Coming off their tour of city facilities June 13, Great Bend City Council members Monday night took time to outline their goals for the upcoming year as they continued their budget-planning process. Among the top priorities were ramping up clean-up efforts and further developing the city’s recreational areas.
The next steps include the budget work session at 6 p.m. July 12 and the budget hearing at 7 p.m. Aug. 15 prior to the council meeting.
First, they reviewed a list of targets set by city staff members. These included:
Continue strong economic and community development efforts
• Encourage future development
• Support and show appreciation for local businesses and industries
• Attraction of new businesses, industries, retail and entertainment
• Attract more hotel guests – conventions, reunions, tournaments and tours
• Plan and begin implementation for recreational venues; Stone Lake, Sports Complex, Waterpark, zoo, Brit Spaugh Park, bandshell, Vets Park, Etc.
Continue to improve image and attitude
• Market and promote our community
• Encourage and enhance events, festivals and activities
• Continue code enforcement, demolitions, and clean up efforts
• Begin rebranding process – including a new, simpler logo for the city
Budget and financial management
• Continue infrastructure improvements including street work and water system updates
• Transfer to and build funds for capital projects/improvements
• Evaluate costs and benefits of services provided by outside agencies
“I like these goals,” Mayor Mike Allison said, opening the floor to seek suggestions from the council.
Councilwoman Allene Owen wanted to see playground equipment at the Great Bend Sports Complex. “We don’t have that developed yet. That will add to the venue when we promote it and draw more in, it think.”
She also called attention to the cramped quarters at the Police Department. “I see in the future where that space isn’t going to be enough space,”
She asked it if was possible to add on to the existing building, perhaps over the garage.
There was talk of moving the Municipal Court and ceding that area to the GBPD.
Lastly, Owen asked about a partnership with schools to get more cameras in parking lots and buildings.
“We need to work on the projects we have in the system right now and get them done,” Councilman Wayne Henneke said. He also pushed the idea of further developing Stone Lake.
Councilwoman Vicki Berryman suggested the city promote itself via television advertising, like other communities have done, and look at installing more sculptures, such as the one at 10th and K-96. She was also the first to mention the importance of more emphasis on cleaning up run-down properties.
Councilman Joel Jackson agreed with the need to promote Great Bend to the outside world, but “we also need to make it enjoyable for the people who are here.” He seconded the idea of bolstering Stone Lake.
Better code enforcement and continued efforts to improve infrastructure are also key, Jackson said.
Supporting the on-going fight against drugs was high on the list for Councilman Dana Dawson, as were raises for police officers and firefighters. He also wanted the city to hire a “bulldog” for a city sanitarian that would clamp down on dilapidated houses.
Councilmen Cory Zimmerman and Brock McPherson concurred with the lists presented.
The goals will be combined into one list to be presented to the council at an upcoming meeting, Allison said.