The Cowley College Board of Trustees voted unanimously April 16 to approve an amendment to the Neighborhood Revitalization Plan (NRP).

The amendment will benefit a property owned by Lacey Pool, who purchased the building located at 1826 N. Summit St. in late 2016.

Pool initially applied for the NRP, which provides tax rebates on improvements, when the property was not included in the program.

However, the property gained eligibility when the program was expanded in June 2017, but at that time, the renovations of the property in question already were under way.

The Neighborhood Revitalization Plan calls for properties to be accepted before renovations begin, but Pool has petitioned all four local governing entities to allow her property to be included retroactively.

“We feel that by revitalizing this location and opening three new businesses in our community, we completed what the goal of the NRP program was intended to do,” Pool said in an email addressed to the college board.

Cowley College’s trustees tabled the item twice previously. During that time, the City Commission of Arkansas City, Cowley County Commission and USD 470 Board of Education all gave Pool approval to be included in the program.

“I think we should do that (too),” said Cowley College trustee Ned Graham.

In other business, the board of trustees:

  • unanimously approved the March regular meeting minutes, financial reports, bills and claims.
  • heard college updates from Cowley College President Dennis Rittle and a legislative update from Jessica Lucas.
  • acknowledged the April Student of the Month, Jake Hawker.
  • heard a report from TRiO Director Roxanna James.
  • unanimously approved changes to two college policies, one concerning KPERS and the other concerning “gifts-in-kind” acceptance.
  • heard administrative reports from staff.
  • unanimously approved the resignations of Cassady Cook, Roxie Froese, Kelsey Steiner and Bethany Stewart.
  • unanimously approved the hiring of Buddy Curry II as agriculture program coordinator at the Sumner County campus, at an annual salary of $58,640; John Murray as lead NDT instructor for the Sumner County campus, at an annual salary of $54,280; and AJ Ybarra as a math instructor, at an annual salary of $45,731. All of these new employees also will receive fringe benefits.
  • held a 10-minute executive session to discuss matters of non-elected personnel.

Trustee Nancy Short-Burger was absent from the meeting.