Monthly Archives: June 2017

Hardtner Plans Another “Bang Up” 4th of July

By REX ZIMMERMAN

The community of Hardtner has planned another spectacular 4th of July Celebration as it celebrates 59 years of honoring America and all the freedoms she stands for.

A day full of activities planned to keep everyone entertained will be held both downtown and at Achenbach Park, highlighted in the evening by the best fireworks display around.

The theme for this year’s celebration is President John Kennedy’s famous quote: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”.

Parade Time Changed

The annual 4th of July Parade has been changed to 1:00 p.m. this year so those attending can move right from the parade to all the activities at the park.

Veteran’s Program at 11 a.m.

The annual Veteran’s Program will kick off activities on Tuesday at 11 a.m. at the Hardtner United Methodist Church, followed at 12 noon by a free lunch at the church.

The Little Firecracker Contest will begin at 12:30 p.m. at the American Legion Building and the contestants and winner will be among the featured attractions at the parade, which will kick off at 1:00 p.m. down Main Street.

There will be a $1,000 grand prize for the best float or entry in the parade. The first clue for the popular Medallion Hunt will be given following the parade.

Activities at the Park

A co-ed sand volleyball tournament will start at 11:00 a.m. at Achenbach Park, and the Hardtner City Pool will be open for a Free Swim from 1:00 to 6:00 p.m.

Bike Races for the youngsters gets rolling at 2:00 p.m. followed by Turtle Races at 3:00 p.m.

Free BBQ Beef Sandwiches will begin serving at 5:00 p.m., and the White Elephant Auction will also get underway at 5:00 p.m. The auction is the primary funding event for the July 4th celebration, and all donations are welcome. To donate, call Syd Sterling at 296-4477.

All vendors are also welcome at the park during the afternoon and evening hours. The annual “4th of July” T-shirts can be purchased at Small Town Tees & Gifts in Kiowa.

At dark, a large crowd will fill the park and surround areas for the best fireworks show in Southern Kansas. It will be a great celebration and lots of fun for everyone, so we’ll see you Tuesday in Hardtner!

Connie (Mrs. Butch) Rooks shows a hail stone measuring over five inches in diameter that fell Thursday evening at their home in Kiowa.

City Hires New Clerk, Discusses What ATV’s are Allowed on Streets

By REX ZIMMERMAN

The Kiowa City Council hired a new City Clerk at last Monday night’s meeting, June 5. Following an executive session to review the final candidates for the position, council gave City Administrator Lou Leone authorization to offer the job to Patricia Brewer, and she accepted. Her first day at work will be on Monday, June 26.

Mrs. Brewer is the wife of Barber County Undersheriff Dusty Brewer. They moved to Kiowa earlier this year after he accepted Sheriff Lonnie Small’s offer to serve as second in command in the Sheriff’s Office.

All councilmen were at Monday night’s meeting – Bill Watson, R.L. Simpson, Brian Hill, Russ Molz and Tom Wells – along with Mayor Brandon Farney.

Status of Second Generator

After approval of previous minutes, with corrections, and bills for payment, council heard a short report from the city administrator on the status of the city’s second generator. The concrete pad is set to be poured this week and the entire project should be completed by the middle to end of July, Mr. Leone said.

He also reported on two electric outages the previous week. One was caused by a lightning strike during thunderstorms, and was restored after Western Farmers fixed the problem on their end. The other outage was caused by a bird strike causing a fuse to blow on the substation.

Mr. Leone also reported that with 44% of the budget year completed, the city has used just 37% of the budget funds so far. He also said that a shipment of 13 transformers and more LED street lights have been ordered to continue converting the city to a single voltage system and switching out the street lights to the brighter, much more energy efficient LED bulbs.

Bike Path in the Future?

The city administrator briefly discussed the possibilities of receiving funds from the Kansas Dept. of Transportation (KDOT) to help fund a bicycle past along the old railroad tracks along the south and east edge of town out to the river. The route, which had the tracks removed a few years ago, could be cleaned up and made accessible for bikes, hiking, etc. using matching funds from KDOT, if available. The project could also help with drainage problems along 12th Street, Mr. Leone said.

Council gave approval to allow the city administrator to get more facts and figures on what a bike path might cost and report back at a later meeting.

