Great Bend City Council Quick Reads
New officer completes GBPD staff
Great Bend Police Chief Steve Haulmark introduced his department’s newest member to the city council on Monday night. Officer Jonathan Parsons is the new recruit.
He just retired after 20 years in the US military and his wife is from Great Bend, Haulmark said. This is where his wife wanted to settle after his retirement.
“We are happy to have him here and he brings a lot of experience to this job,” the chef said. Parsons has spent most of his career as an engineer, but in that role he was also a dog handler and kennel handler, “so he’s going to bring some of that expertise here and help us with our canine program” .
With Parsons, “we’re currently at full strength for the first time since 2018,” Haulmark said. It has 33 officers and four civilian staff.
Bids for the police station have been launched
Tenders for the new Great Bend Police Station and City Court Building went out late Monday afternoon, City Administrator Kendal Francis told City Council Monday evening. He intends to have a guaranteed maximum price for approval at the August 15 meeting.
Final plans for the building were completed in December, but officials are still waiting for Wichita-based project manager McCown-Gordon Construction to develop the guaranteed maximum price. Once the city has obtained this award and the final adjustments have been made, the drawings will be made public.
The approximately $7 million, 20,000 square foot facility will be located at 12th and Baker on what is now a city parking lot. A 0.10% municipal sales tax to help pay off project bonds was approved in the November 2, 2021 general election.
The estimated construction cost is approximately $6.3 million, with the city having approximately $1.5 million set aside for the project. The bonds will fund approximately $5.4 million.
The council asked questions on Monday about the building plans and whether there had been any changes since they were last presented.
Francis and Mayor Cody Schmidt, who attended the meetings with the architects, assured council that no changes had been made since members saw them earlier.
No construction schedule has been set, but officials are aiming for spring next year with a 12-month construction window.
Sidewalk buckling is a problem
Fourth Ward Great Bend Councilman Alan Moeder expressed concern at council meeting Monday evening about the buckling of sidewalks he saw along the south side of 10th Street on the west side of the town.
“Is this the landowners’ problem or the city’s problem?” He asked.
Most likely, City Administrator Kendal Francis said, the onus is on the owners to make the repairs. “I will say, and it’s at a very early stage, that we’re trying to develop a sidewalk replacement program aimed primarily at residential property owners, but I think we might be looking at commercial assistance as well.”
Moeder also worried about the city’s liability. City Attorney Allen Glendenning said he would look into the matter.
As the heat continues, Francis expects to see more buckling happening.
Council gives daycare a nod
Great Bend City Council on Monday night approved a conditional use permit to operate a licensed group daycare, The Learning Ladder, for Jessica Roan at 2206 McKinley.
Roan has applied for a Conditional Use Permit to operate the facility Monday through Friday from 7:15 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. by a non-resident, non-family member in an R-2 (two-family) area of the City of Great Bend . The property is owned by Hammond Investments and Tammy Hammond has signed the application authorizing the applicant to use the property for this proposed use.
Two parties were present at the June 27 public hearing — Rita Pivonka and Diane Olsen, building official Logan Burns said. They were concerned about picking up and dropping off children on busy McKinley Street.
The Planning Commission recommended that Roan have a plan to present to council regarding parking and child pick-up and drop-off.
Roan was at Monday’s meeting and said she had a plan prepared. She also urged parents and passers-by to obey traffic laws as they pass.
“I think if we all work together we can make this work,” she said.
It accepts children from infants aged at least 6 weeks to 11 years.
And, she says, there is a real need for childcare in the community.
The stipulations attached to the approval include:
1. Installation must comply with all local, state, and federal regulations.
2. Applicant must maintain Kansas State license and pass all required inspections.
3. If the conditional use is terminated for any reason, the conditional use license will be null and void.
4. She must come up with a plan for parking, pick-up and return.
The Humane Society’s new contract approved by the board
A new municipal agreement for animal control services through the Golden Belt Humane Society was approved by Great Bend City Council on Monday night, with one contingency.
The city’s contract had expired, city administrator Kendal Francis said. The city has negotiated a new agreement that includes two important changes.
First, it removes the automatic 5% annual price increase. Second, it provides a mechanism to issue notices to appear for violations of the City’s Ordinances Code Section 6, which covers items such as: animal care; registration, license and labels; vaccines; and penalties for violations.
This is an initial five-year agreement that automatically transitions to an annual agreement at the end of that period.
The Humane Society funds are $105,000 in the 2023 budget.
However, additional language was added to the agreement after the company’s board approved it. It just clarified the funding issues.
Still, the company’s board must review it before final approval. Company board member Ken Roberts was at the meeting and said there should be no problem with the change.
City Meeting/Event Facility Guide available
The City of Great Bend’s new meeting and event facilities guide is ready and has already gone live, said Christina Hayes, community coordinator and director of the Convention and Visitors Bureau.
“It’s important because the CVB distributes about 20 a week,” she said, reporting to the city council on Monday evening. This gives local residents an idea of the various meeting and gathering spaces in Great Bend, but it also helps attract visitors.
“It’s something that we provide to people on a regular basis,” she said. They are part of the package that the CVB provides to those who inquire about the use of urban spaces.
The guide includes sizes and details of city facilities. But, it also contains a list and contact information for other facility opportunities, from businesses to organizations to churches.
Also, it includes an overview of accommodation guide with hotels and other options.
They are available at the CVB office, 3111 10th Street, City Hall, 1209 Williams St., or online at explorergreatbend.com and the city’s website, greatbendks.net.