Two Great Bend parks will get a nice boost, thanks to the generosity of a local woman.
Golden Belt Community Foundation Executive Director Christy Tustin told the City Council Monday night that the Barbara Bushnell Fund has awarded $5,000 each for improvements to Britt Spaugh Zoo and Veterans’ Memorial Park. This marks the second year in a row the facilities have received such grants.
Last year, the awards paid for upgrades to the Christmas lights at the zoo and the walking trail at Vets.
Tustin said she worked with Bushnell to establish the endowments. Bushnell asked that the money be used for parks in the community.
After she died, her family members have kept in touch and have said they like how the funds have been used, Tustin said.
In another foundation item, Tustin awarded a grant of $1,000 to the Great Bend Drug Awareness and Resistance Education (DARE) program. The money will pay for classroom supplies.
“We’ve always been proud to help that program,” she said.
At about $8.6 million in assets and 127 funds under management, the Golden Belt Community Foundation has been around since 1996. It serves Barton, Pawnee, Rush, and Stafford counties.
In other business, the council:
• Authorized Mayor Mike Allison to sign an agreement with Kansas Department of Transportation for the Kansas Avenue repair project between 16th and 24th streets for concrete removal and replacement. This project is the result of a federal appropriation of about $400,000, which is 80 percent of the cost. The city will pay about $80,000.
• Approved a cereal malt beverage license for Gambino’s Pizza, 1309 Main. Gambino’s occupies what was Treaders Deli. It was also announced that the play area and arcade in the eatery will remain intact.
• Approved a request to close the 2000 block of Forest Ave. from 1-8 p.m. Thursday for downtown activities. Businesses along the block are planning special events including free ice cream sundaes, live music and games to coincide with Thank You Thursday and the Summer Street Stroll. Only one business, American State Bank, did not sign the petition seeking the closure.
• Approved a request by Arlan Nokes, 230 Patton Road, to hook into the city sewer service. He agreed to be annexed into the city at the city’s discretion in the future.
• Approved abatements at 601 Stone, owned by John Skinner, for a motor vehicle nuisance (MVN) and an accumulation of refuse (AOR), 304 Plum, owned by Denny McCormick for AOR, 2019 Monroe, owned by Mary Lou Turner, for AOR, 1215 Van Buren, owned by Evelyn Klusener, for AOR, 1117 Morton, owned by Dana and Mavis Vinsonhaler, for AOR, 706 Holland, owned by Gene Chinh Nguyer, for MVN, 712 Holland, owned by Justin Berger, for MVN, and 1415 Park, owned by Heyday Sueno Properties LLC, for MVN.
• Set 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 18, as the time and date for city committees to meet to discuss the Great Bend Convention Center. Also asked to attend will be the Great Bend Convention and Visitors Bureau and community representatives.
• Heard Great Bend Chamber of Commerce President Jan Peters’ economic development report. “We’re getting really, really close,” she said about several on-going projects. She also discussed briefly the status of the Kansas Department of Agriculture’s possible relocation to Great Bend. The city should hear an answer soon.