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Hoisington youth center plan still alive, but under new management
Council approves agreement with The Cardinal’s Nest
new_vlc_Hoisngton cemetery phase 1.jpg
This May 2018 Tribune file photo shows was taken shortly after the completion of phase one of the Hoisington cemetery fence project. Monday night, city council members okayed a change order for the gate that will be installed at the southwest entrance of the cemetery this spring. - photo by Veronica Coons

HOISINGTON — As one door closed, another opened Monday night, for the Main Street building formerly known as The Office. In recent weeks, City Manager Jonathan Mitchell was approached by the current leasee, Pastor Steve Hopkins of Epicenter Ministries. 

A year ago, the city extended a lease to Epicenter Ministries to use the former Subway restaurant building as a temporary home for the church, and agreed to transfer ownership of the neighboring building formerly known as The Office Tavern after a list of repairs and renovations were completed within a year’s time. 

Hopkins has since accepted a new position with Youth Core Ministries. Epicenter Ministries will surrender its interest in the Office Tavern property back to the city and vacate the Subway building it at the end of the month, and a local parent-led organization has proposed a similar transfer deal with the city concerning The Office Tavern building.

The Cardinal’s Nest LLC is currently registered and in good standing with the Secretary of State’s Office, Mitchell said. In exchange for the eventual transfer of the property, they agreed to make needed repairs to the rear facade of the building within three months of taking possession, extending all utilities to the building within six months, and within nine months opening as a youth center for young people in Hoisington, Mitchell said. 

If all deadlines are met, the city will deed the property over The Cardinal’s nest in one year. The group will be responsible for all property taxes, utilities, maintenance, and property and liability insurance during the renovation period, Mitchell said. 

“The people involved are a group of parents interested in doing some positive things for young people in our community,” he said. “After talking with some of the individuals involved, I believe it could happen real quickly.” 

Patron and council member-elect Gary Shook asked if they would be getting the old Subway building property too. Mitchell said they were not seeking the property, adding that the property will be available at the end of the month. 

Following the discussion, council members directed Mitchell to move forward with signing the agreement with The Cardinal’s Nest LLC. 

The cemetery fence

This month the city is moving forward with the next phase of fencing the Hoisington Cemetery, Mitchell said. It was brought to his attention that the proposed 16-foot gate at the southwest entrance of the cemetery would be too narrow for compost turning equipment. The next size gate is 18-feet, and will require a heavier duty post. The changes will cost the city an additional $700, Mitchell said. 

Ward 4 council member Robert Bruce questioned the need for the gate, since other gates at the cemetery have not been locked in recent months. 

“Why should we spend more money to put in a gate that’s going to stay open all the time,” he asked. 

Chris Smith, Ward 4, and Travis Sinn, Ward 1, were in favor of installing the gate. 

“It would look pretty mismatched,” Smith said. “I just don’t think that would look right to leave one completely wide open, and then have a gate down on the other end.” 

“I think the gate is just more appealing to the eye,” Sinn said. 

Following further discussion, the council agreed ensuring all gates are locked after the cemetery’s posted closing hours each night was essential, and directed Mitchell to approve the change to the work order and move forward with ordering materials for the next phase of the project. 

Tree and branch removal has started, and Installation is set to begin as early as this spring, weather permitting, Mitchell said. 

Here’s a quick look at what happened at the Hoisington city council meeting Monday night:

• Approved a consent agenda which included approval of cereal malt beverage sale licenses for Town & Country Supermarket, Tap Room, Pizza Hut and Casey’s General Store.

• Heard complaint from patron Sarah Hinman concerning vehicular horseplay near her home, and a request to increase patrols in the area. 

• Heard a report from City Manager Jonathan Mitchell about ongoing projects the city is involved in, including the wastewater lagoon project, The Office Tavern, the Subway building, the water softening plant, the city’s health insurance, the cemetery fence improvements and an update on the dog park.

• An executive session was called for the purpose of discussion of confidential matters regarding the interpretation and enforcement of the terms of a contract which would be deemed privileged in the attorney-client relationship. Upon returning to regular session, no action was taken. 

• Approved extending a lease agreement with The Cardinal’s Nest. The local organization proposes to lease the Main Street building, formerly known as The Office, from the city beginning Jan. 1, 2019, for the purposes of creating a youth center after the space is vacated by Epicenter Ministries at the termination of its lease Dec. 31.

• Approved a change to the next phase of the cemetery fence project. A gate at the southwest entrance will need to be wider than expected in order for compost turning equipment to be brought in. The change will cost an additional $700. 

• Approved a lease of the existing fire department and associated space to the newly formed Fire District No. 2 for an annual payment of $1, plus all associated utilities, to begin Jan. 1. The signed agreement will be presented to the District at the December meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 12.