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Let the algae battle begin
Alum to be added to Vets Lake
new deh city update photo
The next phase in reducing the algae problem at Veterans Memorial Lake will likely begin next week.

 Great Bend City personnel anticipate beginning the introduction of algae-battling alum into Veterans Memorial Lake starting next week, weather permitting, City Administrator Howard Partington told the City Council Monday night. The effort will take about three weeks.

The application of a chemical shock to help eliminate the toxic blue-green algae. What is considered a low dose of liquid alum (5,600 gallons) will be injected into the lake via pumps through the existing oxygen diffusers.

The aim of this process is to reduce phosphorus levels in Vets, city officials said earlier. It is the phosphorus that feeds the algae. 

The initial treatment will cost $16,000, $14,000 for the alum and $2,000 for the pumps and tubing required to apply it.

After this initial treatment, phosphorus levels will continue to be monitored. The need for additional alum applications will be evaluated.

But, this is not a final solution. They still have to address all the factors that introduce phosphorus into the lake, such as waste from geese and yard fertilizer run-off.

The anti-algae effort was part of Partington’s departmental update. Other highlights included:

Amber Meadows

Placement of the new concrete pavement began on March 30 and was scheduled to be completed Tuesday. Work is anticipated to continue through the week, focusing on the street approach at 24th Street, construction of the sidewalk along the west side of Prairie Rose Drive, and dirt work activities.

Contractor Ross Vogel anticipates breaking ground on his first homes in the area today.

Public Lands

• Staff worked with the Street Department to renovate the old wolf display at the zoo. 

• Staff repainted the restroom on the south side of Vet’s Lake.

• Staff completed a walking path through the Argonne Forest at Vet’s Park.

• Staff is working on architectural plans to build a restroom on the north side of Vet’s Park and also at Langhrer Field at the ball complex.

Public Works

• Helped to rework the pen at the ZOO for the coyote exhibit. 

• Water well at 19th & Harrison quit pumping. In the process of determining what it will take to get it pumping again. 

• Sanitarian: 235 year to date complaints, 32 new complaints (13 by citizens, 19 by staff), 71 complaints completed by citizens, 15 abatement notices sent, 29 vehicles into compliance.


 • The Open House Committee continues to plan. first Guns and Hoses Open House will be hosted by the Great Bend Fire and Police departments from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 2 at Fire Station 2.

• “B” shift conducted live burn training in the burn building for the department.

• Lee Schneider, along with Bob Suelter, is working with Verizon Wireless for a temporary cell tower to be placed on the parking lot of St. Rose while the building is being demolished. 


• The police Entry Team had its regular training, at which they did preparation for the upcoming “Guns and Hoses” Public Safety Open House.

• On March 23, the police department held its Warrant Sweep. Officers were assisted by State Parole,  Barton County Sheriff’s Office, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, Ellinwood Police Department, Community Corrections, and Probation. The Barton County Jail and Barton County Communications also had additional staff on hand. Made were 13 warrant arrests, one narcotic arrest and one traffic arrest. There were also two child in need of care cases taken and over 100 contacts were made. “This is part of our ongoing effort to crack down on drugs and other public safety/ quality of life issues in the community,” Partington said. 


• Heartland Ag Waterline: Construction of the water main is complete. The main passed pressure and bacteria testing and is now in service. The Contractor is scheduled to be onsite this week performing their seeding operation to stabilize and restore the surface.

• 10th Street Water Main: I received the Contractor’s shop drawing submittals today and am beginning my review of their conformance to the Contract Documents.


• The downtown Art & Wine Walk is set for 4-7 p.m. May 1 in 15 stores downtown. This event leads up to the event that the Great Bend Rotary Club is planning at the Great Bend Zoo that evening. Community Coordinator Christina Hayes is the organizer of the downtown portion.

• Hayes agreed to be co-chair for the Hospitality Committee for the third year to support the Great Bend Farm and Ranch Show taking place this week. 

• Continuing to work on planning and advertising for the 2015 Great Bend June Jaunt, Great Bend will have a weekend of Fun planned for locals and visitors, Hayes said. 

• Hayes is helping both departments with marketing for the Guns and Hoses Open House and invited council members and the public to come see the talents of both departments.