Mayor, councilman sworn in

Staff writer

Mayor Larry Larsen was sworn in for his third term Monday night at the Peabody City Council meeting, by Administrator Shane Marler.

Marler then administered the oath of office to Councilman Tom Schmidt who was re-elected in April. Janice Woodruff, also re-elected in April, was out of state and will be sworn in when she returns.

Mayor Larsen made the annual appointment of non-elected personnel in city positions: Shane Marler, city administrator, economic development director, Peabody Main Street director, zoning administrator, freedom of information officer, health and safety officer, and floodplain administrator; Stephanie Ax, city clerk and identity theft prevention program administrator; Leah Ottensmeier, city treasurer and clerk of municipal court; city attorney, Norman Manley/Davis, Manley, & Lane, LLC; chief of police, Bruce Burke; police officer, Travis Davis; city prosecutor, Michael Cleary/Cleary Law Group; municipal judge, Bradley Jantz; fire chief, Mark Penner; public works superintendent, Darren Pickens; and animal control officer, Duane Davis.

City auditor Dale Clark of Knudsen, Monroe, and Company, LLC was present to review the audit with Peabody City Council Monday evening.

Clark declared the city finances in fairly good shape with “no significant audit findings.” He also said he and his team had good assistance from the city staff and he offered to review the budget for the council when they finish their work on it this summer.

In other business:

  • Marion County will get funds from FEMA for snow removal during the heavy spring snow storms. Marler will attend a meeting in Marion to submit a request for reimbursement of 80 percent of Peabody’s qualified expenses for snow removal.
  • The council heard that Marler had begun an application for a grant from Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad to complete the funding for a public restroom in Santa Fe Park. He said the railroad has grants available for improvements on public areas near railroad property.
  • Jim Rippe, chairman of Peabody Planning and Zoning, was present to announce that Hope and Rick Reynolds and Jylle Wilson had accepted appointments to the planning and zoning board and had attended their first meeting.
  • Councilman Peterson asked about the procedure for eliminating ruts in the alleys in residential areas. While the city does not provide gravel for the alleys, city employees are available to spread gravel purchased by residents. After discussion Mayor Larsen said he would review the alleys to see how serious the problem areas are and review the information at a future meeting.
  • Marler told the council the contractor doing the fiber optics installation in town had damaged the asphalt in several places on the new surface of Locust Street. Marler had police officers photograph the areas and he will file a complaint with the company.
  • Marler reviewed the Kansas Main Street program reorganization meeting he attended in Holton last. He said that all the former Main Street cities had representatives in attendance and the program was moving forward.
  • The council heard that Allegiance Communications, operating in the city of Peabody, has been purchased by BCI Allegiance, LLC. The company plans to expand its bandwidth and make other upgrades in Peabody.
  • The council went into executive session for 10 minutes to discuss confidential data relating to financial affairs or trade secrets of corporations. No action was taken on return to public session.
  • The council went into executive session for 25 minutes to discuss non-elected personnel. No action was taken on return to public session.

The next meeting of the Peabody City Council will be held at 7 p.m. May 28 rather than May 27, due to the Memorial Day holiday weekend. The meeting will be in the city building.

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