The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 27, 1996 · Page 3
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 3

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Salina, Kansas
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Sunday, October 27, 1996
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Page 3
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THE SALINA JOURNAL Great Plains SUNDAY, OCTOBER 27, 1996 A3 T SALINA CITY COMMISSION to vote on development resolutions Grant seeking funding for roads, housing and worker training called wave of future By CHRIS KOGER The Saltna Journal City commissioners will vote Monday on three resolutions that could lead to 30 new houses and 30 renovated residences designed for an influx of workers in Salina. The resolutions relate to a comprehensive development grant that ties together street improvements, housing and workforce training. Commissioners will meet .at 4 p.m. Monday in Room 107 of the City- xCounty Building. - The Kansas Department of Commerce and Housing has about $5 million it will distribute next year to cities who apply for the grants, and Salina officials are hoping for a substantial chunk — $2.39 million — of it. The grant application will be backed by $3.95 million in federal and local funds, including $100,000 from the city, $100,000 from the Salina Area Chamber of Com- merce.and $181,000 from the Salina School District and Kansas Board of Education. Almost $2 million will come from general obligation bonds through the Salina Airport Authority, which plans a $3.56 million street renovation project. The project, to update just over 5 miles of secondary roads in the airport industrial area in southwest Salina, would open 40 acres for industrial development. That, in turn, would lead to an increase in workers in Salina, who would need to find=moderate-priced housing. The $2.04 million for the proposed new construction and housing renovations would come from the HOME grant program, low-income tax credits for renters, a Community Development Block Grant, private developers and the city. Programs sponsored by the chamber, Smoky Hill Education Center and Salina School District are aimed at training workers and reducing dropout rates at area high schools. City Administrator Dennis Kissinger described the comprehensive grant process as the wave of the future, making communication between different entities and departments within the city critical. If commissioners approve the three grant resolutions, city leaders will submit it to the state by Nov. 1. The state will announce grant winners in January. Commissioners also will decide whether to accept a $1.29 million contract bid from Shears Inc. of Salina for Schilling Road and drainage improvements. The bid, almost $1 million less than an engineer's estimate, will fund the most significant single drainage improvement in the city in years. The drainage improvements along Schilling will divert stormwater to the east and are designed to improve drainage in south Salina, where flooding has been a problem for years. The city, Saline County and Kansas Department of Commerce are paying for the project. The city will pay $122,000 for the first phase, which covers Schilling Road from Target to the Union Pacific Railroad tracks to the east. Sixty percent of the second part of the project, which extends east from the railroad tracks, will be paid for by the city. In other business, the city will: • Consider final approval of a zoning change request at 1617-1621 S. Ninth. Tim Sankey has asked the commission to change the zoning from C-3 to PC-5, which will allow him to display used cars for sale on the lot. Commissioners will meet in the conference room in Room 107 at 2:30 p.m. Monday to hear the last of three stormwater reports from Kissinger. The study session will cover topics such as the size of ditches and containment ponds, city responses during heavy rains and the city's pump system. BRIEFLY Ellis County sheriff has illegally-tagged truck HAYS — Ellis County Sheriff Frank Ree^e said he'll tag his vehicle where he wants and his truck is tagged in Montana. And that's illegal. Reese, who is not running for re-election, said he is moving to Montana when his term as sheriff expires in January. For that reason, he opted to put Montana tags on his 1988 Chevy • pickup when his vehicle registra: tion was due in September. ; According to state law, while Reese can legally own property in two states, he must register his vehicles in Kansas if he is a Kansas resident regardless of whether the vehicle is in that . state. Potawatomi open new casino nearTopeka ., MAYETTA'— The Prairie Band of the Potawatomi has opened a temporary casino while waiting for a large casino to be built a year