Owen backs off door-to-door request
BY DALE HOGG
In matter relating to an item under the Great Bend City Council’s consent agenda Monday night, City Council member and Great Bend mayoral candidate Allene Owen withdrew her request for a door-door license for her campaign. She had met requirements and made her payment.
However, fellow council member and mayoral candidate Brock McPherson questioned the request. He asked if the city was liable for any possible accidents that might occur and about Owen being required to have insurance.
Schafer said first, Owen is an individual, not a business, and there are exemptions in the door-to-door ordinance for this. Also, if Owen was doing her canvassing alone,no licence would be required at all. One was only needed if she had volunteer help.
McPherson wanted to see a copy of the ordinance, and Schafer said she’d send him one. But, he wanted to put off action until he had a chance to see it, but the next meeting would come on the day before the Nov. 7 general election.
At this point, Owen just said she would merely drop her request.
In other business Monday night, the council:
• Authorized Mayor Mike Allison to sign the change order contract with GMLV Architecture of Wichita for $14,900 for the grizzly bear exhibit at Brit Spaugh Zoo for inspection services. The change order is in addition to the city’s $877,290 construction contract with Eby Construction of Wichita which is managing the construction.
The additional cost, like the construction, is covered by money donated by the Dorothy Morrison Foundation.
• Approved K&O Railroad leasing of city office space. The K&O Railroad has requested that the city rent Suites 201, 202 and 203 in the old Marlette office building. The monthly rent is $750 per month for three years which is raised after year three to $1,200 per month for the remaining seven years of the 10-year lease.
The south half of this building near the Blizzard Energy facility is used by the city for storage, with the north half being offices and a commons area. K&O wants space in the northern part and access to the commons, City Attorney Bob Suelter said.
A few years back, the city was receiving $3,000 per month from the Transportation Safety Administration for their luggage inspection operation. However, in recent years it has sat vacant.
• Approved a bid from and three-year engagement with Adams, Brown, Beran & Ball Chtd. to conduct the city’s annual audit. The audit bids for fiscal years 2017, 2018 and 2019 will be $26,600, $27,400 and $28,225, respectfully. Bids were sought from local auditing firms, and ABBB was the only firm to respond, City Clerk Shawna Schafer said.
The 2017 price is up $600 from the 2016 audit, which was also done by ABBB.
• Approved the city’s Snow Removal Policy. It was handed out at the previous council meeting for council to review. There are no significant changes from years past.
• Approved street closure requested by the Church of Nazarene for its theatrical play called “Judgement House.” Closed will be Sherman Street from Broadway Avenue to K-96 Hwy from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Oct. 27, from 3 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Oct. 28 and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 29.
• Approved abatements at 701 3rd St., accumulation of refuse and motor vehicle nuisance, owned by Toby Leech.
The much anticipated expansion of Eighth Street between Walmart on Grant Street and Dillon’s on McKinley will proceed, following action by the Great Bend City Council Monday night.
The council passed a resolution authorizing the job be carried out, as well as approving the pursuing of temporary notes to pay for it. But, ultimately, the entire cost will be assessed back to the property owners along the new street.
“This has been going on, it seems like, forever,” City Attorney Bob Suelter said. Discussions with property owners in the area started last winter.
But, “we’d like to get this street in early next spring,” Suelter said.
Making this an issue now are the planned 10th and Grant improvements set to begin late next spring. The scope of the $800,000 project (the state pays 90 percent of this) is to increase turning radii to better accommodate large trucks turning onto Grant from 10th headed to Walmart.
However, this means the 10th and Grant intersection will have to be closed for a spell, blocking all but one entrance into Walmart, and entrances to the Reserves at Trail Ridge, Comfort Inn and other area businesses. Eighth Street would be a relief valve and detour.
The estimated cost of the proposed street improvements is $823,521.88, excluding interest on financing, and administrative and financing costs. This is about a three-block stretch and includes the curb cuts, storm sewer improvements and other necessary related work.
In cases like this, landowners wanting the improvements had to file petition supporting it, Suelter said. If at lest 51 percent or more of landowners in the improvement district sign, the improvement can be made in without a formal hearing.
Walmart owns two strips on the east end and Lighthouse Investments of Great Bend owns entire field that fronts the south edge of the street, and both back the project. These two amount to 54 percent of the property involved.
Trail Ridge Partners, developers of the Reserves at Trail Ridge apartments, indicated it would also approve of the extension. The only other property owner involved is Gentilly Real Estate of New Orleans, La., owners of the former Montana Mikes building, and it has not been contacted.
Property owners in the improvement district will be assessed the total cost of the work on a per-frontage-foot basis.
This will be a three-lane street wit a center turning lane.
The next step is to getting the design work done.