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Bill could kill K-96 project
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The future of the proposed improvements of K-96 between Nickerson and Sterling may be uncertain, Great Bend City Administrator Howard Partington told the City Council Monday night.
Great Bend is part of Economic Lifelines, a statewide coalition of organizations and community groups that lobbies for transportation programs in Kansas. At a meeting of the coalition Tuesday in Topeka, Partington said he learned the House Taxation Committee is considering a bill to move the money designated for Kansas Department of Transportation to the state General Fund.
“That would most likely kill most of the rest of the T-Works projects including the K-96 improvements,” Partington said. He  sent in written testimony in opposition of that bill, House Bill 2136.
T-WORKS is a 10-year, $8.2 billion transportation program passed during the 2010 Legislative Session. KDOT is responsible for its delivery.
On a related note, council member Ken Roberts, Great Bend Chamber of Commerce President Jan Peters and Partington attended a public meeting in Sterling regarding the T-Works improvements to K-96.
 Other highlights of Partington’s report on city departmental activities included:

• Staff is busy with tree removal and tree planting throughout the parks and at the ball complex.
• Staff is busy with ball field preparations since practices will begin in early March. New concrete pads for the bleachers at Langrehr Field have been added. Plans are to put up windscreens and a top cap on Langrehr Field for 2013.
• The framework for the metal sculpture project on the turnaround at the new Sports Complex is now in place.
• City Inspector Lee Schneider continues to work with the engineers on the Blizzard Energy tire recycling projects at the Great Bend Municipal Airport.
Public Works
• Started crack sealing Hike and Bike trail on Levee, removing trees and repairing fence on flood control.
• Clarke Well Service is working on number 12 water well on South Coolidge.
• Cleaned 400 feet of sanitary sewer line for the City of Pawnee Rock.
• City Sanitarian Gregg Vannoster reported 263 complaints so far this year, 51 new complaints (six by citizens and 45 by staff), 46 complaints completed by citizens, seven abatement notices sent, one abatement performed and 36 cars brought into compliance.

• Officer Jefferson Davis did a D.A.R.E. presentation for Cub Scout Pack 184, did a “True Lies” presentation for the League of Women Voters. He then assisted the Child Advocacy Center Coordinator Sarah Schenek with a presentation at the USD 428 District Office for Superintendent Tom Vernon and the school principals. He observed a practice lock-down drill at Jefferson School.
• Captain Bob Robinson attended the “Basic Internal Affairs Investigation” class at the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center in Hutchinson.
• Davis is participating weekly in the Youth Friend’s program at Riley School.

• Barton Community College President Carl Heilman and Partington have been discussing the E3 possibilities. This is the joint venture between the college and the city to utilize the Great Bend Convention Center.