Prior to the Hoisington City Council’s regular meeting Monday, the council met for a walk-through at the municipal swimming pool undergoing renovations. The pool is scheduled to open on July 1.
City Manager Jonathan Mitchell hopes to have the pool ready with water by the end of June so the lifeguards can have some additional training with a few swimmers. The pumps and other major equipment are on-site and are being installed.
While minor details will not be finished, the goal to open for the public on July 1 has not changed.
Hoisington Council members discuss blighted properties
By MELISSA NECH
Great Bend Tribune
HOISINGTON — New business for the Hoisington City Council at its June meeting Monday evening focused on the resolutions concerning five structures deemed unsafe.
The structures identified were located at: 664 W. Second St.; 315 E. Second St.; 521 E. First Street; 770 W. Second St.; and 771 W. Second St.
For the property located at 771 W. Second St., the owner’s daughter Jan Pfannenstiel, Salina, spoke to the council, requesting additional time to work through the property. Hoisington Code Enforcement Officer Dolores Kipper explained that the property was unchanged since April and, while it had not been a problem in the past, it is now unmowed. Property taxes are current.
Pfannenstiel said her father owned multiple properties in Hoisington that were in the process of being sold.
“We have sold the rentals and are now working on some other houses that have not ever been rentals,” she said. “This property is a schoolhouse that he bought in the ’70s that was moved here and never meant to be lived in.
“This is the first notice that I have ever received on this property,” she noted.
Pfannenstiel said she came to Hoisington earlier in the day to check on the property to find that it had not been mowed.
“It’s not being mowed the way it is supposed to be mowed,” she said. “I am paying to have the properties mowed.”
She understood that the building was not in good shape but it was never intended to be a residence. She noted that she and her father intend to get to the West Second property to remove items inside the building, then continue to clear the property.
“They took the time to show up from Salina; we need to give them the time to do something,” said council member Darren Reinert. “If they sold that many properties in this short amount of time, let’s hold off on them.”
Reinert noted the father and daughter had sold 12 out of 17 properties in the past year. The council voted to table the resolution to raze the building for six months.
The owner of the property at 521 East First also asked for another 30 days to work on the garage that was slated to be razed by the city. He was granted his request.
The council approved a resolution fixing a time and place for a hearing to determine whether the structures located at 509 E. Third St. are dangerous, unsafe or unfit for human use or habitation.
Kipper reported that of the 10 properties identified as blighted in April, two properties have been cleared voluntarily and finished, while three others are in the process.
Council member Jim Morris said, “Kudos for the people who voluntarily complied. We are happy that people do that.”
The Council requested Kipper to submit in July a list of additional properties identified as blighted.
The council voted to approve the consent agenda which included Ordinance No. 1561, fixing the salaries of city officials and employees, and repealed the previous salary ordinance. It also included the mayoral appointment of Curran Salter to the Hoisington Public Library Board to fill the vacancy created by Elaine Yanda. Cereal malt beverage permits were approved for the Beaver and Crawford applications.
City manager’s report
City Manager Jonathan Mitchell reported about progress at Wingate Apartments.
“We applied for Brownfields Funding to help with the assessment of those five buildings and help with the asbestos mitigation,” he said. EPA’s Brownfields Program provides grants and technical assistance to communities, states, tribes and others to assess, safely clean up and sustainably reuse contaminated properties. “We have been approved for that,” he continued. “They will have funding July 1 for the inspection. We have been tentatively approved for $75,000 for mitigation.”
While the City is responsible for the cost of the demolition, the bulk of the expense is the mitigation, he said.
Also in his report to the council, Mitchell said that Mike Riese was successful in earning his Level II (Water Treatment) certification.
“This is a big deal for our organization,” he said. The council also gave special recognition to Riese for his efforts to earn the certification as well as his service to the City.
The council moved into two executive sessions, each lasting 10 minutes. The first was with the governing body, city manager and city attorney present to discuss confidential matters pertaining to the preliminary discussion of the acquisition of real property. The second session with the governing body and city attorney present was to discuss confidential matters related to non-elected personnel. No action was taken after either session.