City Manager Nick Hernandez announced a possible addition to this year’s citywide Spring Cleanup Week in Arkansas City during the Feb. 21 City Commission meeting.

Traditionally, Spring Cleanup Week brings extra trash out to the curbs of Ark City residents.

However, Hernandez said he wants to see that expanded, with neighbors helping each other to improve dilapidated properties around town.

“I want to have a citywide Spring Cleanup Day on April 1,” he said.

Groups of all kinds, as well as individuals, will be welcomed to help with the effort. “We’ll coordinate all that,” Hernandez said.

There are several support services the city will looking into providing that day, but the event is in its early stages.

“Well, I’d like to see the city commissioners take part if they can,” said Mayor Duane Oestmann. The other four commissioners all seemed to agree.

“I think if we get the word out there early and often enough, there will be enough support to get this going,” Hernandez said. “I think everyone would like to see this town cleaned up a little bit.”

“What about having a (hot dog) feed afterwards?” asked Commissioner Jay Warren. “If you feed them, they will come,” said Commissioner Karen Welch.

Hernandez said city staff would work on getting people interested and setting up a mailing list for the cleanup efforts.

“If we had four or five hundred (people turn out), I would be so excited,” Hernandez said.

Spring Hill Golf Course

The commission also heard an update from Spring Hill Golf Course in which Spring Hill Golf & Recreation Association treasurer Dale Kuhn brought good news to the commission. He said the association was likely able to keep the golf course afloat thanks to the help of the commission and City of Arkansas City staff.

“You pushed us (to make do with less) … and it was a good thing,” Kuhn said.

Among the recent changes made at the golf course, there has been interest shown by a local disc golf group in adding disc golf to the golf course property.

“You might want to look into adding a miniature golf course, too,” Warren suggested.

Kuhn indicated the association would have to find space for such an attraction, but admitted the board had not previously looked at the possibility.

He also said the Spring Hill Golf & Recreation Association board had one request for the renewal of its contract with the city, which was set to expire Feb. 28.

The board asked to be able to come back to the commission in the future if another financial need arises. The draft contract forbade that option, though.

“We do not want to come back to you — it would be a failure on our part,” Kuhn emphasized.

The commissioners altered the contract to read that the golf course could come before the commission to request funds, but that the city would have no contractual obligation to give it any money. The contract, with that alteration, passed in a unanimous vote. It is renewable on an annual basis.

In other business, the commission:

  • modified its agenda to table a second reading of an ordinance regarding illegal registration and out-of-state tags, as well as to add an executive session.
  • briefly discussed Brett Martin’s dangerous structure. Martin was not present at the meeting. Hernandez said Martin has not communicated with the city in more than a week.
  • approved the consent agenda.
  • approved Oestmann’s appointments to the 2017 Capital Improvement Planning Committee.
  • approved a resolution authorizing the city to enter into a contract with Burns & McDonnell Engineering Company, Inc. to evaluate the available water rights within the existing city’s well field, identify the potential for securing additional water supply and assisting with an application for new water rights from the Kansas Division of Water Resources, for an amount not to exceed $85,698.
  • approved an agreement to transfer a portion of Carver Park to Cowley College, in exchange for a commitment from the college to fund up to $87,000 in additions to the existing hike-bike trail.