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  • Writer's pictureRoger Sims, Journal Staff

Randall steps down as city attorney for Mound City

Updated: Dec 23, 2022

MOUND CITY – Long time Mound City attorney Jesse Randall notified the Mound City Council in an email last Friday, Dec. 2, that he was stepping away from his duties as attorney for the city.

In the email to the council, Randall said he wanted to spend more time watching his grandchildren participate in activities, and anticipated that would keep him from attending as many council meetings.

In an interview on Tuesday, City Clerk Shelby Murray said that as city attorney, Randall was due to be reappointed at the January meeting. She said there was no effective date on the resignation email, so she assumed it was effective immediately.

At the city council meeting on Monday, Dec. 5, Mayor Wade Doering asked Murray to advertise for the position. He said there were likely a couple of candidates for the position.

In a move that is expected to have long-range consequences for the city, codes officer Jacob Bush said he recently attended a class given by the International Codes Council on the International Building Code (IBC). He said that the IBC was used by the majority of cities in Kansas.

He said that the building codes currently used by the city were relics from the 1950s. Bush also said that while the city’s current codes had too much room for interpretation, the IBC was black and white with no gray areas.

Murray told the council that in order for the city to adopt the IBC, the council would need to abandon the current codes and then pass an ordinance to adopt the IBC. However, she pointed out that the city would need an attorney to draft the ordinance. That likely will be one of the first orders of business when the council hires a new attorney.

The council in a couple of gestures with the spirit of the holidays, approved having city superintendent John Bruns install a new water meter for a customer who complained that the current meter was adding thousands of gallons of water to her bill, and install a new sewage grinder pump at a residence where there had been an inordinate number of repairs made to the existing pump.

Resident Janice Schubert complained that the water meter at her home showed over a short period of time that her house was using water at a rate of 2,000 gallons a day or 11,000 gallons over three days. She said that she and her husband had looked for leaks that would account for that heavy usage, even using a probe around the yard looking for any place a leak might be.

The council agreed to replace the meter and hold off on pressing for payment of what is expected to be a large water bill. Mayor Doering said that the city would revisit the water usage after the new meter was in place and Bruns could monitor the usage.

The council also gave Bruns the go-ahead to install a new grinder pump for the residence of Burton Harding if it goes out again. According to Bruns and Josh Baldwin, a consultant for the city, workers have spent an inordinate amount of time – 30 man-hours so far this month – keeping that pump going and the city has apparently sought to add a $250 charge on the water bill.

Bruns said that the homeowner has made upgrades to the electrical wiring for the pump which might ease the problem. The mayor suggested the city could install a new pump if it goes out again, but after that the city would look at additional charges for work there.

In other business, the council:

  • Approved republishing the 2022 budget reflecting a transfer of $100,000 of unencumbered funds in the general fund into the city’s capital improvement budget and rolling over funds from last year’s parks and recreation fund into the 2022 parks and recreation fund.

  • Learned that the city’s police department had been doing brisk business in performing vehicle identification number (VIN) inspections. After beginning to do inspections the last two or three months, it has taken in more than $2,500 in fees according to Murray.

  • Heard a request by Jayhawk-Linn High School assistant cross country coach Juanita Spitzenberger requesting that the police department help stop traffic for runners crossing Kansas Highway 7 from the fairgrounds east to 850 Road. Spitzenberger said there will be a fundraising 5K run on Saturday morning that would go from the fairgrounds, along 850 Road to the city cemetery and back. Police Chief Paul McKee told her that the Linn County Sheriff’s Office had to be contacted to help with K-7 because it was outside city limits.

  • Heard a complaint from resident Lorna Turley about the treatment of dogs in her neighborhood. McKee told her that the dogs were under a carport, and that qualified as shelter from his perspective.

  • Learned from codes officer Bush that a house at 102 N. First St. had sill plates rotted all the way around the foundation and that the house was unlivable. Bush said he wanted to put off pursuing condemnation until a new city attorney was on board.

  • Approved renewing a cereal malt beverage license for Dollar General.

  • Approved giving full-time city employees a $150 yearend bonus, and $75 for part-time employees including the students who worked for the city last summer.

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