Ad Astra Radio Family Brands

Wall Park Lake Retaining Wall Repair Begins, Sen. Moran Secures McPherson Police Department $275K to Purchase Specialized Video Equipment and Command Trailer


By Lucky Kidd


McPHERSON, Kan. — A crew brought in by the manufacturer of the retaining wall panels along the Wall Park Lake has begun repairs to the wall, nearly half of which has collapsed. Public Works Director Jeff Woodward said the Lock and Load distributor has brought in their preferred contractor to replace the broken panels.

At Tuesday’s McPherson City Commission meeting Woodward said they believe the issue is related to the panels delivered to the city for the project, noting there were some dimensional differences in the new panels from what was used originally, which he said was a concern. Installation of the new panels is expected to take place Wednesday or Thursday.

The Commission adopted an ordinance denying a special use permit for a tobacco and vape shop at 800 North Main. The McPherson Planning Commission earlier this month recommended denial of the permit, the second time in recent months it has turned down a plan to open a vape shop in the central business district.

It cited the relative gain to the public health, safety and general welfare outweighs any loss in value or hardship imposed on the application by not approving the request. The applicant was not able to attend Tuesday’s meeting and did not file an appeal of the decision though he may appear at a future meeting.

Commissioners approved use of the Community Building’s Citizens Hall for a viewing and celebration of the McPherson High School Boys State Champion basketball team Friday March 29th from 7-9 PM, and waiver of rental fees for it, along with waiver of fees for a Red Cross blood Drive July 11-12, as a scheduling snag came up with another facility for the next community blood drive. The Commission also approved acceptance of a sponsorship for the Convention and Visitors Bureau in lieu of rental charges for an event Tuesday put together by Sports in Kansas for their all-state basketball honorees.

Another CVB item approved by the Commission was awarding of a visitor attraction grant for the Mayor’s Cup basketball games in November, the only one of five approved by the CVB Advisory Board requiring Commission approval.

Police Chief Mikel Golden reported the McPherson Police Department has been awarded $275,000 in a congressional appropriation secured through Senator Jerry Moran to purchase specialized video equipment and a command trailer.

The equipment being purchased will include security cameras that will be placed in certain areas of the city to better identify criminals, stolen vehicles, and collect data for court. The command trailer would be used for major events such as special response team operations, special events and natural disasters and the drone team.

The Commission also approved replacement of kennel lights in the animal shelter by Hedlund Electric for a cost not to exceed $5,465.

Repair work on items in the Street and Park Departments was approved during the meeting. A $3,224 bill from United Rentals is for an air compressor at the Street Department on which a coupler has blown out for a third time, and it was found there were a couple of other problems that needed to be fixed. The Park Department repairs are for annual service, front tire replacement, and other work on a tractor used by the Park Department, at a cost of up to three thousand dollars, The Commission also approved a $1,831 payment to Iron Insurance Partners for an auto insurance premium audit.

The Commission approved sale of a 57-acre tract on Centennial Drive between the KMU facility and the old city landfill to McPherson College. The college has been leasing the land from the city, where it has constructed a baseball-softball complex. The sale does not involve the hike-bike trails that run through part of the property, nor does it include the dog park, although if the city at some point decided to relocate it, McPherson College would have a right of first refusal to purchase that property.

Approval was given for a promotion within the department to the position of assistant administrative support supervisor and a job description for an administrative assistant in the Investigative Division and start of the hiring process, The Commission approved hiring of seasonal staff for the Water Park, and temporary transfer of employees from the wastewater treatment plant and Turkey Creek Golf Course to assist with repairs at Wall Park, The employee from Turkey Creek will get a temporary pay raise while working in Public Works, the WWTP employee getting his current pay rate.

Also approved was a pouring rights agreement with Heartlands Coca-Cola for Turkey Creek and the Water Park.