The Agri-Business Building soon will undergo some maintenance and updates that have been deferred for many years.

The City Commission of Arkansas City voted unanimously July 3 to move forward on roof restoration for the structure at 712 W. Washington.

This project should not exceed $67,500 and will restore the roof on the south end, which is the largest and most-used section of the building.

“This is a coating that goes over the (whole roof),” said City Manager Nick Hernandez. “They have to pressure-wash it first.”

The 1-inch, closed-cell urethane coating should last for 15 years, he said. The work will be performed by Hutchinson-based Webcon Inc.

After the spray-on coating is applied to the 18,745-square-foot roof, it will be followed by a second layer of bright white rubber coating.

Hernandez indicated funds for the project are being reallocated from money that was set aside this year for the Wilson Park Master Plan.

This project will be followed shortly by the addition of two large ceiling fans, which also will help with the cooling efficiency of the building.

“We should see the (energy) costs go down considerably,” Hernandez said.

“Do you think it could be done for (the Last Run) Car Show?” asked Commissioner Jay Warren.

“They could,” Hernandez replied. There would be a need to schedule the installation for the fans to be in place by mid-September, he added.

Hernandez indicated the city also is looking at replacing the heaters in the building, as well as giving the inside of the structure a “face lift.”

“It would be purely aesthetics,” he said.

Planning Commission appointment

The commissioners, in a 3-2 vote, appointed Dotty Smith to a shortened term on the Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals.

Jurkovich said Smith was the only individual who had come and spoken to him directly about being involved with a city board.

Smith will replace Gordon Fry, who resigned last month due to his wife’s health issues. About a year and a half remains in his unexpired term.

The dissenting votes were cast by Commissioners Duane Oestmann and Karen Welch.

Both commissioners stated they wanted to see individuals who have not previously served on a board step up to serve on boards.

In particular, Welch mentioned Sue Lancaster, a recent retiree who has been involved in the community through the Early Bird Lions Club and the foreign exchange student program at Cowley College for several years.

Lancaster previously had served on the Outstanding Student Award Committee for one year, though, but was not reappointed to that board.

Smith, who was on the City Commission in the 2000s, currently serves on the Cherokee Strip Land Rush Museum Board of Directors.

She also technically served for two weeks on the South Central Kansas Medical Center Board of Trustees earlier this year, prior to the members of that board being replaced by the city commissioners, but she never actually was sworn in formally as a board member.

In other business, the commission:

  • unanimously approved the consent agenda, including authorizing the purchase of five new portable radios for the Arkansas City Fire-EMS Department and the installation of a new telephone system for City Hall — a project that was put on hold nearly three years ago.
  • unanimously approved the scheduling of a public hearing at 5:30 p.m Aug. 21 in the commission room of city hall to determine if structures located at 1311 N. Eighth St., 831 South E St., 1304 South A St., and 1023 South B St. are unsafe and dangerous.
  • heard updates from Hernandez on a variety of subjects, including the closure of city offices on July 4, the scheduling of several town hall meetings and the announcement of the final free movie of the summer — “The Little Mermaid,” at 9 p.m. July 13 at Paris Park Pool.