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Highlights from Lyons City Council Meeting Feb. 20


By Lucky Kidd


LYONS, Kan. — Following an extensive discussion on two portions of a proposed fee schedule for the city of Lyons Tuesday night, the Lyons City Council once again tabled final action on the policy to the March 4th meeting.

The major point of discussion dealt with animal control fees. The draft schedule included a significant increase in fees for dog tags along with fees for re-issuance of dog tags and changes in daily boarding fees.

While the Council was willing to approve an increase in boarding fees for impounded animals from $15 to $20 a day, they question whether the tag fees should be increased as much as proposed.

The proposal presented by City Administrator Ed Truelove would increase the cost of a dog tag for a spayed or neutered dog from the current $5 to $20, and for unspayed dogs from $20 to $75. The council questioned whether that size of that increase was excessive.

Another area of considerable discussion dealt with the proposed fees for peddler, solicitor and canvasser permits. This is tied to a new policy on the subject that due to the fee schedule being tabled action on the ordinance for these licenses was also deferred to March 4th. As proposed, there would be a $40 investigation fee, and a permit charge of $10 per day or $300 for a full year.

The Council also discussed how fees for building permits should be handled with a proposal advanced that would change how fees are assessed from the current flat rate to one based on the dollar value of construction, and doing away with sidewalk permits. A number of fees on the current schedule adopted in 2020 are proposed to be deleted as there is nothing in city code related to them.

The Council also tabled once again a request by Cecil Burdette for the city to at least waive the meter fee for a dog fountain at a dog park he established on his property, which gets a lot of use. Last year Burdette was awarded a $5,000 grant from the Rice County Community Foundation for the fountain that could be used by both people and pets. The fountain has been purchased, and Burdette indicated funds from the grant could also be used to extend water service to the fountain.

Council members had several reservations about the proposal to waive fees, citing some past precedents and a concern about whether city crews would be doing the line installation. Burdette has indicated in the past and again Tuesday it is intent at some point to donate the dog park, which he has maintained with personal funds since it was established, to the city’s land bank.

Truelove informed the council a new Community Development Director has been hired.

Tanner Faust began working for the city earlier this month and is currently working three days a week while he concludes his degree in community development from Kansas State University.

Lumberyard owner Monica Kelly met with the Council to discuss the status of plans to construct a microbrewery at the business. The Planning Commission at their last meeting recommended approval of a zoning change that would address an issue related to the proximity of it to the Rice County Learning Center.

Kelly also asked that City Clerk Gayla Godfrey be allowed to sign a document related to zoning that she has to submit with other paperwork to obtain her state licensing, something Truelove said did not require Council action.

Two purchases requested by Public Works Director Jared Jones were approved, one of which is for purchase of Insta-Valve equipment, which would facilitate repair of damaged valves in the water system without having to shut off water to a large part of the city. This item is included in the 2024 capital outlay budget. Also initially approved was an annual lease agreement for a Bobcat compact wheel loader from White Star Machinery. This will come back for final approval once the loader is ordered.

In other actions:

-The Council accepted the resignation of Sandra Goyett as Municipal Court Clerk and confirmed Mayor Dustin Schultz’s appointment of Amy Lackey as her replacement, both to be effective March 1st.

-Annual requests related to Boomfest on the 4th of July were approved.

-The Council approved an agreement for fire department training to take place at a property at 415 North Pioneer, which is on the city’s demolition list.

-A special meeting was set April 13 at 8 AM for a strategic planning session. This was to have taken place last year but was delayed due to the transition in city administrators.