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Blizzard still waiting on permits
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Great Bend Mayor Mike Allison, City Engineer Robert Winiecke and City Administrator Howard Partington met recently with officials of tire recycling business Blizzard Energy, Partington told the City Council Tuesday night. The firm is working on the state and federal permits for the project.
 In a nutshell, the Blizzard Energy of Santa Maria, Calif., company will take old tires and shred and melted them. The by-products of this process are gas (which will be used to heat the facility), oil (which can be refined to off-road diesel fuel), carbon black (which is used as filler in rubber products and many modern plastics), and the steel from the steel belts.
To start with, Blizzard expects to employ 25 people and make a $5 million investment. However, a lot of this equipment is sitting in buildings at the Great Bend Industrial Park waiting to be used, Partington said.
Blizzard first came to the council in November 2012 and a lease for the site was approved in December. The original plans were to be up and running by January of this year.
But, “the permitting process has taken longer that they planned on,” Partington said. The company is still excited about operating and opening in Great Bend.
The administrator made his remarks about Blizzard during his departmental update Tuesday night. Below are other highlights of that report:

• Winiecke was reappointed to the Kansas Water Office, Upper Arkansas Basin Advisory Committee, with a term expiration of June 30, 2017.
• Conducted a speed study along Eisenhower Avenue south of 10th Street per business complaint.
• Prepared an independent cost analysis for a proposed “Wildlife Hazard Assessment” at Great Bend Municipal Airport in conjunction with an upcoming grant submission to the FAA.
• Conducted a pre-construction meeting with Venture Corp. to determine the construction schedule for the 2013 street work previously approved by Council. Anticipated start date is Sept. 16. 
• Met with County Engineer Clark Rusco to coordinate changes to the Functional Classification Map as proposed by the Kansas Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration. This will be brought up at a future council meeting for consideration.
• Met with Howard and Ross Vogel to discuss new housing opportunities within the community.

Public Works
• Sprayed for mosquitoes
• Installed “No Swimming or Wadding” signs at Stone Lake and MacArthur pit.
• Six new water services on 31st between Morton and Washington at Housing Opportunities Inc. locations.
• Sanitarian: 1,064 year to date complaints, 52 new complaints (20 by citizens and 32 by staff), 82 completed by citizens, 17 abatement notices sent, two abatements performed and 8 cars into compliance.

• Crews conducted confined space training
• Started working on Fire Prevention for October

• Officer Jeffierson Davis began teaching Drug Abuse Resistance Eduction classes at Lincoln and Eisenhower School and officer Jacob Harlow is teaching DARE at Jefferson School.
• The “I Make a Difference” program started in all the elementary schools in Great Bend, Hoisington and Ellinwood.
• Davis is participating in the “Youth with Friends” program at Riley School.
• Davis participated in the “lock down” drill at Park and Riley schools.
• Three new officers have left for 14 weeks of training at Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center near Hutchinson.

• Community Coordinator Christina Hayes said she is continuing to work and promote both Melting Pot Month and Party in the Park, things going well and marketing is almost done being ordered for print, radio and television.
• Put together packets for the Sunflower Rod and Custom Association National Dragster Challenge. Visitors keep commenting to Hank Denning how they like the packets and people have been using the coupons included.
• Hayes was asked to represent Great Bend for the Hoisington Labor Day baby contest as a judge. Over 25 children were part of the baby and princess contest for this year.
• Starting promotions of Explore Great Bend month in November; this is the $1,000 giveaway for stores who buy into the concept of having something each Saturday in December and participants can sign up for free in those stores on those dates only. Last year it was a great success, Hayes said.
• On Aug. 21, Allison, Chamber of Commerce President Jan Peters and Partington took Sen. Pat Roberts along with Chad Tenpenny and Harold Stones from his staff on a tour around the community. He was truly impressed with the improvements that have been made over the past few years, Partington said.
• Maggie Lee has agreed to help us with the preparation of a housing study that is the first step in submitting an application to the Department of Commerce for a Rural Housing Incentive District. She is moving forward in the process.