By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Hoisington mulls future border expansion
Hoisington Municipal Complex - photo by Tribune file photo

Hoisington Council meeting at a glance

Here is a quick at what the Hoisington City Council did Monday night:

• Approved a cereal malt beverage license for Dollar General.

• Approved Resolution 20-2021 authorizing release and assignment of city opioid claims to the Kansas Attorney General.

• Approved Resolution 21-2021 authorizing an approximately 3% increase in fees charged for city services.

• Approved maximum levels for end-of-year city fund transfers.

• Approved an approximately 5% cost of living allowance (COLA) plus merit award increase for city personnel.

• Heard City Manager Jonathan Mitchell’s progress report on current and upcoming city projects.

HOISINGTON – The Hoisington City Council is moving forward into the new year with an eye on improvement projects and the potential annexation of property into the city limits.

At its regular monthly meeting Monday evening, City Manager Jonathan Mitchell updated council members on plans to start the annexation process of the city’s 60-acre tract northwest of town, beginning with a revised legal description of the property.

“We had a conversation with a law firm last week who advised we develop a legal description for the area that we would like to serve for the electric service territory,” Mitchell explained. 

Currently, several locations are being covered by Midwest Energy, which provides rural electrical service to the area. 

With the revised legal description in place, contracts for temporary service could then be drawn that lead into progressive phases of the annexation process.

“We would want to phrase the agreement for those being served by Midwest until we can extend our infrastructure into that 60 acres,” he said. “When the infrastructure is in place, we would switch them over to us (city electrical service).”

The first step, however, is the legal description, which begins with a survey of the property. Mitchell noted that the civil engineering firm Kirkham-Michael is already familiar with the tract, having participated in its purchase in 2013. “Kirkham-Michael proposed the easement and did all the feasibility studies. They could redo the legal description from the easement south and the whole area to the west,” Mitchell said. 

The description and survey would then be forwarded to the Kansas Corporation Commission as required documents to begin annexation.

“This is great land for future development,” Mitchell said. “We purchased it to have a path for growth. I believe we are at a point now where we need to move forward.”

Mitchell noted that flood plain issues have limited the city’s growth opportunities both north and south of the city limits. The 60 acres, however, have the benefits of no flooding problems, as well as being contiguous with the city limits with highway access to the north.

The survey and legal description could be accomplished concurrently with other projects that the city is working on, Mitchell said.

“Our apartment project is going to be a very capital-intensive project,” Mitchell said. “We would work on that first and then we would work on the 60. As we were working on the apartments, we could work on the easement, access road and all of that.”

Mitchell’s report on Windgate Apartments was also positive, despite delays in getting started.

“The seller has informed us that all current tenants are out,” he said. “Our contract with them stipulated that we had to close by the end of the year, but the seller is interested in doing an extension. We are also interested in doing an extension,” he said.

Mitchell’s update also included progress reports on Clara Barton Hospital, the municipal swimming pool and future street and highway improvements.

“So far, they’ve done five concrete pours at the pool, which has been very interesting to watch,” he said. While waiting on gaskets and fittings for the deep end drain, the construction company has poured the slope and flats for the rest of the structure.

“We’ve had some issues with materials, but we are on track for the project,” he said. “We’ve ordered all of the time-sensitive equipment so we should be completed on time.”

In agenda business, the council unanimously approved Resolution 20-21 regarding participation in the Kansas Attorney General’s opioid settlement that was reached last summer.

The Kansas Legislature approved Kansas AG Derek Schmidt’s proposal to ensure funding recovered through the settlement would be distributed to participating cities and counties across the state. The funding would go to the priority use of addiction treatment, recovery and prevention services.

Mitchell noted he had been advised that Hoisington could be eligible to receive as much as $13,000 in the first phase of the settlement and an additional $10,000 throughout the 18-year restitution period. “The amount is dependent upon how many cities and counties will be participating,” Mitchell said.

The council also unanimously approved Resolution 21-2021 regarding an across-the-board increase of approximately 3% to fees charged for city services. Mitchell noted that the increase was meant to bring the fee structure more in line with other area communities.

The council also approved an approximately 5% increase to city personnel compensation as a cost of living adjust (COLA) with merit award and approved maximum proposed year-end transfers for city funds.