Burlingame reorganizes financial infrastructure

BURLINGAME—The Burlingame City Council adjusted and clarified several financial areas during its meeting Monday night. They took a deeper look at regular processes of paying bills, noting several late fees and un-earned discounts, since authorization is required by the city council.

“Some of the bills are due a week later,” said Joey Lamond, city superintendent.

“If we have only a week to pay, that doesn’t make any sense,” said Mike Dorr, mayor.

Lamond questioned if it would be possible to pay the bills quicker to avoid late fee charges, since council meetings occur two times per month. He referred to gas bills, which carry a discount if paid within 10 days after receipt.

City attorney Rick Godderz said Osage City employs a full time treasurer who has council authority to pay bills without council action.

“If it’s monthly bills, I don’t have an issue,” said Vikki DeMars, council member.

DeMars also suggested Dorr contact vendors to request adjustment of bill payment deadlines.

The council conducted an executive session to discuss non-elected personnel, with Godderz present, which was extended three times. On return to open session, council voted 3-2 to reduce employment of Cindy Harris to part time from 1,000 hours per year, as established in 2012, when Harris was selected to serve as city treasurer and swimming pool manager. DeMars and Carolyn Strohm cast dissenting votes.

Lee said Harris would not continue to receive sick leave and vacation benefits, but would receive customary part time benefits, KPERS and insurance.

The council reviewed operation of the adult summer softball league, which is run by the recreation commission.

“They’re going to prepare the diamonds, again,” DeMars said, noting the commission was to give the city a statement of commission services and expenses.

Council member Michelle Mullinix explained the commission is collecting money for a new swimming pool.

“It’s going to be basically a donation, showing what we’re donating for the fund,” Mullinix said.

DeMars and Mullinix agreed that the statement would document community contribution for a possible future grant application. The fund had been established last summer.

The council also authorized bi-weekly payment of officials.

Strohm reported that the tree board had scheduled observance of Arbor Day with Burlingame students for 9 a.m. Friday. She said more than $190 had been collected by students to plant trees on school and recreation commission property. The city council did not act to match funds collected by students.

In other business, the council:

• received an update from Lamond on efforts to clean and secure the city’s burn site. He added that the Kansas Department of Environment had communicated intent to shut the site down, if any further site violations occurred.

• heard comments from Lee and Mullinix on accumulation of abandoned cars, appliances and junk at various locations in the city. Ryan Dudley, interim police chief, said he planned to issue reminder letters to property owners near the end of the month, following completion of pressing investigative activities.

• approved a season family swimming pool pass donation to the Burlingame PTO School Carnival.

• tabled action, pending receipt of clarifying information from Kansas Municipal Utilities, on state legislation which would remove Kansas Commission jurisdiction over natural gas and electric rates for city utility customers located more than three miles beyond city limits.

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The Osage County Herald-Chronicle

The official newspaper of Osage County; the cities of Burlingame, Carbondale, Lyndon, Melvern, Olivet, Osage City, Overbrook, Quenemo and Scranton; Burlingame USD 454, Lyndon USD 421, Marais des Cygnes Valley USD 456, Osage City USD 420 and Santa Fe Trail USD 434.

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