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Mayor Ed Parker gives Jon Miller a “Keeper of the Rails" safety vest. “It's a little bit dangerous, and I have to be careful," Miller said.

Town crowns Jon the city’s official ‘Keeper of the Rails’
By Taylor Messick
Last Updated: October 05, 2017

On Sept. 28, Kechi came together to do something generous for a longtime resident.

For many years, Jon Miller has walked beside Kechi's railroad tracks. He watches the trains intently and makes sure everything is running smoothly. Miller is a person with a disability, but it doesn't slow him down. Kechi residents may have noticed him trekking miles through town during the warm months. Miller said he does it because he loves trains.

“It's part of my hobby," said Miller. “I like cars, too, and airplanes. But I can't be everywhere and I can't do everything. It's a little bit dangerous and I have to be careful."

Miller knows that it can be dangerous walking the streets and keeping an eye on all the vehicles passing through Kechi. The city recognized the danger, as well, and wanted to do something to keep Miller safe.

They decided the best way to keep Miller safe was to pitch in for a work vest he could wear while “on duty." The vest designates Miller as “Keeper of the Rails" and has reflective tape on both sides to make sure he is visible to those passing by.

“Jon has been watching our trains for a good many years," said Mayor Ed Parker. “He can tell you all about them. It was the city administrator's idea that we maybe do something to help keep him safe; I was all for it. He's been a pleasure and a joy."

Miller said he intends to put the new vest to use right away. He hopes there's plenty of warm weather left this year so he can put some mileage on his new uniform.

“I hope I can wear it pretty often," he said. “I'll probably put it away for the wintertime because I won't be able to do as much."

In other business Sept. 28, the council:

•Authorized a walkable places program and arts and business district master plan with a unanimous vote.

•Rezoned Rock Pointe, phase two with a unanimous vote.

•Authorized the purchase of a work truck for the utility department with a unanimous vote.

•Authorized up to $100,000 for negotiations with Kansas Paving for street repair projects.

•Authorized a request for proposal advisory survey for contracted mowing services with a unanimous vote.

•All members of the council were present. There was no executive session taken.

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