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June 14th, 2021

city of liberal logoELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times


The Liberal City Commission will be keeping it short and sweet for itself at its next meeting this evening starting at 5:30. 

Up first for the commission will be discussion of Resolution No. 2358, which concerns calling for a public hearing for the creation of a  CID from Venture Kansas LLC. 

“The public purpose of the project is to provide for the construction of improvements to contribute to the revitalization, growth, and economic development of the city and property that is currently economically underutilized, and thereby furthering economic development purposes of the city,” the project petition in the agenda information noted.

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“Venture Kansas LLC, represented by Malik Bhagat and Rafig Lakhani, are the new owners of a portion of Liberal Plaza that used to be the former Walmart, and where Westlake Ace Hardware is, as well as the former spaces where Gordmans, Hastings and Dollar General used to be,” the agenda information noted. “They are petitioning the City of Liberal to create a Community Improvement District (CID). The project includes cost acquisition, façade improvements, roof improvements, parking lot improvements, mechanical, electrical and plumbing improvements, signage, HVAC improvements, the City’s administrative fee, and other associated costs. The estimated cost of the project is $2,500,000, and is proposed to be financed in part through the use of CID sales tax revenue to be expended on the CID project on a pay-as-you-go basis. They will levy and collect a 1 percent add-on CID sales tax as authorized by the Act for a period up to 22 years. Resolution No. 2358 calls for a public hearing on the advisability of creating the CID approving the project set forth in the petition and shall take place July 13 at 5:30 p.m. Staff recommends approval of Resolution No. 2358.”

Up next for the commission will be discussion of a Special Use Permit for a skating rink. 

“The Board of Zoning Appeals conducted a hearing May 13. At said meeting, an application for a Special Use Permit for a skating rink was reviewed, approved and recommended to go before the Liberal City Commission for its approval,” the agenda information noted. “This request was made for the repurposing of property by the potential new owners. The plans for the property include a skating rink, snack bar and arcade area.”

“Mr. Witzke, who represents the seller of the property, spoke in favor of the project and said it would be good entertainment for everyone and remembered there being a skating rink in the general area of Armory and 7th Street many years ago,” the Board of Zoning Appeals minutes in the agenda information noted. “All space will be utilized. The buyer will eliminate the freezer in the building in order to open it up for skating. There will also be a snack bar area for soft drinks, with no skating in that part. All plans will need to be approved for the building, and the inspection department will deal with that. Set on 2.4 acres, LP Tank is now gone, and that was there for the purpose of the freezer trucks that came through from other parts of the U.S. It used to be the Schwann’s building, and as they are changing their mode of operations, they no longer need the building.”

Up next for the commission will be discussion of another pair of change orders regarding the 2nd Street reconstruction project, and will conclude the meeting’s new business with discussion of bids for the Blue Bonnet Park Recreation Center building front door remodel project. 

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