City Hall

Courtesy photo

City commissioners voted 4-1 to award a local contractor with a job worth about $44,000 during a City Commission of Arkansas City meeting May 17.

Kuhn Mechanical won the bid, despite being more expensive than the lowest bidder by more than $2,000.

Commissioner Chad Giles led the charge to keep the money local, even with the price difference.

City staff originally recommended Wichita-based JCI, not only to save on expenses, but also due to the additional perks the company offered.

The piece of equipment, a backwash pump, has very specific calibrations and can not be purchased off the shelf.

JCI’s bid offered to help to resell or retrofit the pump after the new water treatment plant is completed, and it also included a five-year warranty. Kuhn’s bid did not include those additional perks.

The commission specified that owner Mell Kuhn would have to include a five-year warranty in order to proceed with the work.

Commissioner Dan Jurkovich cast the lone dissenting vote.


South Central Kansas Medical Center was on the agenda for a regularly scheduled update to the City Commission.

However, no hospital staff or hospital board members were present for the meeting.

City officials were unaware that no one would be in attendance.

On April 5, commissioners advised hospital staff they would like to continue seeing the hospital staff for monthly updates.

City Manager Nick Hernandez said they would be on the agenda for the second meeting of the commission each month.

In other business, the commission:

  • recognized Arkansas City Police Department Sgt. Eric Mata as the Optimists of Arkansas City’s Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.
  • recognized and congratulated Cowley College sophomore Madeline Pegorsch for being named Arkansas City’s Outstanding Student for the 2015-16 school year.
  • proclaimed May 15-21 as National Law Enforcement Week.
  • proclaimed May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day.
  • proclaimed May 15-21 as National EMS Week.
  • recognized a pair of seventh-grade students for their participation in City Hall Day on May 10.
  • unanimously approved the consent agenda, which included several appointments to the Retired Citizens Advisory Council.
  • unanimously approved the change of date for a public meeting, originally set for June 10, to 12:30 p.m. June 5.
  • unanimously approved a contract with Walters-Morgan Construction, of Manhattan, for wastewater treatment plant blower and control system improvements, for an amount not to exceed $81,500.