1. Pittsburg Public Library Director Bev Clarkson gave a presentation on the library’s summer reading program, noting that the program’s theme this year was “A Universe of Stories,” and included many outer space-related activities. Clarkson also noted that the Friends of the Library Book Sale is this Saturday, Aug. 31 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
2. Director of Economic Development Blake Benson and Kansas Polymer Research Center Director Darrell Pulliam presented the economic development quarterly report. Benson also addressed the commission to present the Economic Development Advisory Committee’s recommendation that the commission grant a forgivable loan for 10 percent of the cost of Larry Fields’s redevelopment of 104 N. Locust St., commonly known as the old Pittcraft building, with some conditions on the loan. Fields also addressed the commission to discuss his plans to turn the building into a family fun center. Commissioner Chuck Munsell made a motion to approve granting the loan, which was seconded by Commissioner Sarah Chenoweth and approved by the commission.
3. Wastewater Treatment Plant Superintendent Chris Farinacci addressed the commission to request approval for initiating emergency repairs to the support column on Primary Clairifier #1 at the wastewater treatment plant through Unique Metals Fabrications, Inc. The commission approved the request to start the work, which is expected to cost $100,000 to $125,000 and be completed within three months.
4. Deputy City Manager Jay Byers addressed the commission to recommend the commission approve using up to $30,000 “for the creation and delivery of educational material” related to the city’s potential establishment of a city-owned electric utility. Mayor Patrick O’Bryan and Commissioner Munsell said they were happy to see that the city was planning to look at cases of both successes and failures of other cities’ municipalization plans. O’Bryan, Munsell and Board President Dawn McNay also said they felt the recommendation was a good idea because of confusion and misinformation among the public about the city’s efforts to study possibly taking over providing electricity in Pittsburg. McNay made a motion to approve the recommendation, which the commission approved.
5. Among other comments during the non-agenda reports and requests portion of the meeting, City Manager Daron Hall discussed progress on various city road work projects.