Author: Gardner News

Main Street corridor plan underway, now in data gathering stage

Attendees at the first Main Street Corridor public meeting hear consultant presentations at Gardner Senior Center on June 14. Photo courtesy of Rick Poppitz Rick Poppitz Special to The Gardner News On June 14 at the senior center, Gardner held the first of a series of public meetings regarding the development of the Gardner Main Street Corridor Plan. In October 2016, the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) approved an $112,500 grant to the city to support the implementation of the Main Street Corridor Plan. The city will contribute $37,500. According to the October press release, the project aims to address...

Read More

Current budget supports GEYCP start up costs

The school district’s newly formed youth and recreation program – The Gardner Edgerton Youth & Community Programs – will be funded thru participation and ancillary revenues, according to officials. “The GEYCP budget will have no impact to the USD 231 mill levy,” according to information provided by Deb Starling, Freedom of Information officer. Both the city and county also provide similar youth and recreation programs. School officials did not respond to e mail asking what had been done to garner public input on the new program. According to USD 231, the GEYCP budget is planned to be fully supported through participation fees and other ancillary revenues. “The program will be administered under the extraordinary school fund beginning in 2017-18,” according to Deb Starling, USD 231. “Estimated annual revenues and expenditures are expected to approximate $250,000, with variations possible due to program enrollments.” The district recently created two new positions for about $154,000 to oversee the GEYCP. Assuming registration fees are $50, the district would need about 5,000 participants to break even, assuming no additional, associated program costs. “The general fund in 2016-17 is supporting the initial costs associated with the YCP program implementation” said Leeann Northway, public information officer. “As with any fee-based program, there are implementation costs needed to prepare for future programming.  In 2017-18, the extraordinary school fund budget (Fund 22) will be used for YCP accounting. ...

Read More

The porta potty woes continue

A lone porta potty continues to stand sentinel at the Gardner Municipal Airport, greeting the estimated 26,000 visitors per year. During special events, such as fly-ins, the city increases the number of portable toilets to serve the crowd. The airport’s interior bathroom is closed due to a failed septic system. Michael Kramer, director of public works, said he was unaware of any other Gardner residence or building currently using a septic system. The city appears to be in violation of their own ordinance, which requires property owners to either connect to a sanitary sewer or provide a “water-flush system...

Read More

USD 231 creates two new GEYCP positions, department

District officials created at least two new positions for about $154,000 in salary to staff their new Gardner Edgerton Youth & Community Programs, which they launched in May, 2017. An e mail from Mark Meyers, GEHS principal, indicates the GEYCP coordinator/director was hired March 29, 2017. The hires were approved by the board of education in April. According to Meyer’s March 29 e mail regarding his new position, “Obviously this requires John (Duncanson) to resign his position as Associate Principal here at GEHS. . . . . . “ And Meyer continues, “John will conclude his current contract prior...

Read More

Statute allows extraordinary school fund for remedial instruction

In the 1990’s the Kansas Legislature passed KSA 72-8238, which grants school districts the ability to establish operate and maintain; fees, collection, limitations, disposition; fund extraordinary school programs. USD 231’s recently established Gardner Edgerton Youth and Community Programs department, and the district has begun offering youth sports and recreational programs that it anticipates will be self-funded with a break even point of about $250,000. “The GEYCP budget will have no impact on the USD 231 mill levy,” Deb Starling, Freedom of Information Officer, writes in response to this newspaper’s Kansas Open Records request. “The GEYCP budget is planned to be fully supported thru participation fees and other ancillary revenues,” Starling continues. “The program will be administered under the extraordinary school fund beginning in 2017-18. Estimated annual revenues and expenditures are expected to approximate $250,000, with variations possible due to program enrollments.” “This is yet another example of local school boards prioritizing something other than academics,” said Dave Trabert, Kansas Policy Institute. “The state assessment results show 51 percent of USD 231 students are either below grade level in Math or need remedial training, but instead of putting additional resources toward that serious problem, they divert $150,000 to athletic programs that are otherwise available in the community. That money should have been used for teacher pay increases this year or to help underperforming students.   There is plenty of money in...

Read More

OUR VIEW: Porta potty needs to go

The porta potty saga continues. The public restrooms at Gardner Municipal Airport were shut down due to septic system problems. Gardner staff estimates it will cost (conservatively) $135,000 to connect to the city’s sewer. Because it is an unfunded project, a timeline to reopen the public restrooms has not been set. It’s interesting GMA is the only known facility in Gardner that does not have a flushable toilet. In fact, the city seems to be out of compliance with their own plumbing code, which requires facilities with flushable toilets be kept in repair and maintained. We don’t believe a porta potty is flushable. It’s a shame one of the first things GMA pilots and an estimated 26,000 visitors see is the lone porta potty, standing like a welcoming sentinel to Gardner. There’s no excuse for not repairing the GMA’s bathroom. We know the city doesn’t want a septic system – we understand. But there has been a septic at that site for decades, and a flushable toilet. To not repair/replace the failing septic system is not only a blight, but a violation of city code. We’re pretty sure if officials contacted a plumber, old lateral lines could be repaired, the septic tank replaced or — install an underground holding tank until a proper city sewer can be connected. Until then, the manure just keeps stacking...

