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Great Bend City Council quick reads, May 2, 2022
10th and McKinley traffic lights
The project to replace the traffic lights at 10th and McKinley to include a left-turn only signal has been delayed, city officials said.

Sales, guest tax numbers up

The City of Great Bend’s most recent sales tax and transient guest tax figures are looking good, Great Bend City Administrator Kendal Francis said, addressing the City Council Monday night.

“Our sales tax distribution we just received was again was another record-setting distribution,” he said. This covered taxes collected in February.

“Also, our transient guest tax, our second quarter distribution, set a record,” he said. “It was the highest ever for that same time period since we started collecting transient guest taxes.”

This is really good news because the hospitality sector had been hit so hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, Francis said. “So we seem to be rebounding nicely.” 

June Jaunt permissions OKed

The annual June Jaunt is coming and the City Council Monday night approved a host of special permissions for the June 3 and 4 events in downtown’s Jack Kilby Square.

Approved were:

• Allowing city staff to block Lakin Ave. from Main Street to Kansas from 5-8 p.m. to host the Car Show and Cruise Night Friday, June 3. 

• Granting  permission to close the north half of Lakin Avenue from Main to Kansas from 7 a.m. to midnight on Saturday, June 4, for the June Jaunt Events in the square. 

• Granting permission to host the June Jaunt Beer Garden in Jack Kilby Square on June 4. 

• Authorizing people to be in Jack Kilby Square past midnight on June 3 and 4 for cleanup of the event. 

In an unrelated matter, the council approved the consumption of alcohol at Brit Spaugh Zoo for the Western Kansas Rural Economic Development Alliance Conference on June 8 and the Chamber of Commerce Executives of Kansas Conference on Nov. 3.

Also OKed were permissions for city staff to help with the conferences and for the zoo to stay open later for the events.

These events will be funded by the Great Bend Convention and Visitors Bureau, Great Bend Economic Development Inc. and the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce.

Events Center bathrooms getting face lift

Improvements are coming to the Great Bend Events Center bathrooms after the City Council Monday night approved a remodeling bid from Brentwood Builders for $115,120. The work must be completed between June and September when fewer events are scheduled at the facility.

“The city put together drawings and specifications for the remodel of the front bathrooms at the center,” city Building Official Logan Burns said. The remodel would match design and materials of the bathrooms in the back portion that had been remodeled in 2020.

“We held a pre-bid meeting at the event center on April 1, and we had several plumbers and general contractors show up to that,” he said. Ultimately, they received two bids by the April 15 deadline.

However, one was disqualified for not meeting the submittal process required by the city’s procurement policy.

The council in May 2020 approved an over $500,000 renovation to the portion of what had been the long-vacant office complex attached to the back of the venue. The project went to Brentwood Builders of Great Bend who tapped Moeder Plumbing, Heating and Air (Great Bend) and Haynes Electric (Larned) as the mechanical and electrical subcontractors.

Included in the renovation were 7,000 square feet on the office complex first floor. This leaves 21,000 square feet in the remainder of the building.

10th and McKinley traffic light project delayed

In the bad news column, Great Bend City Administrator Kendal Francis told the City Council Monday night the project to install new traffic lights at 10th and McKinley streets has been delayed.

“We’ve been trying to get some information from (the Kansas Department of Transportation) in regards to the 10th and McKinley traffic light project and their engineers informed me today that bids are not expected to be let until 2024, which is obviously disappointing,” he said. “They did not specify as to why, and so I’m trying to dig into that. But I would have thought it would have been much sooner than that.”

This is a KDOT effort to redo the intersection with new lights, including a left-turn only feature. It has been in the works for about a year.

Street sealing bid approved

The Great Bend City Council Monday night approved a $92,000 bid from Circle C Paving of Goddard for crack sealing city streets. 

The work covers about 56 blocks all over town, Public Works Director Jason Cauley said. It should begin in October or November when the cracks have opened up the most, allowing the rubbery sealant to penetrate deeper and fill better.

Crack sealing is a maintenance item that helps seal cracks in the asphalt to prevent moisture from penetrating into the subbase and causing problems from potholes, freeze and thaw cycle issues, and damage to the subbase, he said. Streets that are crack sealed this year are the ones the city have chip sealed next year.

Circle C previously crack sealed for the city in 2019.

The city does have a crack sealing machine, Cauley said. But the staff doesn’t have the time nor the manpower to tackle this kind of project.

june jaunt permissions
The Great Bend City Council Monday night approved various permissions for the 2022 June Jaunt, set for June 3 and 4 downtown. Shown is the 2021 installment of the annual event.