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City hires new clerk
New Ace Hardware store coming to town
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The Great Bend City Council Monday night authorized Mayor Mike Allison to appoint Amit Patel as the new city clerk/finance director. He fills a position left vacant since the retirement of Wayne Henneke last December.
Patel was recommended by the Interview Committee, which consisted of Allison, council member Allene Owen and staff members Human Resources Director Terry Hoff and City Administrator Howard Partington. 
He will start the job in a couple weeks, just as the city launches into the new budget planning period.
City Administrator Howard Partington said Patel received his degree in finance and economics from Wichita State University in 2005. He has worked with the Kansas State Banking Commissioners Office, the business side of the pharmacy division of Wal-mart and in information technology for American State Bank in Great Bend.
His father owns the Comfort Inn in Great Bend. So, Patel gained some additional business experience working with the lodging industry.
In other business Monday, the Council:
 • Learned from Great Bend Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Jan Peters that Pride Ag Today has secured a lease to a portion of the former Village Mall building for use as a new Ace Hardware Store. Peters said the company liked Great Bend’s strong trade area, even though Sutherlands just recently opened here.
The store will offer core hardware merchandise and some agricultural items, but no lumber. An opening date is not set.
• Accepted the 2012 city audit as prepared by Adams, Brown, Beran and Ball CPAs. The Administration Committee held a meeting June 27 to hear a presentation from the accounting firm, said committee Chairman Ken Roberts. Also on that committee are Wayne Henneke and Joel Jackson.
It was a “clean” audit, which is the best an audit can be, Roberts said. “The city is in great financial shape for the future.”
Henneke said the CPAs made some suggestions to improve record keeping, but were otherwise impressed.
The city ended the year with an excess of $500,000, pretty good at a time when some cities are struggling, Lindberg said. He then thanked the city staff for their efforts.
• Discussed and tweaked the city’s vision statement, first established in 2001. The statement reads: The City of Great Bend is committed to becoming the premier community by being open for business.
 • Approved a bid from Venture Corporation for the street repairs on Lakin Avenue between K-96 and McKinley Street in the amount of $106,205. City Engineer Robert Winiecke said Venture of Great Bend was the only bidder. The company will overlay a 5/8 of inch of asphalt over the existing concrete.
• Heard a report from Diann Henderson (of the Great Bend Recreation Commission) and Partington on the Sports Complex Marketing Plan. Copies of the plan were handed out to Council members last Friday during the tour of city facilities.
Henderson said the facility is an example of cooperation and of doing things right. “We are in the position to bring in new tournaments.”
The plan was created by the New Boston Creative Group which was hired by the city to prepare a marketing strategy.
• Heard a report on city activities from Partington.