New commissioners take seats; Rizza and Reavis retain mayoral roles

 In City Commisioner, Featured News, General News, News

Three new city commissioners were sworn in to begin Monday’s regular meeting, with the mayor and vice mayor also selected for the coming year.

The new mayor and vice mayor will look very similar to the 2019 mayor and vice mayor, as the only two returning city commissioners, Shawn Rizza and Allen Reavis, were voted to extend their tenures in those positions.

Commissioners Abby Bartlett, J. David Farris and Lisa Moody each got their first taste of governing, hearing a report on the upcoming strategic plan, approving a grant contract and agreement with Blackstone Properties that would renovate the old Aunt Pearl’s Attic building at 523 Commercial St., and a number of other high impact items.

Those items included the approval of an asphalt construction contract with Herzog Construction Corp. for the 2020 Street Project. The contract is for $810,933.54, with change order authority up to $35,000. That brings the entire 2020 Street Project total to about $1.24 million – a $425,275 contract for concrete work was approved in October. The city budgeted $1.25 million for the project in 2020.

Also approved was a contract with Herzog for $275,791.78 to do a City Connecting Links Improvement Program asphalt project on K7 Highway from the intersection of 17th Street and Country Club to the north city limits. The CCLIP project will be 90% funded by KDOT’s CCLIP program, with the city responsible for a little under $30,000. That project was budgeted for $400,000 in 2020, with the city’s portion being $100,000, making that contract well under budget.

The commissioners also voted to increase special event permit fees – with most having been unchanged for about 40 years. The new event fee schedule will be available online at

The final business item for the commission on Monday was the approval of the all-way stop signs at the intersection of 2nd Street and Commercial Street. The stop signs were put in place a few months ago under a temporary order by Police Chief Mike Wilson, but to become permanent, commission approval was required.

Following the business meeting the commissioners adjourned to a workshop, where results from the 2019 Utility Rate Study were discussed, and an issue with deteriorating headstones at Oak Hill Cemetery was brought forward. Both of those items will likely be brought to the commission for potential action at a future meeting.