By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Council OKs local lake kayak rentals
Kayaks would be at Vets, Stone lakes
kayak rentals
Pictured is an example of the kayak rental kiosks that are proposed for Veterans Memorial Park and Stone Lake in Great Bend.

Great Bend City Council meeting at a glance

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

• Approved an agreement with the Great Bend Recreation Commission for kayak rentals at Veterans Memorial Park and Stone Lake. 

• Approved a lease agreement with Venture Corporation of Great Bend to store aggregates.

The city currently have a lease agreement for this tract of land with K&O Railroad and within the agreement they are supposed to ask permission to sublet, City Administrator Brandon Anderson said. They have been subletting this lease to Venture as a pass through, and in discussions with both K&O and Venture it was decided that the cleaner agreement would be directly with Venture and a longer-term agreement “would allow Venture to comfortably invest in the property and make upgrades needed.”

The 20-year lease also has a 10-year extension allowed as long as both parties are agreeable when that time comes. This new lease has been accepted by Venture and we are working with K&O to finalize the termination simultaneously, he said. 

The lease rate proposed was achieved by a submittal from Venture by Keller Real Estate to help ascertain “fair market” value, he said. Venture will pay $500 per month for the first 10 years and then pay $600 per month for the next 10 years.  

• Approved a memorandum of understanding with Sunflower Rod and Custom Association allowing the organization to store its supplies at the city-owned Motorplex west of town after its agreement to operate the facility expires at the end of the year.

The SRCA also plans on holding its meetings at the facility.

• Heard a report from City Administrator Brandon Anderson. He deferred his time to city department heads who offering updates.

• Heard a report from Great Bend Economic Development Inc. President Sara Arnberger. She focused on the new Advancing Barton County Childcare daycare facility off of  West 10th Street, success in planning the Final Fridays on Forest for 2024 and the demolition of the old Highland Hotel.

Kayak rentals will come to Veterans Memorial Park and Stone Lake after the Great Bend City Council Monday night approved an agreement between the Great Bend Convention and Visitors Bureau along with the Great Bend Recreation Commission. The rental kiosks will be managed by Northville, Mich.-based Rent.Fun LLC.

“This was a very, very big team effort,” CVB Director Christina Hayes said. The CVB received a grant of $12,200 to help pay $10,000 for this project and extra to help advertise and market them.

The majority of this is taken care of and paid for by the GBRC. The activation fee of $26,000 for the five-year agreement and it will be split between the city and GBRC. The city will pay $10,000 (covered by the CVB grant) and GBRC will pay $16,000. 

There will be four units at Veterans Lake and four at Stone Lake under this master services agreement with Rent.Fun LLC. Now, the city and Rec Commission just have to pick a date to get things started.

The kiosks are basically cages that store the kayaks, life vests and oars. Users will download an app on their phones they can use to open the compartments to access the equipment, and they will be charged for the rental.

City Administrator Brandon Anderson, City Attorney Allen Glendenning, the GBRC board and Rent.Fun have all signed off on the agreement, said GBRC Executive Director Chris Umphres. 

It will basically be  a Rec Commission program and they had originally eyed having paddle boards as well, Umphres said of his board. But, since swimming is prohibited in both lakes and with a greater chance of winding up in the water with paddle boards, they nixed that idea and opted for only kayaks.

As for the rental fees, “we want them to be low enough that people want to do it,” he said. The rate has yet to be determined.

However, he stressed that half of the money collected goes to the company and half to the GBRC. Umphres said they plan on funneling their share into the city park improvement efforts.

“We want to be involved in recreation activities in the community. So we’re going to put up-front that money.” he said.

Any liability falls on Rent.Fun, And, the company will hire someone to maintain  the installations, Umphres said.

“We’re not going to try to police it. I know there’s some risk in that with the public (not using the life vests). But they need to be responsible enough to wear those,” he said. “That’s going to be part of their agreement when they sign up on that app that they’re required to wear that stuff.”

Hayes said the GBRC put out that survey to ask citizens what they thought and they had roughly 50 People who respond, “The ones who did reply said that they were very interested in this.”

The respondents also noted they would travel to another community to participate in this activity, “That’s part of the reason why the Tourism Board was pulled in on this. It’s a project where we’re hoping to bring in outsiders for a fun activity to spend more time in Great Bend,” she said.

It was noted that the public is still free to use their own kayaks on the lakes.

Rent.Fun LLC operates locations across the eastern United States. It has sites in Lenexa, Olathe and Wichita.