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The City of Chrisman held the final meeting for the month of April on Wednesday, April 20th. The meeting started off with the approval of the previous meeting minutes and claims in the amount of $50,795.95.
Former Commissioner Rodney Wolfe was in attendance at the meeting to discuss a matter that he had some concerns about. The issue had to do with the fixing of the storm drainage and where the pumps would be placed at the new sewer plant in order to prevent flooding during large rainfall.
“The storm sewer drain comes down the south side of the building and empties into the creek. They go to put them in there, you’re going to have another cost adjustment because of that,” said Wolfe.
Another issue Wolfe brought up was the upgrade of power from three phase 240 and possibly go to 480, no clear answer as to who would pay for it was discussed. “Is it going to come back on the City?” asked Wolfe.
The former Commissioner continued with things that could possibly come back on the city. Another topic was the gas meter needing to be bigger, adding another expense. “There’s some hidden costs there that you guys are not going to be aware of,” Wolfe continued.
Wolfe mentioned that if the construction company doesn’t know about the drain and hit it, the area will be left with a sinkhole, adding more money to the project. The drain is set to be put six or seven feet deep, making it difficult for city employees to reach.
“If we have a leak, we’re done,” Wolfe said. “(If) Something happens to that pump, we’re dead in the water boys.”
With the force main hook up, Wolfe questioned who was going to cut in and raise it. Commissioner Bryan Haddix, who would have the information, was not in attendance. “The pre-bid meeting after that, it’s three hundred and some days before it’s completed, I’m not sure that pump will last long. You need to get Matt (Johnson of Fehr Graham) and say that you need to look at this.”
Erik Bohle stated that he was at the pre-bid meeting and asked the question of who was going to do the force main hook up. Matt was not in attendance at that meeting, so Bohle spoke with Johnson’s father. “His response was if you set that up with Matt, then he’s probably going to take care of it,” Bohle said.
At the pre-bid meeting, Bohle said that it seemed to him like they would leave it up to the contractors to take care of the hook up.
Chrisman Area Community Club President Dan Moore was also in attendance. Moore started off by thanking the City of Chrisman for buying the banner for the Sesquicentennial Celebration. One of the banners will be placed on Route 1 and the other on Madison and Monroe.
“Later when we’re done with this, it can either be auctioned off as a souvenir or have the High School kids paint something on the back for Christmas,” said Moore. “The sooner we get this up, the more anxious people will get about the Sesquicentennial.” Moore said that all the plans for the celebration should be finalized by the May meeting.
Doug Cochran and Scott Foster from the Edgar County Neighborhood Watch Program also attended the meeting. The pair got the neighborhood watch program off the ground in Paris and have been to the Village of Kansas to see if they would like to participate. The idea behind the visit was to see if Chrisman would be interested in having a neighborhood watch program.
Cochran brought handouts for those in attendance to look over with information about the program. It came to be in 1972 and is run by the National Sheriff’s Association and is a proven crime fighting tool. “It’s an observation and reporting system only,” said Cochran. “There’s been several instances in Paris that have been caught and some arrests have been made.”
Foster gave further information that several people have cameras that have helped out. One instance where this was helpful was in Paris where someone was slashing tires on residents’ vehicles. “We had them from one end of town where they started to the other and they were arrested,” Foster said.
Paris was also subjected to eight burglaries in October in an eight day time frame, which led Foster going door to door to see if anyone had seen anything that could lead to information on the robberies. “Every house I went to, I got no resistance on it,” Foster said.
The City of Paris, for example, was separated into twelve sectors. In Foster’s sector alone, there are twenty-six watch captains who watch out for anything suspicious. Both Foster and Cochran wanted the community to know that it wasn’t saying that the police weren’t doing their job, it’s mainly to help him out.
The first step was to see if the City of Chrisman would even be interested in having this type of program available. Cochran and Foster will be guiding those who want to be involved with any questions they may have. “It takes buy in from the police department because the way the program is set up, there has to be a law enforcement liaison that works with the local neighborhood watch to make it work,” Cochran said.
The program is free to the city. All that is required is a blessing from the council and agreement from the police force to work with the watch. A community meeting would then be set up.
In the first meeting, it would be asked that the council and the Police Chief be in attendance to let the community know they are behind it. “We’ll give them the resources and the manual to get started,” Cochran said.
The program is in the process of receiving grant money. The purpose is to buy cameras to loan to different areas in the county. “If you’re having an issue, we’ll give you the camera, you can video what’s going on and that can be used for prosecution.”
Signs will also be placed in yard of the community to deter any criminals.
The Village of Kansas has recently jumped aboard on the program and will be hosting a community meeting in the future. The Edgar County Neighborhood Watch does have a Facebook page for those to view.
Mayor Danny Owen said he would put it on the agenda for the next meeting when all members will be available. A map will available to see how Chrisman would be broken up. The idea is to have a ‘Block Captain’ for every twenty-five to thirty-five houses, leaving the City of Chrisman broken up into about four to five sections.
“The idea of the block captain is to keep everyone from calling 911 at the same time, so it will go through a tier,” Cochran said. “So you call your block captain and they will call the authorities.”
With the crime rate going up in surrounding towns and cities, everyone was in agreement that it’s best to stop it before crime moves towards our community.
Shawna Boyer was in attendance on behalf of the Chrisman Band Boosters. With the upcoming Chrisman Days celebration, the band usually hosts the concession stand and would like to do so during softball games that are held at home.
The Boosters would like to be able to have a fridge and freezer in the pavilion, but wasn’t sure if that would be possible due to space and insurance. Commissioner Thad Crispin stated that he had spoken to the insurance company and they would not cover them if something should happen.
For example, if someone breaks in and takes the freezer, unless the band boosters have insurance, it will not be covered. “If a fire happens, we’re not covered,” Commissioner Crispin said. “We’re not covered for anything that is not ours.”
Due to the boosters not having insurance and not being affiliated with the school, this causes a problem. This is also causing concern for Crispin being that someone has already tried to kick in the door and has tried to break in. He offered the possibility of moving the appliances to the bus barn.
Boyer also mentioned that the scoreboard on the baseball/softball field isn’t working.
“Someone mentioned said that the line got cut and it wasn’t working,” Boyer asked.
Commissioner Crispin said that the line wasn’t cut and should have been hooked up to the box panel. “We kept the line. I don’t think it was ever cut,” Crispin said.
City worker Erik Bohle reported that a pump was put in the weir at the sewer plant to deter some of the excess flow that is going through the excess flow clarifier and push it through the plant like it should.
“It cost us zero dollars,” Bohle said. “I got a pretty good idea it was about a thirty thousand dollar investment on Fehr Graham’s part.” Bohle has a meeting with the sewer operator to go over and make sure the pump is working and see if it can run at max capacity. The license for the plant as a city, the EPA mandates them to certain gallons they are restricted to.
In another matter, Commissioner Crispin’s budget was handed in. Projects on the budget include tar and chip, sidewalks, and other various projects. The council voted and approved the budget. “Once the MFT is approved and done with the engineer, we’re going to start getting bids on the problems that we’ve got,” Crispin said.
On the agenda as well was the Community Club wanting to plant a tree on the square for the Sesquicentennial. Dan Moore told the council that the placement of the tree would be up to the council.
The council voted to donate $2,000 as their contribution to the Chrisman celebration and Moore told the council that “any proceeds will be divided between the City of Chrisman, Firemen’s Association and the Community Club. Right now, we just need money to get started.”