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Great Bend City Council quick reads
quick reads daycare pic
A conditional use permit for this house at 2206 McKinley to be used as an in-home daycare was approved by the Great Bend City Council Monday night. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

New officer fully staffs GBPD

Great Bend Police Chief Steve Haulmark introduced the newest member of his department to the City Council Monday night. Officer Jonathan Parsons is the newest hire. 

He just retired from 20 years in the United States Army and his wife is originally from Great Bend, Haulmark said. This is where his wife wanted to move after his retirement.

“We’re happy to have him here and he’s bringing a lot of experience to the job,” the chief said. Parsons spent the majority of his career as a engineer, but in that role, he was also a dog handler and a kennel master, “so he’s going bring some of that expertise here and help us with our canine program.”

With Parsons, “we’re currently at full strength for the first time since 2018,” Haulmark said. He has 33 officers and four civilian staff members.

Bids for Police Station have gone out

The bids for the new Great Bend Police Station-Municipal Court Building went out late Monday afternoon, City Administrator Kendal Francis told the City Council Monday night. He intends to have a guaranteed maximum price for approval at the Aug. 15 meeting.

The final plan drawings for the building were finished in December, but officials are still awaiting Wichita-based project manager McCown-Gordon Construction to develop the guaranteed maximum price. Once the city gets that price and any final tweaks are made, the drawings will be publicly released.

The roughly $7 million, 20,000-square-foot facility will sit at 12th and Baker on what is now a city parking lot. A .10% city sales tax to help pay off the project bonds was approved in the Nov. 2, 2021, general election.

The estimated construction cost is in the neighborhood of $6.3 million, with the city having about $1.5 million set aside for the project. The bonds will fund about $5.4 million.

There were questions from the council Monday about the building plans, and if there had been any changes since they were last presented.

Francis and Mayor Cody Schmidt, who sat in on meetings with the architects, assured the council no changes had been made since members had seen them earlier. 

No construction schedule has been set, but officials are targeting the spring of next year with a 12-month construction window.

Buckling sidewalks a problem

Fourth Ward Great Bend City Councilman Alan Moeder expressed concern at the council meeting Monday night about buckling sidewalks he saw along the south side of 10th Street on the west side of town. 

“Is that the landowners’ issue or the city’s issue?” he asked. 

Most likely, City Administrator Kendal Francis said, it is the property owners’ responsibility to make repairs. “I will say, and this is in very early stages, we’re trying to develop a sidewalk replacement program geared towards predominantly residential owners, but I think there’s the ability maybe we could look at some commercial assistance as well.”

Moeder was also worried about the city’s liability. City Attorney Allen Glendenning said he’d look into it.

As the heat continues, Francis expects to see more buckling taking place.

Council gives nod to daycare

The Great Bend City Council Monday night approved a conditional-use permit to operate a licensed group home daycare, The Learning Ladder, for Jessica Roan at 2206 McKinley.

Roan applied for a conditional use permit to operate the facility Monday through Friday 7:15 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. by non-resident, non-family member in an R-2 (two-family) zone in the City of Great Bend. The property is owned by Hammond Investments and Tammy Hammond has signed the application authorizing the applicant use of the property for this proposed use. 

There were two parties present for the  June 27 public hearing – Rita Pivonka and Diane Olsen, said Building Official Logan Burns. They were concerned with the pickup and drop-off of the children on the busy McKinley Street.

The Planning Commission recommended to Roan to have a plan to present to council regarding the parking and the picking up and dropping off of the kids. 

Roan was at the Monday meeting and said she had a plan prepared. She also urged parents and passersby to obey traffic laws as they go by.

“I think if we all work together, we can make this work,” she said.

She accepts children from infants at least 6 weeks old through age 11.

And, she said, there is a real need for childcare in the community.

The stipulations attached to the approval include:

1. Facility shall comply with all local, state, and federal regulations.

2. Applicant must maintain her license from the State of Kansas and pass all inspections required.

3. If the conditional use is stopped for any reason, the conditional use permit shall be null and void.

4. She must come up with a plan for parking, pickup, and drop-off.

New Humane Society contract approved by council

A new city agreement for animal control services through the Golden Belt Humane Society was approved by the Great Bend City Council Monday night, with one contingency.

The city’s contract had expired, said City Administrator Kendal Francis. The city has negotiated a new agreement that provides two significant changes.

First, it removes the automatic annual 5% price increase. Second, it provides a mechanism for issuing notices to appear for violations of Article 6 of City’s Code of Ordinances, which covers such things as: Animal care; registration, licensing and tags; vaccinations; and penalties for violations.

This is an initial five-year agreement that automatically switches to an annual agreement at the end of that time.

The funds the Humane Society are $105,000 in the 2023 budget.

However, additional language was added to the agreement after the society board had signed off on it. This merely clarified funding issues.

Still, the society’s board needs to review it before final approval. Society board member Ken Roberts was at the meeting and said there shouldn’t be any issue with the change.

City Meeting/Event Facility Guide available

The new City of Great Bend Meeting and Event Facility Guide is ready and has already been pressed into service, said Christina Hayes, community coordinator and Convention and Visitors Bureau director.

“This is important because the CVB gives out about 20 of these a week,” she said, giving a report to the City Council Monday night. It gives local residents an idea of the different meeting and gathering spaces in Great Bend, but it also helps bring in visitors.

“This is something that we regularly provide to people,” she said. They are part of the packet the CVB provides those inquiring about using city spaces.

The guide includes sizes and details about city facilities. But, it also has a list and contact information about other facility opportunities, from businesses to organizations to churches.

In addition, it includes a rundown of lodging guide with hotels and other options.

They are available at the CVB office, 3111 10th Street, City Hall, 1209 Williams St., or online at and the city website,

quick reads  new officer
Pictured is new Great Bend police officer Jonathan Parsons. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune