation. (Submitted by Sue Vicory)
MOUND CITY – With the Mound City Council’s new attorney on board, the council on Tuesday, Feb. 7, approved a resolution moving the day of the monthly meeting, received a request to install two new signs along Main Street, discussed a proposal to allow hunting at the city lake, and held off hiring a municipal court judge.
Burton Harding, who has been appointed to be the city attorney, gave the council a resolution that changes the monthly meeting day from the first Monday of the month to the first Tuesday of the month. The council unanimously adopted the resolution.
When the council offered Harding the post formerly held by long-time Mound City attorney Jesse Randall, Harding said the Monday meetings would at times conflict with his duties as attorney for the city of Pleasanton. The Pleasanton City Council meets every other Monday, and there are periods when it can meet on the first or second Monday of the month.
Harding – who is also city attorney for La Cygne, Parker and Prescott – told the council he appreciated the council changing the meeting date so he could be the city’s attorney.
“We’re excited to have you,” Mayor Wade Doering said.
In the council’s open forum, Sue Vicory asked the council to approve a couple of signs she wants to install along the city’s Main Street. The signs say, “Welcome to Mound City, Kansas / Random Acts of Kindness Happen Here.”
Vicory is a rural Mound City resident, businesswoman, and filmmaker who has been an ardent supporter of the city. She proposed that the 3-foot-by-4-foot signs be installed near Sacred Heart Catholic Church on the west and the Community Health Centers of Southeast Kansas (CHC/SEK) on the east. She showed the council a rendition of the green and white sign on her phone.
The consensus of the council was to approve installation of the signs, however, Josh Baldwin, city consultant, pointed out that because Main Street is also Kansas Highway 52, the city would need approval from the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) to install them.
The council voted to approve installation of the signs pending approval by KDOT.
The council also continued from last month its discussion about allowing the area around the city lake to be included in the Kansas Wildlife and Parks’ Walk-in Hunting Area program (WIHA). Through the program, the state would pay the city as much as $42,000 over 10 years to allow bow, rifle and shotgun hunting in the area around the lake.
Concerned about safety in the area around the lake, the council indicated last month and again at February’s meeting that they wanted to remove rifle hunting from the equation, a move that would reduce the state payment to around $32,000 for the 10-year span.
The area open to hunting would not include any area within 100 yards of the shoreline or in the campground area. About 200 acres on the property is not being used. The KWP staff would patrol the area.
The council voted to enter into a contract with KWP with those stipulations.
The council also discussed moving forward with several court cases and condemnation proceedings. And while the city now has an attorney to prosecute those cases, it does not have a municipal judge.
While the city did receive one applicant, council members decided to delay making a decision, hoping that it would get more applicants. Until a judge can be seated, court cases are on hold.
Codes officer Jacob Bush told the council that he and Harding had already been discussing codes violation cases.
The council discussed the age of many of the codes on the books that went back into the 1800s, including a code on where a person could roast peanuts.
Council members discussed voting to raise their salaries. The proposal is to raise council members pay from $30 per meeting to $40 and raise the mayor’s pay from $40 to $50 a meeting. It was noted that it has been more than 20 years since those salaries were increased.
Harding suggested the council hold off on voting for the raises until he could research a possible conflict of interest caused by them voting on their own salaries. The council is expected to take up the issue in March.
The council approved the calendar for 2023. City sponsored events include:
Easter egg hunt, April 15;
Fishing derby, May 6;
Jayhawk Blast, tentative set for June 24;
Citywide garage sale, May 26-27;
Christmas tree lighting ceremony, Dec. 15.