BELOIT CITY COUNCIL – Wednesday, June 19, 2024

By Terry Bailey

The Beloit City Council conducted their bi-weekly business meeting at City Hall Wednesday, June 19. All Councilors were present except for Lee McMillan who was absent. Also attending were City Manager Halley Roberson, City Attorney Katie Schroeder, and City Clerk Amanda Lomax.
One item of local interest was the modification of the Fireworks Ordinance because of the 4th of July being on a Thursday this year. City Attorney Schroeder presented a draft ordinance modifying the date of fireworks purchase and discharge. The new proposed dates will allow sales until July 5 and discharge until July 6. The Councilors were favorably inclined by Schroeder's draft ordinance. In related action the Councilors approved a $1,000 from the City to the Waconda Fireworks.
Auditor Neal Phillips of the auditing firm of Gilmore and Phillips was on hand to review the recently completed audit of the city's "books." He noted that, as usual, there were a few blips here and there but nothing of significance.
Roberson also reported:
• Paperwork has been submitted to the FAA for the closing of the grass airstrip at the Moritz Airport.
• A meeting with the Bureau of Reclamation regarding the water pipeline from Waconda Lake to Beloit was conducted with no major concerns.
• The detention pond for the East Side flood control project continues. Approval for the water rights will take a year or more.
• The work on the Federally mandated copper and lead survey continues. All residents are encouraged to complete the short survey and return it to the city offices.
• Having received the contract for the revision of the City's GIS operations, the Council approved the official agreement in the amount of $106,960.
• The final details for a pedestrian walkway on South Mill Street to facilitate pedestrian travel across the railroad tracks was presented. A quote of $12,064 was approved which will improve travel over that route to the Chautauqua Park.
Beloit Police Chief Chad Lackey gave his report to the Council about the activities of his department.
Lackey introduced the newest addition to Beloit's police force, Devin Crawford. Crawford is a native of Osborne, He and his wife had completed their move to Beloit. Lackey reported that Crawford has completed all necessary training and is on active service with the police squad.
Lackey told the Council he has conducted two informative meetings with the public. One was at the Kids Café and another one to the open public at the Chautauqua Park. The major emphasis of these meetings was "How To Be Safe."
A routine arrest by a police officer turned into a complicated arrest lately. The suspect managed to elude custody and visual contact was broken. Assistance from the Mitchell County's K-9 unit was utilized and in short time the suspect was located, put under control and incarcerated in the jail. Lackey extended his thanks to the Sheriff's department for their valuable assistance.
A ten-minute executive session was conducted for attorney-client privileged conversation. No action was taken because of this closed session.
The Business Meeting was adjourned, and the Work Session was called to order.
What followed was a detailed discussion of the City's needs for electricity over the next 25 years. This is a difficult topic to nail down, but the needs must be anticipated so action can be taken beforehand rather than waiting until a crisis emerges, and a crisis in imminent.
The GRDA (Grand River Dam Authority) located in Sallisaw, Oklahoma, is a major provider of public power and a major supplier of electricity to Beloit. GRDA is committed to ending their use of fossil fuels to produce electricity by 2026 to come into the EPA's mandate on ending the use of fossil fuels across the United States. Electrical production will change to the use of Natural Gas.
Manny Milbers from the Beloit Power Plant was on hand to participate in the conversation. He said it is hard to determine what effect this change from coal to natural gas will have but it will have a significant impact on electricity in Beloit.
While this will be an ongoing discussion it appears that the City Council was in favor of considering the construction of another solar farm to reduce dependance on outside providers.


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Beloit, KS 67420, USA