City Commissioners unanimously approved a contract with Assistant City Manager Justin Pregont to serve as City Manager on an interim basis effective immediately. The contract was approved following a 15-minute executive session during Monday’s regular commission meeting and comes on the heels of Becky Berger’s resignation from the top role a week ago.
Pregont, who was attending a professional development conference and was not at the meeting, is an Atchison native and has served as Assistant City Manager since 2018. Prior to that he oversaw Public Works and Utilities and has been with the City since 2013. Pregont is a Benedictine College graduate with a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Kansas.
During the meeting commissioners were also presented the 2022 City Manager’s Recommended Budget, which will now be published on Saturday with the public hearing for the budget on Tuesday, Sept. 7, after which the commission will consider officially adopting the document.
In other action Monday, commissioners approved a show cause hearing for the demolition of property at 437 S. 5th Street, with that hearing scheduled for Monday, Oct. 4. Commissioners also approved a topographical survey for Unity Street, which is a step taken to help improve future grant requests for a streetscape project on the street – similar to what was done on 2nd Street.
Commissioners also appointed Dana Ober-Watts to the Planning and Zoning Commission, Travis Grossman and Matt Lacey to the Economic Development Advisory Group (EDAG), Angie Cairo to the Parks and Forestry Board and Jake Hawk to the Board of Code Review. County Commissioner Casey Quinn was also appointed an ex-officio role (non-voting) on the Economic Development Advisory Group.
Commissioners also approved an extra $10,000 in façade grants as part of the 500-600 Commercial Street renovation project. Those grants are scheduled to be decided during Wednesday’s EDAG meeting.
Prior to the meeting Mayor Abby Bartlett proclaimed September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
The next regular city commission meeting is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 7, in the commission room – moved from Monday because of Labor Day. That meeting will include public hearings for intent to exceed the revenue neutral rate and for the 2022 budget.