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Beloit City Council Meeting Wednesday August 20

The Beloit City Council met last night to review items of importance to the City.  Among those were action and discussion items, as well as reports from the council, mayor, and city attorney.

During council reports, several council members spoke up about the City Planning Commission's recent activity in regard to the Comprehensive Plan.  Councilman Matte Otte voice his opinion through a prepared statement in which he listed the positives of adopting such a plan.  Council President Rick Brown stated that he felt as though the City should concentrate on infrastructure first and move on from the zoning portion of the comprehensive plan.  Councilman Bob Richard spoke on the topic as well stating that he didn't appreciate the intimidation directed toward the City Planning Commission.  He said he also felt that as a member of the City Council, he is there to represent citizens of Beloit and county commissioners should focus on county business instead of city business.  Councilman Tony Gengler raised the question of what benefit this would have for the City.  He was answered by Councilman Matt Otte, who stated that $400,000 of grant money has come into the city for home revitalization and another possible $500,000 could come in due to how the city is zoned.  City Attorney Katie Cheney also weighed in with her comments in regard to a statement by County Attorney Mark Noah.  She said that in her research and consultation with the attorneys at the League of Kansas Municipalities, the City Planning Commission can operate with a vacant seat and the actions of that group were not illegal.

In formal actions, the Beloit City Council approved the fiscal year 2014 City Budget at 55 mils, approved an asphalt bid in the amount of $19,800 for the chip seal project, and approved an agreement with Beloit Elementary School regarding easements for utilities while an expansion project is underway at the school.  The Council also had a closed session to discuss attorney-client privileged information.

During their work session after adjournment of the regular meeting, the Council heard from Mitchell County Community Director Heather Hartman that the housing/development grant process is going well and the committee is getting closer to being able to make applications available to those who wish to participate in the program.  She also reported that the neighborhood revitalization project is moving forward.  The Council also discussed the electric utility extension policy and a KDOT geometric contract before adjournment.

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