The Mullinville City Council entered two executive sessions, tabled two key agenda items and took no formal action during their Monday evening meeting.
Mayor Andy Kimble and the attending city council members started the meeting at 8:03 p.m. and after approving the agenda which included the mobile home ordinance, a proposed Haviland Telephone Co. right of way and minutes from the previous meeting, entered into the first of two executive sessions with City Attorney Janice Jorns.
City council member Kristie Odle was not present.
The council entered into an hour-long executive session at 7:03 p.m.
When they reconvened they promptly entered into a second 30-minute executive session, returning at 8:34 p.m.
Following the second executive session, Mayor Kimble tabled all of the remaining items of business to the April 2 city council meeting.
“The city will be addressing the Elm Street and Pine Street issues at the April 2 meeting,” announced Mayor Kimble. “I’ve directed the city clerk to notify all adjacent landowners [and ask them] to be present at that meeting.”
The city also added an agenda item to the next meeting, mentioned only as “property appraisal/purchase” by city council members.
Monday’s agenda did not include an item addressing the re-opening/purchase/legal action of Elm Street, although Mayor Kimble said last week that the city would be discussing it with Jorns during her visit Monday.
The city clerk produced a number of requested documents late last week relating to the Elm Street/Pine Street project, though they cast very little light onto what the city’s plans for the reclamation are.
City Clerk Susan Clayton provided two pages of county paperwork, prepared by the Register of Deeds office, that lists eight “journal entries” and Mullinville city ordinances relating to the vacation of Mullinville streets.
A September 1898 journal entry, filed July 3, 1900, vacated 149 total lots in blocks 1-12, all of South Ave., Kingman Ave., Wichita Ave., Main Street, Walnut Street, Pine Street and Olive Street “including all alleys abutting on said lots.” (Fig. 1)
A sweeping certificate filed on July 16, 1903 vacated “all of Penny’s Addition,” except the north halve of block four. It also vacated all streets, lots, roads and alleys to the west of Elm St., east of Oak St., north of South Ave. (U.S. 400) and south of the KP & W right of way, but noted an exception to Wall St. It also vacated a huge section of the eastern part of the city. Land to the east of Pine St., west of Maple St., north of South Ave. (U.S. 54) and south of North Ave. (Fig. 2)
An order of vacation filed Jan. 11, 1907 vacated all of Wall St. west of Elm St. and reduced Locust St., Cherry St., Elm St., Kansas Ave., Washington Ave., Ohio Ave. and Walnut St. to 60 feet in width and reduced Wall St. to 80 feet in width. It also vacated all alleyways in blocks 17, 18, 25, 31, 36 and 43.
In addition it vacated “all parts of Elm St. lying north of Wall St. and south of the Santa Fe Railroad grade.” (Fig. 3)
Another order filed July 9, 1908 curiously vacated a 300 by 25 foot strip of land along the south side of South Ave (U.S. 400) between Main St. and Locust St. (Fig. 4)
Ordinance No. 132, filed Dec. 20, 1952 vacated an east-west running alleyway between the west side of Locust St. to the east side of a nearby north-south running alley on Block 26. (Fig. 5)
Ordinance No. 200, filed May 17, 1973 vacated part of Olive St, part of an alley in Block 3, Glover’s sub-division of Block 2 and of Glover’s first division. (Fig. 6) This ordinance is the first to mention the city’s reservation of utility right-of-way and easements.
Ordinance No. 214, filed Jan. 26, 1982 vacated part of Ohio Ave., Locust St. and Cherry St. It also vacated parts of alleyways in Blocks 20 and 23 and vacated all of the alleyways in Blocks 21, 22, 32 and 33. (Fig. 6).
Ordinance No. 230, filed Feb. 21, 1990, vacated Wall St. east of Pine St. to west of Maple St. (Fig. 7)
Clayton also produced three city ordinances addressing the reopening of streets.
Ordinance No. 119, which states it was passed Nov. 17, 1949, opens a part of Elm St. from the North Line of Wall Ave. to the original KP&W right-of-way. (Fig. 8)
Ordinance No. 126, passed June 21, 1951 opened Pine St. from the north line of Washington Ave. “to a point 270 feet north on Pine St.” and 30 feet of the east side of Block 41 and the west side of Block 50. It also purports to open a 60 foot strip of land “which at one time was part of Pine St. and was vacated by Ordinance No. 68.”
None of the land vacations listed in the county summary are labeled “Ordinance No. 68” although the July 3, 1900 filing does vacate Pine St.
Ordinance No. 190, passed on Nov. 20, 1969 “designates and establishes” certain streets as “main trafficways” as authorized by Kansas Statute 12-685 which states: “The governing body of any city is hereby authorized and empowered to designate and establish, by ordinance as a main trafficway any existing or proposed street, boulevard, avenue or part thereof, within such city, the primary function of which is, or shall be, the movement of through traffic between areas of concentrated activity within the city or between such areas within the city and traffic facilities outside the city performing the function of a major trafficway. Such designation by the governing body shall be final and conclusive.” The statute does not authorize the opening or reclamation of a street.
The ordinance establishes Main St., from U.S. 54 to the north city limits, Elm St. from U.S. 54 to north city limits, Pine St. from U.S. 54 to Wall Ave., Wall Ave. from Elm St. to east city limits, Kingman Ave. from Main St. to Park St. and Park St. from Kingman Ave, to U.S. 400 as “main trafficways, the primary function of which is …the movement of through traffic..”
City Attorney Jorns, in her Feb. 14 letter to Clayton notes that Kansas Statue 15-427 does not authorize cities in the third class to reopen roads once they have been vacated.
It is unknown whether city ordinances No. 119 and No. 126 were lawfully passed.
Statute 15-427 also states:
“Immediately after an ordinance opening, widening, extending or vacating any street, avenue, alley or lane shall become effective, the clerk of the city shall file a copy thereof which has been certified by him or her as a true and correct copy in the office of the county clerk and in the office of the register of deeds and the county clerk shall enter the same in the transfer records of his or her office and the register of deeds shall record the same in the deed records of the county…”
An extensive search Tuesday morning found that none of the city of Mullinville ordinances were recorded in county records.
Kimble noted following the meeting that the city’s interest is only in a small portion of Pine Street south of Wall Street and a section of Elm Street between Kansas Avenue and Wall Street currently occupied by Mullinville artist MT Liggett’s trailers.
Kimble said he would address questions later in the week following a consultation with Jorns.