Work underway to create municipal court at Uniontown

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The city of Uniontown is searching for some key pieces for a future municipal court.

At their monthly meeting on Tuesday evening, city council members looked at codes enforcement officer duties and pay scale from other Kansas cities with a population of under 500.

Only one, Rozel, sent information to formulate a plan, Clerk Sally Johnson said.

More information is needed, Mayor Larry Jurgensen said.

A prosecutor also is needed for municipal court.

Johnson said she sent Attorney Justin Meeks of Fort Scott an email asking if he is still available for the prosecuting position in the future court, but received no response.

"I read in the newspaper that he is the new assistant county attorney...we'll have to find someone else," Johnson said.

Even though there is no municipal court in place, the city will begin its public safety campaign to rid the city of dogs running at large.

"After Jan. 1 animals (including cats) must have tags before March 1," Johnson said outside the council meeting. "They must bring proof of vaccination and neutering. The animal doesn't have to be neutered (but) it reduces the city fee. If animals are picked up, there is a fine for a dog running at large, then a penalty for not registering them, then they must register them. Once everything is aligned, we'll probably have lots of cases at first. People have to know we are serious."

Post Office change

The upcoming reduction in hours at the Uniontown Post Office will affect how the city superintendent sends out his required water quality samples to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

The problem is the city has a certain amount of time from when the sample is taken until it is delivered to the state, Superintendent Bobby Rich said.

"Uniontown will have only morning hours after Jan. 11," Johnson told the council. "We'll try it in the morning. If it doesn't work we'll take it to Bronson in the afternoon."

Other business

* Johnson reported all three city employees take part in a random drug test for a program for a drug-free workplace, with a cost of $60 per test and $200 for administration fees.

* Johnson also reported there was a recent Federal Emergency Management Agency proposal to change its policy on insurance requirements for entities that are eligible to receive FEMA reimbursement following a federally-declared disaster. The proposal could cost municipalities a burdensome amount of money, she said.

* The council is waiting on a request for payment from the Southeast Kansas Regional Planning Commission for the final payment to Lathrop Construction, the contractor for the recent water improvement system put in place in the city.

* Jurgensen reported the contractor Marbery Concrete Construction started the Union Street culvert project the week of Thanksgiving.

* The council learned the city has not received payment from the Kansas Department of Transportation for the Hinton Creek gas line relocation.

* Johnson said all utility bills were paid last month.

* The council approved replacing damaged ceiling tiles on the interior of the community building.

* A 10-minute executive session was held. The council then approved reimbursement to Jurgensen for the employee Christmas gifts.