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The Hesston Record
347 B Old Hwy 81
Hesston, KS 67062
(620) 327-4831

Video Tour Of May 12 Record

City Wants To Purchase Trailer Park, Would Shut Down Housing Within A Year

Posted 5/12/2016

By Jackie Nelson

The Hesston City Council is well on the way to purchasing Country Villages Mobile Home Park for $440,000.  According to City Administrator Gary Emry, closing on the purchase could occur within 30 to 45 days.

Country Village is owned by Prestwick Investments II, LLC and  Bob Tonge of Prestwick Investments said there are approximately 38 units occupied in the park’s 20.1-acre property, divided into 139 lots.

As per the presented management agreement, the city “intends to wind down the operation of the property over a period of approximately one year then terminate the operation of the property.”

Tonge said the city’s decision to close the park would not influence his decision to sell the property. 

There was no mention in the agreement of what will happen to the park’s residents.

According to Emry, funds to purchase the park would come from city of Hesston Reserve Funds. According to Jason Thrasher, City Clerk, the current balance of the fund to be used for the purchase is $1,277,784.34.  The purchase of the park represents 34.4 percent of the balance.

As part of the purchase, the city will become the landholder of Country Village and thus landlord to the tenants. The city would collect rent on the lots, which is currently $210 per month.

However, in a separate contract, the city proposes Prestwick Investments, which has owned the park for 19 years, would continue to manage the property for a monthly payment of $2,500 until the closure of the park. Per the proposed agreement, the contract with Prestwick Investments will expire Dec. 31 and renew automatically on a month-to-month basis. 

In a press release issued by the city, there are no clear plans for the property after the proposed purchase and closing of the park.

“The city has not announced or made any decision regarding the long-term use of the property except to say it has a desire to eventually develop the park into multiple potential uses for the city, with a continuing desire to provide affordable and safe housing for its citizens.”

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Sports Complex Threatened By New Deadlines

Posted 5/12/2016

By Jackie Nelson

Due to the recently passed local tax lid by state legislatures, the project to create baseball diamonds, soccer fields and a new pool is in peril.

“There is the threat of the project falling through until 2017, dealing with the tax lid. And we would have to go through a whole new process, as well as a mandated public vote,” said City Administrator Gary Emry.

Emry said the project hangs in the balance, as timing for mill levee increases, publication schedules, protest periods and time to sell bonds is forcing the Public Building Commission, Recreation Commission and Ad Hoc committee to work incredibly quickly to try to save the project, which has been 16 months in the making.

“We’ve been on it for 16 months and really looking forward to the light at the end of the tunnel, and time may have run out at the very end,” he said.

According to Emry, the passage of the tax lid has put Hesston up against a serious time crunch, with a protest period technicality possibly standing in the way of the whole project.

“I have asked Brad to check and see if there is a 30-day or 10-day protest period for the increase. If it is only a 10-day protest, we can get it done.  We would publish May 19 and 26, and have the whole month of June to sell bonds, which is do-able.

“If it is a 30-day protest period, it would leave us only a week to sell the bonds, which is just not feasible,” said Emry.

In conversations with the City Attorney, without confirmation, it is his recollection that KSA 12-1927 requires a 30 day protest period following the last publication of the mill levee increase.

The soonest the Recreation Commission would be able to publish such an increase would be in the May 19 edition of The Record. The second publication would take place on May 26. The 30-day protest period would run through approximately June 24.

At a late April meeting held by the Hesston Rec, USD 460 and city council, the governing bodies chose the Public Building Commission, the same organization used to construct the Hesston Public Library, as the organization to best handle the large-scale sports complex. 

To read more see this weeks print edition

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Student Art, Poetry, Highlighted In Annual Publication

Posted 5/12/2016

Record Staff

The annual Southwinds publication at Hesston High will be released in time for graduation. Featuring 30 pieces of art and nearly as many original poems by students, the publication is a tribute to the creativity at Hesston High.

“It really is an honor for these students to be chosen to be included in Southwinds.  It really shows the best of the best in the school,” said art teacher Holly Savage.

Doug Broadfoot, English teacher and editor of the Southwinds poetry, said each year he is pleased with what students submit.

“We had several first time entrants. It's tough to encourage young writers to have enough courage to submit entries,” he said.

As judges, Savage and Broadfoot have the responsibility of choosing the best of the best from submissions.

“Judging poetry is like judging music. It's very subjective, so judges generally focus on its structure, then it's story. If the story is appealing, then the poem will most likely get at least one vote,” said Broadfoot.

Savage added personal preferences of judges almost always influence choices for Southwinds. Though, this year, Savage was not a judge for the art entries.

“There are always pieces that stand out to me.  Usually it is because of the compostion .  Usually the piece will have a lot of contrast that helps to make it noticeable,” she said.

Ellie McKenney found a unique contrast, creating a drawing of her beloved dog in a dress.

“Everyone says she’s such an ugly dog. I wanted to make her pretty. It was the only piece I submitted and I thought it was cool it got in,” she said.

Poet Leah Arrasmith had two pieces chosen, a longer free-verse poem “Voyage” and a shorter rhyming poem, “Literature.” 

To read more see this weeks print edition

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Hesston Seniors Earn Honorable Mentions At League Show

Posted 5/12/2016

Record Staff

Two Hesston High seniors earned Honorable Mentions at the 2016 League Art Show.  Brenna Peters and Katrina Heinrichs both submitted pencil drawings which earned praise from the judges.

Peters’ still life of a chess board with chess pieces, playing cards and plants, was an independent study still life.

“I think what really stood out for Brenna is she set up the still life, brought everything in, had the light on it and did it all without instruction,” said art teacher Holly Savage.

Savage noted Peters’ use of color was exceptional as well as her attention to detail.

“It really shows her talents. It all came together in one piece,” she said.

Peters said she paid special attention to the leaves of the plants.

“I really liked the plants, and I wanted it to be kind of playful, so I added the cards and chess board,” she said.

Heinrichs, also a colored pencil artist, took playful to a new level.  Her piece features bluebirds with flowers growing from their wings.

“I was just looking at animals and thought I wanted to draw birds. I wanted to put a twist on it,” she said. 

To read more see this weeks print edition

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