Snow removal could be a matter of pride
BY DALE HOGG
Great Bend City Administrator Howard Partington added a item to the departmental updates he gives at each City Council meeting. The occasional feature is called “Pride in Great Bend” and the purpose is to present information for the public regarding ordinances, rules, practices and the like so the public would be informed on these matters.
With the weather turning cold, Partington took the opportunity Monday night to discuss snow removal from sidewalks.
The city ordinance Section 121.12.020 states: “It shall be the duty of the owner or occupant of any lot or piece of ground adjoining or abutting upon any street, avenue or public way within the city wherein a sidewalk shall be located, either in front or at the side, or both, of such lot or adjoining ground, to cause to be removed from such sidewalk all snow and ice and to keep such sidewalks at all times free from accumulations of snow and ice. Where there is ice or compacted snow on any such sidewalk of such a character as to make it particularly impossible to remove the same, the sprinkling of ashes, sand or other noncorrosive chemicals on the accumulation of ice or snow in such a manner as to make such sidewalk reasonably safe for pedestrian travel shall be deemed a sufficient compliance with the provisions of this section until the ice or snow can be removed.”
The following Section 12-12-030 goes on to say: “Whenever snow and ice is not removed or treated as required by section 12.12.020, the city may remove the same and the cost thereof shall be assessed against the abutting lot and be collected in the same manner as is required for the building of sidewalks.”
“I suggest that in the spirit of the season that young people help their neighbors,” Partington said. Also, those with snow blowers are encouraged to help out as well.
This, he said, would be a good way to “show pride in Great Bend.”
The search is on for a new police chief as Great Bend Mayor Mike Allison named Monday night the members of the search committee to help find a replacement for Dean Akings who is retiring after more than 30 years. The announcement came during the City Council meeting.
The committee includes Allison, City Administrator Howard Partington, City Attorney Bob Suelter and city Human Resources Director Terry Hoff. It will also include a police chief from a similarly sized community and a police chief or sheriff who has experience with such a search.
However, the latter two have not been named. The city will begin advertising for the two remaining openings yet this month.
“I don’t have a good time line” as far as naming Akings’ successor, Allison said. The committee won’t start meeting until after the first of the year.
“We want to cast a wide net,” Partington said, adding they want to find the ideal candidates to help with the selection process and to fill the post. “This isn’t something we do very often.”
The police chief finalists will be asked to meet with the council during a public meeting when the time comes.
Akings has discussed leaving the post he has held since 1983 this month, but that is not certain. His city experience includes serving the Great Bend Police Department as a patrol officer, investigator as well as chief.
He was raised in Galatia and Hoisington, and has been in Great Bend for 38 years. Akings is a Hoisington High School graduate and has an associate’s degree in criminal justice from Barton Community College; he earned a bachelor’s in sociology at Fort Hays State University.
In addition, he graduated from the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center at Hutchinson and FBI Academy at Quantico, Va.
In other business Monday night, the City Council:
• Heard a report from Great Bend Community Coordinator Christina Hayes. She said the Explore Great Bend Month in November and the Christmas kickoff events this past weekend were very successful.
• Approved abatements at: 803 Odell, owned by the Anthony and Florence Malsom Trust, 1418 11th St., owned by ATB Enterprises LLC., 224 Heizer St., owned by Manuel Tavarez, all for accumulation of refuse; 505 Morphy St., owned by Erika Elliott, for accumulation of refuse and a motor vehicle nuisance; and 523 Morphy St., owned by Joan Gonzalez, for a motor vehicle nuisance
• Approved revisions to the Standard Traffic Ordinance. The League of Kansas Municipalities recently notified cities that there are some revisions to the recently adopted ordinance.
• Authorized Mayor Mike Allison to sign a lease agreement with Nelson Family Enterprise LLC for land at the Great Bend Municipal Airport industrial area. The city leased real estate to Wichita Southeast Kansas Trucking in 1993. That lease was for 25 years.
WSKT constructed a building on the site and operated a truck terminal for its trucking company until the company sold out to Old Dominion. Recently, Old Dominion moved to the former Yellow Freight terminal to the north, vacating the structure.
WSKT wishes to sell the building and extend the lease that expires in 2018. Attached is a 25-year extension of the lease with payments being raised on the real estate from $460 per year to $3,600 per year beginning in 2018.
The real estate to be leased will also be modified to return approximately 100 to 150 feet of Airport Road frontage to the city and eliminate that from the lease. The rental payment of $3,600 per year is adjustable every five years in the amount not to exceed the Cost of Living increase. The company assuming the lease is Nelson Family Enterprise, City Attorney Bob Suelter said.
The city had the property appraised and it is worth $180,000. The lease makes for a good return on the site, he said.
• Heard a departmental report from City Administrator Howard Partington.