Lynne Hermansen
Special to The Gardner News
The City of Gardner held a public hearing and passed a waiver of distance limitation for the distribution of alcoholic beverages at the Grand Slam Craft Beer, Wine and Spirits Fest during their Aug. 16 meeting.
The festival will be held October 1 at Celebration Park.
No one spoke at the public hearing.
“I’m glad to have this back with the circumstances,” Randy Gregorcyk, council member, said. “It’s a good, fun community event.”
The distribution and consumption of sample sizes will be at Celebration Park within the fenced baseball complex from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Steve Shute, mayor, said he wanted to know what was considered a sample size.
Jason Bruce, parks and rec director, said it was a two ounce glass.
Mark Baldwin, council member, said he had a question about why the potential beer garden had been pulled.
Bruce said they thought it was originally going to be in conjunction with another event and pulled it to save a license fee.

In other business:
A contract for repair and improvement on the gas turbine cooling system at electric generation passed. The contract is with Allied Power Group for $138,720.
Gonz Garcia, utilities director, said the controls were on their last leg. “We have had a hard time finding parts and expertise,” he said. “The cooling system needs fixed first.”
Garcia said in order to complete the control systems upgrade CIP project in 2022 the cooling system had to be repaired first. “We can’t lower the temperature of the oil right now,” he said.
Gregorcyk said it was necessary to operate but how much more did the city need to invest in the project. “How much more do we need to invest in the hardware before we are in the upside down,” he said.
Garcia said they needed to fix cooling and controls first.
Shute said he understood the gas turbine and economics behind running it.
“It’ll be a serious problem in the winter,” he said. “Prices went through the roof on gas and electric last time.”
Shute said it cost more money to run it than buy from wholesale electric from Southwest and Dogwood plants last Winter.
“This allows us to continue to run,” he said.
Garcia said at this time the efficiency was pretty bad.
“Other units can’t generate cheaper,” he said. “Investing in the control system for $1 million without capacity as an investment.”

Other business:
Two committee recommendations passed.
An ordinance for the Treadway Apartments and associated site plan rezoning was approved.
Dave Knopick, development director, said the small sliver of two acres would be rezoned from C3 to R3.
“We needed additional land to be in the R3 zone,” he said.
The rezoning for the proposed Cypress Creek subdivision and preliminary development plan passed.
The land at Madison and 167th street will be rezoned from rural to a planned two family residential district near Gardner Edgerton High School.
Knopick said the lots are smaller than the typical suburban lots.
“It is exciting to have this development come here,” Gregorcyk said. “It’s good for Gardner.”
Gregorcyk said he wanted to know if any traffic studies had been done for traffic mitigation close to the high school.
Knopick said the way the subdivision would be constructed they are divided into pods and not all traffic would empty on to Madison Street.
“The southwest corner will across from the high school,” he said. “We will continue to look at traffic studies.”
Gregorcyk said what advancements had been made for the north side of 167th street.
“Two thirds are exiting northbound,” he said. “The east side neighborhood is parallel.”
Knopick said the difficult part was more development on 167th for safety and turn lanes will probably go in in the future but for now it will remain a two lane format.
Shute said he would like to see a picture of the subdivision for better visual understanding and if a temporary trail or sidewalk would be incorporated.
“A temporary solution for pedestrian circulation,” he said.
Kellen Headlee, public works director, said they still have data collection to do for the peak traffic times through November.
Gregoryck said what is the phased approach and dates for the project.
Knopick said it will be four phases starting in the southern corner.
Herald Phelps, Phelps engineering president, said they would start in the southwest quadrant and 167th would be the last phase.
“It’s all economic dependent but it’s 75 to 80 units a year for one phase,” he said. “It is a five to six year project.”
Shute said he saw two points of conflict in the first phase with westbound Fountain out to Waverly.
“The two sub streets line up with the high school loop car lanes,” he said. “Has there been any discussion with the school district.”
Phelps said the schooldistrict hadn’t indicated any issues.
“The left turn lane movement will be eliminated in the morning,” he said.
Tory Roberts, council member, said people had expressed concern about the Waverly and 167th street intersection.
“There is no stop on 167th street,” she said. “Does this study incorporate that intersection.”
Phelps said they did look at the intersection and a four way stop may be needed.
Knopick said public inquiries were sent before the planning meeting and residents were present.
“We considered some comments,” he said. “There won’t be another public meeting.”
Gregoryck said why weren’t the comments included in the packet.
Knopick said about twenty residents attended and comments were made after the meeting.
“There was more concern about the construction phases,” he said.
Winters said what was the price range for the homes and what was meant by smaller footprint homes.
“There is a need of a certain price range,” he said.
Don Draper, developer, said the homes will be for the target market for smaller homes of a 40 foot pad 1,200 to 2,000 feet for $275,000 to $300,000.