On Oct. 21, the Great Bend Police Department Building Assessment took place as part of the on-going project to remodel the aging structure, City Administrator Howard Partington told the City Council Monday night.
This was the evaluation by a team of engineers that the Council previously authorized. “We are currently waiting for the results of their assessment to help decide what steps should be taken next in this project,” he said.
The council voted on Sept. 19 to proceed with plans on how to best way to remodel the Great Bend Police Department. The nearly 90-year-old structure needs updating to accommodate current needs.
The council authorized Mayor Mike Allison to sign the engineering services agreement with Professional Engineering Consultants of Wichita for the development of the assessment at a cost of $14,100.
“We need to solve the over-all problem of not enough room,” Police Chief Cliff Couch told the council that night. “This will give us a good game plan.”
This vision will also give a ballpark cost estimate.
It was during the city’s budget-planning time that the need arose for more efficient space for police activities. The assessment will give a better idea of what currently exists with respect to structural, mechanical, plumbing and electrical components.
The study will also examine needed repairs and renovations. It would then begin to assess what would need to be done to make better use of the facility.
Apparently, the edifice was built in 1928 as part of the City Auditorium. At the time, the front portion that houses the Police Department also held the City Office and Fire Department.
There is a reoccurring sewer smell that has baffled plumbers and other plumbing issues, problems with the heating an air conditioning and outdated electrical systems, Couch said earlier. Compounding this is the space itself. Years of remodeling have created a patchwork layout with wasted and unusable spaces.
The police office was included in Partington’s departmental update presented to the council Monday night. Other highlights included:
• Oct. 22 and 23, the city and Brit Spaugh Zoo partnered with Smoky Hill Public Television and brought Family Fun Day with Curious George to the zoo. On an average Saturday the zoo gets about 100 visitors, Saturday the 22nd they had 1,200 visitors and Sunday they had another 600.
• Oct. 29 was the Annual Zoo Boo, There were just under 3,500 people through the gates. It started at 5:30 this year and the earlier time really helped get the little kids through. “Special thanks to all the staff that helped with this event, and big thanks to sponsors and everyone who hosted a booth,” Partington said. “This is a long night for those who work the event, but the community really loves it.”
• Oct. 17-20, Community Coordinator Christina and Hayes and Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Emily Goad attended the Kansas Tourism Conference to network and learn more about Tourism in the state.
• Show Your Panther Pride is continuing longer than expected in the stores because our Panther Football team is still ranked number one. The Great Bend High School Panthers play Valley Center at 7 p.m. Friday in Great Bend at 7p.m.
• Explore Great Bend Month has kicked off each Saturday and black Friday in November participating stores have different themes to unify efforts to get people to explore Great Bend stores and shop locally this holiday season.
• Inspector Mark Orth conducted fire extinguisher demos for Barton Community College staff, Great Bend Municipal Airport personnel and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation staff.
• City Inspector Lee Schneider finished reviewing plans for the partial demo of CUNA Mutual for a planned remodeling.
• Battalion Chief Stettinger attended a class on alternative fuels for vehicles. The class addressed the firefighting hazards for vehicles and alternative fuel filling stations.
• Rebuilt the ultraviolet disinfection unit at the Wastewater Treatment Plant.
• Finished annual fire hydrants flushing inside the City and at the airport areas.
• Installed “NO Jake Brake” signs on North Main for South bound traffic and one on East 10th for West bound traffic.
• Repainted the white markings on the airport runways.
• Assisted with the new Fit Trail at Veterans Memorial Park.
• Chief Cliff Couch met with the Department’s insurance carrier to discuss policies, procedures, and to ensure the Department is working appropriately to minimize liability for the City.
• On Oct. 20, Couch and Lt. Scott Bieberle met with members of Juvenile Corrections to discuss various ways our Departments can work together to help address juvenile crime in Great Bend.