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City fills IT post; PD staff nearly full

However, city still seeking public works director

POSTED August 9, 2018 3:58 p.m.

 It was new Great Bend City Administrator Kendal Francis’ first City Council meeting Monday night and he had a bit of good news.

“We have hired a network administrator,” he said. James Cell will start with the city on Monday, Aug. 20.

This was a long time coming. The city had been advertising for the position for some time now. In fact, they interviewed candidates and even offer the job to two of them, but they both declined the offer.

In March, the council voted to hire an information technology professional in lieu of the city’s contracting with a third-party IT firm. This is an important job as the city faces many issues in bringing its computer systems up to date and improving cyber security, officials have said.

In Other staffing matters:

• With the efforts of Human Resource Director Randy Keasling and Great Bend Police Department staff, the GBPD is now only one police officer short of completely filling its ranks. 

Three of the most recently hired officers need to complete the 13 weeks of training provided by GBPD staff. They then need to complete a 14-week training period at the Kansas Law  Enforcement Training Center in Hutchinson. 

“With these additional officers, GBPD is closer to being fully staffed,” Francis said.

These hires include new officer Art Keffer, the former police chief of Ellinwood. He began work with the GBPD on July 9. 

Keffer comes to GBPD from the Ellinwood Police Department as a certified officer.   

• “We have had several interviews for director of public works but no decision on that position as of yet,” Francis said.

The city started the search for a replacement in June following the retirement of Charlie Suchy. Suchy was named public works director Aug. 15, 2016, after the retirement of Don Craig in July of that year.

The human resource report was part of the city administrator’s update presented by Francis. Other highlights included:


Public Works


• Storm box repair and curb and gutter at 10th and Morphy 16.25 Yds of concrete total

• Four days of hauling trees off the Lischesky Ditch for storm water control.

• Used 60 gallons of white paint 80 gallons of yellow. And 30 50-pound bags of beads for white dashes, parking lanes, arrows and double-yellow lines.

• Cut trees as found blocking line of sight to stop signs.

• Mowed on flood Control and in town.

• Fogged for mosquitoes, three times this month.

• Repaired the intersection of 17th and Polk and a section of road on Polk south of 17th, using 53 yards of concrete for both jobs.

• At 17th and Van Buren, one and a half yards of concrete was used for a curb at the alley.

• Put down five tons of asphalt at Sixth and A streets as a road repair.

• Repaired a small blowup at the drag strip this was asphalt.

• Painted structure markers on levee.

• Bladed 91 blocks of Streets this month.


Property Maintenance Enforcement

• January-June 2018

Complaints this year – 545  

Trash/refuse – 169  

Motor vehicle – 101  

Overgrown vegetation – 258  

Graffiti – 3  

Animal complaints – 1  

Illegal dumping – 5  

Minimum standards – 3  

Investigated/no violation – five 

Citizen reported – 152  

Abatement notices sent – 126  

Abatements performed – 13  

Cases closed per citizen compliance – 351  

Cars brought into  compliance – 73


• Wastewater progress 

Presented are the actual total completed this year, the 2018 goal and the percent completed:

Clean storm lines – 1,000, 25,000, 4 percent

Clean sanitary lines – 67,236, 100,000, 67 percent

manholes rehabilitated – 0, 12, 0 percent

• Water progress

Presented are the actual total completed this year, the 2018 goal and the percent completed:

Change out fire hydrants – 3, 5, 60 percent

Change out water meters – 140, 200, 70 percent (includes water line project change outs read rate – 95 percent) 


• July  Patrol Division stats:

Criminal cases reported – 309

Accident cases reported –   25  

Citations issued – 165

Warrant arrest –  47

Narcotics cases – seven

Fire/EMS/Inspection/Code Enforcement

• Assisted the City with July 3 firework display and staffed five extra personnel to work event.

• Fouth of July – 22 total calls (nine EMS and 13 fire). Staffed four extra personnel and incurred some overtime costs to cover the volume of calls.

Fireworks resulted in one structure catching fire and caused significant damage.

• On July 14, Firefighters hosted Touch-a-Truck at the Barton County Fair where citizens of all ages could experience a close up with a fire truck.

• Department Activity for July, 2017 followed by 2018:

Fire incidents – 25 and 42

EMS incidents – 189 and 152

Carbon monoxide calls – none and one

Average response time – four minutes and five seconds, and four minutes and 16 seconds

Average turnout time – 40 seconds and 35 seconds

Overlapping calls – 22.9 percent and 30.41 percent

Year to date  incidents – 1,338 and 1,335


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