It was clear members of the Great Bend City Council had other things on their minds Monday night as the met. The opening gavel went down at 7:30 p.m. and the closing gavel went down about 20 minutes later, in plenty of time for them to make it home for the tip-off of the University of Kansas national basketball championship game.
In that abbreviated span, however, the council members approved project that will add a touch of art to downtown Great Bend. They gave the go-ahead to local businesswoman Tammy Hammond’s plan to install four bronze sculptures in front of her buildings.
“This has been a goal of mine for 10 years,” said council member Allene Owen. She moved quickly for approval.
The works will include an elderly couple sitting on a bench in front of the Legends building at the corner of Lakin and Kansas, a globe with small children will be at the old Sports Fan building at Lakin and Main, four elderly men leaning on a fence will be in the Rosewood Gallery parking area at Main and 16th, and two boys playing ball be located in front of the Rosewood Gallery building next to the parking lot on Main.
Mark Bitter of Kustom Floor Designs told the council he will install the statues. “I will be happy to work withe the inspection department or the city engineer as far as placement and fastening of the bronzes to they would not create a hazard.”
The council also gave the nod to Kim Vink to be the concessionaire for the new Great Bend Sports Complex on South McKinley. City Administrator Howard Partington said all the equipment has been purchased by the city and Vink said she should be open for the next home Great Bend High School baseball game.
In a related item, the grand opening for the sports complex is set for May 8. At time has yet to be determined.
In other business, the council heard from Darren Dale, the Bird City promoter who is managing the new Great Bend Farm and Ranch Expo set for April 11-13. “It’s humbling to see the volunteer base,” Dale said of the support from local residents.
The opening for the show will take place at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 11, in the Expo III building. State Agriculture Center Dale Rodman and state Senator Tim Huelskamp will attend.
Council members also learned Lee Borck, well-known area cattleman was named to the Kansas Biosecurity Authority. He is president of Innovative Livestock and chairman of Beef Marketing Group, headquartered in Manhattan.