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Notices

City of Osawatomie “Cold Weather Rule” Utility Policy In Effect

Cold Weather Rule

Statement of Purpose

The City of Osawatomie will generally not shut-off electric service for non-payment during cold weather months. Although the Kansas Corporation Commission’s “Cold Weather Rule” does not apply to municipally owned utilities like the City of Osawatomie, the City will follow portions of the KCC’s Rule to help ensure electric service will not be shut-off in cases of extreme cold. The purpose of this policy is to detail the City’s policies and procedures for shut-off during the cold weather months.

Policy

The period of observance for the Cold Weather Rule will be from November 1st through March 31st each winter season. During these months, the City will NOT shutoff electric utilities if the National Weather Service forecasts the temperature for
Osawatomie to drop below 35 degrees in the following 48 hours.

In accordance with the City’s Utility Billing Policy, shut-offs will not be conducted on Fridays or the day prior to a holiday. If the temperature drops below 35 degrees after a service has been shut-off, the customer’s electric service will not be re-established
until payment arrangements have been made with the City. The City reserves the right to shut-off water service for the non-payment of bills.

Procedures

The City may still conduct shutoffs during the winter months. Shut-off notices will still be issued according to standard Utility Billing procedures and any delinquency fees or interest on outstanding balances will still apply. After receiving notice of an impending shut-off, the service will be shut-off once the shut-off date has passed and the temperature forecast meets the Rule’s criteria.

Prior to implementing shut-offs that are delayed after the shut-off day, due to observance of the Cold Weather Rule, the City will post a notice on the News Flash section of its website that electric utilities will be shut-off for all delinquent customers beginning at a certain date and time. Customers wishing to monitor such notices may sign up for notifications from the webpage.

The Cold Weather Rule will not apply to customers who have entered into a previous payment plan with the City. These customers will be required to pay their agreed upon installments in order to avoid disconnection.

Customers will still be required to pay their utility bills to guarantee their utilities will not be shut-off or disconnected. In certain cases, such as violation of a payment agreement, fraud or criminal activity, the City has the right to shut-off or disconnect utilities for non-payment during the period of time the Cold Weather Rule is in effect.

Places that can help:
Ministerial Association (913) 755-3964
Salvation Army (785) 242-7450 x7640
United Way (866) 320-5764
Catholic Charities (913) 433-2039
Vineyard of Hope Church (913) 755-4500
SRS (913) 755-2162
Places That Can Help:

For More Information:
Utilities Office (913) 755-2146, Option 1
www.osawatomieks.org

Download PDF

Ordinance 3783 – Requiring the Wearing of Masks in Public Spaces

“On July 9, 2020, the City Council passed Ordinance No. 3783. The Ordinance requires the wearing of masks or other face coverings in public spaces; addresses the requirements of persons, businesses, organizations, and non-profit associations; outlines specific exemptions from the requirement of wearing masks or other face coverings; and addresses the penalties for a first, second, and any subsequent violations of the Ordinance. A complete copy of the Ordinance can be found at www.osawatomieks.org or in the office of the City Clerk, 509 5th Street. This summary is certified by the City Attorney.”

This Ordinance will go into effect on Wednesday, July 15th, 2020 after publication in our local newspaper.

Now, what does this mean for you as a citizen of Osawatomie? Some of you may not notice a change in routine as many of these places had already implemented similar restrictions for their guests.

Restaurants:

Dine-In: You’ll be required to wear a face covering when you enter the restaurant and while you wait for your table. Once you’re seated at your table with your family or friends, you may remove your face covering and enjoy your meal or beverage. When you’ve finished, the face covering goes back on, you pay your bill, and exit the restaurant. Your face covering can be removed once you’re outside, and you are not required to wear one in your vehicle.

Takeout: You’ll be required to wear a face covering when you enter the restaurant and while you wait for your takeout meal. Your face covering can be removed once you’re outside, and you are not required to wear one in your vehicle.

Retail:

You’ll be required to wear a face covering when you enter a retail business in Osawatomie, and wear it for the duration of your shopping trip. Once you’ve left the business after your purchase, you may remove your face covering and continue on your day.

Recreation:

Face coverings are only required in outdoor public space when social distancing of 6ft cannot be maintained. For instance, if you’re on a walk or run you do not need to wear a face covering. Face coverings should not be worn while swimming at a public pool, but are required for those sunbathing or using the pool facilities (concession stand or restrooms), when 6ft of distance cannot be maintained at all times. “Public space” means any indoor or outdoor space or area that is open to the public; this does not include private residential property or private offices or workspaces that are not open to customers or public visitors.

Other Facilities:

Face coverings are required when indoors of any public space (including banks, churches, City-owned facilities, etc.) when 6ft of social distancing cannot be maintained at all times. “Public space” means any indoor or outdoor space or area that is open to the public; this does not include private residential property or private offices or workspaces that are not open to customers or public visitors.

Enforcement:

Our enforcement approach is aimed at being educational rather than antagonistic. We want to educate people on the importance of face coverings during a pandemic, and what the risks are to both public health and our economy should people decide to ignore it.

We’ve developed an online form (found here) that allows people to submit noncompliance from businesses or individuals, and City staff will contact those with violations. Hopefully, after meaningful discussion, that first violation will be the only violation and we won’t have to revisit with them. However, for those who continue to fall into noncompliance, we will issue them a citation on their third violation with an associated fine of $25. On their fourth violation, a citation and fine of $50. For every subsequent violation, another citation and fine of $100.

PLEASE do not call law enforcement about face covering noncompliance, except in cases of actual emergency.

Goals:

The goal of this Ordinance is to take a proactive approach to the COVID-19 pandemic, rather than a reactive one. The state of Kansas has seen sharply rising rates of infection and larger outbreaks of community spread in recent weeks, and this Ordinance hopes to keep Osawatomie’s hard-fought low numbers from seeing the same spike. We cannot prevent the virus 100%, but we can slow it down and help keep our more at-risk populations a little safer.

There is also significant consideration being given to the possibility that a continued, sharp increase in positive cases could trigger another statewide stay-at-home order which would force our already struggling local business into another indefinite period of shutdown. We want to do everything we can to avoid that and this Ordinance, and others like it popping up in cities across the state, is one of the tools that can help navigate us away from even stricter regulations from our State leaders.

For complete information on this Ordinance, including full information on exemptions, please visit www.osawatomieks.org.

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Direct Links:
Ordinance No. 3783 PDF
Reporting Form

Municipal Court Guides to Zoom Hearings

The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has forced the Court to make many changes to keep the public safe. We have drastically reduced the number of in person hearings. Almost all hearings will be held by video conference. Please review this information before your video hearing. If you have any questions regarding this information, please contact the Court Clerk at 913-755-3695.

Municipal Court Guide for those WITH an Attorney (PDF)
Municipal Court Guide for those WITHOUT an Attorney (PDF)

Governor Kelly’s “Ad Astra” Reopening Plan

The City of Osawatomie will follow the phases laid out in this plan, including any amendments and adjustments made after the original publication. All businesses, activities, and recreation venues located in Osawatomie are expected to follow these guidelines.

Upcoming Public Meetings

A town hall meeting is an American term given to an informal public meeting, function, or event derived from the traditional town meetings of New England. Typically open to everybody in a town community and held at the local municipal building, attendees generally present ideas, voice their opinions, ask questions of the public figures, elected officials, or political candidates at the town hall. Attendees rarely vote on an issue or propose an alternative to a situation. It is not used outside of this secular context.