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The Harvey County Independent
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Halstead, KS 67056
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EMS Contract Extension Meets Resistance In Sedgwick

Posted 7/27/2017

By Pilar Martin

SEDG

WICK—Sedgwick City Council extended itscontract with Halstead to provide on-going ambulance service after July 31 until the end of the year, but the vote only passed 3-2, with council members Thom Noone and Rick Jacob opposed during the special city council meeting last Wednesday.

 

This marks the second time the agreement has been extended. The original agreement between Halstead and Sedgwick ran from March 1 through June 30, which was later extended to July 31.

The newest extension through the end of 2017 states that all emergency equipment owned by the City of Sedgwick will be relinquished to the City of Halstead, irrevocably, within 30 days of mutual consent of a final contract, no later than Dec. 31.

That part of the contract did not sit well with Noone and Jacob.

“I am completely in favor of a contract with Halstead,” Noone said. “If we have no equipment, we have no safeguard. If something were to go terribly wrong we cannot get our equipment back. Halstead has a safety net in the language of the contract but Sedgwick does not. I wanted the language changed.”

Jacob was also concerned with the loss of equipment.

“If something happened we have no equipment; we have nothing,” Jacob said. “And we cannot afford to buy any equipment. It scares me.” He too approves of a contract with Halstead but he wants a final contract.

“I want a final contract that says what taxpayers both here and in Halstead can expect in the next three years, or five years, not another temporary extension,” he added.

This new contract extension was presented to the Halstead City Council on July 10, and already signed by Mayor Bill Ewert. The motion by Sedgwick’s council authorized Mayor Lynne Vigil to sign the contract as well.

The Sedgwick equipment, valued at $55,000, will be used to offset the cost of additional staff and expenditures by the Halstead department. Halstead will continue to receive $300 per call from Sedgwick. Halstead also receives the county taxes that Sedgwick residents pay for this type of service.

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City Will Be Paying For New Fence

Posted 7/27/2017

By Jared JanzenTHIS fence at 410 Sterling Street, built 10 years ago, extends 14 feet beyond the property line. City council decided last week to offer to split the cost of putting in a new fence on the property line. THIS fence at 410 Sterling Street, built 10 years ago, extends 14 feet beyond the property line. City council decided last week to offer to split the cost of putting in a new fence on the property line.

BENTLEY—A property fence at 410 Sterling Street that extends 14 feet beyond the back property line necessitated city council to call a special session last Friday morning.

The house in question has been on the market with a closing scheduled for Wednesday of this week. The city needed to address the issue of who would be responsible to move the fence before the closing could take place.

Mayor Rex Satterthwaite explained that the fence was put up when the home was first built as a spec home 10 years ago. He guessed the developer had probably wanted to make the spec home look more attractive with a bigger yard.

“These are the sins of 10 years ago we’re dealing with,” Satterthwaite said.

The misplaced fence only came to the city’s attention several months ago when someone expressed interest in building a custom home next door. At that time, the proposed builder, Chris Miller Construction, had offered to move the fence, but plans for the custom home have since fallen through.

One of the issues the council had to decide was whether to move the fence back 14 feet to the property line or 34 feet to the easement line. If on the property line, the fence would require gates to allow Westar access; the city has no utilities back there. If placed 34 feet back, no gates would be needed but the backyard would be significantly smaller.

“At 34 they’d be walking off their deck and right into the fence,” Public Works Director Dan Bliss said. 

To read more, see this weeks print edition

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Halstead Combats Feral Cats With Volunteer Live Trap Program

Posted 7/27/2017

By Pilar MartinTHIS cat was spotted by Sooter’s carwash on Monday evening around 9:30 p.m. THIS cat was spotted by Sooter’s carwash on Monday evening around 9:30 p.m.

HALSTEAD—Cats. Stray cats, feral cats, every town has them. In Halstead, if you drive or walk around after dark you will see cats and kittens.

City council member Sam Farmer remarked at a recent council meeting that residents have approached him with complaints of problems with feral cats in the south part of town.

Cats are harder to control than dogs. They roam around neighborhoods and are especially active after dark. There is a difference between a stray and a feral cat. At stray cat is one that has had human interaction, probably wandered away from home or is lost. A stray cat is usually friendly and is used to being fed.

A feral cat is described as a cat that has not had any human interaction. They can look for scraps of food in trashcans and on the street. Feral cats are not used to humans and will usually run away if you approach. Most feral cats cannot be domesticated.

The problem of cats has been around Halstead for years, being brought up as a problem to the city council every few years. Cats that are not neutered or spayed continue to reproduce. A female cat can have up to two litters each calendar year, with 1-8 kittens in each litter. This could mean 16 extra cats on the streets in one year, and if some of those kittens are female, the number un-domesticated cats can quickly get out of control.

There is no law that states you must have animals spayed or neutered; it is up to the individual. And it isn’t cheap. It would cost at least $100 per cat at most veterinary clinics around. Caring Hands Humane Society offers vouchers to Harvey County residents to help with the veterinary costs of getting dogs and cats fixed.

In Halstead, the animal control officer will not trap cats. Police Chief Josh Orem, said the current policy is that there is no policy on cats.

“If you call us about a cat we won’t respond, unless it’s injured or thought to be rabid,” Orem said. The city does have four or five live animal traps they can loan an individual, but you will have to set the trap and monitor it. Once something is trapped, whatever it is, you would have to take care of it yourself.

“If they put out a trap to catch a cat and a skunk ends up it the trap, they are on their own,” Orem added.

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