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New Amber Meadows plat will solve old problems
new deh city council amber meadows replat pic presentation web
By replatting the undeveloped parts of the Amber Meadows subdivision, Great Bend Officials hope to improve drainage and marketability of the remaining lots. Shown is Josh Golka of Wichita-based Professional Engineering Consultants discussing the issue with the City Council Monday night. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

 If one drives past the Amber Meadows area, they will likely see large puddles of water standing in the undeveloped parts of the subdivision.

To correct this and other long-standing problems and make the remaining lots more marketable, the Great Bend City Council Monday night discussed signing an engineering agreement to replat of the balance of the development.

The city staff asked Josh Golka of Wichita-based Professional Engineering Consultants could look at how the city could replat the remaining portion to make it more workable with respect to lot sizes, elevations, dirt work, being environmentally friendly and making the lots ones that people would want to purchase. The city has contracted with PEC for on-call services instead of hiring a full-time city engineer.

The firm has come up with some preliminary ideas of how to accomplish these goals, including the use of run-off ponds that would be incorporated into the landscaping. The cost for the work is still being finalized and the contract will be up for approval when the council next meets May 16. There were 162 lots in the original Amber Meadows plat, City Administrator Howard Partington said. There were 49 in the first phase development.  The current Rural Housing Incentive District being developed now has 19 lots on it. Therefore the undeveloped area has about 94 lots, but that number will be reduced with the new plat.  

Partington stressed that these problems do not impact the current development nor the existing RHID. An RHID is a program through the Kansas Department of Commerce that offers tax credits to encourage residential developments.

Nonetheless, the city ran into a number of issues with the way the subdivision’s plat was originally designed. “We definitely need to take care of this problem,” Partington said.

The original plat was “old school,” Golka said. The goal was to divide the property into as many lots as possible.

The new plat will take into consideration lot usability, access, utilities and water drainage.”It will have a lot of flexibility,” he said.

As an engineer, Golka said this is going to be a fun project. “I am excited to be a part of it.”

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment will likely also be excited to see the changes, Partington said. It will help prevent chemical-carrying yard run-off from entering Veterans Memorial Lake.

Such run-off was one of the contributing causes for the toxic blue-green algae that plagued the lake in recent years.

Partington said the city is waiting to see how successful the on-going RHID is before they think about seeking another for the balance of the development.