Council OKs ‘favorable’ audit report
BY DALE HOGG
It was a night for good news as the Great Bend City Council heard the city’s 2015 annual audit report.
The Administration Committee met last Monday to hear Vickie Dreiling of Adams, Brown, Beran and Ball present the 2015 annual audit report. The committee voted to accept the audit report and recommend acceptance by the City Council, Committee chairman Joel Jackson said.
“We received a very favorable audit report,” Jackson said in seeking approval from the council as a whole Monday night.
Dreiling was also present. She echoed the positive tone.
There was a question about how the city handled the air conditioning and heating in the Great Bend Public Library. The city paid for the new system since the library board was unable to get financing and the city owns the building.
Dreiling said there were problems with this arrangement. There were other options available, but she understood the predicament the city was in at the time.
However, this issue didn’t impact the audit, she said.
There are a lot of activities planned for the annual Party in the Park Saturday, Aug. 13, Great Bend Community Coordinator Christina Hayes told the City Council Monday night.
“Party in the Park is planned and we are almost ready to pack the park,” Hayes said. There will the Tuff Enuff Obstacle Run, Oozefest Mud Volleyball Tournament, an event in the dog park, canoe races, a car show, kids games and activities, Twinkie eating contest, food vendors, a concert featuring Ricky Fugitt and 80s tribute band Paramount, and fireworks.
Fireworks will be launched of the south peninsula of the lake over by the big shelter house and that area will be closed off from 7 p.m. for set up. “This location is perfect for both the people in the concert area and also those that in the park,” she said.
The concert will be over around 11:45 p.m.
“The City of Great Bend staff is looking forward to joining together to help with this event,” Hayes said. “We appreciate council support and willingness to make such a great event happen for our community.”
In regards to the Party in the park, the council approved:
• Closing 17th Street Terrance west of McKinley to White Sands Drive from 7 a.m. to midnight to utilize for extra parking and allow one-way traffic to be directed to the west and have the street completely closed to all traffic except to car show participants from McKinley to low road coming from the park. Traffic will only be allowed to go one way through Vets Park at the North Entrance of the Park and the exit on 17th St. Terrance.
• Allowing the discharge of fireworks in Vets Park on Saturday Aug. 13 by contracted officials only for the firework display starting around 1O p.m.
• Allowing non-street legal cars that are local car club affiliated to be able to preregister and travel no more than 12 blocks to get to the Party in the Park Car Show.
• Allowing people to be in the park past midnight for cleanup of the Party in the Park activities. This is needed since the concert will not be over until around 11:45 p.m.
• Allowing 3.2 cereal malt beverages to be in the park. People will be able to bring in coolers with beer, no bottles or glass. “We will have security with the Great Bend Police Department and hopefully the American Legion Riders and will be checking IDs of those that bring in the coolers,” Hayes said.
In other business Monday night, the Great Bend City Council:
• Approved an update to the city’s Employee Manual regarding the concealed carry of handguns by city employees. City Attorney Bob Suelter said the Kansas Legislature passed a statute that went into effect July 1 that prohibits cities from prohibiting their qualified employees from carrying concealed weapons.
So, to be in compliance, the revised ordinance allows for this, providing the employee doesn’t leave the gun sitting around, and that it is either locked inside a private vehicle on public property or in a locked box if in a city vehicle. Violations can lead to termination of the employee.
• Approved a cereal malt beverage license for Edgar Jacobs of Claflin at the Events Center. Jacobs is the most commonly hired beer vendor hired by those organizing events at the facility.
• Authorized the sale and consumption of alcohol in the Great Bend Brit Spaugh Zoo from 5-8 p.m. Sept. 10 for the 2016 Wine in the Wild. Put on by the Great Bend Zoological Society and Nex-Tech, this is a fundraiser for the society which supports zoo activities.
• Approved abatements at: 821 Morphy St., accumulation of refuse, owned by David G. and Tiffany J. Nily; 401 Plum St., accumulation of refuse, owned by Donald and Deborah Bettes; 425 Buckeye St., accumulation of refuse, owned by Ruth G. Lisenby; and 1114 Holland St., accumulation of refuse, owned by Stanley A. Kreigh and Kandyce L. Miskell.
• Heard an update from Community Coordinator Christina Hayes. She said discussed the new television ads for the city which encourage people to “explore Great Bend.” The idea of utilizing television to promote the city came up as a suggested goal by the City Council.