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Council OKs Sports Complex turf bid
Project split among city, school district, rec commission
Great Bend Sports Complex.jpg
The contractor has been selected by the Great Bend City Council to install the artificial turf at the Sports Complex.

Moving the joint project to install artificial turf at the Great Bend Sports Complex forward, the Great Bend City Council Monday night approved a bid from Hellas Construction, Austin, Texas, for $1,360,700. The city received three bids, but this was the only one that met the specifications.

“The city recently solicited bids for installing artificial turf on the infields and bullpens of the four sports complex fields and Langrehr field,” City Administrator Kendal Francis said. Bids were received from three companies – Sprinturf of Daniel Island, S.C., Mid-American Sports Construction of Lee’s Summit, Mo. and Hellas Construction. 

A committee comprised of staff members from the city, Unified School District 428 and Great Bend Recreation Commission reviewed the bids, Francis said. Additionally, a landscape architect with the city’s on-call engineering consultants Professional Engineering Consultants of Wichita independently reviewed the bids and provided comments and a recommendation.

When comparing the turf products submitted, neither the Astroturf from Mid-America and Sprinturf products met the minimum specifications, said PEC’s Nick Staib in a report to the council. The local committee came to the same conclusion.

“Both reviews recommended rejecting the bids from Sprinturf and MASC,” Francis said. The base proposal is $1,275,600 with an alternate for bullpen area for $85,100, for a total project cost of $1,360,700.  

The funding is as follows:

• Unified School District 428 agrees to contribute $280,000. 

• Great Bend Recreation Commission agrees to contribute $200,000 for the initial installation and $10,000 per year for eight years for turf maintenance.

• The City will pay the remaining $880,700. 

The goal would be to have the fields done in time for the 2022 ball seasons.

The turf should last 12-15 years. Heavy traffic areas may need more frequent replacement.


A committee formed in October 2018 to study the feasibility of installing artificial turf at the Great Bend Sports Complex saw value in the change, but reported to the City Council in December of that year there are much broader, more pressing issues facing the city’s beleaguered recreational facilities that call for a long-range, multi-year master plan.

At that December 2018 meeting, City Administrator Kendal Francis said the city has dropped the ball on maintenance on some of its facilities and it needs to get them up to par first.  

The committee included City Clerk Shawna Schafer, council members Jolene Biggs and Cory Urban, USD 428 Superintendent Khris Thexton, Great Bend Recreation Commission Assistant Director Chris Umphres and community representative Shawn Behr. Members wanted the turf wrapped up in the master plan, which has also included new lighting at Veterans Memorial Park fields. 

The issue was first raised in August 2018 when Mike Minton of the Great Bend Bombers youth baseball organization urged the city to install artificial turf at the Great Bend Sports Complex. The goal would be to make the city more competitive in attracting tournaments to town, while providing safer fields that are less susceptible to having games rained out.

Minton and other turf supporters praised the city’s vision for developing the complex. Opening in 2012, it has served the community well.

But, now it needs upgrades to serve local ballplayers of all levels and remain in the hunt for out-of-town team tourneys, they said. 

However, city officials said they would need to study the issue and get commitments from the Great Bend Recreation Commission and USD 428. This led to the formation of the committee.

Great Bend City Council meeting at a glance

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

• Approved a bid from Hellas Construction, Austin, Texas, of $1,360,700 for artificial turf at the Sports Complex. The city received three bids, but this was the only one that met the specifications.

• Approved providing a portion of the local matching funds up to $220,000 for a joint Kansas Department of Transportation cost-share project with Barton County. This covers the portion of SW 40 Avenue known as Airport Road. 

The grant application calls for a 50-50 match with the state for the $800,000 project to mill and overlay the 2.5 mile stretch. The city and the county would split that total, with the city paying more since 60% of the road falls in the city limits.

Two previous 75-25 match applications for the work have failed to gain state approval. Officials hope by increasing the local match the application will be more attractive.

• Approved amending the policy allowing the donation of accrued vacation time to include the donation of sick leave.

Currently, the city has a policy that allows staff members to donate accrued vacation time to other employees who have exhausted their accrued benefit time due to extraordinary circumstances such as a critical illness or lengthy hospitalization, Human Resource Director Randy Keasling said. 

Now, this includes the ability to donate up to 24 hours in a calendar year of accrued sick leave to other employees.

• Approved an ordinance authorizing mobile food truck zones.

The city has received requests for parking of food trucks on city property for private business functions, City Attorney Bob Suelter said. In order to accommodate a local business that is soon to open, Dry Lake Brewing, an ordinance to create a procedure for this has been developed. 

The ordinance enables the city to designate one or more areas on city property to allow the trucks if they are sponsored by a business in the area and subject to conditions, such as proper licensing of the food truck. 

There would be a $5 permitting fee. This does not impact city-sponsored events, he said.

After approving the ordinance, the council approved a resolution permitting a zone for Dry Lake for its opening in April and various other dates.

• Approved a revision to the nepotism policy.

The city continues to have challenges filling staffing in certain areas. In an effort to help with staffing shortages, the policy was amended to allow for family members to be hired in certain circumstances.

This was first presented in March, but the council wanted some changes and clarifications before they approved it.

This revision keeps in place the ban on family members serving on the executive team, and bans relatives from being permanently  assigned to the same shift.

