Grant would help properties

By BOB JOHNSON
Register City Editor

Owners of homes in a three-block area south of Allen County Hospital will have opportunities to make structural and mechanical improvements of up to $20,000 if Iola is successful in attracting a $400,000 Community Development Block Grant from the state.
The area is bounded on the north by Madison Avenue, on the east by Second Street, on the west by First Street and on the south by Spruce Street.
Susan Galemore, with Southeast Kansas Planning Commission, gave city commissioners an update of the city’s application Tuesday afternoon. Galemore said 12 income-eligible applicants had completed paperwork, a preliminary to seeking the grant, and that several others would probably surface.
“These grants are very competitive, but I’m cautiously optimistic about Iola’s chance,” Galemore said, noting six of the last eight grants she had written were approved.
The projects would be the same as those done in the general area several years ago.
“Rehabilitation work in the center core of the city would be a nice compliment to the new construction in the Cedarbrook Addition,” said Judy Brigham, city administrator. Grant money would be available for both homeowners and renters and could also be used to demolish a sub-standard property.
Commissioners gave the go-ahead to demolish a house at 408 S. Third St., which had been condemned.

LT. ERIC Lawrence, officer in charge of the Police Department while Chief Jared Warner is attending law enforcement academy classes, said more attention was being paid to traffic on Kentucky Street. Citizens had complained about speeding vehicles.
Lawrence noted no speed limit signs were in place between Madison Avenue and North Dakota, often referred to as Strickler Road, but by state law the limit in residential districts was 30 mph. He said several speeding citations had been written.
To give officers a better idea what is occurring on the street 24 hours a day, a trailer equipped with speed-measuring radar and recording devices will be positioned there, probably in September.
Lawrence also reported that the Police Department now offered child safety seat installation and correction service. Officer Brandon Andres is a certified child safety seat technician, Lawrence said.
People seeking assistance should bring with them the seat, their child and manuals for the seat and vehicle.
“This service includes teaching parents and guardians how to appropriately and safely install and re-install a child safety restraint system,” Warner wrote in a missive to commissioners. Arrangements for a home visit may be made by calling police headquarters, 365-4960.
Mayor Bill Maness recommended that commissioners review the city’s animal control policy after Lawrence handed them statistics for the past month. During that time 25 animals, mostly dogs, were taken to the Iola Animal Clinic where they were held for five business days. Those not claimed were euthanized. Lawrence said cost for boarding and euthanasia for the month was $2,282.50. Among suggestions was lowering boarding time to three business days.

COMMISSIONERS told Bo Garrett to complete construction of the Allen County Fair headquarters in Riverside Park and not to fret about a deadline.
The contract deadline is Friday, after which liquidated damages could be imposed.
“I don’t want to impose penalties just because we can,” Mayor Maness said. “We want the building finished and taking longer than the deadline isn’t going to have any negative impact on the community.”
Garrett said delays occurred because of rainy weather early in the project and subterranean obstacles unbeknown when it started. “We found a couple of old wells full of trash,” he said. “We couldn’t build on that. We had to remove it.”
Brad Riebel, with Shafer, Kline & Warren, Inc., said a plugged drained during heavy rains apparently was responsible for flooding of residences on West Scott Street, south of Madison Avenue Steaks and Chops. Commissioner Craig Abbott wants further invesigation done.