HUMBOLDT — Humboldt will apply to place the bandstand in its city square park on the National Register of Historic Places.
City Administrator Larry Tucker originally proposed to put all of the park — including water tower and bandstand, built in 1906 and 1907 — on the register, but Mayor Nobby Davis said he thought it better for the city to keep full control of what occurs, and might be built, in the park. Enrolling all of the park could put restraints on what is done locally, he cautioned.
“Let’s do the bandstand first, and then look at the rest of the park and the water tower later,” he said.
A sticking point was that the water tower, at age 107, might require more than simple maintenance, which could lead to problems if any changes in its structure were proposed, Davis noted.
Council members agreed with Davis, voting five-to-one to seek only to register the bandstand. Wayne Smith was the lone negative vote; council members Joann Roether and Sunny Shreeve were absent.
If the bandstand is accepted as a historic structure, registration will open the door for grant funding not now available, Tucker said.
Consideration of an application surfaced a year ago, but was shelved by a state law that would have put all structures, public and private, within 500 feet under the historic register’s thumb. Legislative action during the just completed session, led by Rep. Ed Bideau and Sen. Caryn Tyson, removed the law.
Tucker proposed that the city also look at application for historic registration of a quaint rock shelter house and cabin in Camp Hunter Park, both constructed by Works Progress Administration crews in the 1930, as well at the Marsh Arch bridge that spans the Neosho River at the west edge of town. Consideration of those landmarks was put off until later.
BIG BROTHER will keep an eye on folks using Humboldt parks.
Tucker announced surveillance cameras were operational in Cannon and Neosho River Parks, and soon would be in Camp Hunter and near the swimming pool.
The cameras, perched atop utility poles, will rotate 360 degrees and be active 24/7. Police officers will be able to access views by Internet links. Images also will be stored.
Council members tabled for further discussion a request from department heads to make public buildings and vehicles off limits to smokeless tobacco. Cigarette smoking is prohibited by state law.
“Concerns include equal treatment and unsanitary conditions often associated with chewing tobacco, snuff and other smokeless tobacco,” Tucker said.
“Are we concerned about (employees’) health or ‘he gets to do it (chew) and I don’t (get to smoke),’” Davis asked.
“I think the department heads are thinking about employees’ health,” Tucker replied.
With contention brewing, Councilman Jerry Stephens proposed tabling the issue. Other council members agreed.
THE CITY will borrow $109,000 from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to pay for improvements to its waste water collection system and plant, work that was ordered by KDHE.
Loan interest will be 2.58 percent, and it will be attached to another utility improvement loan from KDHE that has a principal of $595,000. Tucker said payments on the new loan wouldn’t start until 2017 and would be $15,000 a year.
Council members unanimously approved the appointment of Donna Salzwedel, a former council member, to the Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals.