The Great Bend City Council will hold its budget work session at 6 a.m. Wednesday, July 24, at the City Office, 1209 Williams. The public is invited to attend.
Rural Great Bend resident Reland Cole did not find the answers he was looking for from the Great Bend City Council Monday night.
Cole, who lives one of several homes east of U.S. 281 on the north side of SW 20 Road, presented a petition signed by him and his neighbors to the council. He is seeking to block Venture Corporation from building a large machine repair facility on the south side of the blacktop.
“We were never notified,” he said of the tract already belonging to Venture being rezoned for light manufacturing and commercial use. “That’s too close to a residential area.”
Cole, who operates an auto body business, was concerned about the noise caused by the work at the new shop. Should extra shifts be added through the night, “how am I supposed to get any rest.”
The land was rezoned in early 2000 by Barton County, prior to the city taking over such duties in area close to the city limits later that same year. The city was not involved in the change.
It was noted that county officials had sent letters to those living in the area and published the proposal in the Great Bend Tribune at the time.
“This is established housing,” Cole said. “This is an old subdivision area,” and as such, they should have a say.
“There’s nothing this council can do,” said City Attorney Bob Suelter. The only recourse, he said, would be to contact his lawyer and possibly file suit.
“They are within their rights,” said Mayor Mike Allison.
After a lengthy exchange, Allison tried to get Cole to take his seat. That didn’t stop Cole.
“That’s not the way this is done,” he said. “I was told not to come here. You can’t do that. This is America.”
He was asked to sit again, but continued. “You were elected to take care of the people.”
Cole wanted a hearing, but city officials said even though they understood his concerns, that was not possible. “They (Venture) has followed all the rules and regs,” Allison said.
With Cole still at the dias, the council moved on to other matters.
In other business Monday night, the City Council:
• Accepted a bid of Moeder Plumbing for the heating and air conditioning system replacement at the Great Bend Convention Center in the amount of $41,105, and a bid from Jimlo Glass Center Inc. for the window replacement at the center in the amount of $5,450. Both are Great Bend companies.
There were five HVAC bids coming in as high as $85,000, with Moeder being the lowest and meeting the bid specifications. Jimlo submitted the only bid to replace the five leaky windows on the east side of the center.
• Approved an amendment to the Blizzard Energy lease agreement. The changes improve more time to begin the project due to a delay in getting an air permit from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (they now have until Feb. 1, 2014), a redrawing of the boundaries of the lease and the authority to have electricity provided from an area outside the lease boundaries.
• Approved a conditional use permit for Raggedy Ann’s and Andy’s Day Care. Nancy Ledesma had requested the permit for a day care center at 1310 Morphy. The center will be in a private residence and will be operated by a non-resident of that residence, so a conditional use permit is required. The Planning Commission heard the matter on June 24 and the Ledesmas appeared at the hearing. There were no other attendees. The Planning Commission has recommended approval.
• Heard a report from Community Coordinator Christina Hayes. She talked about the success of the Summer Street Stroll, the showing of the movie “Grease” Thursday night in the Courthouse Square, the need for volunteers, Emergency Services Appreciation Day Saturrday and the upcoming Melting Pot promotion set for September.
• Approved abatements at: 2011 Jackson, owned by James Jackson,for accumulation of refuse; and at 2516 12th St., owned by Warren Peterson, and 812 Stone, owned by Robert Arno Jensen, both for motor vehicle nuisances.
• Heard an update on city activities from City Administrator Howard Partington.