Public Mind letters Oct. 8
Oct 10, 2011 | 1243 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Truth and consequences

To The Sun:

During the Parsons City Commission meeting Monday a taxpayer asked if a property in Orchard Park was in the city limits of Parsons. Excessive horses at the property was one concern. A building permit to build an addition to an existing building was another. Regarding the horses, a neighbor witnessed several horses being walked down the road to a pasture up north the night before the code inspector arrived at the property. A city staff member said the property is not in the city. She read an ordinance stating the horses were OK to be in the particular area, but how many is the question. The issue of the permit has not yet been addressed to the taxpayer. This matter was taken one step further and checked out with a person in authority at the county offices regarding the map of the city limits of Parsons at the north end of Orchard Park. The taxpayer was told all of the property in question was in the city limits of Parsons. A call was placed to the Municipal Building with this information and the staff member admitted she was in error and that she wasn’t sure at the time questioned. She said she wasn’t able to have this information at her fingertips all the time. The answer to the taxpayers should have been “I don’t know, but will check it out for you.” We all make mistakes, but when you really aren’t sure, take a step back and wait to check things out and gather the facts.

Larry Yockey attended Monday’s meeting regarding the double billing of his water bill at his place of business. The city presented a 13-page document listing commercial properties (351) and their number of water meters. If you count the number of meters on the 13 pages there should be approximately 901 minimum charges. There were a few discrepancies noted, but the city said they were working on these problems. It is fine and good to have the listing as a reference, but it does not guarantee Yockey that everyone with multiple businesses in one building with one meter is paying for two usages when there is dual occupancy; nor does it guarantee every business is listed and the correct billing charged and actually paid by the property owner. Anyone interested in checking out a particular location can request this information through the Open Records Act with the city clerk. Yockey is only asking for equal and fair treatment. The proverbial can of worms has been opened.

Another item mentioned in the meeting was horses recently fenced at 10th and Southern. Area residents questioned whether the horses could be in a residential area, which is also designated a flood plain. Also, there are three animal hauling trailers and a vehicle parked on this property with for sale signs on them. Is this area zoned for retail sales? Several residents have questioned these items. They have been assured by city staff there is no impropriety happening. The city said they will monitor the situation and take appropriate action if needed.

I want to thank everyone who has been coming to the commission meetings. We need taxpayer participation at every meeting. We have had a lot of good discussions recently and I feel people are waking up to how our city is spending tax dollars on pretty things and not addressing infrastructure and utilities. I welcome calls when you have questions or concerns. I’m in the phone book. — FRANKIE BARNETT, city commissioners, Parsons

Lions to conduct testing in Erie

To The Sun:

On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, the Parsons Lions Club with support from the Chanute Lions Club will sponsor a mobile screening unit at the Erie schools for the annual hearing and vision testing. The unit will be operated by community help and Lions Club members.

A new screener has been purchased by surrounding Lions clubs to screen kindergarten through second-graders. Detecting eye problems at a young age may be corrected and save problems later in life.

The mobile unit is mounted on a 36-foot travel trailer. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Foundation partnered with Kansas Lions Sight Foundation to purchase and fund the unit.

The mobile screening unit will conduct hearing tests, visual acuity and field of vision tests on the eyes. The two Lions clubs have furnished the administrative fees to bring the unit to Erie and the cost to the child is free. Parental consent is needed for the students. Thanks go to the Erie school system for asking the Chanute and Parsons clubs to sponsor this important event. — KENNETH VAN CLEAVE, Parsons Lions Club, Galesburg

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