City crews dismantle equipment at the EIghth Street softball fields recently to prepare the area for a company that is buying the property from the city. Seven new ball fields will be constructed nearby to replace the five that are being torn down. L&T Photo/Earl Watt
By ELLY GRIMM
• Leader & Times
The Liberal City Commission will be taking on a heavy agenda during its meeting tonight.
First up on the agenda will be a presentation on the construction of new ball fields replacing the ones at 7th and Western. After the presentation, discussion of funding for the fields will take place. Staff will be requesting commission consideration for $850,000, which will come from the Streets, Drainage and Other Capital Improvements portion of the Liberal 1-cent sales tax.
Next up on the agenda will be the final reading of Ordinance No. 4430, which concerns granting Wildflower Telecommunications, LLC, a contract franchise to construct, operate and maintain a telecommunications system in Liberal. The first reading occurred at the commission’s last meeting on July 22 and unanimously passed forward to tonight’s final reading.
There will also be a public meeting regarding the implementation of changes to the Neighborhood Revitalization Plan. After the public hearing will be the first and final reading of Ordinance No. 4431, which is approving and adopting a neighborhood revitalization plan.
Next on the agenda will be discussion of Liberal’s first-time homebuyer program. The funds from the program have been depleted for 2014 and staff will be requesting a line item change to the Housing and Community Development budget to take money from the Builder’s Incentive line and move it to the Housing Programs line item.
Another big item on tonight’s agenda will be the 2015 city budget. The proposed budget is $36,087,000. This will represent a 3.798 mill increase.
“It is important to emphasize that in order to combat ever-increasing operational costs, we have been utilizing our reserves and staff has exhausted nearly every effort possible,” the agenda packet information said. “Thanks to these efforts, we have been able to maintain our mill levy for the past seven out of eight years without an increase but now find it neccesary in order to provide services to our citizens at a continued level they have come to expect.”
Other items on the agenda will be discussion of a project for the United States Citizen and Immigration Services. The Liberal Police Department will also be asking for funds for a purchase of line cars with equipment along with purchases of tasers and handheld radios.
The next agenda items will concern the right of way by Airport Industrial Park.
After the regular items, City Manager Mark Hall will give his report and then the commissioners will also give their items. After discussion of the vouchers, the meeting will be declared adjourned.