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Taking aim at the root of a sewer problem

The Oskaloosa Independent of Oskaloosa, Kansas

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Naming a mile of highway after John Bower

The expenditure of $5,000 for a treatment that is designed to kill tree roots that are interfering with the normal flow of sewage through sewer lines was authorized by the McLouth City Council when it met the evening of Jan. 20 at the fire station.

According to the unofficial minutes of the meeting, the treatment, manufactured by Duke's Root Control Inc., Syracuse, NY., "comes with high recommendations from the City of Bonner Springs" and works by coating the sewer lines to "slowly kill the roots." Utility Superintendent Gary Tullis will be responsible for determining what areas within the city's sewer system are "the most troubled" and thus are the best candidates for receiving the treatment.

During the discussion that preceded the vote, Tullis specifically mentioned "a sewer issue" along South Union Street.

Council President Jim Moore and Councilmen Scott Weissenbach, Doug "Butch" Patterson, Don Nowak and George Bowen were unanimous in their support of the expenditure.

Mayor Keith Meador indicated to the council that he would be getting together with Cliff Weeks of the Park and Recreation Commission to make sure signs were ordered for that part of K-92 that has been designated as John Bower Memorial Highway. During last year's session, the Kansas Legislature saw fit to honor its former member by naming a one-mile stretch of the highway after him, leaving it up to residents of the McLouth area, of which Bower was a lifetime resident, to raise the necessary funds to pay for the signs and their future maintenance.

The memorial highway will run from 94th Street to the north boundary of the City of McLouth. Bower lived on a farm nearby.

Bower served in the House of Representatives from 1953 until 1977 and had never run for public office when he sought the vacant seat in the House he ultimately won at the polls. An ordained minister, he was the pastor of the local Baptist congregation for many years and also was a member of the McLouth Kiwanis Club, the Heart of America Antique Steam Engine and Model Association, the Kansas State Historical Society and the Jefferson County Historical Society.

Bower, a 1929 graduate of McLouth High School, died June IS, 2012, at the age of 100.

On a 5-0 vote, the council decided to increase the renewal fee for a liquor license to $500 and to make the fee a biannual one instead of an annual one. The move brings the city in line with the biannual licensing schedule the State of Kansas is now following.

In the past the city has charged liquor sellers an annual fee of $250 to have their licenses renewed, so under the new arrangement they will still be paying $500 every two years.

Chief of Police Marcus Koch advised the council that the title to the city's old police car was missing and that he was in the process of trying to obtain a replacement title. The city is hopeful of selling the car through Purple Wave, an online auction site.

In the meantime, because the so-called "city car" did not start one day recently, the old police car has seen some use from time to time. The police chief has taken the "city car" in for more servicing in an effort to determine what is running down the battery.

Dixie Jones, president of the Library Board, appeared before the council to present the annual report for the library and also go over it with the members of the council. They had no questions for her.

Jones had a second reason for attending the meeting, that being to recommend the appointment of Angie Cammack to the library board to fill Sandra Wise's unexpired term as a member of the board. On a 5-0 vote, the council acted favorably on the president's recommendation.

The council unanimously gave its approval to the transfer of $60,000 in city funds, $50,000 of which will be going into the Capital Improvement Fund, the balance into the Equipment Fund. The move was recommended by City Clerk Kim Everley.

Of the $50,000 earmarked for the CIF, $30,000 is coming from the General Fund and $20,000 from the Sewer Fund. The EF is being replenished with $5,000 from the Water Fund and $5,000 from the Sewer Fund.

Meador, who also is the city's fire chief, reported that the automated external defibrillator had been sent in for servicing and that money from the donation account would be tapped to pay for the inspection of the device.

The consideration of quotes from ALT Inc., Oak Grove, Mo., and TBS Electronics, Topeka, was tabled until the city has received some answers from the Federal Communications Commission with respect to access to existing communications equipment and costs involved in the installation of new equipment.

On a 5-0 vote, the council approved a request from the city clerk that she be allowed to attend the 48th annual Conference and Exhibition of the Kansas Rural Water Association March 24-26 in Wichita. The clerk, who has been asked to be a moderator, will be the city's voting delegate at the gathering.

The council met in executive session for five minutes with Pete Glasser, the assistant city attorney, citing as justification for the move the attorney-client privilege recognized in the Kansas Open Meetings Act. No binding action was taken afterward.

Copyright 2015 The Oskaloosa Independent, Oskaloosa, Kansas. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: January 29, 2015

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