from now. Laura Abeyta, gaming commissioner for the tribe, said more than 250 visitors signed the guest register at the temporary facility Friday, opening day, to play the 171 busy slot machines inside. Abeyta and tribal chairwoman Mamie Rupnicki said the makeshift casino, located in part of the tribe's bingo parlor, is a pilot project for the 65,000-square-foot casino and 100-room motel the tribe hopes to open next year. Town of Agenda gets new water supply AGENDA — Water started flowing Friday from Republic County Rural Water District No. 2 to the town of Agenda, which has struggled for years with a contaminated water supply. Doug McKinney, of the Beloit- based North Central Regional Planning Commission, said the new system, which was dedicated Friday by the town's fewer than 100 residents, was financed through a Community Development Block Grant of $62,000 and a Kansas Department of Health and Environment grant of $30,000. He said water contamination in rural areas is not uncommon, but Agenda's situation was so severe the state department loaned the town a mobile unit to filter the contamination from its water supply. McKinney said the contamination dates as far back as World War II, when heavy chemicals were used in grain storage to control mice and other pests. WSU benefactor Oliver Elliott dies at age 77 WICHITA — Oliver B. Elliott, a Wichita State University alumnus -whose gift created the school's Elliott School of Communication, has died after a long illness. Elliott died Friday at age T]. He had been suffering from congestive heart problems for some time, said Carole Lindley, one of his daughters. A Wichita native, he graduated from Wichita University in 1942 with a bachelor's degree in business. A $7.6 million gift from him and his wife, Betty, in 1988 helped. found the university's journalism school. At the time, it was called the second-largest gift in Wichita State history. From Staff and Wire Reports Tomorrow's Headlines 825-60OO Zachary Ingram, 3, peers from a porthole on the new McDonald's play equipment. Zachary is the son of James and Kerry Ingram. Happy Meals Children love to play on new equipment at McDonald's restaurant on Planet Avenue By DAN ENGLAND The Salina Journal Y vonne Davis winced as she bit into a McDonald's cheeseburger and watched what seemed like a 100 children swarm over a device right out of "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory." "It's loud," said Davis, 1403 Brittany. "It's really loud." Loud? The more than 30 kids screaming, yelling and shouting with joy Saturday afternoon produced a decibel level louder than a Rolling Stones, Metallica and Van Halen jam. Salina's children have packed the $200,000 Playplace, 2236 Planet, for its full 12-hour period, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m, since it opened Tuesday. Some lunch and dinner hours have filled the area with its capacity of 72. Children were up to their neeks in the plastic ball playpen Saturday. They scooted up the 15-foot staircase, scrambled through a nylon net tunnel and slid down large plastic tubes. Davis' two children, Jalisha, 9, and Ashley, 4, were wide-eyed at the scene. A "Heck, I wished I fit in there. adult Jamie Hughes pool of sharks seemed to look more inviting to them at the moment. "They wanted to come here so bad," Davis said. "Now they're a little nervous." Jalisha shook her head when asked if she planned on going in. "It's wild," she said. A glass door encloses the area, so Jack Manion, general manager of the store, could hear when he was asked how he thought the response had been. He laughed. "Oh, it's been real good," Manion said. "Our sales have gone up since we opened it up. We've had a lot more kid traffic, thatls for sure. We've had some older kids who wanted in, but that's the only problem we've had with it." Oh, yeah, there are a few rules to the cacophony. No kids over 4 feet tall, no kids older than 12, no shoes, no running and no climbing up the slides. Rules four and five generally were ignored. A whistle blew through the noise. Intermission. The employees wipe down the equipment and the parents have a chance to grab their kids and go. Photos by TOM DORSEY/The Salina Journal Children race to climb and play on the new play equipment at the Planet Avenue McDonald's restaurant. Children age 12 and under are allowed on the equipment. "This gives them a moment to finally get out of there," said Doug Rempp, owner of the five McDonald's franchises in Salina. "We know that this won't last, that the newness of it will eventually wear off. But we do think it will be an attraction for quite a while." Rempp said there are around 200 of the play areas nationwide and probably four or five in the Wichita area alone. "McDonald's has been in the play