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A stage name
Expanded bandshell stage named in honor of Thelma Harms
new deh city council bandshell stage pic web
The newly expanded stage at the Clayton L. Moses Memorial Band Shell was named in honor of Thelma Faye Harms, whose fund contributed to the project. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

Council hears report on election changes


The Great Bend City Council Monday night heard a report from City Attorney Bob Suelter on the 2017 city election. Due to the changes made by the Kansas Legislature, city elections have been moved to November instead of April as has been tradition. 

This means, the new filing deadline is now noon on June 1. The filing must be done at the Barton County Clerk’s Office and may no longer be turned in to the City Clerk’s Office, Suelter said. 

Also, the filing fee is now $20. A candidate may also file via a petition with five qualifying signatures.

Up for election this year are the mayor and council members Mike Boys in the First Ward, Wayne Henneke in the Second Ward and Allene Owen in the Third Ward. As for the mayor, Mike Allison is not seeking another term.

Suelter said all these terms would have ended in April. However, they were extended to accommodate the changes passed by the Kasas Legislature in 2015.

In other business Monday night, the Great Bend City Council:

• Held a 20- minute executive session to discuss personnel matters concerning nonelected personnel. When the council emerged, no action was taken.

• Approved a request to operate non street legal vehicle on city streets. Stephanie Richter requested the dirt track race car be allowed to drive on city from Veterans Memorial Park to St. Patrick’s Church at 5:30 p.m., on May 6 p.m. at the beginning of a wedding reception. • Approved a cereal malt beverage license for the Sunflower Shrine Club. This is a one-day license for a beer garden on June 3 in Jack Kilby Square for June Jaunt. 

• Approved abatements at: 1024 Jefferson St., accumulation of refuse, owned by Rose M. Meyeres; 236 Maple St., accumulation of refuse, owned by Ramon Gillardo and Edelmira Castro; 402 Frey St., accumulation of refuse, owned by Kathy S. Thacker and Mike Schroeder; 1705 Stone St., accumulation of refuse, owned by Joseph L. Farris c/o Stacey Farris; 401 Plum St., accumulation of refuse, owned by Donald and Deborah Bettes; and 220 Heizer St., accumulation of refuse, owned by Kathleen Watkins.

 As a part of the Clayton L. Moses Memorial Band Shell improvement project, the stage was considerably expanded. The Thelma Faye Harms Charitable Trust put in the majority of the money for the improvements. 

Now, as the final elements of the band shell and splash pad work in Jack Kilby Square are being finalized, City Administrator Howard Partington said the newly remodeled stage be named in recognition of the Harms contribution.

“It is fitting that the stage be name in her honor,” he said. The Clayton L. Morrison Bandshell name would not be changed, just the stage.  

Wiens and Company of Hutchinson did work at a cost of $355,700. The Thelma Faye Harms Charitable Trust has contributed $300,0000 towards the renovations.

City personnel and trustees from the Thelma Faye Harms Trust had a walk-through of the bandshell area recently and Partington said things are almost finished. “We were all extremely pleased with the progress,” he said.

There are just a few things left to be done, including completing the landscaping. This should be done prior to June Jaunt June 2.

There will be a rededication of the bandshell at 8:15 p.m. June 1 just before the first Great Bend City Band concert. There may also be a ribbon cutting sometime in the near future.

“It is great,” Partington said of the stage. It has been “substantially expanded” and it is now handicapped accessible.

“We want to thank them again for their donation,” Partington said of the trust. “They have literally given millions of dollars over the past 25 years.”

A plaque honoring Thelma Harms will be installed on the stage.

The project also includes improving handicapped accessibility, improved access for loading and unloading, replacing the restroom roofs, landscaping, lighting and some paving. And, at the north end of the bandshell plaza, the splash pad will consist of a few water spray features.

The bandshell dates back to the 1920s and it has been a while since the area was revamped. This effort includes the removal of the water fountain, and the relocation of the vintage cannon and a buried time capsule.