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Lyons Council Opposed to Additional Payment for New Basketball Court in Tobias Park


By Lucky Kidd


LYONS, Kan. — The Lyons City Council turned a resounding thumbs down on payment of an additional charge from Briseno Construction for the new basketball court in Tobias Park at Monday’s meeting.

The original bid on the project was $25,550, however the bill submitted to the city was for over $32,000, which it was indicated was for what was said to be additional dirt work needed on the project. Park Superintendent Matt Detmer said this was never discussed with owner Junior Briseno but had been mentioned by a worker on the project.

Council members feel that dirt work should have been included. This project was initially to have been built by volunteers, but it was instead put out for bid. The city had earlier paid most of the cost, but the Council balked at paying the remaining $850,000 owed.

The Council set a hearing for Nov. 6 on a Community Development Block Grant application on behalf of Seth Cordell, who is seeking funds for rehabilitation of his building on the south side of the Square. This will also involve a grant administration agreement with South Central Kansas Economic Development District, which will also be considered at that meeting.

The Council approved the zoning change from two-family residential to light industrial for a property at 132 North Virginia. At their meeting on Oct. 2, the Council approved a like change for the property to the north at 140 North Virginia. Action on the other property was deferred at that time as a transfer deed for that property had not yet been filed with the Rice County Register of Deeds.

A report was presented on a mural project for the cities of Rice County that’s being largely funded through a grant from the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Council. Alicia Hommon, who is helping coordinate the project, told the Council the murals, one in each city in the county, will be designed as pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. The one for Lyons will be placed on the west side of the MTC building on the northwest corner of the square. Hommon said private fundraising will be done to raise the $15,000 local match for the project.

The Council heard two requests at Monday’s meeting that the city launch a “catch and release” spay and neuter program for feral cats in the city. A representative of Lyons Veterinary Clinic gave the council a presentation on the program, and Phyllis Hoag asked the council to consider adoption of it during the public comment portion of the meeting.

Under this program, feral cats are brought in, and once spayed and neutered are released back into the colony from where they were found. Under this concept, the expectation is the number of litters of new feral cats will be significantly reduced if not eliminated. Hoag told the Council she has spent some $3,000 of her own money on feral cats including having them fixed.