The days are getting longer.
Trees are greening up and flowers blooming.
The “Broadway buzzards” have returned to Great Bend, along with many song birds.
Signs of spring are all around the community, and outdoor recreation projects are moving ahead in Great Bend, but not without some continued challenges, the Great Bend City Council was told Monday night.
City Administrator Howard Partington said there has been progress at the Sports Complex, located west of south McKinley, but a great deal still has to be done to be ready for tournament play this ball season.
Partington noted that recent accomplishments have included work on bleacher areas and the picnic porticos.
Work also began on the bleacher canopies, but the weather hasn’t been cooperating on that. “They really have been hampered by the wind here lately,” the city administrator commented.
Still, he added, it’s obvious that there has been progress. “Framing of the bleacher canopy is nearing completion in preparation for the placement of the metal roof.”
While there’s more to be done, Partington said it’s hoped the city will be able to keep its plans for use of the facility for at least part of this year’s ball season. “Hopefully we can get it finished and get some June and July tournaments here.”
Sadly, there has already been bad news from another outdoor facility that has been stressed in recent years.
Partington also reported to the council about work at Veterans Memorial Lake, and there are already signs of algae problems there again this year — rather early, too.
Partington reported that the diffusers that the city had purchased were installed March 17 and 18, and when it’s calm they can be seen working, as small amounts of bubbles can be seen. The diffusers are intended to help add oxygen to the water to keep the fish healthy.
However, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment tested the lake on March 14 — before the diffusers were installed — and found that there was already algae blooming in the lake. “On March 30, we were notified that KDHE has issued a public health warning for the lake due to the algae bloom,” Partington reported. “New warning signs have been posted. They will sample on a monthly basis.”