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City of Larned approves installation of tennis backboards
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The Larned City Council met for a brief meeting Monday night. After discussing and approving the monthly appropriations ordinance, Mayor William Nusser noted that the agenda item concerning the discussion of a potential wind energy opportunity for the city would be removed. Council members then heard a report from Junior City Council member Kaylyn Millen, who opened her presentation by quizzing council members and the mayor about county trivia. Then, she shared what she and other junior members had learned earlier that day during their visit to the Pawnee County Courthouse where they met with county commissioners.

Tennis court improvement
Council members approved a request by Larned High School Boys and Girls Tennis Coach Mike Lessard, paving the way for installation of two new backboards at Larned’s Doerr-Vernon tennis courts. Funding for the backboards comes in the form of a recreation grant awarded through the Golden Belt Community Foundation in October, Lessard said, so the city would not be required to fund anything.
Similar to the backboards installed at the Moffett tennis courts, these two will be slightly shorter, but because they will be installed two feet off the ground, they will provide virtually the same experience as the older boards. They will be installed this way to allow airflow, eliminating the possibility of an accumulation of leaves at the base.
Rather than plywood, they will be made of a durable MDO board, so will not require ongoing maintenance after they are installed. Each will be primed three times, with two additional coats of paint applied, adding to the durability, he said. The cost of each four-foot by 8-foot sheet is $100, Lessard noted.
Lessard added that the backboards will be constructed by a local company, which will allow the grant dollars to go further.
“We could have purchased them already made, but having them built saves a lot of money, so we can afford to put up two backboards instead of one,” he said.
The council approved the request without any further discussion.

Executive session
The council then met in executive session for about 12 minutes for a discussion concerning non-elected personnel. The city manager and city attorney were invited into the session. Upon returning to regular session, the council referenced a separation agreement with an unnamed person and approved payment of the contract’s stated amount by end of the year, in order to save the city some money.
The Great Bend Tribune contacted Larned City Manager Lane Massey and learned that the agreement referenced was his. In September, following an executive session for the discussion of non-elected personnel, the city opted not to renegotiate or to renew his contract. At the Oct. 7 meeting, the council approved a motion to begin the hiring process for a city manager. Massey will continue to be employed by the city until the end of his current contract. The executive session Monday night was a formality in the separation process. Following the executive session, the meeting was adjourned.
The next meeting of the Larned City Council will be at 6:30 p.m., Monday, Jan. 2 at the Larned City Hall.