Read More

Eagle Scouts recognized

Eagle Scouts were recognized for their accomplishments by Chris Morrow, mayor, at the June 14 Gardner city council meeting. Photo courtesy of Rick Poppitz...

Read More

CVS Pharmacy

Site preparation for the new CVS Pharmacy began in earnest June 9 at the northwest corner of Center and Main Streets in Gardner. Five residential buildings were demolished and underground utility work continues. Photo courtesy of Jerry Kellogg...

Read More

Trump reinstates sanctions on Havana, calls for ‘a free Cuba’

Natalia Castro Guest Columnist In December of 2014, President Obama announced that the U.S. and Cuba would restore diplomatic relations, and by March 2016 promised the removal of the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba; allowing American money to fund the undemocratic government in power in Havana. After Obama met the Cuban leader, Raul Castro, brother of former dictator Fidel Castro, Obama vowed that “change would happen in Cuba” and that Castro understood that. Now, at the call of millions of Cuban-Americans and to fulfill a critical campaign promise, the only thing that has changed is President Donald Trump who has now reversed the Obama policies on Havana, calling for “a free Cuba” in his June 16 speech announcing the new U.S. policy. “What you have built here — a vibrant culture, a thriving neighborhood, the spirit of adventure — is a testament to what a free Cuba could be. And with God’s help, a free Cuba is what we will soon achieve,” Trump said. Cuba’s 2016 Human Right Watch report painted a damning picture of the nation Obama was convinced change was approaching. Despite lifting the sanctions, the report concluded, “The Cuban government continues to repress dissent and punish public criticism… Short-term arbitrary arrests of human rights defenders, independent journalists, and others have increased dramatically in recent years. Other repressive tactics employed by the government include beatings, public shaming,...

Read More

Gardner’s citywide cleanup June 24

Gardner’s citywide cleanup will take place June 24, for residents south of 175th St./Main St. Gardner Disposal Service has approved the following items for collection: Appliances (doors secured or removed, no Freon) Box springs and mattresses Basketball goals (cut in half and concrete removed) BBQ grills (propane tank removed) Electronics Furniture Bicycles Push mowers (gas/oil removed) Disassembled swing sets Carpet (cut in 4-foot lengths, rolled and tied) Large pieces of glass (broken down and boxed) Bagged, boxed and bundled items For more questions regarding approved items for collection or pickup locations, please contact Jody Demaline, public works superintendent at 913.856.0908. Pick...

Read More

Groundbreaking ceremony

Participants in the groundbreaking ceremony for Hampton Inn at 8:30 a.m. on June 20, are Chris Morrow, mayor; Dave Parmar, Hampton Inn; Andy Vanmali, Hampton Inn; Sam Bhakta, Hampton Inn; Greg Martinette, Southwest Johnson County Economic Development; Mike Brown, Johnson County Commissioner District 6; and Cheryl Harrison-Lee, city administrator. Photo courtesy of Rick Poppitz...

Read More

Blazers, coaches attend wrestling camps

Several Blazers recently attended wrestling camps in Iowa. The team visited and wrestled at Grandview University,William Penn and Central College in Pella,Iowa. Submitted photo Twenty six Blazers and four coaches recently visited and wrestled at Iowa College Camps as part of a special summer trip. The team participated in camps at Grandview University, William Penn and Central College of Pella, Iowa. “It was a great trip for the team as the kids got to do some fun activities as well as learn new wrestling techniques. The kids got lots of one on one attention in the camps and also...

Read More

Comet Tech 4-H

Seth Gunkel Club Reporter The Comet Tech Junior Leaders, Seth, Zach, Spenser and Matt presented a demonstration on Newton’s Three Laws of Motion at the county extension office on May 13th. The junior leaders started learning the three laws of motion and the forces that resist motion last fall. Over the winter, they made three small wood boats of the same size with different propulsions to test the laws. The propulsions included kinetic energy, steam and air powered. As the boats powered down a water filled gutter, they explained how the laws applied to the motion of the boats...

Read More

Consumer Corner: Know the risks of supporting ‘crowdfunding’ sites

Derek Schmidt Kansas Attorney General In years past, folks who had a new idea for a product or service, but needed some startup money to get it going, might approach a bank for a loan or maybe ask friends and family members to invest in their ideas. Today’s inventors and entrepreneurs have a new method for raising startup money through online “crowdfunding” sites. These sites take the “friends and family” investment approach to a global marketplace. Instead of getting one or two large financial backers, a “creator” can collect thousands of small investments from people all over the world. The two largest sites that offer these crowdfunding platforms are Indiegogo and Kickstarter. In many cases, the creator offers special deals for those who contribute to his or her project – a discount or early delivery of the product once it is launched are two common benefits offered. Because many of the sites classify the contributions as gifts and not as transactions or donations, this presents interesting challenges when it comes to enforcing the Kansas Consumer Protection Act if a good or service promised is not delivered. The wording in the agreements states the giver is voluntarily giving the project creators money. Therefore, there is no consumer transaction agreement being entered in to – a prerequisite for KCPA protection. The sites encourage project creators to follow through on the gifts...

