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Council changes venue for meeting
new deh council-chief meeting pic web
The Great Bend Events Center, 3111 10th St., will be the site of the City Council meeting Monday night. - photo by Tribune file photo


The Monday Great Bend City Council meeting will be moved to the Great Bend Events Center, 3111 10th St., to accommodate an anticipated larger-than normal crowd in light of the controversy involving Police Chief Cliff Couch and the council, city officials announced Thursday afternoon. It will start at 7:30 p.m.

There will be a block of time set aside for public comments from citizens,City Attorney Bob Suelter said. And, the agenda includes an unsafe building hearing for property at 1217 Madison, an engineering agreement for potential improvements to Eighth Street from Grant to McKinley and the city’s quarter-cent sales tax renewal.

However, it does not include the appeal hearing for Police Chief Cliff Couch, who is appealing his suspension and possible termination. The council voted to suspend Couch July 24.

City officials said the city has been informed that Couch is now represented by a different attorney. The attorney has requested additional time to prepare for the hearing. 

His schedule does not permit this hearing to occur until later in August, 2017. The city’s special counsel Ed Keeley will work with the attorney and the city to determine a date and time for the hearing.  

It will be announced when established.

Council meetings are normally held at the city offices, 1209 Williams. But, in a letter to city administrators and council members, Barton Count Sheriff Brian Bellendir outlined concerns about an anticipated large public turnout and the potential for safety issues.

He delivered the letter last Friday. The sheriff said he met with Mayor Mike Allison and City Attorney Bob Suelter Wednesday afternoon and that is when the decision was made.