The Great Bend City Council Monday night will take up two issues that have occupied much of its time at recent meetings – the Convention Center and no-truck signs in the southeast part of town.
The meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. at City Hall, 1209 Williams.
At its May 7 meeting, the council decided to discuss the center this week. This is in lieu of a team-building work session to talk about the facility.
The Convention Center
On April 16, council members decided to let the City of Great Bend’s arrangement with the owners of the Highland Hotel to manage the city-owned convention center will remain in place, at least through the end of September. The decision came after much discussion and a report from City Administrator Howard Partington on an April 5 meeting he and City Attorney Bob Suelter had with Highland general managers Girish Amin and Ishwar Patel.
Since there have been management and staff changes at the facility and the city’s proposed improvements to the center are yet to be started, Partington recommended the partnership remain intact through the end of the year.
Under this arrangement, the Highland would continue to book conventions and provide the staff needed to service them. The city isn’t getting much income from these conventions, but Partington said the city isn’t having to pay for personnel either.
However, several council members expressed concern.
“There needs to be a plan,” council member Allene Owen said. But, she agreed, this will take time.
“This needs to support itself,” council member Dana Dawson said.
There was a fear that perceived instability might chase away conventions. But, the council was assured the Great Bend Convention and Visitors Bureau has been working with hotel management to secure meetings.
There are improvements in the works, but Partington said these are taking longer than anticipated.
On May 7, City of Great Bend Public Works Director Don Craig said his department removed three “No Trucks Allowed” signs which, he said, didn’t meet the proper requirements anyway. This came after they failed to find any record of their installation.
They were located at Second and Hubbard, Second and Baker and Third and Baker.
However, council member Randy Myers took issue with the action. “It took the City Council to put them up and it should take the City Council to take them out.”