Read More

Three Blazers in all-star football game

GEHS’ Jonas Pippitt, Hunter Skeens and Sam Stranathan recently participated in the Kansas versus Missouri high school football game at Blue Springs South. Kansas lost 17-7 to Missouri. Missouri extended its win streak to seven in the Annual All-Star Classic. Kearney , Mo., quarterback Anthony Pritzel was named MVP on the Missouri side, while Shawnee Mission North quarterback Will Schneider was the Kansas MVP. Skeens and Stranathan will attend Washburn University on football scholarship this fall while Pippitt will play at Mid America Nazarene...

Read More

Brown is Tri-County pitcher of the year

Spring Hill senior pitcher Sarah Brown recently earned Tri County Softball Pitcher of the Year honors. Brown dominated the state championship tournament tossing three straight shutouts. She shutout Andale in round one 7-0 and led Spring Hill to an 8-0 round two win over Independence. She threw her third shutout in a 2-0 win over rival Paola for the state title. Brown led Spring Hill to a 21-4 overall record as the Broncos recorded back to back state titles for the first time in school...

Read More

Communication breaks down between USD 231, Gardner

A special meeting between Gardner city and USD 231 officials was scheduled for June 13 regarding the city parks department continued use of outdoor fields. USD 231 recently formed Gardner Edgerton Youth and Community Programs which offers programs similar to those previously provided by the Gardner Parks and Recreation department. The district and city had worked in a partnership since about 2012 and guidelines on facilities usage were originally outlined in August 2012, although some staff has changed since then. E-mail received thru a Kansas open records request and supplied to The Gardner News indicate concern over scheduling conflicts began as early as December 2016, when Scott Garrie, Gardner Parks and Recreation director, asked for the district’s communication point of contact, and Pam Stranathan, USD 231 superintendent, responded. But it appears communication continued to be a stumbling block, and as recently as May 17, Garrie writes that the department has “proactively reached out to you and requested multiple times within the past two weeks to have a meeting. . . . “ And Garrie continues, “As we learned last night this will also now become a potential safety issue, and we are lucky it was our police chief was there. . . . “ Garrie refers to a scheduling conflict regarding the same field, and the police were called by team members. In response, Stranathan writes May 17, “You...

Read More

Big fish caught at Gardner Lake

Zach Hickman (left) caught a big bass and Riley Craig (right) and daughter Adalynn, caught a large Saugeye, last weekend at Gardner Lake. The men have been best buddies since knee high to a jack rabbit and grew up on the lake. Submitted photos...

Read More

OUR VIEW: USD 231, Gardner at odds over field usage

What may have begun as a minor misunderstanding has become a bone of contention between USD 231 officials and Gardner City regarding use of the district’s ou door fields for community programs. About 2012, the district and city declared a “partnership,”working together on water rates, usage rental fees, road and utility extensions, crossing guards and usage of some district facilities. It was a good partnership, and taxpayers benefited from the collaboration. But the partnership seems to be rapidly deteriorating. Field usage scheduling has been discussed in city meetings, and e mail received thru a Kansas Open Records request indicate tensions have run high on both sides. Although from the e mail received, the problem seems to have started as a simple miscommunication between two fairly new employees – one city and one school – everyone appears to have joined the fray – not just employees but elected officials as well. This spring the school district formed the Gardner Edgerton Youth & Community Programs (GEYCP) and are now offering courses similar to those previously offered by Gardner Parks and Recreation. An outline of field usage guidelines adopted in 2013 between former district and city employees has apparently been changed, leaving some parents, coaches and staff shaking their heads. Confusion has been so high that police were called mid-May regarding field usage when two different teams had a scheduling conflict. It’s...

Read More

Band trips, roof at Sunflower; school board meeting topics

Students from Madison Elementary lead the Pledge of Allegiance at the June 8 USD 231 school board meeting. Photo courtesy of Rick Poppitz Rick Poppitz Special to The Gardner News At the USD #231 meeting on June 12, the board considered an unexpected extra cost in replacing the metal roof at Sunflower, a request to convert a music room floor from carpet to hardwood and a budget amendment to provide an increase to the Special Education Fund. Approved within the consent agenda were two out-of-state field trip Requests for 2018. April 20 – 23, 2018, GEHS Orchestra members will...

Read More

Weather Forecast

56° F
Clear
Clear

Archives

Categories