By JESSICA CRAWFORD
• Daily Leader
Tuesday evening’s city commission meeting covered items nearly as
diverse as the citizens the commission serves. From Mahuron Park to
Liberal Police Department promotions to economic development programs
– commissioners had their plates full.
Finance Director Chris Ford addressed the commission with an amended
2009 annual operating budget. The budget was adopted on Aug. 12,
2008. Following a public hearing, the bond and interest fund was
increased by $4,986,000, bringing it to $7,751,000 and the city one-
cent sales tax fund was increased by $820,000, bringing the fund to a
grand total of $5,910,000.
“Staff is proposing amendments to two of our funds,” Ford said. “The
first one would be the bond and interest fund, the explanation on
that would be back in June when we paid off the Trailmobile bonds,
this would account for those.
“The second proposal, the city one-cent sales tax, specifically the
streets, drainage and other capital improvements fund portion,” he
explained. “Back when we did our budget in Aug. of 2008, we were
projecting what the cash balance would be on Jan. 1, 2009. We had a
greater than anticipated cash balance. So, therefore, due to us
having some project commitments early next spring, such as Western
Avenue, I am proposing to amend that fund as well. So, basically
there are two funds there and what I would be asking for tonight is
the adoption of the first and final reading of the ordinance.”
Commissioners unanimously approved the 2009 budget amendments
following the close of the public hearing.
Housing and Community Development Director Karen LaFreniere asked for
the continuation of six programs the department has deemed
successful. The programs to continue with funding from the City of
Liberal are the Builder Incentive program, First-Time Homebuyer
program, SAFE At HOME program, Senior Housing Opportunities, Paint
the Town and HOME 2 Rehabilitation program.
Commissioners agreed the programs were all necessary for the
betterment of the community and unanimously approved the continuation
of all programs requested by LaFreniere.
Economic Development Director Jeff Parsons introduced three programs
with subgroups to better the appearance of the City of Liberal. Such
improvements, according to Parsons, would expand the likelihood of
attracting new businesses to Liberal.
The Economic Incentive program, Downtown Revitalization program and
Economic Retention programs left no stone unturned in regards to
improving the look of the city.
Commissioners felt all programs were necessary to improve the city
and improved the implementation of all programs at a total cost of
$1,043,000. Watch for an indepth look at all programs in upcoming
editions of The Leader.
Bids were opened Monday regarding the Mahuron Park Building. Three
bids were opened, and commissioners approved the hiring of Mid-Plains
Construction of Plains for the construction of the building at the
low bid of $74,750.
According to Public Works Director Joe Sealey, the building, which
will for the most part mirror the Girls Scout Building, should begin
construction in February – weather permitting.
Former mayor Ivanhoe Love was on hand to thank commissioners for
their work on the project.
“We would like to take the opportunity to say thank you for
considering the site, Mahuron Park, for this building,” Love said.
“Again, thank you so much, we do appreciate you. Here is a case of
when we started the planning process almost a year ago and here now,
we are actually going to see construction. Thank you very much on
behalf of the citizens of the northeast side.”
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