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Hutchinson City Council Approves Ordinance Annexing Three Tracts that Make up K-96 Industrial Park


By Lucky Kidd


HUTCHINSON, Kan. — The Hutchinson City Council has approved an ordinance annexing three tracts that will make up the K-96 Kimbell Industrial Park near the south junction of K-14 and K-96 south of South Hutchinson. Last week Reno County Commissioners approved a resolution making the required findings to allow annexation of the property as it does not adjoin the existing city limits.

The owners of the three properties had petitioned the city for annexation, with the property to be zoned as heavy industrial. Mayor Jon Richardson said the annexation will allow the city to extend water service to the area as the city has water rights available whereas South Hutchinson does not.

Three people who live near the site voiced concerns about the annexation, their concerns focusing on a lack of notification or input up to now on the process, and impacts on taxes, traffic, their water quality and other things. One of the speakers, Karen Drake, asked if land near Siemens would be more suited to development, but Richardson noted there isn’t enough available land there to accommodate what could be accommodated at the new site.

The Council named what’s been known as the GVI trail in memory of long time local cycling enthusiast Bob “Bad Bobby” Helfrich. The trail extends along the GVI Drain from Plum Street east and south to 24th and Halstead. It also includes one spur to Dillons Marketplace and another near 23rd and Lorraine.

Bob Helfrich, who passed away from Leukemia January 19th, was a fixture in cycling in Hutchinson and across Kansas for 40 years, and in 2022 was inducted into the Kansas Cycling hall of Fame. The request to name the trail in Bad Bobby’s honor was supported by Bike Walk Hutch, State Representative Jason Probst, and retired bike shop owner Bob Updegraff, with several others speaking in support.

A just under $961,000 bid from Klaver Construction of Kingman was accepted for replacement of the 16th and Baker bridge over the East Side Drain. Klaver’s bid was the low of five received, and the only one below the $1.368 million engineer’s estimate.

This project will replace a two metal pipe culvert structure under the intersection built in 1974, that a 2022 inspection rated functionally obsolete, with a single multi-cell reinforced concrete box bridge. The existing structure has a four ton weight limit, which means it can’t be used by fire equipment, trash trucks, or other loaded vehicles.

The Council accepted a bid to replace the north and south telescoping bleachers at the Sports Arena. Two bids were received, with the low bid from SOPA Inc. of $992,000, just below what is budgeted. Half of that cost will be paid by Hutchinson Community College.

Bidders were given the option of the project being done in the summer of either 2024 or 2025. SOPA only submitted a 2025 construction proposal, and it was noted by a number of prospective bidders it would be very difficult to have materials or installation crews available for a 2024 construction timeline

The Council approved a Planning Commission recommendation to vacate 20 feet of a 50 foot platted building set-back line for a property in the 4600 block of Winesap Drive which abuts K-61 on the rear to accommodate construction of a new accessory structure.

Following a public hearing, the Council approved amendments for two line items in the city’s 2023 budget. For the Golf Fund, revenues were higher than expected as were related expenses the revenue will offset, and Finance Director Angela Richard said this will also reduce the subsidy needed for the Carey Park Golf Course.

Adjustments to the Refuse Fund were based on costs being higher than expected due to implementation of an adjustment provided for in Stutzman Refuse Disposal’s contract if diesel prices average more than four dollars a gallon, which was not anticipated when the 2023 budget was prepared. This expense is offset by add-on to refuse charges.

A pair of year-end financial matters were approved. One of those is an annual resolution that allows the city’s financial statements to be prepared based on the Kansas Municipal Audit and Accounting Guide rather than generally accepted accounting principles. This is done by nearly every local government in Kansas, which also provides a cost savings for the annual audit.

The differences between the two are capital assets, liabilities and accounts receivables would be on a GAAP audit but not a KMAAG audit, and revenue is recognized when cash is received instead of being accrued when earned or able to bill as called for under GAAP.

The other action was to approve the formal appropriation of the 2024 budget, which allows payrolls to be made on a bi-weekly basis and authorizes payment of other claims, which the City Council approves at their twice monthly meetings.

The Council approved renewals of lease agreements with Salthawk Archery Association and Extreme Crossfire Paintball LLC for use of city-owned land west of the city. The Council also set the water tap charges for 2024, which are based on half of the total cost to the Water Maintenance Division for the main tap, meter and meter pits in some cases. These rates are adjusted annually based on current material, equipment and labor costs.

Multiple advisory board appointments were made during the meeting.

-Damarcus Myer was appointed to his first term on the Hutchinson Human Relations Commission.

-Craig Parker and Nikki Hutton were appointed to their initial terms on the Hutchinson Land Bank Board of Trustees, to which Oscar Garcia and Adam Stewart were reappointed to their second full three year terms.

-Rod Calhoun and David Inskeep were reappointed to their second full terms on the Planning Commission with Linda Kelly appointed to her first full term.

-Christopher Wietrick and Frank Price were reappointed to second terms on the Tree Board.