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Street improvements taking shape
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Two key street improvement projects are moving forward, the Great Bend City Council learned Monday night.
The Kansas Department of Transportation received bids for the intersection improvements at 24th and Main Street on Jan. 15. The low bid was submitted by Bryant & Bryant Construction out of Halstead in the amount of $466,697.60. The low bid was accepted and KDOT is working on Contracts.
Work will begin March 1 and could take four months.
On a related note, the Council authorized Mayor Mike Allison to sign the KDOT agreement that authorizes the use of City of Great Bend inspectors to inspect the intersection improvements.
The other project was the realignment of the Railroad Avenue and U.S. 281 intersection. The OK was given for Allison to sign the KDOT agreement for this effort.
This work will include squaring up the intersection, improving the road surfaces and adding new lighting.
The realignment could be a tricky redesign, said City Engineer Robert Winiecke. The total cost of the project is estimated to be $648,000, of which the Kansas Department of Transportation will pay for 90 percent.
The city’s 10 percent match is in addition to the $41,200 cost of the engineering services, which KDOT will not cover.
This is still under design. And work won’t begin until after the first of next year. 
This update was part of a departmental report offered by City Administrator Howard Partington during the Monday night City Council meeting. Other highlights included:
Public Works
• Installed handicap parking stall at 12th and Williams.
• Stock piled dirt and sand at the compost site from the Airport Project.
• Hauled dirt to Brit Spaugh Zoo.
• Salted and sanded Saturday due to the snow.
• Sanitarian: 121 year to date complaints 61 new complaints (three per citizens and 58 by staff), 17 complaints completed by citizens, three abatement notices sent and seven cars into compliance.
Fire/EMS /Inspection
• Met with the four Township Board members to review contracts and report
• Lee is reviewing plans for Farm Credit Building and USD 428 Riley School HVAC improvements
• 1/29/14 – Officer Jefferson Davis presented a program on “Drugs & Prevention” to the IMPACT group at the P.T.R.C. at Washington School. “I Make A Difference” winner party was from Jefferson School.
• Community Coordinator Christina Hayes did a January promotion on social media under our Explore Great Bend page and had over 7,000 views of the Coupon Calendar page. Great success for our page and for advertising.
• Hayes also worked with the Fire Department to launch its Facebook page, received over 400 likes in the first four days. Will continue to collaborate and grow that page and possibly work towards merging all city department pages so everyone can stay in sync.
• First Personal Money Management pilot program class will take place tomorrow morning. These classes are to teach individuals about various financial topics and the City of Great Bend is testing it on willing employees to possibly implement to the public.
• Continuing to work on the KCAC baseball and Softball tournament coming in April/May. KCAC named Great Bend High School the High School of the week and are highlighting all GBHS alumni that go to any of the conference schools and participate in athletics this entire week.
• City Administrator Howard Partington is working with attorneys from Gilmore & Bell and with developer Ross Vogel on the development agreement for the Rural Housing Incentive District for the 28 Washington Street apartment and Amber Meadows projects.