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McPherson City Commissioners Hear BPU Update on Sunday Night’s Severe Storms | May 21 Meeting Highlights

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By Lucky Kidd 

 

McPHERSON, Kan. — McPherson Board of Public Utilities General Manager Josh Bedel told City Commissioners Tuesday about 80 customers lost power during Sunday night’s severe storms, all of whom had power restored that night, save some oil wells that had power restored Monday.

Two crews from BPU have been sent on mutual aid to Kansas City, Kansas’s Board of Public Utilities to assist with power restoration efforts from the same series of storms that caused considerably more damage there than was seen in McPherson. Those crews left Monday evening and will be there for a couple of days.

Among zoning matters, a conditional use permit to allow installation of a new sound system at McPherson High School’s athletic field was approved as recommended by the Planning Commission. Among conditions of the permit is a sound limit for the system based on levels at any adjacent property line.

Commissioners approved a zoning change for the U Store It complex at Avenue A and Oak, which brings the three different properties on either side of Avenue A under a single zoning district. The change also has a restriction limiting use to mini storage. A special use permit to allow establishment of a worm farm in the one time Swick-Guth building at Walnut and Woodside was also approved.

Commissioners approved a quote from Kansas Building Products of Wichita for materials to construct a 150 linear feet retaining wall along the south side of the new pickleball complex in Challenger Park. This will address differences between court and street grades, ensuring a level playing surface for participants. A quote was also approved from Ashton Kate Pool Restoration of Wamego for surface repair, prep and painting of the splash pad and lazy river at the Water Park.

A contract with Conco Construction for the 4th phase of the Lakeside Park Bank restoration project was approved for a cost not to exceed $389,555.73. This is a separate contract from earlier parts of the project at the request of the city’s finance director due to complications of tracking of expenses. Plans are to start this phase in early July. The cost was more than $130,000 less than the engineer’s estimate.

Commissioners also approved a payment to Reece Construction of Salina to repair a box culvert at the west entrance to McPherson High School. The just over $36,000 project involved repairs after it was struck by a vehicle. Insurance has already paid for the repairs but hasn’t paid for design yet.

Mobile radios for two Fire Department vehicles were approved. One of the radios is for the new rescue truck and the second is for the Division Chief of Operations and Training, the latter to give that truck a second radio due to the need to monitor multiple frequencies on an incident scene when in a command role. Also approved was replacement of an ice machine at the fire station and replacement of tires on another command vehicle through Midway Motors.

The Commission approved the April reimbursement to the McPherson Housing Coalition from the Emerging Solutions Grant through the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation along with requests related to the Mac Pride Festival June 8th at the Community Building. This includes a police escort for a parade at 11 AM, and closure of Marlin from Ash to the mid-block alley to accommodate outside activities and food trucks.

Hiring of two new police officers was approved. Pending completion of pre-employment requirements Peyton Young and Bret Anderson will join the force June 10th. Chief Mikel Golden said he has two vacancies in the department and three officers deployed and one in the academy at this time, Commissioners also approved a large number of seasonal hirings, most of whom are for the water park with other hirings for the Park Department and Turkey Creek Golf Course. One other personnel item approved was a revision of the existing human resources director to add duties as assistant city administrator, which will be filled by current HR director Britta Erkelenz.