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Hoisington matches $50K pledge for ballpark project
New council representative sought for Ward 2
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The Hoisington City Council met in regular session Monday night. Pictured from left to right: Chris Smith, Ward 4, Jim Morris, Ward 3, Richard Rubio, Ward 3, Robert Bruce, Ward 4, Mayor Dalton Popp, City Manager Jonathan Mitchell, Carrol Nather, Ward 2, Becky Steiner, Ward 1. Not present was Travis Sinn, Ward 1. - photo by BY VERONICA COONS

HOISINGTON — Since July, the Hoisington Rec Commission has been working on a plan to revamp the baseball fields located in the southwest corner of Bicentennial Park. Monday night, Gary Boxberger, representing the HRC, asked the Hoisington City Council to consider matching it’s contribution of $50,000 towards the $200,000-plus project that will enable the city to host tournaments. 

“If you choose to, we can match that investment,” Mitchell said. 

Last summer, Hoisington fields were utilized as overflow when 23 Kansas teams were diverted to Great Bend for a weekend tournament from Hays due to flooding. It was also noted at that time that USAA expressed a desire to hold tournaments there in the future according to Chris Smith, council person for Ward 4. 

Boxberger presented a packet with images showing the current and the proposed configurations of the ballpark. The fields will need to be expanded from the current 150-foot configuration to the tournament regulation size of 200-feet, resulting in four fields. To do this, the concession stand will need to be moved closer to the bridge and a road from the restroom by the playground over to the demolition derby area, mostly for safety reasons. 

“I know nobody has ever been hit there, but it only takes one time for some little kid to run out there in front of a car,” he said. 

Dirt will be brought in to raise the fields up to avoid rainouts. The proposed renovations leave the demolition derby area untouched, Boxberger said. 

It is recommended the project be completed in one phase. Plans do not include lights, but new scoreboards will be installed, Boxberger said. . 

In addition to the city, advocates for the project have approached Clara Barton Hospital and the Golden Belt Community Foundation and are currently pursuing grant opportunities. Mitchell noted that Kris Kinman has also contacted the Kansas City Royals and is pursuing a grant that organization offers for projects of this kind. Individual and corporate gifts are also welcome, Boxberger noted. 

Mitchell reported after looking at the city’s financials, there is over $100,000 available in an innovation and growth fund started a few years ago, and over $40,000 available in the transient guest tax fund. He asked council for direction on how to proceed. 

After some discussion, the council approved support of the project with $30,000 from the innovation and growth fund, and $20,000 from the transient guest tax fund. 

In other business, the council discussed how to proceed following Michael Aylward’s recent resignation following his move out of Ward 2, making him ineligible to serve. A replacement from Ward 2 will need to be appointed within two months.

The council agreed to accept letters of application until Dec. 19, and will make a decision at the Dec. 26 council meeting. The new appointee will be sworn in at the Jan. 14, 2019 meeting, and will serve the remainder of Aylward’s term. The seat will be up for election in November, 2019. 

“For anyone in Ward 2 considering serving, this could be considered a trial run,” Mitchell said. 

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Pictured here is the ward map for Hoisington. The city council is accepting applications from Ward 2 for a vacant seat following the resignation of Michael Aylward who recently moved out of the ward, and is no longer eligible to serve. - photo by Courtesy Image


Here’s what happened Monday night at the Hoisington City Council meeting:

• Approved the consent agenda which included the following: CMB Consumption Permit for Delzeit Christmas Gathering at Friendship House on December 23, 2018 and CMB Consumption Permit for Kephart Family Reunion on June 14-15, 2019 at the Friendship House.

• Heard comments from patrons offering praise to employees of the electrical department concerning their efforts during Sunday’s blizzard, feedback on equipment, and appreciation for assistance provided by electrical workers from Larned who assisted in getting lines and power poles repaired. Retiree Randy Miller noted it was a more severe storm than he had experienced in his many years of service to the Hoisington community. 

• Approved a contribution of $50,000 towards the Bicentennial Park Ball Field Improvement Project.

• Approved implementation of three Food and Beverage Policies that will make the city eligible for a $10,000 grant to install waterbottle filling stations in city buildings. 

• Discussion of City Council Vacancy in Ward Two. The council will accept letters of application until Dec. 19, and will appoint a new representative at the Dec. 26 meeting. 

• Heard the City Manager’s report that included extensive praise to the electrical department for its many hours of service over the weekend to restore power during a blizzard. 

• An executive session was requested for 10 minutes for the Discussion of Confidential Matters Regarding Interpretation and Enforcement of the Terms of a Contract Which Would be Deemed Privileged in the Attorney-Client Relationship, Pursuant to the Attorney-Client Relationship Exception. No action was taken upon return to regular session.

• An executive session was requested for 10 minutes for Confidential Matters Related to Non-Elected Personnel Pursuant to the Non-Elected Personnel Matter Exception. No action was taken upon return to regular session.

Hoisington Landbank receives good news from FEMA

McKenna Meadows lots out of floodplain, transfer approved


HOISINGTON — The Hoisington Landbank, consisting of members of the Hoisington City Council, Mayor Dalton Popp and City Manager Jonathan Mitchell met Monday night prior to the city council meeting to follow through on a request from the Strong family for a lot at McKenna Meadows. 

In June, the landbank board approved the request of Lot 2, Block 1 of McKenna Meadows to Bruce K. and Tonya L. Strong, Iowa, to build a new home for their family. At the time, FEMA was completing the replatting of the floodplain in that area and the city had been informed the lot would be removed from the floodplain. The Strong family requested permission to begin building prior to that, and the landbank board agreed, with the understanding that the transfer of the lot would occur once the replat had been completed. 

Last week, the city received a Letter of Map Revision based on Fill (LOMR-F) for that lot and two others. 

“We’re very pleased to share this with you,” Mitchell said. “It’s taken a lot longer than we expected.” 

The board unanimously authorized chairman Jim Morris, City Clerk Donita Crutcher and Mitchell to sign the contract transferring the lot. 

While each of the three lots has ground partially in the floodplain, they each have 8,000 to 10,000 square feet of buildable space, which Mitchell referred to as building pads, where a home, landscaping, garage and driveway would not be in danger. 

All three can be transferred by their owners to future buyers without restrictions requiring flood insurance, making them all highly marketable, Mitchell said in a follow-up interview with the Great Bend Tribune Tuesday morning. 

Of the remaining two lots available in the subdivision, one has been reserved and building is expected to start in the Spring of 2019, and the other is still currently available. Mitchell said there has been interest expressed by more than one party. 

“This is great news for Hoisington,” Mitchell said. “The goal of this program was to attract new families to Hoisington. It’s been a success.”