City Administrator Howard Partington told the Great Bend City Council Monday night that he testified at the House Taxation Committee hearing in Topeka on March 15 to urge the committee to fund Kansas Department of Transportation projects and operations.
“They are essential in not only this community, but the entire state,” he said. The city currently has five KDOT projects in the works and he fears these could be in jeopardy.
At issue is the state siphoning money from KDOT to help balance the budget.
Presently, over a million dollars a day is diverted from the transportation budget to fund other state agencies, according to the Kansas Contractors Association.
This information was part of Partington’s departmental update. Other highlights included:
• Preparing to test for reserve firefighters on March 31.
• Code enforcement reports 18 follow ups for the month so far, 30 cases involving structures currently being worked on and there are two open cases involving either building code or ordinance violations. There are also four closed cases in which five structures were demolished by the owners so far this year, and three closed cases involving either building code or ordinance violations.
• Have started the title search on 623 Baker Avenue (old warehouse) this week and will start the first resolution for demolition as soon as it is received back.
• Last week, the Special Services Team attended an Advanced SWAT School at the Crisis City facility near Salina. The tuition, room, and board were all paid for by grant money and did not cost the City.
• Sgt. Gary Davis and officer Jefferson Davis manned a booth at the Spring Expo.
• The Police Department building is currently experiencing age-related plumbing issues, and staff is working toward resolving them.
• Finished repairing concrete on 19th Street between McKinley and Polk.
• Started constructing storm drain boxes to be used at Broadway and Roosevelt.
• Started Spraying all Manholes and Fire Hydrants for weeds.
• Cleaned all storm line on Main Street and cleaned all storm lines leading into Vet’s Lake.
• Sanitarian: 86 year to date complaints, 15 new complaints (four by citizens and 11 by staff), 10 complaints completed by citizens, two abatement notices sent and three vehicles brought into compliance.
• A transload project meeting was held on March 9 here in Great Bend.
• A ribbon cutting for the Amber Meadows RHID Phase I housing area was held on March 8.
• Community Coordinator Christina Hayes and Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Emily Goad attended the Big Rural Brainstorm in Newton as part of the Kansas Sampler Foundation Get Rural initiative. Some good ideas were shared about being inclusive and sharing efforts within and among communities.
• The downtown Art and Wine Walk is set for 4-7 p.m. May 6 in 12 stores downtown. “This event was wildly successful last year, for both the art fundraising and the attendance,” Hayes said. Money will be gathered and used on something to improve Great Bend as part of the Retail Strategic Team Meetings which are held every other month with the community coordinator.
• Continuing to work on planning and advertising for the 2016 Great Bend June Jaunt, Hayes is meeting with all the communities again this week to ensure regional success.
• The CVB Board met last Friday, several goals were listed and are continuing to be addressed and the City is helping ensure that most of the goals will be accomplished.