State of the City of Fort Scott

Dave Martin, Fort Scott City Manager

Fort Scott City Manager Dave Martin gave the attendees of the Chamber of Commerce weekly coffee an update on the 2018 happenings in the city on Dec. 20.

“We got a lot accomplished in 2018,” Martin said. “We had some things thrown at us, but I think we stepped up to the plate.”

The following, provided by Martin, are the completed projects that were a high priority:



The city welcomed more than 5,500 visitors to the new tourism office at the office shared with the Chamber of Commerce, 445 visitor tours on Dolly the Trolley since July, a new lavender festival event, a new Boos and Brews Event,  a new Veteran’s Weekend Celebration, the assumption of operations at the La Roche Complex and a Division 1 World Series proposal, the county law change on 30 percent food requirements allowed for the local microbrewery business.

Emergency services:

The city installed the Nex Gen Att and Hosted ITI at the police and fire department, signed a contract with the county to collaborate on Emergency Medical Services and will provide the Human Resource assistance with the services,  and added a police K-9 unit with no impact to the budget.

Human Resources:

As of December 2018, there are 97 full-time and 29 part-time employees of the City of Fort Scott. There are monthly KMU training sessions and continued education for all departments. The city is working with Craw-Kan Telephone on a phased upgrade to the IT infrastructure.  The city provided a physical activity initiative for its employees and also updated the employee handbook. The city provided an FSA vendor administration transition.

There are four city personnel retirements: Jon Garrison on Sept. 9, Kenny Howard on Dec. 28, Johnny Keating on Jan. 3. 2019, and Shaun West on Dec. 20. There will be a reception for Howard on Dec. 28 at 2 p.m. at city hall and reception for Keating on Jan 3 at 2 p.m. at the fire station.

Promotions this year: Rhonda Dunn to Director of Finance, Jerry Morgan to Streets Supervisor, Jason Pickert to Police Captain, Jacob May and Clint Roberts to Fire Dept. Captain, Alex Schafer, and Clint Lawrence to FSFD Lieutenant Reserves to full-time.

Dav Mohler and Cody McGehee graduated from the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center.

New employees are Robert Uhler, Director of Community Development; Seth Simpson, airport manager; Bill Rost, WWC maintenance.

Those who have taken the Certified Public Manager designation, a program to prepare managers for careers in government: 2001-Dave Martin, 2014-Paul Ballou, 2015-Travis Shelton, 2016-Dave Bruner, and Traci Reed, 2017-Jason Pickert, 2018-Chad Brown and Larry Gazaway, 2019-Robert Uhler and Michael Mix.

Streets and streets:

The city spent $200,000 on streets in 2018.

The 2018 Sidewalk, Curb and Gutter Program approved six grants in the amount of $12,000 with  owner investment of $24,595.

Water utility:

The city maintained 220 miles of water and sewer lines, including 3,100 water connections, rebuilt pump no. 1 and the Fort Scott Community College booster update,  added pickleball court lighting, generator load bank, and valve leash, PACP Certification, Vactor training from Key Equipment, added GIS map update, announced refusal to accept grease loads, and provided multiple repairs to the sanitary sewer system.

Community Amenities:

There was a new public golf cart shed constructed, expansion of Craw-Kan Telephone Cooperative fiber network and updates at Lake Fort Scott.


There were 309 building permits issued for revenue of $8,340.

The number of codes cases resulting in a letter or ticket was 473. There were 27 demolition projects: nine were torn down by the city at a cost of $31,043; ten were torn down by the owner which saved $35,000; four were owner repaired;  four are in process.

The three officers and director have achieved Kansas Certified  Code Enforcement Officer status.

Community Development:

A Fort Scott Landbank was established.

A new direction is being taken by the Food Alliance, with the possibility of a community food bank.

A healthcare task force was formed between the city and Bourbon County.

Economic Development:

Business assistance for relocation, expansion and new businesses was provided by Bourbon County Economic Develpment Council.

A City of Fort Scott Five-Year Comprehensive Plan was approved.

The city reapplied for Kansas Housing Tax Credits to support redevelopment of the Union Building, downtown. This project will add much-needed housing for the workforce.

The city approved nine Downtown Building Improvement Grants totaling $38,904 with an owner investment of $54,898.

The airport revenue increased 75-percent in jet fuel sales from 2017 to 2018.  The airport received $286,522 in Kansas Dept. of Transportation Aviation Grants from the Ks. Airport Improvement Program. Grants were completed for future airport expansion.








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