By ELLY GRIMM
• Leader & Times
The Liberal City Commission conducted business as usual last night in a rather brief meeting.
First on the agenda was the first reading of Ordinance No. 4427, which concerns the rezoning of certain commercial property in Seward County into single family residences at the request of Jack Call, the owner of this property. The property is west of Liberal adjoining old U.S. Highway 54 near the old truck stop. City staff recommended to the commission to advance the ordinance to a second reading, which the commission approved unanimously.
Kenneth Willliams with the Wastewater Treatment Plant asked the commission to approve the purchase of a new pickup to replace one the department has had and maintained for the last 24 years. Williams said the truck had repeated mechanical issues and needed replacement.
“I commend you for having that vehicle for 24 years,” commented commissioner Janet Willimon.
“We’re pretty good on keeping up our vehicles, we run them as long as we can,” Williams replied. “The last time we purchased a vehicle was back in 2001, we’ve got a good standing record.”
The purchase of the new pickup was approved unanimously by the commission.
The commission approved the purchase of 780 cases of trash bags for the city for the Solid Waste Department.
Jay Bhakta was unanimously reappointed to the Liberal Convention and Visitors’ Bureau Board for a third term.
The commission discussed the renewal of a grazing lease for Arkalon Park pasture land with Max Louderback. Louderback has been the grazing tenant with Arkalon for the past 15 years and staff will be recommending that the commission approve the grazing lease. The lease says that Louderback is willing to increase his rental from $10 to $20 per cow/calf unit.
“He has been a great steward of the property,” said City Clerk Debbie Giskie. “When there hasn’t been any moisture, we’ve reimbursed him the money. Arkalon Council met last week and recommended renewing it with Mr. Louderback for the next five years. The lease was approved.
“We’ll just pray for the rain,” added Willimon.
Repairs to the airport gate at 7th Street were discussed. The gate had been damaged during a wind storm in April and the gate came off the roller, causing the damage. The commission unanimously approved the repairs to the 7th Street airport gate by Superior Fence using airport land sale funds.
Next was the report from City Manager Mark Hall and then the items from commissioners, during which all commissioners thanked city staff for work done during the Memorial Day weekend, and they approved the vouchers.
After these discussions took place, there was a 15-minute executive session, which concerned preliminary discussions relating to the acquisition of real estate. Commissioner Dave Harrison moved to authorize Economic Development Director Jeff Parsons to continue preliminary discussions of the acquisition of real property and to execute a letter of intent and confidentiality agreement. Because of confidentiality, the city was unable to describe its exact location for the time being.
Vice Mayor Dean Aragon seconded the motion, which was unanimously approved.
After the executive session, Mayor Joe Denoyer declared the meeting adjourned just after 7:10 p.m.