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Plans in the works for opera house lot
new deh city update photo
The owner of the building west of the now-vacant old opera house lot has is going to redo the structures exterior wall. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

 Guns and Hoses a success

This past Saturday, the Great Bend Police and Fire departments participated in the Guns and Hoses Public Safety Open House. Officials estimated that there were at least 500 attendees overall, with about 200 people at one single demonstration. 

“It was a great chance to interact with the public,” said Police Chief Cliff Couch. “The Gun and Hoses Open House went very well,” said Fire Chief Mike Napolitano. 

Both men thanked Community Coordinator Christina Hayes, department members and all those who helped. 

 City of Great Bend Code Enforcement Officer Stuart Baker received a letter of intent from Andy Mingenback, president of Brentwood Builders of Great Bend, stating his plans to repair the wall that was left exposed from the demolition of the old opera house  at Forest and Williams.

In the letter, Mingenback said he owned the property just west of the now vacant lot and wanted to inform Baker of his plans for it. He said he intends to build a structural steel wall inside of the existing wall then raze the old exterior stone wall. The new structure would become the basis for a new exterior for the building.

He is now getting proposals from three engineering firms. He said he hopes to have the project completed by the early fall, but will have a better time frame after he hears back from the engineers.

Mingenback’s letter was part of City Administrator Howard Partington’s departmental update. Other items included:


• The Police Department continues to review and update our policy manual. 

• Department is implementing a new, more modern ID card system using equipment we recently purchased.


• Code Enforcement Officer Stuart Baker met with Councilman Matt Hiss to review information that was covered at the Team Building session.

• Started review of EMS protocols with Dr. Dennis Kepka, the city’s new medical director.

Public Works

• Replaced storm drain box and repaired sunken utility cut in alley between Main and Williams on Broadway. 

• Set new cable fence on South Washington at the levee to Keep ATV’s on the road going over the levee. 

• Started mowing season 

• Painted southwest runway at airport 

• Repaired 580 feet of street in the 3500 block of Broadway. Street crew excavated and prepared the street and Venture Corporation of Great Bend came in and did the asphalt paving. 

• Participated in community service day with the school.

• Assisted contractors on the 10th Street water main replacement project 

• Finished cleaning all sewer lines at the airport 

• Washington Roofing finished the roof at the Wastewater Treatment Plant.

• Sanitarian: 335 year to date complaints, 36 new complaints (12 by citizens and 24 by staff), 20 complaints completed by citizens, two abatement notices sent, and seven vehicles into compliance.

• Coordinated with two groups for the Community Service Day with USD 428 and removed 500 pounds of trash from a storm water drainage ditch and a private residence. City officials said they got a lot of work done and even had some students working   in council chambers, 

• One Municipal Court notice to appear was signed in regards to a rental property that was approved for abatement at the last council meeting.


• During the Community Night for the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference baseball and softball tournaments last week, the city gave away 100 T-shirts and had 93 tickets returned to the gate for that evening. “Teams and visitors were very impressed with our Sports Complex,” Partington said. One even said to administrative assistant Larami Parsons that he travels all over to different states and the Great Bend facility is the best and caters to the visitor. It also has beautiful fields. 

• “The Downtown Great Bend Art & Wine Walk was a huge huge success,” Hayes said. “The weather was beautiful, the stores were happy, the artists were happy, the people were happy. What a great event.”

They were able to raise $1,090.03 on the silent auction and that money will go to the Tot Spot Playground at Brit Spaugh Park. • The BBQ, Bears, Wine & Wild Beasts Events coordinated by Dr. Roger Marshall and the Rotary Club, had a great turnout, Partington said. He thanked Rosewood Services and Tammy Hammond for “making the atmosphere and decorations made the event extremely pleasant.”

They fed 123 people and the daughter of the Rotary International representative from India said her most memorable event was the evening at the zoo.