‘A stop worth making’

Register Reporter

Feedback is sought on the design of several billboards that will be posted near Iola.

Jana Taylor wants to catch the eye of passing motorists to entice them to stop in Iola.
Thus her idea for a series of billboards, “Iola: A Stop Worth Making.”
Taylor, executive director of the Iola Area Chamber of Commerce, shared the conceptual design of the billboards Tuesday with Iola city commissioners.
“We’re trying to get feedback from people to see what they think of it,” Taylor said.
The billboards will replace a pair of billboards — one north of town on U.S. 169; the other to the south — that show a string of local storefronts. A third billboard will be erected somewhere east of town on U.S. 54, Taylor said.
The design came about after months of brainstorming, Taylor said.
“I personally think the design is pretty cool,” Commissioner Craig Abbott said.
Abbott suggested posting small graphics on the outer edges of the sign indicating that motorists in search of food, fuel or lodging could find those in Iola.

IOLA WILL hire Landworks Studio to help the city apply for state funds in order to extend the Prairie Spirit Trail.
Commissioners approved, 2-1, paying Landworks $3,370 to develop the application for a transportation enhancement grant.
The grant, from the Kansas Department of Transportation, would extend the trail from Cofachique Park to Riverside Park.
The amount of funding the city will seek has not been established yet, City Administrator Judy Brigham said. That would be established after Landworks develops a conceptual design of the trail extension.
Commissioners delayed acting in October on the Landworks proposal because the Olathe-based firm already has been hired by the city to develop the Vision Iola Master Plan, which will coordinate plans for Iola’s parks, downtown business district, signage and recreation activities.
The city is paying Landworks $25,100 for its services with the Vision Iola Master Plan.
In response to a question from Mayor Bill Maness, Brigham said the KDOT grant application was separate because of the pending deadline for the grant application. The application must be filed by Dec. 31.
The Vision Iola Master Plan, meanwhile, is still in its early stages, with much of the work not beginning before December.
The explanation convinced both Maness and Commissioner Bill Shirley that it was worth the investment to hire Landworks a second time.
Not so with Abbott, who voted against the measure.
“I don’t see the advantage,” Abbott said.

THE NEW community building at Riverside Park had been scheduled to be finished this week, but Assistant City Administrator Corey Schinstock said work likely will not be done by Saturday’s deadline.
Crews from Below Standard Construction have finished all of the exterior work on the building, but interior work still remains, Schinstock said. Crews still have to install ceilings and electric wiring, he said.
When finished, the building will replace the “old” New Community Building, which was damaged in the 2007 flood. It also will house offices for the Allen County Fair Board.