Council Hears About “Big Kansas Road Trip”, Recognizes Employees at October Meeting

By REX ZIMMERMAN

The Kiowa City Council recognized long time employees and heard a report from the Chamber of Commerce about upcoming events in town at its monthly meeting on October 9. Council members present were Bill Watson, R.L. Simpson, Russ Molz, Brian Hill, Tom Wells and Mayor Brandon Farney.

In opening action, council approved the agenda, previous minutes and bills for payment. Related to bills, City Administrator Lou Leone said that a few of the cities that provided power utility help for Kiowa after the severe windstorms did not charge for labor, just for their expenses, and council thanks them.

Mr. Leone also said that the city budget overall is 4.8% below budget heading into the final months of the year.

Big Kansas Road Trip

Kiowa Chamber of Commerce co-presidents Janet Robison and Cindy Archuleta next visited with council to inform them that Kiowa and Barber County will be featured along with Comanche and Kiowa Counties next spring as part of the first “Big Kansas Road Trip”. The event is replacing the former Kansas Sampler Festival and meetings have been held in Wilmore, KS, which local chamber members have attended.

The idea is to get people “hooked on exploring Kansas” and there is lots to explore in the three counties that will begin the tour. Dates are set for May 3-6, 2018 and the hope is that a large number of folks will come to Barber County, including Kiowa,

“It’s a great way to show our town off,” said Mrs. Robison, and she hoped the whole town would get involved, including Hardtner and Hazelton as well. She said they have been working with Medicine Lodge on a list of events and activities for the event and will keep council informed.

Council was also provided information on the Fall Fest planned for Sunday, October 29, from 2-5 p.m. and the chamber requested that 6th Street just east of the First State Bank be closed so that activities could be held there.

Mrs. Robison also praised the city employees for their efforts in getting the town cleaned up after the storms so that the Labor Day Celebration could be held.

12 Street Boundaries

The city has had problems with drainage in the east part of town ever since the railroad tracks that ran adjacent to 12th Street were abandoned and the tracks pulled. The city has now had 12th Street surveyed to set the exact boundaries of the street so that work can begin to help solve the drainage problem.

The survey also revealed that there is property along the east side of the street that can be claimed by property owners adjacent to it. At present, it is not claimed and is not on the tax rolls.

The city administrator said property owners along the street would be notified of the additional property, but they would have to go through the process of claiming it themselves.

Employees Recognized

Council recognized three employees who have worked the longest for the city in a special ceremony. Shon Webster has worked for the city for 23 years and is presently city mechanic and Refuse Coordinator. Gary Johnson is a 22 year employee and serves as City Superintendent. Ron McKitrick has worked 10 years for the city as general laborer and assistant to Shon in the refuse department.

In other action, council:

  • Heard from Jenny Egging, an engineer with EBH & Associates out of Pratt as she introduced the company and told of the many engineering services her company can provide.
  • Decided not to have a trash pickup day this fall due to the large work load the city crew has already had this year.
  • Discussed the city’s responsibilities on the Recreation Commission with the city administrator to study the issue further and report back next month.
  • Passed Resolution No. 284 to help conclude the USDA Rural Development grant the city has applied for.
  • Gave approval for the city administrator to donate 80 hours of his sick/leave time to another employee who is out on medical leave a little longer than planned.
  • Thanked the Methodist Youth for painting parking lines and curbing on Main Street.

For the Administrator’s Report, see last week’s newspaper.