Great Bend City Administrator Howard Partington traveled to the Wal-Mart headquarters in Bentonville, Ark., recently to discuss the 10th and Grant geometric improvement project, along with the possible development of Eighth Street from Grant to McKinley streets.
The City Council in May authorized Mayor Mike Allison to sign an agreement with the Kansas Department of Transportation for the improvements to the intersection of 10th Street and Grant Street with city being responsible for 10 percent of the $888,888 project cost. The scope of the project is to increase turning radii to better accommodate large trucks.
This is a 90-10-percent state-city cost share up to a maximum state cost of $800,000. The current cost estimates for the work are within the budgeted amounts, but if the project goes over the maximum, the city would be responsible for those costs.
Two engineers with the city’s on-call engineering firm, Professional Engineering Consultants, accompanied Partington to Arkansas to discuss the improvements with company officials.
This report was part of a departmental update presented by Partington during the City Council meeting Monday night. Also included were:
• Recent interview processes have resulted in one new hire. A new officer will start on June 26.
• The Department is holding another tryout day on June 29.
• Several members of the Fire Department participated in a regional response drill for the Task Force 5 group. Task Force 5 is made up of departments from Arkansas City, Derby, Great Bend, Hutchinson, Newton, Sedgwick County and Winfield. These departments come together with personnel and equipment to form a Type 4 Federal Emergency Management Agency team with emphasis on Structural Collapse and Wide Area Searches.
• Participated in the annual Youth Academy
• City Inspector Lee Schneider is busy with inspections for Phase II at the Reserves at Trail Ridge.
• Schneider is reviewing plans for a remodel of the bakery at Walmart.
• Since the storm on May 16, the Inspections Department has issued 85 roofing permits.
• Started excavation and repair of asphalt at Broadway and McKinley intersection west of McKinley.
• The biennial bridge inventory and appraisal was conducted by the Ellsworth engineering firm Kirkham Michael on the four city bridges. The report is summarized by the engineers as: “All four bridges appear to be free of any significant defects and in relatively good condition. We did not see maintenance required at any of the four locations.”
The city’s four bridges are located at 24th and Frey, 21st and Frey, the U.S. 281 bypass about 800 feet north of 10th Street and on Rock Bridge Road.
• Community Coordinator Christina Hayes said the sixth-annual June Jaunt was “another grand success.”
• The Splash Pad at the Courthouse Square opened during June Jaunt weekend Open hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. To start the water, one must step on the ground-level start pad in the southeast corner of the feature.
• There are two new members of the swan family at Veterans Memorial Park. Park staff took special care of the swan family during the severe weather events.