City Commission Meeting Highlights 8.5.2019

 In Featured News, General News, News

Monday’s Atchison City Commission meeting featured impassioned civic engagement, an approved 2020 City Budget and the recognition of a new domestic violence shelter to serve Atchison residents.

The first public forum featured impassioned commentary about the future of Walt Wilburn Park and the naming of Division Street. Neither issue was up for action during Monday’s meeting, but the marketing of Wilburn Park to potential buyers prompted community engagement – which turned into a representative showing at Monday’s meeting.

The engagement appears to have had an impact, as the commissioners expressed a desire for more communications before any decisions would be made on the possible sale of Wilburn Park. The idea of renaming Division Street also was impactful, as the gallery and some commissioners applauded the efforts of Michael Ross, who suggested that the history associated with the name wasn’t something that the community should celebrate. Ross suggested a name – like possibly that of Kathryn Ross, the first black woman to serve as Atchison’s mayor – change to promote unity moving forward.

The 2020 City Budget passed unanimously, with $24,468,374 in total city expenditures and a 58.319 mill levy (including the library, whose expenditures are not part of the city’s budget). The total expenditures are a 1% decrease from 2019.

A resolution recognizing Alliance Against Family Violence as the city’s official domestic violence shelter fills a need in the community since DoVES shut down its operations leaving Atchison without a licensed facility. AAFV is located in Leavenworth, but it was stated that about 20% of its current clientele are from Atchison and that including Atchison in its official coverage area makes the group eligible for funding to serve Atchison more inclusively.

In other action, the commissioners approved the re-appointments of Jim Rowland and Dan Raplinger and new appointments of Andrea Clements and David Bryant to the Economic Development Advisory Group. The commissioners also appointed Lee Kipple and Nick Tate to serve on the newly created Board of Code Review (also called the All-Trades Board).

Commissioners agreed to a lease with the Kansas Department of Revenue which will turn the old “Rotary Room” on the first floor into the new Driver’s License bureau. The 15-year lease will provide the City with $20,055.75 each year in revenue for using the space – which will require minimal updating for utilization.

The commissioners authorized the issuance of $4.35 million in hospital revenue bonds for Atchison Hospital. $2.5 million is for renovations, with the remaining balance a refinancing of existing debt.

Commissioners also authorized a new boiler for City Hall as the existing boiler had essentially been condemned by the contractor that maintains it. They also approved the replacement of Variable Frequency Drives at the Raw Water Intake for Pumps 1 and 3.

For more information contact Director of Administrative Services Joe Warren at (913) 367-5500 or