From Pickleball To Sewer Lining, Kahoka Council Deals With Wide Range of Issues

By Mike Scott

The Kahoka City Council’s agenda for their regular March 8 meeting dealt issues ranging from recreation to mobile homes to sewer system improvements.

Guests

First up were Tony McKee and Monte Morris, from the Kahoka Dinkers Pickleball Association.  Since its introduction into Kahoka last year, pickleball has grown in popularity. The organization would like to install three permanent nets and paint court lines on the former tennis courts at O-Mak-O-Hak Park, noting that their request does not interfere with the basketball courts.  They also request that when the baseball field fencing is replaced, that material be used to fence the pickleball courts.

Sherry Brunk noted the ongoing issue of “junk” in people’s yards.  Brunk said she could provide a list of properties that were probably in violation of the city’s nuisance ordinance.

“Properties that were cleaned up now have more stuff and junk,” she reported.

Alderman John Gaus stated, “If we’re going to go after one person, we need to go after everyone in violation.”

Kahoka resident Stacy Smith reported that insulation and debris is still blowing into her yard from the vacant trailer next to her.  The board directed the police department to contact the owners.

This led to a broader discussion of mobile home restrictions in Kahoka.  City Attorney Brent Bozarth reported that both Memphis and Canton have zoning in place to regulate the location and types of mobile homes allowed.  In previous meetings, Bozarth reported that the process of zoning is both extensive and expensive for communities to undertake.  The board instructed him to look at options to address in issue.

Mike Scott reported a collapsing garage in his neighborhood.  The board instructed the police department to check into it.

Bids

The board approved the purchase of a 2021 Ford F250 4×4 pickup truck for the street department.  Kahoka Motor was the lowest bidder at $33,900.  The city will received the state fleet pricing.

The city approved two bids dealing with the city’s wastewater system.  In the first, the city accepted a bid of $123,147.33 from VISU-Sewer to re-line and re-grout 4437 linear feet of sewer line.  The repairs are necessary because of the amount of fresh water infiltrating into the sanitary sewer system.  Too much water forces the lagoon to discharge, or overflow, which violated the city’s “no-discharge” permit with the Department of Natural Resources.

The city is also expanding its irrigation program, and has contracted with nearby farmers for additional land to irrigate, lowering the water level in the lagoon.   As part of that program, the city approved spending $9250 with Four Points Land Surveying and Engineering for engineering and survey work, and $8700 for soil testing.

The board also approved a bid of $4300 for a rebuilt motor for the water department truck, from Washburn Auto Repair in Kahoka.

The final bid approved was a three year bid for auditing services.  Wade Stables P.C. will provide auditing services for $7600 for 2022, $7700 for 2023, and $7800 for 2024.

Franchise Fee

The council approved a resolution reauthorizing the franchise fee in Kahoka. The fee is a charge on utilities and telecommunication companies for service provided in Kahoka. There were no changes to the fee or resolution.

Water and Sewer

The board approved an ordinance formally establishing the new water and sewer rates approved at the February meeting.

Other Business

-Mayor Jerry Webber reported that NEMO Telephone would like to use the city’s right of way to bring telephone and internet service to Kahoka.

-Webber also reported that the new owners of the bowling alley have asked to annex into the city limits.  The property is planned to be renovated into immigrant housing.

-Webber also discussed the possibility of providing sewer service to the planned new restrooms at the fairgrounds.

“There is no benefit to the city of having them annex, since they are tax exempt,” he said.  They would, however, become a paying customer if connected to the city’s system.  No action was taken.

-Webber also reported that Steve Murphy plans to resign from the Economic Development Commission, and they would be looking for a replacement.

-Attorney Bozarth asked Distribution Designer Chuck Kerner to review US Cellular’s permit application examples.

-Police Officer Johnson reported that influx of burglaries always happens when the weather improves.  He also reported that there are five or six pending felony cases.

-Fire Chief Chris Blomgren reported only two calls.  One was to the Clark County Nursing Home, where a sprinkler pipe failed, flooding a hallway. Blomgren also reported that a grain bin rescue class will be held at the high school on April 24.

-Program Director John Williams reported that during the height of the cold weather in February, Ameren cut power to several communities. Williams activated the power plant to generate electricity during that time.  Williams also reported swings in voltage while Ameren was working on a line at Wayland.

Electric Distribution Designer Chuck Kerner reported that a new substation recloser has been delivered and is expected to be in service by April 30.

Aldermen Reports

-Alderman Les Billings would like more letters of warning and tickets issued for Nuisance Ordinance violations.

– Billings reported that Memorial Cemetery flag poles will soon be available to purchase in memory of a loved ones for $500 each.  Donors can have their names on the poles.  Billings stated that they hoped to have them up by Memorial Day.  The 15 poles planned are being manufactured locally.

-Billings also reported that the grass on the baseball field has not grown is a small section where the outfield meets the infield.  He would like to get a small section of sod to take care of that area.

-Alderman Larry Young would like the city to send letters to property owners around the square letting them know they are responsible for clearing the snow in front of their properties.

-Young also reported that the cemetery cleanup will be April 4 through April 10.

-Young also that several food trucks have been coming to town on regular bases and they should have a merchant license.  Alderman Young asked that the police make contact with them to make sure they have a merchant’s license.

-Alderman Roberts questioned the progress of developing the new dump.  Alderman Roberts and Alderman Billings will speak to city employees about the project.

– Roberts reported that the yearly loan payment for the irrigation system will be $14,703.59 and reported that some valve work needs to be done at the lagoon.

-Alderman Gaus suggested installing a helipad at the edge of the airport near the Ambulance shed to aid landing when the ground is wet or soft.  The Board asked Alderman Gaus to get bids to pursue the issue.

In closed session, the board hired Kourtney Anderson as the Pool Manager for the 2021 season.