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Support for August San Romani Bandshell in Lakeside Park Voiced During McPherson City Commission Meeting


By Lucky Kidd


McPHERSON, Kan. — Support for restoration of the August San Romani Bandshell in Lakeside Park was voiced during Tuesday’s McPherson City Commission meeting, as Mayor Tom Brown elaborated on the reasons that he doesn’t feel city funds should be used on the project, for which sales tax money is going to be set aside for.

Bandshell 2
Photo credit: City of McPherson Park Department

“I think we have an archaic bandshell. It faces the wrong direction, it’s tough for movies and everything else we’ve done,” Brown said, suggesting the city look at what other cities have done, specifically citing Andover, which has a modern site that has 24/7 video screens, and where people can make good use of the park.

Commissioner Larry Wiens voiced his support for retaining $200,000 set aside for that work, which he says won’t happen overnight. Wiens made very clear his desire to restore the bandshell, saying, “It is something that’s been here for a long time, and I agree, if we want to raise some money to do some of this kind of stuff to the bandshell that’s fine.”

Wiens added he will oppose any move to tear it down, saying, “I will vote no until hell freezes over.” This led to a brief confrontation with Mayor Brown, who said he did not advocate tearing it down though Wiens insisted he did.

This discussion came as Commissioners approved the allocation of just over two million dollars from the first half percent sales tax, much of which is earmarked for the new Fire Station 2 and Northview Road sidewalk projects.

Commissioners approved a resolution that will eliminate in most cases the necessity for Commission approval on regular step increases for all employees except department heads, elected and appointed officials. Under the change, step increases following evaluations will be signed off on by the department head, human resources, and the Commissioner who oversees the department involved.

A contract was approved with Caselle to prepare 2023 W-2 and ACA form 1095-C documents for employees, as has been done for the past several years… the city uses that firm’s payroll software… and a contract with Swindoll Janzen Hawk and Loyd to prepare the various 1099 forms it has to provide to businesses and individuals the city does business with. Outsourcing this work will save a considerable amount of time for what at the moment is a short-handed city staff.

On Tuesday, Commissioners also approved a new five-year lease agreement for space that the Convention and Visitors Bureau uses at the McPherson Museum. Under the agreement, which can be terminated on a 60-day written notice, monthly rent starting Jan.1 will be $1,200 dollars.

Hourly fees for court-appointed attorneys representing indigent defendants in Municipal Court are being increased from $75 to $100. This is due to it becoming increasingly challenging to find attorneys willing to take appointments at the $75 rate.

Other actions:

  • Commissioners also reappointed Dale Sprague to a new three-year term on the Joint City/County Airport Advisory Board.
  • They approved payment of annual dues to the League of Kansas Municipalities.
  • Payment was approved to Iron Insurance Partners for insurance brokerage services.
  • Approval was given to the renewal of Jump Start’s enhanced cereal malt beverage license.