Butler City Council News

Butler City Council News Courtesy of Bates County Live:
On November 19th, the Butler city council voted to cease operation of the senior citizen taxi service on December 31st- mainly due to expense and liability issues, much to the dismay of many. Early in tonight’s meeting the council announced that the taxi will continue until March 1st, 2020 to allow time to formulate a new plan. This action was prior to guest Len Redding, who presented the council with a petition of 357 signatures requesting the termination of the service be rescinded outright. Note- a special citizen committee has been formed to look into options to keep the taxi service ongoing and a meeting is scheduled for January 10th, 9 am at city hall for interested parties.

A billing software snafu has left the city owing Bates County Disposal $49,409.19 and the council is reviewing options to get it paid back as soon as possible. According to acting city admin Corey Snead, who was instrumental in discovering the error, an oversight involving a setting in the software did not properly earmark money from online payments to be directed to Bates County Disposal for a period of time. 

It is unknown how the glitch happened but it appears that a simple checkbox buried deep in the software was overlooked by personnel setting it up. While it should appear to be simple accounting, Snead pointed out that late payments, credits and adjustments complicate the billing process making it difficult to reconcile completely each month; often there is carry over of adjustments into the next month which means that any errors may also get carried over as well. He also said that regular audits may not catch such errors since they are done at random months opposed to a full year at a time.

Snead was clear that the glitch that caused the latest error has been corrected and he, along with the mayor and council will be providing oversight to avoid a similar problem in the future.

Councilwoman Heather Diehl reported that the Operations Committee met with Dr. Curtis Long and Russell Epperson regarding commercial property adjacent to Max Motors. As Dr. Long plans to develop the property, he sought assurance from the city that electricity, water and sewer would be available to the property. The city gave a thumbs up and more is expected soon from Dr. Long on the project.

Councilman Mike Irick has resigned, citing a conflict of interest between his council position and his employer. On a related note, four council positions will be open in April as Hall (ward 3), Garnett (ward 1), Irick (ward 2) and Cook (ward 4) will vacate their seats. Candidates may file at city hall through January 21st.

A new city administrator has been hired. Micheal West of Girard Kansas will assume the position at the first of the year. More details in the form of a press release is expected soon along with a public meet and greet to be scheduled as well.

The police department reported their November numbers which totaled 1,884 calls that resulted in 401 calls for service which is ‘about normal’ for Butler.

Remember the Butler city council meets on the first and third Tuesdays of each month, 7 pm at city hall