Peabody Main Street and Economic Development Director Shane Marler presented a check for $20,000 Monday to Peabody City Council.
Kansas Main Street Association provided the grant, which will help the city purchase the former Baker Furniture and Carpet buildings in downtown Peabody.
“You should know that a lot of people are watching this project,” Marler said. “I have had phone calls from other small towns wanting to know how we did it.”
Councilman Tom Schmidt complimented Marler and the Peabody Gazette-Bulletin for the interview in the past edition of the newspaper.
“I think the story went a long way in explaining the project, how it will be funded, and why we did it that way,” Schmidt said.
Mayor Larry Larsen asked that copies of the interview be made available at the city office for people who may not understand the project and its funding. He requested that Schmidt’s explanation of the venture, prepared for those in attendance at the Jan. 31 public hearing, and also printed in the Peabody Gazette-Bulletin, be available.
Marler told council members to encourage citizens with questions to call him.
“That is what you pay me for,” he said. “If someone needs more information, I am happy to help. If I don’t know the answer, I will find out.”
In other business:
- A five-minute executive session to discuss personnel resulted in no action.
- City Administrator Mac Manning reviewed correspondence from the Federal Emergency Management Agency approving new floodplain management regulations for Peabody. The plans will then go to Peabody Planning and Zoning Commission for review and approval.
- An ordinance de-annexing the property formerly known as the Peabody Industrial Park was approved.
- Manning presented his findings on the history of previous councils’ actions in regards to a liquor store license in the city. After discussion, council members agreed to table a decision until Manning obtains a legal evaluation from the city attorney and the state legislature determines the fate of liquor stores statewide.
- Marler reported the Main Street association has begun planning for the 2011 Operation Celebration event in May. The streetscape proposal has been amended to include directional signs and Marler is looking for funding for signage. All of the Incentives Without Walls money is in use by downtown businesses and Marler is applying for additional funds. He is hoping to organize a candidate forum March 26 to give the community a chance to hear from city council and school board candidates.
- Peabody Health and Safety Officer Tammy Whiteside reviewed five properties on the nuisance list that need resolution before the time allowed to take action expires. After discussion, the council agreed the city needs to address the issue of the Butler house demolition before condemning other properties. The city owns the Butler house, located at Sycamore and Second streets. The city will contact the state historical society to determine appropriate steps to demolish the structure.