Waste not want not
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.
The first installment of this came this past Monday night and the topic was pets – more specifically, their waste.
“One thing everybody likes is dogs,” Partington said. “But, there are some responsibilities.”
He showcased municipal code 6.08.190 - Animal owner responsibility for removal of animal excrement.
A. It shall be unlawful for any person to appear with an animal upon the public right-of-way within public places or upon the property of another, absent that person’s consent, without some means for removal of excrement that may be deposited by the animal.
B. It shall be unlawful for any person who is an owner or possessor of an animal in their care to fail to remove any excrement deposited by the animal upon any public or private property, other than the property of the owner of the animal.
C. The provisions of this section shall not apply to persons who have a physical disability or physical impairment, who are using service dogs and can provide adequate documentation, upon demand of an animal control officer or law enforcement officer, that the service dog is an animal trained by an accredited institution which trains dogs for service work for the physically disabled or visually impaired.
The maximum penalty for an offense is 30 days in jail and/or a $500 fine.
The new Pride in Great Bend feature came as a suggestion from Council Member Matt Hiss.
The search for a replacement for retiring Police Chief Dean Akings is in the beginning stages, City Administrator Howard Partiangton told the City Council Monday night. Partington will be gathering input from employees and governing body members into the development of an updated job description.
Akings has served in the post since 1983. He and Partington have discussed his leaving in December, but that is not set in stone.
“I will be talking to some members of the police department and also governing body members,” Partington said. “That will help guide the search.”
At this time, there is no target date to have the position filled.
Akings city experience includes serving the Great Bend Police Department as a patrol officer, investigator and 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.
The search for a police chief came up during Partington’s departmental update. Other highlights included:
• Pulled the water well at 24th & Adams (well not pumping going to take a new pump and pipe) still waiting on bids to repair it.
• Sanitarian: 922 year to date complaints, 17 new complaints (six by citizens and 11 by staff), 22 complaints corrected by citizens, three abatements notices sent and five vehicles brought into compliance.
• Fire Prevention school visits should be completed this week; there are a few kindergarten classes that had to be rescheduled due to weather.
• City Inspector Lee Schneider is reviewing plans for the Library’s heat and air system and he is reviewing plans for a building at the airport.
• Detectives’ Heather Smith and Scott Bieberle attended a four-day crime investigation class instructed by Kansas Bureau of Investigation in Great Bend.
• Lt. Bill Browne attended Ebola Awareness at the Health Department.
• Friday, Oct. 10, the Great Bend Middle School requested the K-9 for narcotics sniff of lockers.
• Chief Dean Akings attended the Kansas Association of Chief’s of Police (KACP) fall training conference in Wichita.
• Lt. Scott Harper picked up the guns from the 1033 surplus program that were transferred from McPherson Police Department to Great Bend Police Department.
• The Great Bend Renaissance Faire went over well again in the Zoo. Lots of visitors and lots new acts that people found entertaining. David LeRoy appreciated the help provided by the city and thinks the zoo is the perfect locations for the festival.
• Holiday season is coming up which means we are looking for Trail of Lights greeters again for our Brit Spaugh Park entrance. Community Coordinator Christina Hayes and her staff are gathering goodie bag items to giveaway to those that drive through. Anyone interested in being a greeter for some evening in December can contact Hayes at the City office, 620-793-4111. She is “gathering volunteers to be the cheerful faces that spread holiday joy.”