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Harveyville Council nixes credit card machine, considers street improvements

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Members of the Harveyville City Council met Monday evening for an abbreviated meeting with a short agenda.

Mayor Dustin Kuntz asked council members for approval of the previous meeting minutes as well as approval to pay the monthly bills before addressing a couple of unfinished business items.

A decision as to whether or not city hall should accept credit card payments for utilities had been considered during the past couple of months. Kuntz asked City Clerk Chris Tenbrink to gather information for a credit card machine and the costs associated with it. Currently the city does allow credit card payments, but they are made at the First National Bank of Harveyville. The bank is a block away from city hall.

That arrangement provides a service in which the bank may take payments for the city in either cash, check or credit card. Harveyville City Treasurer Deb Converse conveniently works at the bank, which provides a smooth transaction for the city. The bank charges the city $100 per month for providing the service.

The council studied a proposal from SHAZAM, Inc. that would provide a credit card machine, and the service involved with making credit card transactions. Depending upon whether the customer uses Visa, MasterCard or Discover charges range from 89 cents to $1.25 per transaction (based upon a $50 charge). In addition to that there is a monthly fee plus a $250 charge for the credit card machine.

It was the consensus of the council that the current system worked well as they considered what the motive would be for the additional system at city hall. Clerk Tenbrink questioned the additional charges for the credit card machine, but told the council, "she would do whatever they wished."

Mayor Kuntz concurred with Tenbrink, and added, "Occasionally you come across someone who may not wish to do business at the bank, and you will run into that from time to time."

The question came up concerning how many utility customers are aware the credit card service is available. Councilmembers asked Ten-brink to include a note in the monthly utility bills informing, or reminding, customers of the service.

At the conclusion of the discussion the council decided not to purchase the credit card machine but instead to continue using the service provided by the bank.

"I guess we're content to stay the same. We just need to communicate a little more," said Mayor Kuntz.

Discussion continued on the chip and seal project the city has been pursuing for several months. A number of streets are in need of the chip and seal process that will greatly extend their life before continued deterioration causes permanent damage.

Mayor Kuntz and Councilman Louis Hall, who is in charge of the street department, said they reviewed a price estimate from APAC Company, Emporia. APAC had provided an estimate of $18,000 to chip and seal Main Street, Oak Street and one block of Wabaunsee Street. Hall said after reviewing the estimate it was determined that actual bid for the project was $39,467.

Councilman Henry Dreier asked what the discrepancy was in the bids?

Mayor Kuntz said he believed the estimate was made without an actual measurement of the streets based upon what APAC "thought" the square footage of the streets are. When APAC was asked for an actual "bid" on the project, the difference in actual cost was discovered.

Councilman Hall said the actual cost for Main Street alone would be $19,141.

Mayor Kuntz told the council that he and Councilman Hall did not feel comfortable in moving forward with the project without full council approval. He added that, because of the delay, it would be necessary to wait until spring to complete the job since warmer temperatures are necessary for the chip and seal process.

After further discussion the council decided to delay the project until spring and to solicit additional bids from other companies.

In other business, Mayor Kuntz reported he hopes to meet with a couple of ladies from the community who can provide input on what type of playground equipment they would like to purchase with the recent Community Block Grant the city received.

Clerk Tenbrink reported to the council that City Utility Superintendent Randy Brown, who was absent from the meeting, had been bitten by a dog while performing duties on the city owned gas line. Tenbrink said the incident occurred outside of the city. She said she followed up on the incident by contacting the Wabaunsee County Sheriff Department and checked on up-to-date rabies vaccination for the dog. She said she received proof of the vaccination from the Auburn Vet Clinic. Councilman Gary Dixon, who works with Brown on many occasions, said they were surprised by the incident.

"We were surprised the dog bit him. Especially after the owner told us her dog was named 'Cupcake'", said Dixon.

Clerk Tenbrink told the council she is in the process of updating the city's database that will include good phone numbers and contact information for the city's 126 utility subscribers.

Councilman Dreier asked if Superintendent Brown was ready for the winter season. Councilman Dixon said he believed that he is.

"He has pallets of ice remover on hand," said Dixon.

Dixon added that the blade for the Mule (Kawasaki side by side) has been refabricated and ready to go..

Copyright 2015 The Wabaunsee County Signal-Enterprise, Alma, 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: November 5, 2015

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