listen to proposal
A communication from Burlington-Northern-Santa Fe Railroad was introduced Monday night to Florence City Council members offering the former Santa Fe Depot to the city or another entity if there is any interest in the purchase of the structure.
City clerk Janet Robinson said she would be willing to contact the city clerk at Strong City because the community just purchased the Santa Fe Depot there.
After discussion, it was agreed the city should at least enter into a dialogue with the railroad and find out what kind of money is involved.
Also of concern was what restrictions, if any, would be placed on the building that might limit its use.
“Florence could end up awash in old buildings that can’t be used,” said councilman Randy Mills, “but we certainly need to check into this. It would be a shame to lose it if it can be saved and put to good use.”
Mayor Greg Winn instructed Robinson to research the city’s options and get a proposal from the railroad. She will present her findings at a future meeting. The former school buildings also were discussed by council as no action has been taken on them in recent months despite promises from owners.
“We need to get back on this and take legal action,” Winn said. Mills and councilman Bryan Harper reported seeing OASIS staff park close to the oldest school buildings the past couple of weeks.
“We need to put up signs and check again to be sure they are secure,” Winn said.
Council instructed Baldwin to secure the buildings if necessary and charge labor and materials to the owner.
Robinson was asked to again contact county compliance officer Bobbi Strait so the city can proceed with legal action to get the buildings demolished.
In other business, the council:
- corrected the minutes of Dec. 8 to reflect discussion of easements to accommodate a property owner at 8th and Doyle streets. A legal description of the property was added to the minutes.
- delayed payment to Straub International for repairs to the city tractor until questions are answered about why it took 18 hours to diagnose the problem.
- heard a report by councilman Trayce Warner about initial meetings of committees that will help with “Symphony in the Flint Hills” in June.
- also heard Warner’s report on the “First Impressions” group that visited Marion County and critiqued the communities.
- agreed to convene a special meeting at 4 p.m. Dec. 29 in the city building to handle year-end business.
- approved the selection by the Florence Fire Department of Mark Slater as Florence Fire Chief. Winn made the official appointment and Slater was sworn in.
- approved a city electrical license for Elcon Electric of Hillsboro.
- approved 2008 cereal malt beverage licenses for Johnson’s General Store and Doyle Creek Corrall. Mills abstained from the vote due to his interest in Doyle Creek Mercantile.
- heard from Slater Bruce Fetrow has taken a position with the fire department, increasing to six the number of firefighters in town during the day. Phil Baldwin will serve as training officer. The Labor Day committee gave the fire department $200.
- approved an expenditure of $110 for dues for Florence Fire Department to Kansas State Firefighters’ Relief Association.
- entered an executive session for 10 minutes for the purpose of discussing personnel. Slater was included in the executive session. No action was taken on return to open meeting.
- heard city crews moved some extra dirt to the cemetery, did some sewer repair, got the dump truck ready to spread brine on slick streets, picked up limbs in residential areas, and spread rock on Main Street south of the railroad tracks. After discussion, Baldwin said he would double-check to find out where Main Street becomes the county’s responsibility. He had been told the part in need of rock was city property.
- heard Florence Police Chief Conroy Miller and officer Jeremy Wilkerson-Rodriguez attended a workshop in Augusta that covered legal issues for vehicle stops and drug confiscation.