Overbrook senior housing receives break from utilities

OVERBROOK—Denise Hoback, Overbrook Housing Authority chairperson, approached the city council with a request for the city to waive the water utility billing until the first of the year.

“We could use approximately an additional $15,000 a year from the standard operating budget per year, and if the city would waive our water bill, there would be an increase to our budget of approximately $4,200,” Hoback said. “We are looking at possible rent increases to help our budget. As soon as a unit becomes open, it is being remodeled as some of the units have the original appliances from 1980.”

“Have you done any investigation or inquiries about obtaining grants to help with the remodeling,” asked Mayor Don Schultz.

“There is not much money available for senior housing grants,” said Hoback.

“I would call Jones Trust and see if they could be of some assistance to the housing authority,” said Schultz.

“With the City of Overbrook being our partner and waiving the city bill, the housing authority is actually able to start seeing possibilities in achieving our objectives and providing the tenants of Oak Street Plaza with a great place to live,” said Hoback.

Other board members from the housing authority present included Don Bryant, maintenance supervisor for the city, and Jim Koger, city clerk. Both agreed with Hoback that a lot of improvements are being made to the complex, but the lack of funding is a deterrent for achieving goals for the units.

After discussion, JoAnne Allen, council member, made a motion to waive the Overbrook Housing Authority’s water bill until the first of the year and asked for Hoback to find additional information as to outside funding to assist with the upgrading of the units. Tammy Metzger, council member seconded the motion. Motion was passed.

Council training

Allen informed the audience and other council members that Carol Baughman, council member, Koger, and herself completed Level I of the League of Kansas Municipalities training, which requires 40 credit hours. Level I is an educational level and basically focuses on attendance at various training events offered by the League.

Schultz has completed Level II, which requires an additional 30 hours of credit. Level II is termed as the achievement level and focuses on the continuing education as well as participation in various government related activities.

Equipment needs

Bryant informed the council that a plow/sander truck is needed because the present truck owned by the city is almost rusted in two.

“Winter is rapidly approaching and we cannot be without a plow/sander truck,” Bryant said. “Every time I find a truck that would be suitable for the city, it’s already purchased. I’m needing more leverage from the council to find and purchase a truck before the winter is here.”

Schultz asked Cathy Sowers, city treasurer, how much money was available in the equipment reserve and she said, “There is $27,000 in the account presently.”

Baughman made a motion to grant Bryant the authority to purchase a plow and sander truck not to exceed $27,000, which was passed by the council.

Bryant thanked the council for their quick response to his request.

In other business, the council:

• approved a 50-cent merit raise to maintenance employee Karl Umscheid.

• approved $2,500 for the purchase of new school crossing lights, which will be electrical and use LED lights. Bryant informed the council that KDOT has spent a considerable amount of time surveying the traffic on US 56 and the school crossing that has a crosswalk on it to the school. No results of the survey taken are expected for several months. Bryant stressed that the city cannot wait that long for results as a crossing light is needed now for the safety of the students walking to school across 56 highway.

• approved an increase for the franchise fee from three to five percent for gas service with Kansas Gas Service. If the city had not voted to change the fee, it would be another eight years before a new request could be made.

• hired Laverna Gray as assistant city clerk.

• heard from Bryant about the pool being closed early because the filter pump quit. The pool has not yet been winterized, but anticipates this to be done soon.

• heard from Terry Hollingsworth, police chief, about the fair ending with no major issues, arrests or citations being issued. He said two district court cases have gone through the district court and both cases have pled out.

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