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Morning Sun
  • Girard council talks housing

  • Housing was a main focus of the Girard City Council meeting on Monday.



    The council first heard from Jerry Warrington regarding a older house he owns at 208 S. Carbon. He said that he had bought the house at foreclosure, hired a contractor and started working on the property last winter.

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  • Housing was a main focus of the Girard City Council meeting on Monday.
    The council first heard from Jerry Warrington regarding a older house he owns at 208 S. Carbon. He said that he had bought the house at foreclosure, hired a contractor and started working on the property last winter.
    “So far I’ve paid $65,000 and probably will require another $20,000 to finish,” Warrington said. “I have a man from Denver who will help me finish it at minimum cost and I need a building permit from the city to do this.”
    The problem is that, while city codes permit homeowners to personally do remodeling work on their houses, those doing this work for hire must have a city license to do so. Warrington’s employee does not have a Girard city license and would have to meet insurance requirements to obtain such a license.
    “We will work within our existing rules and regulations to assist you as much as we can,” said Girard mayor Maurice Harley.
    Tom McLeod, Girard city codes enforcement officer and building inspector, provided Warrington with a list of local licensed contractors.
    Following that was a session related to a trailer park owned by Bradgood Investments at 213 S. Logan. Many of the trailers there have already been condemned after inspection by McLeod.
    The council voted that owners of unoccupied trailers would have 90 days to do repairs that would bring them into code compliance. Owners of occupied trailers were given six months to do this, unless the trailers were determined to have life safety issues such as severe electrical problems.
    “If an older trailer has aluminum wiring, it’s not possible to re-wire it because of the design of the trailer,” McLeod said. “If  I see unsafe wiring, I will say so. I can’t wait six months on something that could kill somebody tonight.”
    Another resolution was given on an unoccupied property at 211 S. Osage, with that owner given 90 days to bring the house up to code.
    “If you ask me for a list of the bad houses in the community, I can give it to you in 30 days, but you won’t like it,” McLeod told the council. “There would be 80 to 100 houses on it.”
    The council also took steps toward seeking a grant that would enable the building of two new homes in the city. Becky Gray of SEK-CAP is writing the grant application, which must be turned in Sept. 1.
    Council members approved a series of incentives for those considering purchase of the homes, if they are built. Included are a free lot for the house, up to $2,000 toward the closing costs, Neighborhood Revitalization Plan tax rebate of 5 percent for five years (new construction only), waiver of fees for the building permit and utility deposit, a free family swimming pass for one year and a free family golf pass for one year.
    Page 2 of 2 - Gary Emry, city administrator, also gave an update on the Safe Routes program from the Kansas Department of Transportation, which will manage the project.
    “We got the grant for $250,000, but the lowest bid for the project was more than $250,000,” Emry said. “KDOT has prioritized the project and they will let the contract and the contractor will work down the priority list until the $250,000 is spent. The short fall is $120,000. If we want the rest of the project completed, we will have to come up with funding.”
    He suggested that, since this is a city-USD 248 partnership, the council should engage with the school district and see if they could share the additional costs 50/50. The council agreed to contact the district about this.
    In other business, the council:
    • Accepted a bid by Tri-State Construction in the amount of $65,890 for construction of an administrative building at the Girard Cemetery.
    • Appointed Emry as voting delegate to the Kansas League of Municipalities and Debra Smith, city clerk, as alternate.
    • Approved specifications by Zingre and Associates for remodeling of the Roye facility. An invitation for bids will be extended, with bids due by Oct. 5.
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