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City hires consultant for downtown water line improvement project
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Main Street Great Bend will be the site of water line improvements. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

Council OKs details for June Jaunt


The Great Bend City Council Monday night authorized the closure of Lakin Avenue from Main Street to Kansas Avenue from 3 to 8 p.m. on Friday, June 3, for the June Jaunt Car Show, and the closure of the North half of Lakin Avenue from Main Street to Kansas Avenue from 7 a.m. to midnight on Saturday, June 4, for the June Jaunt events in Jack Kilby Square. 

These closures help with parking and the flow of traffic, as well as with the unloading and loading for participants.

Also authorized was allowing people to be Jack Kilby Square past 10 p.m. on both June 3 and 4 for the June Jaunt and Renaissance Faire events. In addition, permission was granted to host the June Jaunt Beer Garden in Jack Kilby Square on June 4.

“The 2016 June Jaunt schedule is almost complete,” Great Bend Community Coordinator Christina Hayes said. “The city of Great Bend, businesses, organizations and individuals have all stepped up and produced an amazing line up for June 3-5, 2016.”

“An All American Weekend” is the major theme this year, but she said there will still be a lot of modern activities. Events include adding the Great Bend Renaissance Faire to the north side of the square for the Saturday and Sunday schedule. The June Jaunt car show is scheduled for Friday, June 3, to team up with the free outdoor movie showing “The Little Rascals.” 

The aerial photo of downtown Great Bend presented to the City Council Monday night put the proposed water line improvement project into prospective. It had large stretches of Main and 10th streets highlighted in yellow, showing the extent of the undertaking.

“We started on this nearly a year ago,” City Administrator Howard Partington said. The council deemed water line improvements as a high-priority item.

In keeping with this, council members approved Monday night a $150,000 engineering services agreement with Wichita-based Professional Engineering Consultants to handle the design work. The total includes $124,740 for design services and $25,260 for construction administrative fees.

This will include the firm conducting a field survey, design work and assisting the city with the bidding process.

It was PEC’s Josh Golka who walked officials through the proposal. PEC is the firm the city has contracted with in lieu of hiring a full-time city engineer.

“As a community ages, its infrastructure ages,” he said. A lot of the old cast iron pipes have deteriorated over the years, constricting water flow and these need to be replaced.

There are seven pieces to the project, Golka said. Involved are: 

• l0th Street from Washington to Main

• Main Street from 1Oth to 19th

• Lakin from Baker to Stone

• Forest from Main to Stone

• 16th from Main to Stone

• 12th from Main to Baker

• 18th from Main to Williams

“This will be a sticky project,” Golka said. It includes a lot of high-traffic areas that could be disrupted.

“But, there is a lot of flexibility,” he said. “It will give the most bang for your buck.”

As presented, it would cost around $3.1 million, Partington said. However, the scope and price tag of the work may change.

The first two pieces, 10th and Main streets, are critical, he said. But, the other portions are of a lower priority.

This means should funding become an issue or other items, such as well rehabilitation, become necessary, the parts could be swapped out and interchanged, Partington said.

“This is a very complicated project,” he said.

This won’t be the first time PEC has worked with the city on water issues, Partington said. The first was in 1999 when the city purchased the water system.

There was a $2.5 million bond issue to improve lines on 10th Street from Washington to McKinley and Grant Street to what was then Central Kansas Medical Center. PEC helped with this endeavor.


Last October, the council authorized Partington to proceed with preparations for a bond issue for around 9,000 feet of water line improvements. The main priority would be replacing the current 10-inch cast iron line along 10th Street and in the downtown area with a 12-inch plastic line.

A 15-year bond would cost the city $165,000 per year. There would likely be a 10 percent water rate proposed to cover the expense.

The new water lines cost about $263 per foot. 

There are other streets, such as Broadway and many in residential areas that need to be replaced as well.

It is estimated that about one third of Great Bend is served by old, cast iron water lines that date back as far as 80 years. These all could need to be replaced eventually.