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McPherson City Commissioners Adopt Ordinance Related to Chronic City Code Violators, Enhancing Fines to Start at $500 for First Determination of Chronic Violation


By Lucky Kidd


McPHERSON, Kan. — McPherson City Commissioners Tuesday adopted an ordinance adding a new section to city codes related to chronic violators of city codes. The ordinance was developed by City Attorney Jeff Houston in the wake of multiple instances of persons being cited for code violations, correcting them in the short term, and then repeating the violations sometimes as soon as the prior case has been closed.

A chronic violator would be defined as a person or entity found to have violated code provisions four or more times in a 36-month-period that have been finalized and no longer subject to appeal. It would only apply to violations found by the Commission or Municipal Court on or after Friday.

It calls for enhanced fines starting at $500 for the first determination of a chronic violation, increasing to $1,000 for a third or subsequent determination.

The fix for the timing issues on downtown McPherson traffic signals was approved by the Commission. The existing communication system will not work with newly installed controllers, and part of the communication system no longer works at all. Cost to install seven traffic signal time clocks will come to $5,425.

Commissioners also approved a change order on the Veranda West Street project with Andale Construction related to moving sidewalks from the east to west side of the street and a widening of that sidewalk from five to six feet since it would be attached to the street. The $5,180.64 change order also includes adjustment of an existing manhole not shown on plans and removal of a 30-inch stump that wasn’t shown to be removed.

Commissioners also approved an additional expense of $80 for the purchase of two truckloads of engineered wood fiber used for safety surfacing on playgrounds. The purchase was initially approved in September.

A 2023 audit engagement letter was approved with The Loyd Group, which is in the second year of a five year contract for auditing services, along with a fund transfer from the Animal Shelter’s 2023 budget to the new equipment line items to cover some upcoming projects, it agreed to waive rental fees for the Firemen’s Benefit Association for a holiday party for the Fire Department Friday evening, approved payment of landfill assessments for 2023 charged to city property otherwise exempt from ad valorem taxes, and renewed of cereal malt beverage licenses for Yesway and the Village Geek, the latter including sale time restrictions as in the past.

Michelle Schnabel, currently a shelter technician at the McPherson Animal Shelter, will assume the director’s role effective Dec. 25, succeeding retiring director Sonia Luttig, who is going to be honored with a reception Dec. 29 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Community Building. Commissioners authorized the start of the hiring process to fill Schnabel’s current position.

In another personnel item the resignation of an engineering aide was accepted, and the start of the hiring process for that position authorized. This will be advertised internally and externally at the same time, due to a shortage of engineering technicians and time being of the essence in filling this position.