In a marathon meeting Monday night, the Girard City Council adopted a resolution modifying the city’s personnel policy to allow establishment of a sick leave bank, and heard a presentation by John Haas regarding possible changes in city water rates.



City employees may now voluntarily contribute unused sick, vacation or personal leave time to assist fellow employees in the event of a qualifying illness or injury. A committee will be established to evaluate all applications to draw hours from the bank.

In a marathon meeting Monday night, the Girard City Council adopted a resolution modifying the city’s personnel policy to allow establishment of a sick leave bank, and heard a presentation by John Haas regarding possible changes in city water rates.

City employees may now voluntarily contribute unused sick, vacation or personal leave time to assist fellow employees in the event of a qualifying illness or injury. A committee will be established to evaluate all applications to draw hours from the bank.

John Haas, Wichita, has been working with city staff regarding the possibility of raising water rates, which are currently far lower than those of other area communities.

“Two things determine what your rates are, and those are how much water you’re going to sell and how expensive it is for you,” he said.

He had prepared several possible options on rate increases, including the options of raising rates in one step or in two and in varying amounts.

“People ask me what my recommendation is, and I don’t fall into that trap,” Haas said. “You have to generate so much money, and we just give you various ways to get there. It’s what’s best for your community and I’m glad that you decide.”

“Right now we’re selling water for less than it costs us,” noted Girard mayor Maurice Harley. “That’s not a good business decision.”

The council scheduled a work session at 6:30 p.m. Thursday to discuss the water rate options.

Haas also discussed proposed changes to the existing engineering agreement for the sanitary sewer project and funding for the project.

City administrator Gary Emry announced that the city has been approved for Phase 2 of the Safe Routes program, which seeks to  improve routes taken by students to city schools.

“I went to an application meeting four or five weeks ago, and received a call Friday that we had been approved,” he said.

The city will have an on-site visit in regard to the program in July.

Emry also discussed problems with the Intersection of Highway 7 and 47 with metal drains and curbing. He said that he met with Kansas Department of Transportation engineers, who inspected the area and said that the intersection is unsafe, and there are also storm drainage problems in the area. The current drains do not meet KDOT standards and curbing radiuses are not proper.

In other business:

• Debra J. Smith was sworn in as Girard city clerk, and Karen Buck was promoted to the post of assistant city clerk.

• A bid of $3,200 was accepted from Crawford County Abstract Co. to obtain easements for the sewer project.

• The council authorized a final payment of $3,787.72 to Crossland Construction Co. for improvements to the Forest Avenue Sports Complex.