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Guardians of Great Bend mural will honor first responders
A mural by artist Maddie Deiters honors first responders in Marion, Ill. The artist will be in Great Bend this summer to paint a “Guardians of Great Bend” mural showing appreciation to first responders. It will be a different design, however. ThreeLineArt can be found on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram @threelineart
This building at 10th and Main will be the site of the new wraparound mural. - photo by Susan Thacker

Digital billboards and plans for a new mural honoring first responders were discussed at Monday’s Great Bend City Council meeting.

Haley Ruble with Barton Arts Movement joined Convention & Visitors Bureau Director/Community Coordinator Christina Hayes to report on the “Guardians of Great Bend” mural project.

“It’s going to be located at 10th and Main Street,” Ruble said. “The mural will be a first-responder appreciation theme.”

A building on the southeast corner of the intersection will serve as the surface for the mural. At present, the front of this building is painted blue.

The artist, Maddie Deiters, said the Great Bend mural will wrap around the building. Her business ThreeLineArt can be found on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram @threelineart.

Other improvements are being made to the building using a Barton County facade grant, Ruble said. A new opening and a new awning have been added.

Deiters, a high school student from Illinois, has been selected for the project and she will travel to Great Bend at the end of July to complete the mural.

“Right now we have a couple sponsors lined up but we will be seeking some sponsorships and we’ve applied for a couple of grants,” she said. They are using the Great Bend Foundation to handle donations.

There will be opportunities for donations, including bricks that can be purchased to honor first responders. The link will be shared on the Explore Great Bend Facebook page in the future. The link is active now.

Digital Billboard

The screen on the digital billboard at Brit Spaugh Park on north Main Street will be replaced, thanks to a bid approved Monday by the Great Bend City Council.

Marks Custom Signs provided the low bid of $41,108, which was approved. City Coordinator Christina Hayes noted that the other bid came from Commercial Sign Company out of Hays and was $14,651 higher. She also said the city has proactively allocated funds to a billboard savings account for the past few years. There is $55,010 in the fund.

The electronic sign has operated beyond its warranty for five years. As the warrant was expiring, the city stocked up on spare parts and it continued to operate with minimal issues.

“We never really had issues with that sign,” Hayes said. But ever since the July 2023 storm they have experienced more maintenance calls. These are costing $150 to $550 a month.

Technology has also improved since digital signs were installed in town and the new screen will also be an upgrade.