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City retires street improvement bond
Police department eying ways to improve outreach, training
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 One of the bills approved by the Great Bend City Council Monday night was a pretty big deal. It was the final payment on a bond approved a decade ago for street repairs.

In 2005, the city passed a $1,075,000 Main Trafficway Improvement Bond to improve arterial streets in the city, City Administrator Howard Partington said. Now, that is paid off.  

Additionally, he said the city had a Water Improvement Bond that paid off a few years ago. That bond issue was to repair 12-inch water lines.  

He said there was still money in that water line fund, and Monday night, the council used the balance on recent water line improvements on 10th Street east of Main Street.  

There is an advantage to this, Partington said. Prior to this action, the money was restricted for use on the larger 12-inch lines.

Now, the city can begin placing money in that fund without this stipulation. This means the money can go to other projects, helping to fulfill the priorities of the council.  

The bonds were included in Partington’s departmental update. Other highlights included:


• The Great Bend Police Department is currently exploring several projects and programs to meet the council’s goal of reaching out to high school students. Chief Cliff Couch said they are also looking at various other community outreach programs to improve the department’s relationship with the community and help reduce drug dealing in Great Bend.

• Lt. Scott Harper conducted department-wide training dealing with vehicle pursuits and spike strips. This “force on force” training used actual spike strips and paint bullets to ensure that it was as realistic as possible. 

Partington said the GBPD emphasizes that officers should give chase only when absolutely necessary. “They do a good job,” he said, referencing media accounts of dangerous chases in other cities.

• Lt. Bill Browne held a meeting with all patrol sergeants on July 23. He has been holding these monthly meetings recently in order to improve communication at the department. 

• The Department’s new evidence custodian Katy Nelson, started Monday morning. This position was created by altering the duties of an existing civilian position. 

Up until now, evidence custodian duties were handled by a sworn detective. These changes will free up a great deal of time for that detective, allowing the department to spend more time solving cases.

This is a good use of department resources, Partington said.

Public Works

• Milled areas on 10th. St.

• Completed mud volleyball pits for Party in the Park.

• Contractor has started painting the Municipal Airport water tower

• Installing new sample sites at various locations in the City

• Installed a new chlorine booster pump at 17th and McKinley well.

• Sanitarian: 567 year to date complaints, 33 new complaints (17 by citizens and 16 by staff), 49 complaints completed by citizens, eight abatement notices sent, five abatements performed, 13 vehicles into compliance and 12 overgrown vegetation abatement notices sent.


• Worked with Water Department to test flow of hydrants for the federally mandated Insurance Services Office (ISO) audit.

• ISO was in to conduct a review. Results should be available in four to six months. 

• Code Enforcement Officer Stuart Baker has been monitoring the demolition at Second and Frey. This should be complete this week.

• City Inspector Lee Schneider issued a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy for the clubhouse building at the Trail Ridge Apartments so applications can begin to be processed.


• Summer Sidewalk Sales took place on the 25th of July and this year was a mix of some stores saying they did awesome and some not so great, Community Coordinator Christina Hayes said. Either way it was exciting because we had over 30 stores and a couple restaurants join in on the efforts.

• Party in the Park is coming along wonderfully, Hayes said. The City Staff is ready to host an amazing event that is fun for the whole family this Saturday Aug. 8.

• Partington, Great Bend Chamber of Commerce President Jan Peters, and a representative of Watco Railroad made a presentation to a Kansas Department of Transportation Selection Committee regarding a possible transload facility at the airport. There were 111 original applications and Great Bend made it to the final seven. Partington said there is no indication as to when a final ruling will be made.