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 public hearing on the Community Development Block Grant the city was awarded for the 2022 resurfacing of Broadway Avenue from Polk to Morton and the rebuilding of the 19th and Harrison intersection.
After ending the hearing, the council voted to close out the project.
• Voted to eliminate all 15-minute parking stalls in Great Bend.
On Feb. 21, the council was approached regarding the implementation of a 15-minute parking stall in front of the Great Bend Tribune. This was tabled and sparked the discussion Monday night. Many council expressed concerns about the precedent this would start for downtown businesses.
• Approve the purchase of a new walking bridge at Veterans Lake from EZ Docks for $158,555.90 with EZ Docks installing the bridge this spring.
• Approved the purchase of the 2023 pumper/tanker from Deep South Fire Trucks, Seminary, Miss., for $436,000 for the Great Bend Fire Department.
• Held a 20-minute executive session to “discuss matters concerning non-elected personnel” regarding the city administrators position. After the sessions and the council reconvened in open session, no action was taken.
• Held a 20-minute executive session to “discuss information deemed privileged in the attorney-client relation” and “pending legal matters.” After the sessions and the council reconvened in open session, no action was taken.
• Held a 20-minute executive session to “discuss information deemed privileged in the attorney-client relation concerning contract matters.” After the sessions and the council reconvened in open session, no action was taken.
• Held a work session to discuss new lead and copper rules for city pipes. Public Works Director Jason Cauley said the Environmental Protection Agency, in cooperation with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, has launched a national mandate for all cities to inventory, and ultimately replace, all lead pipes.
The deadline is the fall of next year, but many of the rules remain unclear, he said. This involves city-maintained lines as well as those that are normally the responsibility of the property owner.
• Heard a report from Interim City Administrator Logan Burns. He focused on progress being made on the new Justice Center and the success of Project Clean-up, an effort led by the Police Department to help clean properties that have been abated.
• Heard a report from Christina Hayes, Great Bend Convention and Visitors Bureau director and community coordinator. She focused on the new Visitors Guide her staff created and a project to install new way-finding signs around town.
• Approved a tree trimmers license for Tyler Sander, DBA Treeman Services, out of Great Bend.
• Approved permissions for the Wine in the Wild at Great Bend Brit Spaugh Zoo. These included serving alcohol within the gates of the zoo on Sept. 15, have city staff and zoo assistance for the event to have small animal encounters to showcase Great Bend and the zoo, and to be on the zoo grounds after hours for this ticketed fundraising event.
• Approved abatements for trash and refuse violations at: 1202 Morphy St., Loretta and Billy Byington; 1723 3rd St., Aida Molina; 1118 8th St., Richard E. Ogle; and 1617 8th St., Maurica Estela Erlinger.
• Approved abatements for motor vehicle violations at: 701 Odell St., Trenton Lee Stueder; 1 51 7 Heizer St., Orlando Hernandez; 912 9th St., Sandpiper Mobile Holdings LLC; and 2535 21st St., Kyle Walter.
There will be no more 15-minute parking stalls in front of Great Bend businesses following action by the City Council Monday night.
On Feb. 21, the council was approached regarding the implementation of a 15-minute parking stall in front of the Great Bend Tribune. However, the council asked to table the discussion since many council members expressed concerns about the precedent this would start for downtown businesses, with in favor of removing 15-minute parking entirely.
The council asked for the locations of the current 15-minute parking spots in the city.
There are nine 15- minute spots identified by city staff, Public Works Director Jason Cauley said.
– Two at 821 Main, Hejny Liquor.
– One at 1011 Williams, That One Groomer.
– Three at 1312 Main, Equity Bank.
– Two at 1209 Williams, City Hall.
– One at 2017 Forest, Lumpy’s Bar and Grill in the parking lot behind the restaurant.
At the Feb. 21 meeting, Cauley reported the Great Bend Tribune contacted the city with the request. The parking would be specified for 15-minute parking between the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. because they having elderly customers are having difficulties utilizing the parallel parking or having to park further from the business to access it.
The Tribune wanted to reserve the parking near the alley to alleviate the need to parallel parking.
“At this point, I am asking for your guidance,” Cauley said.
“I make a motion to remove all of them,” said Ward 3 Councilman Cory Urban. “We can’t play favorites.”
His thinking was that if they want downtown to grow and with the coming of loft apartments, parking will become more of an issue. People need to realize they will have to walk further, he said.
Ward 2 Councilwoman Jolene Biggs agreed. She said business owners need to urge their employees not to park in front of their business or other businesses, and use public parking lots.
There were also concerns about enforcing the parking restrictions.
But, there wasn’t total agreement.
“I think we need to support downtown businesses,” said Ward 3 Councilman Davis Jimenez. The 15-minute stalls are a way to do that.
In the end, the motion passed 4-2.
In addition to Urban and Biggs, Ward 1 Councilman Alan Moeder, Ward 2 Councilman Kevyn Soupiset and Ward 1 Councilwoman Lindsey Krom-Craven voted for the motion.
The two no votes were Jimenez and Ward 4 Councilwoman Natalie Towns.