GIRARD — The Girard City Council addressed a full slate ranging from more changes in the Crawford Hills Golf cart paths to city insurance and renovations at the Girard Senior Citizens Center during its regular meeting Monday night.

GIRARD — The Girard City Council addressed a full slate ranging from more changes in the Crawford Hills Golf cart paths to city insurance and renovations at the Girard Senior Citizens Center during its regular meeting Monday night.

The bridge replacement project near the golf course had already caused changes in the cart path behind the No. 9 green, but that’s not the end of the story.

“A couple of weeks ago KDOT (Kansas Department of Transportation) brought in an update, and our cart path needs to be moved again because it is on the KDOT right-of-way,” said Gary Emry, Girard city administrator.

He said that this will shave space from the No. 1 tee box, but will not affect the No. 1 hole.

“There was no mention of the No. 1 tee box in our first conversation with KDOT,” Emry said. “I asked them if they could do a re-design, and they said that to get the slope they needed, they couldn’t do anything less than what they’ve done. About 100 feet of cart path will have to be moved, and involve about $1,000 worth of concrete.”

KDOT had compensated the city in the amount of $2,400 for its inconvenience in moving the cart path the first time around, and council member Susan Thom suggested that perhaps KDOT owes the city more money for this.

“If we’re on their right-of-way, we have to move our stuff,” said Richard Loffswold, city attorney.

Emry said that he would get two city departments working on the cart paths to make the changes as rapidly as possible.

“We’ll have a guard rail five feet behind the greens, but traffic won’t be any closer than it is now,” he said.

The council heard a presentation from Ray Ryan of Ryan Insurance regarding the city’s insurance, which would be through EMC Insurance Companies.

“This policy addresses tort claims and addresses needs to cover the city,” Ryan said.

One of the main items on the insurance list is the Girard power plant.

“The power plant has two policies, one property policy which covers things such as wind damage and the other which covers for break-downs,” Ryan said. “Your current coverage on the power plant is $14 million, but the recommendation by EMC is to raise this to $20 million, because that’s what it would take to replace it.”

Other portions of the policy address insurance on other buildings, city vehicles and some crime coverage.

Loffswold examined the insurance list and said he felt that the locations were mistaken on transformers listed. Also, two sub-stations were not on the list.

“You can’t leave the transformers and the sub-stations out,” the city attorney said.

The council voted to accept the insurance policy, but with corrections on any mistaken locations of transformers and with the sub-stations added.  Current premium is $78,595.

Emry reported on proposed renovations at the Girard Senior Center.

“We had hoped that the senior citizens would have accepted a unisex restroom, but they want separate facilities, which will add $2,000 to the cost,” he said.

However, Emry added that the senior citizens said they did not want the interior of the building painted and they did not feel they needed new tables in their center.

“I’ve gotten some citizen comments that, considering the age of that building, it might be better fiscally to demolish it and start from scratch,” Thom said.

The east part of the building, which had been used as a civic center, will be demolished, but Emry said that the west side, which is the senior center, is structurally sound.
“We can do the flooring, the restrooms and the electrical work in-house,” he said. “The cost should fall within $50,000 to $55,000.”

“I feel that it’s a viable building and it would be a mistake to demolish it,” added Tom McLeod, city codes officer.

The alternative would be to place the senior center inside the Roye building, which will be renovated to also include space for a civic center and an office for the Girard Chamber of Commerce.

“That could be expensive because it would cost around $25,000 to put a commercial-grade kitchen in for the senior center,” Emry said.

He did present plans for an exercise facility in the Roye building, and said that he and McLeod recently toured the Frontenac Recreation Center. The council made no decisions, and will continue to discuss the Roye building at a future meeting.

The council did approve Emry’s requests for equipment and repairs at the Girard city swimming pool, including $6,280 for a wheelchair lift and $2,500 for a concrete ramp at the play pool, both of which are needed for the pool to be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Also approved were $3,914 for a ladder system to replace concrete steps at the pool and $9,890 to replace gutter grating around the pool.

The  council also heard a brief presentation by members of the Girard High School Recycle Club and its advisor, teacher Nicole Meyer-Foresman. Club members collect paper, plastic and aluminum at the high school and regularly transport it to the Southeast Kansas Recycling Center in Pittsburg.

Mayor Maurice Harley called for the creation of a committee consisting of students, a council member and representatives from the Girard business community to possibly develop a community recycling program.

“I don’t think you appreciate the magnitude of what you’re doing,” Harley told the students. “All great things start with a small group of people.”