Other items of discussion and actions taken included:
* Mitchell updated the council on the the comprehensive planning process of the City Planning Commission. Changes will include zoning setbacks, lot coverage in residential areas, and home based businesses, making the language more friendly to reflect modern electronic work from home options.
* Approved the renewal of the Alliance insurance general liability policy for the city.
* The city continues to search for a new pool manager. There are few applicants for lifeguard, and the city is looking for more. A lifeguard training session will be taught in May, which is cutting it close, Mitchell said. The city pays for certification training if the applicant works for the city for the summer. Certification is good for two years.
* Mitchell updated the council on progress filling the power plant operator and mechanic positions. There is a good group of applicants, with seven or eight to be interviewed, so the city is considering hiring two. The council agreed to allow this.
* HOI has only rented out five of the 12 newly completed moderate income rental units built in recent months, and while it is still early, they must have all 12 units rented by a certain date or risk being penalized. Units not rented by that time will remain vacant until qualified renters are found. Mitchell encouraged the council to spread the word that the units are ready to be rented.
* Habitat for Humanity Monday called in a locate for foundations on the proposed builds, so work will be starting soon.
* Mitchell reminded the council a road by Lincoln Elementary School would be closed as work begins on the new school build there in April.
HOISINGTON - Hoisington City Council members learned more about the upcoming Arrive Alive event scheduled for April 6 at their Monday night meeting.
EMS Director Scott Fleming addressed the council.
“We’re expecting to have 215 and 300 students participate in this, including all Hoisington HIgh School students and some from Ellinwood,”he said.
Great Bend and Claflin High Schools were invited, but declined.
The event, strategically planned to occur before area proms, is hoped to have an impact on students, discouraging drinking and driving and distracted driving.
Essentially, the simulation will include a two vehicle accident including an intoxicated prom attendee as one of the drivers. Students will see and hear what EMS and law enforcement would do if the incident were real. The staged accident will be treated as though it happened at the intersection of K-4 and U.S. 281, though the actual event will take place at the intersection of 6th and Monroe Streets. Prior to Wednesday morning, the vehicles will be placed at the intersection, and Fleming worked to get the word out to council members and at Chamber of Commerce coffees in recent weeks that if they see these vehicles there or get phone calls from concerned citizens, that there is no cause for alarm.
“If you see these cars turned over the night before, don’t get too upset,” he warned.
Fleming is working with two life flight organizations who will take part if they are not called out on actual duties. Students that are taking part in the simulation may be flown away from the scene as they would be in real life, and then let off elsewhere. If the life flights are not available, then the optional scenario will have the students transported to Clara Barton Hospital.
Arrive Alive will begin at 8:30 a.m. at the scene, and will conclude around 10 a.m. Students will then hear lectures from medical and law enforcement professionals at the high school.
Several law enforcement and EMS agencies will be taking part, including the Barton County Sheriff’s Department, area dispatch, the Hoisington Fire Department, Hoisington Police and Hoisington EMS. The public is invited to attend, Fleming said.
Road work delays causing frustration
During his city manager’s report, Mitchell shared concerns over the work to be done to U.S. 281, Hoisington’s Main Street. Plans are completed, but delays continue, much to the frustration of the city. At this point, concerns are high that future delays could put the completion date requirement of prior to Labor Day at risk. Should this occur, Mitchell said the project will be further delayed until after the annual Labor Day Parade is over.
“We will not allow this project to interrupt our annual tradition that has taken place on that day for so many years,” he said. Council member Nancy Farmer commented that it has been a tradition since she was a young girl.
Cow Creek Watershed update
Work is happening at a steady pace on the Cow Creek Watershed mapping project, and by the middle of the year, Mitchell reported a draft map should be completed and available to the public to view and comment on.
A committee of Hoisington residents, including members of the council, have been included on an advisory committee, and it is hoped that the mapping project could benefit some in Hoisington and the surrounding area, possibly removing some properties from the floodplain. This would be beneficial because those properties which include structures would not be required to be covered by flood insurance for financing purposes.
It is possible, however, that some properties not in the floodplain currently could be brought in. That is why public comment and involvement in the process is so important, Mitchell said.
Council member Brian Wilborn added that if anybody knows of borderline properties, these need to be pointed out, as surveyors are resurveying properties in town.
“Ideally, what everyone here wants is that the floodplain be shortened,” he said. “But in the country, new terraces and other projects could have an effect on what is included.”
Updates will continue to be delivered and as soon as the draft map is completed, Mitchell will let them and the public know how to access it.
Disaster relief proposal
Prior to approving the agenda, Councilman Jim Sekavec asked for the addition of a discussion and possible action concerning the recent wildfires in southern Kansas. Citing an estimated $6 million in lost fencing, as well as millions more in lost cattle and damage to property, he proposed the City of Hoisington donate $1,000 to the Kansas Livestock Association to help with relief efforts.
“Several of us know what a disaster of these proportion can do to you,” he said. Others on the council noted that some Hoisington residents who had cattle in these counties had taken losses. The council approved the donation unanimously.
Following the city manager’s report, the council entered into two executive session for confidential discussion of non-elected personnel. The first, for 15 minutes, ended with no action taken. The second, for 10 minutes, also ended with no action taken. The meeting was then adjourned.
The next Hoisington City Council meeting will be on April 11 at 7 p.m. at the Hoisington Municipal Building.