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Street improvement program approved
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 The Great Bend City Council Tuesday night authorized Mayor Mike Allison to sign a contract with Venture Corporation totalling $1.21 million for residential and arterial street work in 2015.

The project will include 85 to 90 blocks at various levels of deterioration in all for corners of the city. The work should be done by the end of the year.

Partington said the idea was to take available funds and tackle as many projects as possible. That is why some streets in dire need of repair, along with those with more minor issues, are involved.

This also allows for streets like Washington and McKinley to get needed attention, as well as Morton in front of Great Bend High School and others.

Streets are a high priority for the council and maintenance was discussed when it planned the upcoming city budget earlier this year. The lion’s share of the funding for these improvements will come from money set aside from the city’s half- and quarter-cent sales taxes.

Of the half-cent tax, only a portion is earmarked for streets, but the quarter-cent tax was implemented solely for such projects, Partington said. The city also has other reserve accounts that can be used for streets, but the use of sales tax money keeps these from having to be tapped as much.

This is in addition to the $400,000-plus improvements to the 281 bypass. By using a formula of sales tax, city reserves and Kansas Department of Transportation funds, all of the work can be done and leave money left over, Partington said.