Feb 10, 2020 4:51 PM

Planning commission to hear annual report

Posted Feb 10, 2020 4:51 PM

HUTCHINSON, Kan — The city of Hutchinson continues to push incentive programs for home rehabilitation.

One area that saw marked improvement in 2019 was the Brush Up Hutch paint program. The program which provides the means to repaint homes in the city saw its highest application rate since the program began in 2014. According to the city planning department, a total of 59 applications were received. Of those applications, 19 homes were repainted. The number of homes painted matches the high set in 2016.

The city also pushed two other home improvement programs although few took advantage of them. One homeowner took advantage of the zero interest rehabilitation program with a loan of $2,000. The program saved the homeowner nearly $200 in interest that was covered by the city.

Two new homeowners applied for the down payment match program which is in its third year. The program helps first time home buyers with down payments.

The Downtown District saw significant economic investment along Main Street. Two significant projects – the Burt Building and the Stevens Building – were completed in 2019. Several other businesses installed new signs on historic buildings in the downtown historic districts.

Not all of the preservation news was good for the year. In early 2019, the historic sugar mill, a significant local landmark, collapsed due to neglect. 2019 also saw an increase in the number of requested demolitions as a result of increased property maintenance enforcement in the Houston Whiteside District.

If the report is approved by the planning department it will go before the Hutchinson city council during their regular agenda session. Tuesday's planning commission meeting begins at 5:30 at the Hutchinson city offices.

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Feb 10, 2020 4:51 PM
Equus Beds hearings continue through Wednesday

HALSTEAD, Kan. — The Kansas Department of Agriculture will continue its public hearing to address Wichita’s proposed modifications of the city’s Aquifer Storage and Recovery Project today.

The hearings are taking place at the First Mennonite Church, 427 W. 4th in Halstead through Wednesday.

The requests from Wichita is being opposed by the Equus Bed Ground Water Management District. General Manager Tim Boese feels the proposal gives the city too much freedom in taking water from the aquifer.

Boese also says any significant lowering of the aquifer could allow a major salt pollution plume to start migrating further in the water table. It’s estimated that there as much as 1.9 million tons of salt in the water table in a 36 square-mile area around Burrton.

The proceedings begin each day at 9:00 a.m. and will end each day no later than 5:00 p.m. except Wednesday when they will end no later than 3:00 p.m.

The proceedings are open to the public.