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City eyes on-line bill paying
Work progressing on street, sewer projects
new_deh_eight street  tractor supply pic.JPG
Pictured is work on the new Tractor Supply store at Grant and Eight Street as well as progress on the new stretch of Eighth between Grant and McKinley. The paving project is substantially complete, and there is just “punch list” items to be completed by contractor Venture Corporation of Great Bend prior to final acceptance. As for the Eighth Street waterline and sanitary sewer improvements (that will serve Tractor Supply and others), the sanitary sewer improvements are complete and the waterline - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune
new_deh_eight street street pic.JPG

There have been a number of requests for the City of Great Bend to offer on-line utility bill paying, City Administrator Kendal Francis told the City Council Monday night. And, it is in the works.

“It is a goal for 2019,” he said. But, first, the city’s updated computer network has to be in place. 

“That is the foundation,” he said. After that, work on the payment options will begin.

This was part of Francis’ departmental update he delivered Monday night.

Additional topics included:

City Administrator

• Francis announced that his second Coffee with Kendal has been set. It will take place from 7:30-9 a.m. Friday, Feb. 1, at Great Bend Coffee, 2015 Lakin Ave. He said he would buy people breakfast, coffee and be available to answer questions from the public.

CVB/Community Coordinator

• The Convention and Visitors’ Bureau staff attended a local Byway Meeting where the state byway coordinators from the Kansas Department of Transportation and the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism were present. “Our Wings & Wildlife Byway, in coordination with Cheyenne Bottoms, has been named the next Hot Spot in KANSAS. We look forward to continuing our partnership to support these efforts.”

• The City is co-partnering with the Great Bend Tribune to provide the first ever Health and Wellness Expo Saturday at the Great Bend Events Center. “Stop by the Events Center and come into the CVB Office for a free cup of coffee.” 

• The Icy Sidewalk Sale is set for Saturday, Jan. 19. Twenty-plus stores are participating in this effort.


Network Administrator

• Continuation on replacement of computers – working to install Windows 10 city-wide

• Checking with Cox on the possibility of getting other city departments connected by fiber. 

• Completed changes with Cox and West in correcting 911 ringing for each City department location.

• Working on intranet solution for the city


Public Lands

• Continued to maintain and improve the Christmas displays. Removal began this week.

• Transplant, trim, and removed trees in the Public Lands

Public Works

Property Maintenance Enforcement:

• 96 Complaints this month with 19 being citizen reported

a. 56 complaints for trash/refuse

b. 37 complaints for motor vehicles

c. No complaints for overgrown vegetation

d. 1 complaint for illegal dumping

e. No complaints were investigated and no violation found

f. Two complaints for minimum standards

g. No complaints for graffiti

• One abatement notice sent out

• No abatements performed

• 39 Cases closed per citizen compliance

• 10 Motor vehicles were brought into compliance

Street Department

• 49 bags of cold patch equal to 2450 pounds of material used to patch pot holes.

• 11 Tons of Hot mix Asphalt patch repairs throughout town.

• 154 cubic yards of debris sweepers removed this month.

• 218 Blocks of city streets bladed, and additional one and half miles of roads around town.

• 17 Blocks of alley’s bladed this month.


• New street markers at Broadway and Morphy, Third and Grapevine, and Lakin and Harding.

• Signs are made for Eighth and Maneth Road, and Ninth and Maneth.

• Made and installed six new point of interest signs.

• Upgraded two sets of cross walk buttons.



• Water main construction nearing completion. 

• Resurfacing program for US-56 (10th Street) from Hickory to 1,300 feet west of Kiowa Road. Comments were received from Kansas Department of Transportation on preliminary plans.

The city will handle Americans with Disabilities Act ramp upgrades, curb inlet replacements, along with curb and gutter replacement outside of KDOT project. 

• 10th and Grant Intersection 

The project was awarded to Morgan Brothers Construction at Nov. 5, 2018, council meeting. Inspection by the city on-call engineering firm Professional Engineering Consultants (of Wichita) Field Services. 

The early start date March 4. 

• Crest Theater HVAC improvements   

The city advertised for bids Feb. 15, 2018. Work to be completed this spring. 

• Street Assessment and geographic information system (GIS) Mapping   

The base mapping setup for this new digital system is done. Training with city staff on street evaluations with data collection ongoing. 

Fire/EMS/Inspection/Code Enforcement

• Thank you to First Southern Baptist Church for providing the Fire Department with a great training opportunity. The church had four houses it owns that were going to be demolished and they allowed firefighters to utilize them for hands-on training prior to their demolition.

• Captain Travis Parmley resigned from the Great Bend Fire Department to pursue a position as the director of emergency medical services for Marion County.

• Fire Department activity for December 2017 and 2018:

Fire incidents – 36 and 19

EMS incidents – 168 and 157

Carbon monoxide calls – two and two

Average response time – four minutes and 22 seconds, and four minutes and six seconds

Average turnout time – 44 seconds and 39 seconds

Overlapping calls – 19.61 Percent and 12.5 Percent 

Year to date incidents – 2,303 and 2,225


On Dec. 3-7, officers Taylor Reed, Bill Browne and Paul Leiker attended Critical Incident Training at the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center. The training is designed for law enforcement officers and dispatchers who, in their duties, are frequently called upon to deal with individuals who are suffering from brain disorders and mental health issues. 

The Crisis Intervention Team program is a community partnership working with the District Attorney’s office, mental health agencies, multi-jurisdictional law enforcement agencies, the National Association on Mental Illness, consumers and family members. The goal is to set a standard of excellence for our officers with respect to the treatment of individuals with mental illness.

December Patrol Division statistics:

Total cases reported – 299

Criminal cases reported – 205

Accident cases reported – 36

Non-classified – 14

Miscellaneous – 44

Citations issued – 132

City has several job openings


Despite several new employees last year, the City of Great Bend is still has several positions open, Human Resource Director Randy Keasling said.

“We had a very busy year in 2018,” he said. The city welcomed 34 new full-time staff members as well as four permanent part-time staff members. 

“I would like to thank the council for the support shown to city Staff in 2018,” he said. “We have a number of openings as we start 2019 and we look forward to continuing to look for strong new staff members to join The City of Great Bend family.”

The openings include:

• Part time:

Service Person I/Zoo Maintenance – Public Lands

Crossing Guard – Police Department

• Full time:

Building Official – Fire Department

Captain – Fire Department

Firefighter (two positions)

Police Officer

Detective – Police Department

Service Person 1 – Public Works

Service Person 1 (Water/Wastewater) – (two positions) Public Works

On a related  note, “our best wishes to Dan Slack who retired from Public Lands on Dec. 7 after almost 20 years of service with the City,” Keasling said.