Insurance Approved

Council next voted 4-0 to approve the city’s insurance policy for 11 months at a cost of $52,489, which represents a six percent increase over the previous year. The one month shorter period is to get the city into a program that would increase the amount of dividends the city would receive.

Councilman Watson, who is also the city’s insurance agent, also noted the city has had several claims over the past year, and said that their would be a few reimbursements received due to city vehicles that are no longer on the policy. Mr. Watson abstained from the voting process due to his position as the city’s agent.

Police Have Been Busy

Police Chief Steven Johnson reported that there’s “been quite a bit going on” during the past month, with drug arrests and other activities. He said the department assisted with a very successful EMS Safety Week held the last day of school. He also reported that he has received final certification to instruct a “hostage” class, which also covers how to deal with persons with mental illness.

He was also asked how his department is working with the Sheriff’s Office, and he said relations are very good with each department helping out the other on several occasions.

What ATV’s are Legal on Streets?

Council next held a discussion as to what ATV’s (all terrain vehicle) are allowed on city streets under the “golf cart” ordinance. Councilman Watson noted that the ordinance was originally designed to allow elderly residents to purchase golf carts to drive around city streets (with the exception of streets that are also state highways – Main St. and North 7th). The ordinance was expanded to include utility ATV’s, but not “sport” ATV’s.

What defines a sport ATV was the primary question, and city attorney Laurel McClellan suggested the police dept. check with the Kansas Highway Patrol or Division of Motor Vehicles for a chart they have with pictures and descriptions of the various types of ATV’s.

Council also reminded the public that with either golf carts or ATV’s on streets, a city permit must be purchased and the driver must have a license and the vehicle must be insured.

Administrator’s Report

Lou Leone told council that the Kansas Dept. of Health and Environment has submitted a list of improvements and has given the city a passing grade, acknowledging how fast the city staff has worked to be in compliance.

Changes have been made in how employees report mileage when the fuel up city vehicles to improve accountability and help with budgeting.

Work on the 2018 budget is awaiting valuation figures and other information, and he hopes to present a draft budget at the July meeting. The city staff is also working on the Water Conservation Plan, which is required to be updated every year.

The new water department truck should arrived by the late June, and Mr. Leone said that five houses have been identified around town as potentially dangerous or hazardous and the legal process will begin to have those structures torn down.

The city administrator also reported on a recent economic development seminar he attended in Glenpool, OK, finalizing the city water rights, city website improvements, and other continuing projects.

Filings Complete for City, School Elections in Nov.

By REX ZIMMERMAN

The June 1st deadline has come and gone for candidates running for city and school elections this November, and for many seats throughout Barber County there will be no contests for those seeking seats on city councils and school boards.

In fact, the only contest reported by the County Clerk’s office is for Kiowa City Mayor. Current city councilman Bill Watson and Ronald L. Rohr, Jr. have both filed for the position, which is presently held by Brandon Farney. He has completed his two terms and because of city ordinance can not run for a third consecutive term.

Kiowa also has two council seats up for election this November 7. Both incumbents – R.L. Simpson and Tom Wells – have filed for re-election and will be unopposed unless there are any write-in candidates.

U.S.D. 255 has three board seats up this fall, and only two candidates have filed for re-election. Mark Pollock is seeking to serve another term in his Position #4, District 2 chair, which represents all of Kiowa except for the southwest corner of town. Steve Allen, who presently serves as school board president, is also seeking re-election to one of two boards positions open in District 1, which represents all the school district outiside of Kiowa, except for southwestern corner of the city. The other seat is presently held by Dooli Rugg, and she did not file to serve another term.

In Hardtner, Durwin Wolgamott has filed for Mayor while Barbara Cundiff and David Gorden have filed for their present council seats. And in Hazelton, Kathy Hays, Jose Ruiz and O. Gene Weber have filed for the three council positions.

Lonnie Frederick and Jerry M. Jones have filed for the two city council seats up for election in Isabel, but no candidates have filed for the mayor’s chair. The mayor and two council seats are on the ballot in Sharon, and the mayor and five council seats in Sun City. Medicine Lodge has three council seats up for election. No filings were reported for these open positions.

North Barber County U.S.D. 254 has three positions open this fall. Allen F. Dick has filed for Position #5 and Micha Werner for Position #6.