• Approved a $160,000 loan to the Sunflower Rod and Custom Association so it can complete the new concrete safety barriers and install the new timing system. This is a 10-year load at 0% interest.

City Administrator Kendal Francis said the SCRA is raising funds for the projects, but has come up short. The work needs to be done now to avoid rising construction costs.

Hank Denning from the organization said the loan would probably be paid off earlier than 10 years. Payments are in addition to the $10,000 annual lease payment the SCRA pays for the use of the city-owned track.

• Held a 30-minute executive session to discuss financial matters regarding the retention of a current business.

When reconvening in open session, not action was taken.

• Approved people to be in Jack Kilby Square between 1 p.m. to midnight June 4 and July 15 for the free outdoor movies in the Park. 

• Approved the closure of Main Street from 19th Street to Lakin Avenue from 11 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 8, for Cinco de Mayo. Also approved was the city’s $250 sponsorship for the festival. 

The city has supported this event financially for the past several years. In 2016 the council sponsored at the $1,000 level, with the understanding that the amount would go down to $750 in 2017, $500 in 2018 and $250 in 2019.

The support helps with promotional materials, such as posters, for the event, and assistance from the Park Department with setup, layout and trash.

• Approved the closure of Lakin Avenue from Main Street to Kansas Avenue for the Car Show and Cruise Night from 5-8 p.m. Friday June 4. 

• Approved closure of the north half of Lakin Avenue from Main Street to Kansas Avenue from 7 a.m. to midnight on Saturday, June 5, for the June Jaunt events in Jack Kilby Square. 

• Approved closure of Kansas Avenue from Broadway to Lakin Avenue from 9 a.m. to no later than 3 p.m. to accommodate the Great Bend Strongest/Fittest competition and the Sunflower Diversified Services Poker Run on Saturday June 5. 

• Permission for the June Jaunt Beer Garden in Jack Kilby Square. 

• Approved a Jack Kilby Square curfew extension past midnight on June 5 for June Jaunt cleanup. 

• Approved the Bat Cats facility use agreement for use of Al Burns Field. The cost for the season is $1, as it has been in the past.

• Approved a cereal-malt beverage license for Edgar Jacobs with the Odin Store. He submitted a one-day request for the Quail Forever Banquet that is to be held on Saturday April 17, at the Events Center.  

• Heard a report from City Administrator Kendal Francis. He focused on on-going city projects and the use of the legal issues surrounding the Bird electric scooters.

• Heard a report from Great Bend Economic Development Inc. President Sara Hayden. She focused on recent housing and economic development reports received by the city.

• Approved abatements, all for accumulation of trash and refuse, at: 1500 281 Bypass, Al and Patricia Smith; 222 Baker, Aida Molina; 231 Fruit, Manuel Valdez; 333 Fruit, Corbin Cole; 315 Frey, Rogelio and Soledad Arias; 1615 16th, Kenton Grauerholz; 1608 Broadway, Stueder Rentals LLC.; 1509 Hubbard, Manuel and Sara Taveres; 1509 16th, Howard and Catherine Johnson; 1400 8th, Daniel and Margaret Scott; 1513 8th, Jose Prieto; 1309 8th, Marcelo and Sonia Bujanda; 1800 7th, Richard and Sherri Byerly; 1311 Heizer, Julio Sanchez; 1209 4th, lsael and Rosa Ochoa; 804 Maple, Mjlinares Properties LLC.; 2325 McCormick, Christopher Shawley; 1309 Hubbard, Yadira Sorcini; 424 Dogwood, Norma Carrasco and Francisco Salcido; 424 Buckeye, Lidia Hernandez, Edin Hernandez, and Arnulfo Pando; 308 Buckeye, Lisett and Jaime Roman; 2214 Polk, Alva and Kimberly McHenry; 110 1Oth, Pat McVicker; 205 1Oth, Gilberta Martinez; 1210 Hubbard, Francisco and Maria Rios; 1701 Hubbard, Thomas Pearson; 215 Becker Ct., Donald Freed; 307 Firethorn, Esus and Dulce Leyva; 421 Dogwood, Maliegha Prieto; 2212 Heizer, Maria Castruita; 1411 19th, Thomas Pearson; 1001 4th, Steven Sexton; 1212 Holland, Stueder Rentals LLC.; 1209 Holland, Scott and Danielle Delgadillo ;216 Maple, Juan Abarca; 30 Hickory, Kevin Davison; 2316 8th, Ever Ontiveros Lomas; 518 Odell, Consuelo and Cesar Cardenas; 810 Odell, Claudio and Villa Sanchez; 819 Odell, Rose Ann and Dennis Trantham; 2528 8th, Allen Scott; 2536 8th, Mark Shaffer; 2706 17th, Douglas and Linda Basye; 704 Morphy, Larry and Sheree Marshall; 702 Morphy, John and Michelle Collins; 2910 19th, Donald Lemon; 2101 Madison, Jorge Hernandez and Yesenia Garcia; 1622 Adams, Evann Stueder; 2924 Broadway, Shirk Family Trust; 1120 Odell, Dennis Boese; 1812 Madison, Anita Stos; 2501 Lakin, Keith Heeke; 2315 16th, Kuhn Rentais LLC.; and 1531 Cherry Lane, Erica Smith. 

An additional abatement was approved at 218 Pine, motor vehicle nuisance, Lawrence Rowe.