City meeting goes global
In response to Governor Kelly’s statewide Stay-at-Home order in regard to the coronavirus pandemic, Wednesday's Beloit City Council meeting was conducted by electronic communication. Jason Rabe, City Manager, organized the conference via global.gotomeeting.com. This internet connection allowed each councilor to log on at a location of their own choosing and to fully participate in the meeting as if they were sitting in the council chambers seated in their regular chair.
All councilors were logged in as well as Mayor Tom Naasz, City Manager Jason Rabe, City Attorney Katie Schroeder, and City Clerk Amanda Lomax.
– City Manager Rabe began the meeting reviewing the timeline of proactive steps taken by city administration in regard to the COVID-19 national pandemic. From early March to the present time, planning has been conducted in regard to continuing city services in light of possible limitations due to the disease. He has conducted regular meetings with department heads looking at issues such as: personal protective equipment (PPE) for law enforcement officers, identifying critical employees, emphasizing social distancing, maintaining the safety of sanitary workers, and maintaining stable supplies of electricity and water.
– Rabe displayed rough drafts and possible locations of dry and wet ponds that would be a part of the flood prevention program within the City.
– A pre-construction meeting will soon be held for the next round of Safe Routes to School sidewalk program. Rabe anticipates construction work to begin in late April or early May.
– Rabe reported he was advised by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) that the loan application for the proposed water pipeline/ treatment plan had been received in their office.
– Heather Hartman, Economic Development Director, reviewed various new loan and grant programs that are a part of the National Economic Stimulus plan. Programs Hartman highlighted were those aimed at small business owners which are the backbone of the business community of Beloit. People interested the exact details of these programs are encouraged to contact Hartman at 785-738-3000.
– The Council unanimously approved resolution 2020-5.
– Insurance coverage policies for the city’s insurance were awarded to Fouts Insurance. The policy covering the bulk of the city’s property including the power plant had a price tag of $326,205. Rabe believes that by modifying the coverage the final cost will be in the neighborhood of $324,000. The policy covering the airport had a cost of $3,267. Fire Department insurance cost $4,675.
– A bid for a new mower for the Parks and Recreation Department in the amount of $12,450 from Carrico Implement was approved. The department has seven mowers on active duty all summer long. One mower is replaced each year.
– An amount of $25,000 was approved for the Sidewalk Demolition and Replacement program
– Permission was granted for the bidding process for the replacement of HVAV equipment for the Law Enforcement Center.
– The Beloit City Council conducted its business meeting this week with two notable exceptions.
In March the council voted to change the day of the meetings from Tuesdays to Wednesdays before the start of homeschooling and cancellations. Many of the councilors have children in school who participate in athletics or other extracurricular activities. Many of these activities take place on Tuesday nights. The council voted to conduct City Council meetings on Wednesday nights instead of Tuesday nights allowing the councilors to be present for both obligations. This week’s meeting was the first Wednesday meeting on the new format.