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McPherson City Commission Meeting Highlights

By Lucky Kidd

 

McPHERSON, Kan — It’s one of the more asked questions on social media in McPherson. Building Inspector Ryan Rank told McPherson City Commissioners Tuesday the opening of Starbucks is getting close. An inspection of their new building on the former Red Coach Inn site on East Kansas is scheduled for Friday, and rank said the opening could come soon.

That was part of a report on construction activity during July. As far as other large projects are concerned, Rank said rooms are being finished at Candlewood Suites and the main thing they are waiting on to finish the project is delivery of cabinets, which at last word were sitting on a cargo ship someplace. As of now, expectations are that project could finish up the end of September.

He also reported work on the Oak Harbor homes is in the final interior stages, work is moving rapidly on the Deerfield Townhomes development, and permits have been taken out for the Commons project at McPherson College

Residential construction activity in McPherson so far this year is more than double the rate of 2022. 22 residential permits have been issued, compared to 10 a year ago at this point. Overall, the number of permits issued in 2023 is down 53 percent from 2022 when there were a large amount of permits issued due to storm damage. Dollar value of that construction year to date amounts to nearly 54.5 million dollars, 27.6 million dollars of that issued in June alone.

A lease agreement with McPherson Middle School for use of the Globe Refiners Gym at the Community Building during the 2023-24 school year was approved. MMS uses the Globe Gym for volleyball and basketball games. Because of the variables involved, this doesn’t fit into the normal fee schedule so the rental is for a flat fee of $4,000, which is a slight increase from the last two years.

A fundraiser boot block event was approved for the McPherson Firemen’s Relief Association Saturday, August 26th on behalf of the FUSE Foundation, which provides social networking, recreation and education for young adults with neuromuscular diseases. Firefighters will be collecting donations that day from 9 until noon at the intersection of Main and Kansas, along with Dillons and Walmart in McPherson.

This was one of a number of events approved by the Commission. Others include street closings related to a Back to School Bash Saturday night at Hopp’s Sound that involves closure of Euclid from Ash to Elm, use of the Lakeside Park bandshell September 11th for a community-wide worship might organized by First Baptist Church that will include the touring worship band WeRCalled and a sponsorship opportunity to assist children in 3rd world countries, and a Wellness Walk September 23rd in Wall Park being put on by CHS.

Commissioners heard an update on the half percent sales tax that initially funded the First Street reconstruction and Community Building Renovation projects. Current projections are for over $3,4 million in funding to be available. Those funds will be dedicated to a number of projects including $1.8 million for the new north fire station. Other funds will be used for the locally funded part of the Northview Road sidewalk project, towards the Lakeside Park bank restoration, work on a retaining wall hole, and one added project for $200,000 for work on the bandshell in Lakeside Park. Commissioners approved the revised funding allocations.

The Commission approved the hiring of a new Code Enforcement and Sanitation Officer. Jennifer Burns will begin the code enforcement position August 21st pending completion of pre-employment requirements. She brings 20 years of experience working in a local government setting and is familiar with the reading and interpreting of local, state and federal regulations. Also hired was Tonya Schuckman as administrative assistant for the Public Lands and Facilities Department, effective October 2nd