area business for 15-20 years," Rempp said. "You're just seeing them being expanded and moved indoors. "I still don't think they will be commonplace. We certainly don't want one in every location here," he said. "Parents won't be able to go across town without their children harping on them." Geneva Smith, 1008 Merrily, thinks the place is good for the kids. "But I'd like to see one even a bit bigger," Smith said. "The line seems to be moving kind of slow." Jamie Hughes, 1533 N. Fifth, brought his son, Nathan, 6, to the Playplace for the second time. "He was watching them build this place, and he was drooling to get in here," Hughes said. "They just bought every kid in town. "Heck, I wished I fit in there." T THE JOURNALIST Looking to the bridge for captainly comfort Category 6006 (Call alter 7:30 p.m.) Even though local races will affect us more, presidential campaign gets all the attention I, along with a decreasing number of other U. S. citizens, will be doing my civic duty Nov. 5. The pretense for heading * into the curtained stall is to elect a President, as well as state and local officials. Local races affect us more, but the greater focus in presidential elections is on, surprise! electing a president, a person whom we believe will steer the country in the direction we want it to go. In reality, what I personally will be doing Nov. 5 will not be so much electing a captain for our ship of state as extending my unbroken streak of voting in every election since I turned 18. Oh, sure, I'll enter the booth comfortably GORDON D. FIEDLER JR. The Saliiia Journal informed and convinced my local choices are the best for Salina, Saline County and the state of Kansas. I'll also be X-ing a presidential square, although unlike local candidate choices who are closer to affecting my pursuit of happiness and my wallet, I don't expect any of the nominees for president to really accomplish much in the next four years or greatly influence my life in any way. For that reason it really doesn't matter who I, or we, vote for. Barring sudden onset of mental illness or having their brains sucked out and replaced by alien life forms, there is little damage any of the candidates, even the lower-case third party contenders, can inflict on the country in four years. Or eight, if the presidential election results have been accurately predicted. We could elect David Duke (at least we'd never have to worry about him changing the name of the official residence) or Louis Farrakhan (who probably would), and at the end of four years, our lives would be pretty much the same as they are now. This is because the wheel that's supposed to steer the ship of state is no longer connected to anything. Presidents can spin the thing with all the best or worst intentions until the little wooden knobs 'are a blur and the country is going to continue steaming along on its own course, under its own power. The question facing us voters, then, is who will offer us the most captainly comfort on the bridge as we plow on into the who-knows-where. . Our three leading choices: With his support in the single digits, according to some polls, Perot the Persistent is staying in just to feed his enormous ego. The biggest surprise of his campaign was when clean-cut Perot, who is famous for requiring his employees to wear any color shirt as long as Ujyas white, picked a Mr Vearsi taiia re- cowr's, and oth«# ntt*St When the political winds blow, he bends with the best. He's long been accused of lacking in character for liking the ladies. A lot. As a nation we've largely winked at this behavior because we're secretly relieved to know he's het- erosexual, and because it's not OUR wives or daughters he's liking. Lately it's been reported he also has a fondness for foreign money, specifically from a family of well-heeled Indonesians. Hey! How about waking me when a politician DOESN'T accept a boatload of overseas bucks. Running a distant second, again according to some polls, is our own witty, fast- with-the-one-liners Senator Bob, who seemed from the start of the campaign to expect us voters to hand him the presidency as his reward for a lifetime of public service. Hence, no firm campaign strategy. Instead of setting the populace afire with electrifying ideas, he spent too much time trying to shake his curmudgeonly image and explaining how, as president, he wouldn't become a Mr. Wilson governing a nation of Dennis Mitchells. Or worse, Richard Nixon with a sense of humor. So, there we have it. Three clear choices, any of which would look just fine in captain attire. Perot's may require additional tailoring. Feeling comfy yet? SUGGESTIONS? CALL BEN WEARING, DEPUTY EDITOR, AT (913) 823-6363 OR 1-800-827-6363

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