By Jessica LeDuc
Blade staff writer
During a routine meeting Wednesday, the Concordia City Commission approved a budget amendment that created a new gas fund.
Finance Director Amber Farha said the fund will be created to deal with expenses and revenues for the Concordia municipal gas line that was constructed to service the new Cloud County Law Enforcement Center in the north development. The City will be operating the line, and state budget law requires that a fund be established to take in any revenue generated from it.
The 2013 budget was amended in the amount of $40,399. Farha said the number is an estimate, and will be used to purchase the gas from Kansas Gas Service, as well as pay EV Cathodic Protection Service for line maintenance each month.
During his city manager report, Larry Uri said city staff had been informed that the post office can no longer guarantee five-day local delivery, which has caused problems with water bills.
The City's practice is to send out a bill with a specific due date, and if the bill isn't paid by that date, staff will send a letter, giving five days notice before the water is shut off.
Uri said this month, many people didn't receive the five-day shut-off notice for a late water bill until after the shut-off date. He also said a number of water payments were received after the late notices went out.
To remedy the situation, Uri said an extra week will be added to the response time for water bills. In coming months, the system will be changed, and water bills will be mailed in first-class envelopes.
Uri apologized to anyone who may have been affected by the postal issue, and said this month only, the City will credit all late charges and shut-off fees.
"To those who got a late notice after their water was shut off, we're sorry," Uri said. "We didn't know this was going on."
Uri also reported that the dam project is steadily moving forward. The permitting process should be completed in the next few weeks, and Uri said he is optimistic that bids will be let in the Fall for construction.
"More and more keeps coming together," he said. "The only thing we're not doing is building a dam."
In other business, the Commission approved the standard traffic ordinance and uniform public offense code, and appointed Charles Johnson and Marsha Wentz as voting delegates for the League of Kansas Municipalities annual meeting.
The month of September was proclaimed as National Recovery Month to recognize the importance of recovery and importance of substance use and mental disorders.
No action was taken after executive sessions for attorney client privilege and preliminary discussion of acquisition of real estate, and the Commission adjourned to a study session to review a construction contract for the Brown Grand Theatre.