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Ellinwood Council hires engineers to collect flood data
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ELLINWOOD — The Ellinwood City Council has approved a contract with Benesch and Company engineering firm out of Manhattan to collect flood control data, minus some renegotiation of the legal portions of the contract.
Included in the contract are four tasks:
•Task 1 is Project Management which merely outlines how the engineering staff will meet and communicate with the city.
•Task 2 is Data Collection.  This outlines how the firm will collect existing drainage documentation; visit the sites and review the existing conditions of the drainage area; and conduct a topographic survey of the drainage basin.
•Task 3 is Hydrologic and Hydraulic Modeling. This is the portion that uses software to show how the amount of rain received in the area affects Ellinwood.  Different scenarios of rainfall will be utilized in the modeling.
•Task 4 is the Technical Memorandum which will detail the findings.  The memorandum will include what caused the 2007 and 2013 flooding; how extreme were the rainfall events; what changes occurred in the watershed area that could contribute to the flooding; and why is the flooding occurring now when it didn’t before.
The cost of the study is $43,351. The information will be presented to the council in 60 days, expected to be in mid-March. The meeting will be open to the public.
The council interviewed four firms for the study before they chose Benesch. “It wasn’t an easy decision,” said Robert Peter, city administrator.
Ellinwood Recreation Commission
Rob Fisher, board member of the Ellinwood Recreation Commission gave a report the council at its regular meeting on Tuesday. “It’s been a busy year since the vote passed.”
Kyle Chamberlin, the new director, will begin his duties on Monday. The office of ERC will be in the basement of Sunflower Bank.
“He’s looking at this as a strong opportunity,” said Fisher.
The ERC has begun a basketball program for upper elementary kids who will play Hoisington and Russell teams, lasting six weeks.
“We will start talk about adult basketball,” Fisher told the council.
The Rec will also provide activities for all ages. “We will provide diversified activities that all citizens can partake in,” said Fisher. “We’re off to a good start.”
Peter said that ERC would take over all of the current Rec programs and that Nancy Baird, the former part-time director, would stay on through the transition.  “Nancy was instrumental in getting this off the ground,” said Peter. The Ellinwood community voted to pass a mill levy assessment last April specially for ERC.
Mayor Frank Koelsch thanked Baird for her efforts. Baird had the position for nearly 10 years.
Main Street buildings
The city has purchased two dilapidated buildings on the west side in the 100 block of North Main Street. Members of the council and Peter have been in the buildings.
Peter reported that there is holes in the roof, the floor is spongy and unsafe, much water damage, and issues with the walls. A letter from an interested party in salvaging the buildings was  read.
Also, there was concern from owners of the adjoining building about the shared wall, and if the process of demolition would affect their wall.
In addition, patrons interested in removing items from the old buildings were present.
The council agreed to get an opinion on the common wall.