Sharon Rose (left) was sworn in as deputy city clerk by Amy Waller, city clerk, at the June 18 council meeting. Staff photo by Rick Poppitz

Rick Poppitz
Special to The Gardner News
The Gardner council meeting on June 18 got off to a slow start because of technical difficulties with the audio visual system. At the start of the meeting, council recessed into a three minute closed session. Upon resuming open session, the public meeting was further delayed because the audio visual system crashed and required a complete reboot. The meeting eventually started without microphones or visual support and council worked through the agenda. Some agenda items that depended on graphic support were shifted to later in the meeting. For much of the meeting, microphones were not working which made it difficult to hear those speaking. Thirty nine minutes of the two and a half hour meeting made it to the city’s Youtube channel, but sections of that had no audio and/or video problems.

Gardner Business Center
Larry Powell, business and economic development director, presented staff and Planning Commission recommendation for council approval of a rezoning request for the Gardner Business Center to be located at the northeast corner of S. Moonlight Road and E. Warren Street. The 12.19 acre plot surrounds Gardner Animal Hospital on the east, west and south, and borders George’s Car City on the east and south.
The request is to rezone the property from its three current zone designations to CP-3 (Planned Heavy Commercial District).
The developers plan to construct a mixture of office buildings and storage facilities.
Powell said a protest petition had gathered the required number of signatures and had been presented to the city, which means the rezoning would have to be approved by 75 percent of the governing body. Lee Moore, council president, was absent, which meant all five of the governing body members present at this meeting would have to vote in favor in order to approve.
Roger Templin, attorney representing the owners of George’s Car City came forward during Public Hearing at both the planning commission meeting and at this council meeting, to discuss his clients opinion that the rezoning was inconsistent with the Comprehensive Plan and the Main Street Corridor Plan, and would be detrimental to their interests.
The main objection was outdoor storage of equipment that would be allowed under the CP-3 zoning.
Templin said that his client’s had made a sizeable investment when they established the car lot, and they expected the adjacent area would be retail facilities and not commercial storage.
Mark Hagan, an engineer for the project, told council that the outdoor storage area was in the center of the lot and would be concealed from view by the buildings surrounding it. He said no one would see it.
Hagan said he had spoken with some of the individuals who had signed the protest petition and felt they had been misinformed. After he explained the layout of the project to them, he said the concerns were lessened.
Rich Melton, council vice president, asked about the time frame of the project. One of the engineers of the project said it would be a four phase project that was planned to start in September.
Council approved the rezoning request via Ordinance No. 2581 by a 5-0 vote, which included a mayoral vote.
Following rezoning approval, council considered and approved right of way and easement for the same project by voice vote with none opposed.

I-35 & 175th
Larry Powell, business and economic development director, presented staff and Planning Commission recommendation to adopt the I-35 & 175th Street Interchange Subarea Plan and amendment to the city’s Comprehensive Plan.
Staff met with with property owners and interested parties five times in 2015 to discuss and gather input. A draft of the plan was created in 2016, but later tabled.
On April 25, 2018, a meeting was held with current property owners to revisit the document, future land use map and allow for input on the plan.
The plan provides a summary of existing conditions, a future land use plan, sewer line plan, and road improvements for the area. The plan is a policy guide for future development, designed to be incorporated in the Comprehensive Plan by reference.
The Planning Commission voted 6-0 to approve PC resolution PC-18-02 adopting the I35 & 175th Street Interchange Subarea Plan and associated amendments to the Comprehensive Plan.
Council adopted Ordinance No. 2582, approving the Planning Commission’s adopted version of the amendments to the City of Gardner Comprehensive Plan and the I-35 & 175th Street Interchange Subarea Plan with a 4-0 roll call vote.

• Mike Lowry, from the firm Allen, Gibbs and Houlik, gave a presentation on the city’s 2017 audit results. Lowry said the report showed no significant issues arising from the audit and there were no deficiency findings for the FY 2017 audit.
• Cheryl Harrison-Lee, city administrator, gave a presentation of the FY 2019-2020 Biennial Budget that has been developed by council guidance and direction.
• Captain Belcher, Gardner PD, told council the department would be sending a delegation of officers to the funeral services for the two deputies killed on duty last week in Kansas City, Kansas.
• Florida Kipling, who is disabled and lives in Brittany Court spoke to council through a sign language interpreter. She discussed issues regarding safety of crosswalks. She said she was appreciative of improvements the city had made but there were still problems in several areas. She said the biggest problem was drivers who don’t stop for pedestrians. Later in the meeting it was suggested that the police may increase enforcement efforts in those areas.
• Council authorized a contract with McAnany Construction, Inc. for the 2018 Pavement Management Program-Asphalt in an amount of $1,010,667.11, and Change Order No. 1 in the amount of $57,471.18. Additionally authorize the City Administrator to approve construction related Change Orders up to an additional amount of $100,000.00.
• Council authorized a contract with Vance Brothers for the 2018 Pavement Management Program-Chip Seal in an amount of $342,335.10, and Change Order No. 1 in the amount of $77,574.00. Additionally authorize the City Administrator to approve construction related Change Orders up to an additional $35,000.00.
• Todd Winters and Rich Melton were appointed to serve on the Big Bull Wastewater Treatment Plant task force