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City receives FEMA funds after ice storms PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 12 September 2017 11:33

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ELLY GRIMM
• Leader & Times


The main topic of discussion for the Liberal City Commission during its Aug. 22 meeting was about flooding throughout parts of Liberal after the heavy rains a few weeks ago. Before that, Liberal was battered with an ice storm. The topic of storm damage will be revisited again by the commission during its next meeting this evening beginning at 5:30. 

Discussions will consist of a handful of items regarding reimbursement payments from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Kansas Division of Emergency Management (KDEM). 

“As a result of the 2017 storms, the City of Liberal has received reimbursement from FEMA and the KDEM in the amount of $902,495.29 to date,” the agenda information noted. “FEMA and KDEM reimbursement funds may be used for equipment repairs, equipment purchases, equipment rentals, wages, benefits, volunteer expenses and other reimbursable items.” 

There are a handful of items to also approve with this, with the first of these items being a request to accept the $902,495.29 from FEMA and KDEM. City staff will also be requesting the commission reimburse $40,000 to the Liberal Pride Citywide 1-cent sales tax funds used to start the cleanup, and will also be requesting the commission transfer $74,367.53 of FEMA and KDEM funds. The commission will also be asked to incur $37,477 in operational expenses (including landfill charges, fuel, and equipment expenses in FEMA and KDEM funds as a result of the storm cleanup efforts, and will also be asking the commission to set aside FEMA and KDEM volunteer assistances funds in the amount of $2,420.29 that are the result of the cleanup efforts of Seward County Community College. The final request in regard to this discussion will see the commission asked to transfer the remaining balance of the FEMA and KDEM funds ($788,230.47) to the equipment reserve fund for future needs. 

There will also be a couple contracts looking to be renewed this evening at the meeting, with the first one being with Retail Strategies. 

“We have the opportunity to renew our current contract for an additional for $28,000, which is the same as last year. If you recall, for our initial year of the contract, we paid $50,000,” the agenda information noted. “The relationship that has developed between the City of Liberal and Retail Strategies has gotten stronger as they now understand more about our local retail markey and we know more about how they operate. The initial part of their work for the City was to research and validate our market. Next, they took this research into the marketplace and told retailers, developers and brokers about liberal, and the response from retailers has generally been ‘Yes, we’ll look.’ We have been more than pleased with the work Retail Strategies has done on behalf of the City. Not only have they worked closely with us, but they are also working directly with Pinnacle Developments as well as local and regional developers, brokers and retail real estate personnel to attract retailers.”

The other contract to be discussed will be a water sales contract with Arkalon Energy, LLC, which was reviewed and approved by the city’s Water Rights Attorney. 

In other business, the commission will also be asked to approve the purchases of a portable flow meter for the City of Liberal Water Department, equipment for the recently purchased Ford Interceptors for the Liberal Police Department, and waste chassis and collection barrels for the City of Liberal Solid Waste Department. 

 

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The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association and the Associated Press.

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