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Lyons City Council Gives Narrow Strip of Property to its Adjoining Property Owner, Melissa Miller to Leave Council in February


By Lucky Kidd


LYONS, Kan. — The Lyons City Council Monday agreed to give a narrow strip of property behind a residence in the 700 block of South Douglas to the adjoining property owner. This piece of land, 60 feet by 10 feet, has been through delinquent tax sales three times in recent years, with the city of Lyons picking up this property earlier this year.

City Administrator Eddy Truelove said the city has no use for this property, and the owner of the home adjoining the land noted the two prior parties who bought it at earlier sales had indicated they would be willing to give it to them, but that was never followed up.

Meeting as the Board of Directors for the City of Lyons Land Bank, approval was given to transfer three properties bought at the tax sale into the Land Bank. Two of the lots are in the Quivira Heights Subdivision and the other is a lot on East Lauderback which because of its size might not be buildable on.

The Council discussed issues involving portable outdoor fireplaces such as fire pits and chimneys.  

Truelove explained the present fire code of the city, which was based on the International Fire Code, prohibits them in the city. In 2011, the version of the code adopted included that prohibition. However, shortly thereafter an amendment was adopted by the Council to allow them.

When the current fire code ordinance was adopted, it repealed the 2011 ordinance and other ordinances in conflict, rather than referencing the more recent ordinance which has the outdoor fireplace exemption. Fire Chief Brad Reid has indicated support for changing the code to allow them in the city, and an ordinance to do that will be brought forward at a future meeting. 

The Council also discussed the ordinance dealing with peddlers and canvassers. The issue was brought to the Council by Monica Kelly, who related some issues and inconsistencies she’s had to deal with involving food vendors she has brought into her business.

Kelly and Truelove both indicated a need to modify the current ordinance, which among other things requires the license to be applied for in person, have it notarized, and pick up the permit in person. Kelly indicated this causes a hardship with some of the out-of-town vendors she brings from time to time.

Truelove has been reviewing ordinances from other communities on the topic, and Kelly discussed how it is handled in neighboring communities such as Great Bend, Hutchinson and McPherson. Truelove has had this listed as a pending item on the last few Council agenda, and an ordinance is going to be drafted for presentation to the council at a future meeting.

City Counselor Melissa Miller informed the Council she will be leaving at the end of February. Miller, who is currently associated with an Ellsworth law firm, has accepted a position with a firm in southeast Kansas where she’s originally from which would preclude her from continuing as the city’s legal counsel. Miller said she has
provided Mayor Dustin Schultz with the name of a possible successor.

Truelove reported he and city staff were scheduled to meet today (Thursday) with representatives from the Kansas Division of Emergency Management to work on paperwork for reimbursement of expenses incurred as a result of a July storm, costs of which are currently estimated to be at least a half million dollars.

The Council adopted an annual resolution waiving requirements that the city’s financial statement be prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). Nearly every local governmental unit in Kansas does this and prepares statements to comply with cash basis laws under guidelines of the Kansas Municipal Accounting and Audit Guide. There is also a cost savings on audits, as some items included in a GAAP audit do not have to be under the state guidelines.

Other items:

  • The Council adopted a revised boundary resolution, which is connected with a new zoning map that is scheduled to be brought to the Council for action early next year.
  • A resolution in support of Fair Housing was approved, a requirement connected with Community Development Block Grants the city receives.
  • An engineering agreement with Schwab-Eaton was approved in connection with the upcoming CCCLIP project on K-14 from American Road to Blair Street.
  • Larry Walker was appointed to fill a city of Lyons position on the 20th Judicial District Community Corrections Advisory Board.