Archive for Thursday, August 16, 2001

City council passes budget barely

Pyle, Woods opposed to full-time fire chief

August 16, 2001

Eudora residents may have not had much to say about the 2002 budget during the Aug. 13 public hearing, but city council members sure did.

The budget passed 3-2, with council members Tom Pyle and Doug Woods voting against.

"I was opposed to it, and I'm still opposed to adding a (full-time) fire chief," Pyle said of the budget, which increased fire department salaries overall with the idea that the increase could go toward a full-time chief.

Council member Rex Burkhardt reminded Pyle council approval beyond the budget would be necessary to add the position.

Pyle countered by saying that his experiences in the past showed him that if the council had the money to spend, it would.

"I've had a lot of people tell me they're not for this," he said. Eudora may be growing, but it doesn't yet need a full-time chief, he said.

Council member Dan Gregg said he'd talked with people who felt the opposite.

Council member Doug Woods agreed with Pyle on hiring a full-time fire chief. He said the city needs full-time firefighters before it needs a full-time chief.

Mayor Ron Conner reminded the council that the budget adds more money for salaries in general and doesn't lock the department in to only hiring a chief.

In other city council news:

Carrie Werst, Eudora Jaycees president, presented plans for the CPA Park gazebo to the council. The Eudora chapter received a $1,000 grant to renovate the gazebo, and asked the city for $2,500 for changes the grant couldn't cover. She also asked the city to assist with electrical work and to provide a trash bin and take away construction debris. The council suggested Werst finalize a volunteer workforce, look into whether the gazebo would need a ramp to meet disability standards, and approach the CPA committee about contributing money toward the project, as the gazebo houses some CPA Picnic activities.

The council allowed the Shadow Ridge development temporary utilities necessary to construct and landscape a model home. The council also approved changes necessary to amend a final plat of the development.

The council recommended a judge approve a new fee and fine schedule that will put Eudora traffic violations on par with those issued through district court. Earlier this summer the state approved a three-fold increase in traffic violations ranging from speeding to driving under the influence.

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