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City OKs release of Amber Meadows suit
Case involves basement flooding from spring 2019
city council amber meadows flood
The Great Bend City Council Monday night discusses the lawsuit involving 2019 basement flooding in the Amber Meadows housing development. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

In an issue dating back four years, the Great Bend City Council Monday night approved a “general release” tentatively negotiated with the plaintiffs from the Amber Meadows housing development who sued the city following basement flooding in the spring of 2019.

“I have the original here that’s been signed by all of the plaintiffs,” said City Attorney Allen Glendenning. Now it was up to the council to sign off on it.

“There are several components to the release,” he said. 

“There is a monetary component, but that’s not something you all have any say in at all,” he said. “That’s up to the insurance company to decide whether they want to pay money to resolve this lawsuit so they can quit paying attorneys fees. Also, it will get the city out from under any possibility of any kind of judgment that might exceed the policy limit.

“So there’s a benefit to the city on that,” he said. But, “it’s really not in your control to vote on the amount of money that’s being paid.”

The reason the council had to approve the release regarded “practical considerations ... that we talked about” but were  not discussed in the open session. 

“This is not an admission of liability either,” Glendenning said. “It specifically says in this general release that everybody agrees, including the plaintiffs, that this is not an admission of liability. It’s just a way to get this lawsuit behind us.”

There were other defendants in the suit, and this release does not cover them, Glendenning said. He declined to name those defendants at the meeting. The Great Bend Tribune will file a Freedom of Information Request with the City of Great Bend to get a list of those defendants which are a matter of public record.

Property owners in that northwest Great Bend development complained about the basement flooding caused by heavy rains in the spring of 2019, calling for the city to respond. They alleged water infiltration forcing constant running of basement sump pumps was caused by rising water table levels, and sued the city feeling it had some culpability.


Great Bend City Council meeting at a glance

Here is a quick look at what the Great Bend City Council did Monday night:

• Held a 20-minute executive session to discuss issues of attorney-client privilege to “seek legal advice for pending legal matters.”

After returning to open session, the council approved the release regarding the lawsuit involving 2019 basement flooding in the Amber Meadows housing development.

• Heard a request from Charles Atkinson with the Barton County Fair Board about installing 20 new electrical hookups west of Expo III to replace an aging system that no longer meets code requirements. The board said it is willing to pay for the work.

No action was taken. The hope is action could be taken in time for the hookups to be in place in time for the Barton County Fair July 5-9.

• Approved a  temporary premise extension for Dry Lake Brewery on May 6 to host its second anniversary party, as well as approved the consumption of alcohol on city property behind the business.

The event is scheduled from 4 p.m. to midnight and will include two live bands and a food truck. The consumption of alcohol is planned in the proposed space, Interim City Administrator Logan Burns said.

The brewery is working with the State Alcoholic Beverage Control to obtain proper permits for this activity. The area involved is the ally and parking lot at Lakin and Williams behind the business.

• Held a 20-minute executive session to discuss “matters concerning non-elected personnel” to discuss the city administrator position.

After returning to open session, no action was taken.

• Heard a report from Interim City Administrator Logan Burns. He focused on the Justice Center construction project, city asphalt bids and the installation of the walking bridge at Veterans Memorial Park.

• Heard a report from Christina Hayes, community coordinator and Convention and Visitors Bureau director. She focused on the upcoming Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference softball-baseball tournament May 3-6 and the Art and Wine Walk May 5.

• Approved abatements for trash and refuse violations at: 1210 Odell St., Rafael Flores; 1921 Madison St., TMS Rentals LLC; 1610 Odell St., WHB Inc.; 436 Cedar St., Kevin Davison; 416 Almond St., Nahum Olivas; 222 Fruit St., Daryl Schartz; and 100 Walnut St., James Hsiao. 

• Approved abatements for motor vehicle violations at: 1700 Lakin Ave., H. Jean Hanks; 2820 20th St., McCord Property; Management LLC; 1916 Baker Ave., WHB Inc.; 207 Pine St., Miguel Reyes; 103 Elm St., Antonio Quiroz; and 1429 18th St., Anita Stos.