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Hutchinson City Council Notes: Security Cameras Approved for 2 Hutchinson Parks

HUTCHINSON, Kan. – In an effort to address vandalism issues, security cameras will soon be installed at two Hutchinson parks. The Hutchinson City Council Tuesday approved the placing of cameras and related wi-fi capability at specific locations in Avenue A and Rivers Banks Orchard Park, which have both seen numerous vandalisms.

The first cameras will be placed near the restrooms and parking lot at Orchard Park. Later plans are to also place cameras at Carey and Rice Parks.

Washington Street Improvements

An emergency replacement of a reinforced concrete box under Washington Street between 18th and 19th Avenues was approved by the Council. During the design of the “bicycle boulevard” along Washington, it was found that trees were starting to force the collapse of the side of the box.

The Engineer on the project reached out to box builders in the area and only Reece Construction was available to bid, with the cost coming back at just under $551 thousand.

Plans are to have the new box in place by April so overlay can be done in the spring and the project is finally completed.

Airport Staffing

Staffing issues at Hutchinson Regional Airport have reached a crisis level due to staff departures over the past three weeks, leaving manager Pieter Miller the only employee.

Airport Advisory Board Chair Jerome Conn told the Hutchinson City Council Tuesday that this will have a major impact on operations, especially as it comes to maintenance work and snow removal this winter.

Parks and Facilities Director Justin Combs said he met with Miller and that plans are being developed to deal with the situation in the short term, including shifting personnel from other divisions of his department as needed.

Interim City Manager Gary Meagher added that the situation is also being worked on by Human Resources, which has sent applications to Miller for his review.

Memorial Hall

The Council approved a contract with WDM Architects to complete a historic preservation and reuse plan for Memorial Hall. The city has been awarded a grant through the Kansas State Historical Society that will cover half of the $43 thousand cost, which was less than initially estimated.

WDM has indicated that they are also willing to work alongside another consultant who is working on an overall master plan for downtown Hutchinson.