Sabetha City Commission: Chamber discusses Big Kansas Road Trip

The Sabetha City Commission met at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 11, at Sabetha City Hall. Present for the meeting were Mayor Doug Clark, Commissioners Norm Schmitt, Nick Aberle, Julie Burenheide and Maridel Wittmer, City Administrator Doug Allen, Police Chief Robert Wahwasuck and City Clerk Steve Compo. Guests present were Gina Murchison and Chris Isch.

Murchison and Isch were present to discuss the Big Kansas Road Trip coming May 7-10, 2020, to Nemaha, Brown and Doniphan counties.

Murchison said there is a guide book and said the City can advertise in the book. According the Murchison, Seneca and Hiawatha are doing full page ads in the book. The commission discussed doing two full pages worth of ads in the guide book. Murchison said she would contact Sarah Davis about pricing and the possibility of doing a centerfold spread.

Murchison also said that those that participate in the Big Kansas Road Trip want to see unusual and historical type events.

“They don’t want any fast food chains,” Murchison said. “They want mom and pop stores. They want to eat in our cafés and see all of the sights.”

Some of the things Murchison said those attending might be interested in were the caves out at the old lake, the baseball field, Albany, the Lane Trail Historical Marker – north of town.

“We will talk to the school and Stan, but the baseball field is an amazing thing for this community,” Isch said. “It’s parent’s night for softball and baseball on the seventh.”

Owl Sign

According to Murchison, the Chamber wants to have the owl sign up before the event comes to town. Murchison said it is going through the process of being restored.

“We need the city to put the sign up by May 1, 2020,” Murchison said.

“What we are asking the city is to put the sign up,” Isch said. “We are doing all of the fundraising for the sign to be done, but the actual base and wiring for lighting and poles [needs done]. Casey’s has signed off for the sign to be put back in its original spot.”

Isch continued saying that the chamber wants the sign to look nice, and if the grass were to get torn up during the placement of the sign there would be time to clean the area up. Isch suggested having the sign up by April 15, 2020.

Allen asked if they had a plan for the base.

Murchison said they didn’t have a plan right now, but said she likes the base that is up for the Mary Cotton Public Library sign.

The commission, Murchison and Isch discussed options for the base, and Allen suggested that the group comes up with a rough design for the base and he could hand it down to some of the city personnel to start thinking about how they can get it up.

Wittmer asked if all they were wanting was to have the commission say they would do the base.

Murchison responded — saying yes, and the wiring and the trenching. The commission agreed to this request.

Window Opening

Murchison said they are bringing back old traditions for Window Opening, instead of thinking of new things. There will be a window reveal at 9 a.m. Friday, Nov. 29, for all of the downtown businesses.

Murchison also said they are doing a community Christmas tree, which will be located at the corner of Main and Washington Streets. Murchison requested the City’s help in securing the tree to the buildings at that corner and putting it in a barrel, so it will not blow over. Allen said the city could do that.

Murchison also requested that the mayor light the tree at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 29.

Police Report


Chief Wahwasuck presented his report to commission. He said there have been eight dog calls since Oct. 11.

In two instances, the caller reported dogs on the loose in the area. An officer responded and circled the block and did not find the dogs. In two other instances, the caller reported dogs in their yard. The owner was contacted and the dogs were picked up. There was also one call of dogs on the loose and city personnel responded and the dogs could not be caught. One call for a dog on the loose, city personnel were able to catch the dogs and return them to the owner. One dog was caught by city personnel, and it was impounded. One other call was received, and the owner had already gotten the dog before city personnel arrived.


1015 Dakota – The structure has been taken down and removed.

1011 Virginia – Still in the process and is in line waiting for the demo company to have time to remove the structure.

403 N. Sixth – After discussing the property with the city attorney, the removal process will begin in the coming weeks with the city removing all the nuisance materials from the property. Clark asked if Wahwasuck was able to get a court order to remove the nuisance materials. Wahwasuck said after speaking with the city attorney, he learned that they do not need a court order.

“You guys have already said do it [remove the nuisance materials], and that’s the power of the commission,” Wahwasuck said. “We have a deadline in mind for removal of the materials, but didn’t put a hard deadline on it because of the weather.”

622 Dakota and 618 Dakota – Lawns were taken care of.

520 S. Seventh – Property owner is Butch Rokey. The police department made notification to the residence for the household trash being stored in a truck parked in front of the house. Rokey has moved, and Wahwasuck has not been able to contact the resident responsible for the boxes and trash. Wahwasuck said he will continue working with Allen and City Attorney Martin Mishler on the issue.

Department Reports

The injured officer’s recovery has been slower than expected, and Wahwasuck is expecting a possible return in December.

Officer Daniel Ross is doing well in the academy and has not has had any setbacks thus far. Ross is allowed to work the week of Thanksgiving, when he will be out of school. His graduation date is set for Dec. 20.

The department is currently workings two separate cases that involve citizens with the other half of the involving agencies from South Dakota and Florida. According to Wahwasuck, the cases are difficult since they present jurisdictional issues, and keeping in contact with victims and locating suspects in another state can be impossible.

The Department Communications Center participated in a mass casualty training in conjunction with the hospital. It went well and the department was able to test the plan in place in order to make any necessary changes. The training took three months to plan, and Wahwasuck received positive feedback from each department that participated.

Officers continue to work hard, and each officer has been willing to pick up extra time, since everyone needs a break. The schedule has been anything but set and Dec. 20 “can’t get here fast enough,” Wahwasuck said.

Also at the meeting:

The commission approved the minutes from the Oct. 21 meeting.

The commission approved Resolution 2019-24, approving the annual G.A.A.P. waiver.

The commission will meet again at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 25, at Sabetha City Hall.

Heather Stewart184 Posts

Heather Stewart is a reporter for The Sabetha Herald, where she has been on staff since 2015. She specializes in court and sports reporting, as well as photography. Heather is a 2011 Kansas State University graduate with a degree in psychology. She lives in Sabetha with her husband.


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