Monday night marked the final February meeting for the Hiawatha City Commission, and the group was joined by representatives of Rainbow Communications to discuss upcoming changes to the services offered by the local communications company.

Rainbow recently announced that, as of July 1, they will no longer offer cable television service, and will instead focus on their internet offerings and helping customers to stream content.

Rainbow’s Angie Kreider spoke the commission to request substituting a telecommunications franchise agreement in place of the current television franchise agreement. Kreider said there should not be any loss of revenue for the city in making the change, and the commission voted to approve the change.

The commission also voted to approve a resolution determining the advisability of issuing Health Facilities Refunding Revenue Bonds to allow the Hiawatha Hospital to refinance their bonds, after City Administrator Mike Nichols reminded the commission that the move allows the hospital to use the city as a conduit for savings, but that the city has no financial obligation.

In other business:

The commission voted to call a Special Meeting on March 23 to hold a public hearing for a KDHE loan for the sewer system flow study, which is a requirement with the loan application.

The commission voted to renew the current health and dental insurance plans and solicit bids for vision insurance, and also voted to approve a School Resource Officer agreement between the city and USD 415. Also approved were bids for a bucket truck, to AllTech, a new 2020 Ford Super Duty Work Truck for the Police Department, and a bid from JMB Construction for 2020 cement work, as well as requests to solicit bids for two commercial mowers for the Parks Department, and for the sale of the Parks Department’s 2001 Dodge truck, as well as the Water Department’s 1983 bucket truck. The group also approved a request from Administrator Nichols to solicit bids for the city’s 2020 fireworks display.

Becky Townsend requested to be placed on the agenda, and was present to request an extension on the City’s notice to clean up a property on Pottawatomie Street. Townsend said work had begun to clean up the property, but requested an extension into the Spring so weather-dependent work could be wrapped up.

City Code Enforcer Dave Wilson informed the commission that Townsend has obtained work permits to make improvements, and shared his opinion that some of the work is weather-dependent. The commission voted to give a 90-day extension, but with a commitment to finish all necessary work within that time frame.

The Commission approved the Consent Agenda, which included an appropriation of $53,188.06, utility refunds of $136.50, a property tax payment to Morrill Public Library in the amount of $82,647.82, a payment to Kansas Salt, LLC of $5,276.94, a payment to Kansas Association of Code Enforcement in the amount of $249.00 and a payment of $25.73 to BP Business Solutions.

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