City to Close Morrow Park; Cemetery Plans Altered

 In Featured News, General News, News

City Commissioners voted unanimously to close Morrow Park after facing no public opposition for the second straight meeting on Tuesday.

Commissioners discussed the closing during the Feb. 3 meeting, then brought it back for a vote on Tuesday – presenting two opportunities for dissenting opinion to be expressed. There were numerous people – both city residents and non-city residents – who participated in Public Forum on Tuesday, but the discussion was all focused on Oak Hill Cemetery.

The opinions expressed during the forum concerned an ordinance passed in January. City leaders have since decided that no headstones will be removed from the cemetery at this time, trying instead to find a short-term fix for the dangerous headstones that pose an immediate risk. The City will not be using taxpayer money on this solution, instead utilizing previous and future donations to address the stones. Any residents wishing to donate to the cause can do so at City Hall, 515 Kansas Avenue, or by calling (913) 367-5500.

In other action Tuesday, Commissioners voted unanimously to follow the Planning and Zoning Commission recommendation and rezone the property at 832 Commercial Street from I-1 to B-4. The property was already surrounded by B-4 and was listed as B-4 in the Future Land Use Map in the 2016 Comprehensive Plan. The move allows a developer to renovate the building into an apartment building with an estimated $6 million-$8 million in investment.

Commissioners also approved a contract extension with Heartland Ag Aviation to remain as the Amelia Earhart Airport Fixed Base Operator through 2026. They also approved the replacement of a 2 ½ ton dump truck for the water department, a change order to finish the 1000 block of Atchison Street brick repair project and a closeout adjustment for the Dam 6 Sewer Project.

Commissioners also approved a memorandum of understanding with Habitat for Humanity to allow the agency to use unoccupied space in the Project Concern building at 504 Kansas Avenue, and a lease allowing the Kansas Commission on Veterans Affairs to operate in the first floor of the Atchison Event Center.

The next meeting is scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, March 2 in the City Commission Room.