City officials took the next step in the process to obtain a new civic center, by agreeing to obtain a $495,000 loan for the purchase of property on Highway 59.

On Tuesday, Oct. 3, members of the Grove City Council approved the resolution, brought forward by the Grove Economic Development Authority, to secure the loan for the property which sits between Catfish John's and Tractor Supply on North Highway 59.

The land, a 21.3 acre property which also abuts 21st Street and Wolf Creek Park, was seen by the council members to be a piece of real estate to obtain.

In August, during a special meeting, members of the council voted to continue to move forward with the land purchase.

GEDA documents, included in the city council meeting packet, indicate the land is being secured future economic development for the city.

For the past few months, the land has been considered by the council, as a possible location for the new convention/event/civic center.

Initially, city officials planned to sell the current civic center, then ask voters to consider approving a sales tax increase to pay for the new center on Highway 59.

The project came to a halt in August when Seth Lane, Chief Development Officer with Concept Companies, informed City Manager Bill Keefer in writing the company would no longer move forward with the potential purchase of the civic center on South Main.

In a related piece of business, council members voted to give First National Bank - represented by Mark Londagin and Matt Carnes, the bid to hold the promissory note for the purchase of the land once it is purchased from Boogaloo Properties, L.L.C..

The land is currently owned by the Kansas-based LLC., which is managed by Grant A. Wistrom.

In April, city officials began to work with Wistrom's company during a "due diligence" project to purchase the land. The agreement, which was in place until Dec. 1, set the purchase price of the property at $27,000 per acre.

Raising awareness

Local attorney Christy Wright came before the council requesting October be named Dysautonomia Awareness Month in Grove.

Wright's actions came after her son, Lincoln, was diagnosed with the neurological condition caused by a malfunction in the nervous system earlier this year.

Property issues

Family members of the late Joyce Gibson, owner of two homes on Broadway Street designated as dilapidated structures, pled with the council for more time to remove personal belongings from the structures.

Jean Bohannan and Helen Bergman, sisters of Gibson, told the council securing the items within the structures - which also included their parents' former photography studio, was a process.

The council most recently asked for a Nov. 3 deadline for the structures to be removed. After the public hearing, they voted to extend the deadline to Dec. 31 for 504 South Broadway and Feb. 28, 2018, for 502 South Broadway.

Emergency radios

The purchase of new digital radios and related equipment for the police and fire departments were approved by the council. The $85,163.12 radios will be purchased from Total Radio, Inc., the only company to bid on the project.

When acquired, the new radios will replace the outdated analog system.

Grove Police Chief Mark Morris said he plans to repurposing the old radios to be used for volunteers and other city departments.

Fire agreements

Agreements between the Grove Police Department and surrounding fire departments for dispatch services were approved by the council.

Bernice Fire Department and Monkey Island Fire Department signed memorandums of understanding to pay the city $400 per month or a lump sum of $3,600 for the remainder of the 2017-18 fiscal year.

After the initial year, the fees will increase to $4,800 each fiscal year.

Services given to the fire departments by the Grove dispatchers include E911 calls, toning out alerts to notify fire personnel of an emergency, toning of other mutual aid departments as required or as needed, radio communications from the dispatch center to the fire departments and its units and documenting and recording dispatch details.

School Resource Officer

The council approved a revised contract with Grove Public Schools administrators for the annual contract for the two School Resources Offices provided by the Grove Police Department.

New wording in the revised contract includes adding district employees, district property and bystanders may be in the area to the sentence stating who/what the officers will provide safety.

Other business 

The council heard from Keefer about an opportunity for staff training programs in order to comply with recognition requirements from the OMAG, the city's insurance firm.

The council also approved the reappointment of Rollie Cornelson for a three year term to the Zoning Board of Adjustments and Richard Cannon for a three year term on the planning and zoning commission.