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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Change to plat OK'd by city

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Fort Scott City Commissioners on Tuesday voted to have this unoccupied home at 114 N. Judson demolished. The commission elected to go with the low bid of $3,285 from Randy Vilela Demolition of Pittsburg for the project.(Jason E. Silvers/Tribune)
Some changes concerning a plat of land where McDonald's restaurant is located and planned demolition of a local residence were other items covered during this week's Fort Scott City Commission meeting.

Commissioners approved a preliminary and final plat approval for the McDonald's property, which basically involved combining two pieces of property into one and changing the name of the land for the city record, Codes Manager Brent Crays said.

"The issue is that McDonald's ended up getting the lot in between them and the motel (First Interstate Inn)," he said. "When they put in the new McDonald's structure, they wanted to re-plot it so that all of it was one single lot. Also, they wanted to rename that lot to McDonald's West Side Addition."

The subdivision was previously called the "Adams" subdivision, Crays said.

McDonald's wished to take all of the multiple plot lines involved and "make it all a specific property," Crays said.

"Because there were different lots in there, McDonald's had to go through the proper plotting process," he said. "In essence, they're taking vacant property next to the hotel and putting it into one piece of property and changing the name ... It's taking two plots and making them one."

The issue went before the Planning Commission last month first for review; they approved it, sending the recommendation to city commissioners who approved the changes Tuesday. After approval, commissioners sign the proposal and the changes are put into the record, Crays said.

McDonald's currently owns the whole plot of land and parking lot where the restaurant is located, and the property also takes up the former vacant lot between McDonald's and the hotel.

McDonald's owner Mark McCoy has said the eatery has an agreement with First Interstate Inn, located just north of the restaurant, for the redesigned driveway between the two properties.

The agreement allows customers of both establishments to use the driveway and parking lot, McCoy said.

Also on Tuesday, commissioners discussed what Crays called an "emergency situation" concerning a dangerous and unsafe structure and accessory structure located at 114 N. Judson. Last month, the commission conducted a public hearing regarding the structures and approved a resolution directing their repair or removal. They also voted to move forward with demolition if the structures were not brought up to code within 15 days after Crays asked for the least possible time to have the structure brought down.

Crays said Tuesday three bids were received for demolition of the property. The commission elected to go with the low bid of $3,285 from Randy Vilela Demolition of Pittsburg. Crays said Vilela is known and recommended by city officials and will be able to get the job done quickly.

The commission also chose to give the owner of the property, which is unoccupied, until Sunday to remove any valuables, before the demolition process begins. Crays said he had previously been in contact with the owner, who lives out of town and has not stated any plans to repair it.

The house and accessory structure are in a very dilapidated condition, Crays said. The sides of the property are bowing, the roof is compromised and could collapse following a snowfall and the rafters are coming out of the chimney. Crays said the worry is that if the house is left standing in its current state, it could fall and hit a neighboring house about seven feet away.

The commission discussed allowing the fewest number of days possible for the removal of valuables before demolition as the property has been an ongoing issue and cannot be left in its current condition.

"We've been working on this house for months and months," Mayor Jim Adams said. "We probably should have dealt with it already."

Public Works Director Richard Cook provided commissioners with an overall view of the water department's activities for 2012. Cook said the use of new water treatment chemicals saved the city about $90,000 last year. Workers also installed 10 automatic flushing hydrants that maintain chlorine residual in the water distribution system. The hydrants now automatically flush on a timed basis set by city personnel.

The flushing of the hydrants prevents chlorine in the city's water system from becoming stagnant.

The roof of the administration building at the Water Treatment Plant was also recently replaced.

Cook said the department has appreciated the support it has received from city commissioners and city staff during the past year.

"They're looking after taxpayer dollars and keeping prices down and I'm really proud of them for that," Adams said of water department staff. "We have employees thinking like it's a business."

Commissioners Jeanie Parker agreed, adding she also appreciates employees' efforts.

"Our water bills may go up a little bit, but these maintenance projects and things are needed ... Things get behind," she said.

In other business, commissioners:

* Approved a bid of $26,475 from Watch Guard in Allen, Texas, for the purchase of five in-car camera systems for the Fort Scott Police Department. Interim Police Chief Travis Shelton said two bids were received and Watch Guard was recommended because it met specifications. City Manager Dave Martin said the camera systems are beneficial.

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