City Manager Nick Hernandez shared an update on the Wilson Park train restoration project at the end of a City Commission of Arkansas City meeting April 18.

train in Wilson Park


The train has been closed off from the public for several weeks, in preparation for the lead abatement process.

Mayor Duane Oestmann asked when the lead abatement was due to start.

“They’ll be here (April 19),” Hernandez said.

The lead abatement will be performed by J.R. Stelzer Co., of Lincoln, Nebraska, for a cost of $25,800.

Locally, Rob Carroll and Kalin Taylor both have been tapped to work on the train once the lead paint is gone.

L.G. Pike Construction President Carlla Pike has agreed to allow Taylor to do metal fabrication work free of charge.

“(Taylor) already started the fabrication of some pieces— he’s got some really good ideas,” Hernandez said.

“This is going to be done right,” Hernandez added. “They know how important the train is to the community.”

Rotary mower switch

The commissioners voted 4-1 to replace a 15-foot rotary mower attachment that currently is 16 years old.

But the original staff recommendation also included the purchase of a new tractor to replace the 16-year-old model currently used by the city to mow the levee.

“Are we having any trouble with the mower or the tractor?” asked Commissioner Dan Jurkovich.

“Just old age,” said Assistant Public Works Director Mike Crandall.

Public Services Superintendent Randy Jacobs said the tractor’s engine already was replaced once.

The usage of the tractor is dependent upon the length of the growing season, Jacobs said.

The replacement tractor was budgeted in the 2017 fiscal year after being delayed from 2016 due to hospital financial concerns.

The new tractor from Price Bros. Equipment Co., of Wichita, was quoted at $43,459, with a trade-in value of $15,000.

“Here’s my thought before the meeting — and I don’t have a reason to change it — get a new seat for the tractor and buy a new mower,” Jurkovich said.

He made a motion to buy the mower only, which was seconded by Commissioner Charles Tweedy. Commissioner Karen Welch cast the dissenting vote.

The replacement mower that was approved cost $15,771.79, with a trade-in value of $4,500.

In other business, the commission:

  • witnessed a proclamation recognizing April 28 as Arbor Day in Arkansas City.
  • unanimously approved the consent agenda.
  • tabled until May 2 a resolution revising the Neighborhood Revitalization Plan in effect until December 31, 2020.
  • unanimously approved a resolution to extend until June 15 the closing date of an agreement to transfer a portion of Carver Park to Cowley College.
  • unanimously approved a recommendation of the Beautification and Tree Advisory Board to initiate an adoption contract for one year with the Catalpa Park Committee for Catalpa Park. As part of the motion, the city will pledge up to $5,000 in matching funds, on a 50-50 basis, for any park improvements.
  • heard updates from city staff regarding Cowley’s Outdoor Market on April 22, the Outstanding Young Student Award banquet April 24, the Cowley County Legislative Forum on April 27, Arbor Day activities April 28 and the budget retreat April 29.
  • held two executive sessions, spanning a total of 45 minutes, to discuss matters of non-elected personnel and consult with City Attorney Tamara Niles, regarding employee performance and productivity.