Fort Scott Community College’s Greyhound Lodge, the former Red Ram Motel on North National Avenue, is getting further renovation.
The school purchased the motel in 2018, at a cost of $270,000, for more off-campus housing.
“The Lodge is needing repairs, especially to the restrooms and the area that houses the kitchen, laundry, and student gathering area,” FSCC President Alysia Johnston said. “We also need to replace the doors to the rooms.”
“Elite Construction Services was awarded the bid as the lone bidder and will repair the bathrooms and replace the doors,” Tom Havron, vice president of student affairs at the college, said.
The bid was for $43,310, according to the April 18 minutes of the board meeting.
At this off-campus housing, a total of 44 students, both males and females, can live there.
Greyhound Lodge is on the north side of town, near the intersection of Hwy. 54 and Hwy. 69. The FSCC main campus is on the south side of town, at 2108 S. Horton.
To view a prior fortscott.biz story: Students Move In Greyhound Lodge by Briana Blandamer
In addition to the computer and common rooms, there is a laundry space and kitchen area.
The lodge is comprised of one bedroom apartments with an attached bathroom.
Other Student Housing
In addition to the dorms on the campus, the college has 352 beds available for student housing, Havron said.
Thirty FSCC students have been housed in the former Mercy Hospital west side, just down the street from the college, since 2020.
To view the story on the student housing at Mercy:
“Students moved out of the Mercy building at the beginning of the spring semester, as soon as the Garrison Hall apartments were ready to occupy,” Havron said. “We will not plan to house students out at the building moving forward. Our lease with Mercy was a month-to-month agreement which ended March 31, 2022.”
Garrison Hall is located at 18th and Horton Street, just across from the college campus.
To view the prior story on Garrison Hall:
“The Garrison Apartments are designated as a female-only residence living,” Havron said.
The college administration is making provisions of extra rooms for a COVID 19 surge, should there be one, as they have in the past during the pandemic.
“With the purchase of Garrison with federal monies, we still plan to hold space for quarantine/isolation for students in FSCC housing,” Havron said. “The main reason we purchased Garrison was to increase our space for housing to allow for quarantine/isolation rooms.”
There is a shortage of workers and also quality housing in the county.
The Bourbon County Regional Economic Development Inc. (REDI) organization is working to address that problem.
“They will also be giving the REDI Board a strategic plan based on the data we receive,” he said REDI is paying for the study
The Bourbon County Law Enforcement Center has been having issues with its heating and air conditioning system since late summer, according to Sheriff Bill Martin.
“The systems weren’t changing over from cool to heat and heat to cool,” he said. The jail was built in 2017-2018.
There are currently 58 inmates, he said.
Martin said the failure of the system to work properly was because of the design of the units.
The Bourbon County Commission opened and reviewedthe bids for the repair of the system at its January 4, 2022 meeting, Martin said.
“The commissioners approved French’s Plumbling/A.C, to move forward with correcting the issues with the HVAC system,” he said.
Repeated calls to French’s Plumbing for an update on the work were not answered.
Inmates have been given an extra blanket to help until the problem can be repaired.
“When a person is processed or booked into the correctional facility, they are issued one sheet and one blanket,” Martin said. “Since the issues with the HVAC system, they are now offered a second blanket.”
There are four (4) openings for the Fort Scott Land Bank Board.
The function of the Fort Scott Land Bank Board is an independent agency and instrumental with the City on acquiring, holding, managing, transforming, and conveying surplus City properties and other abandoned, tax foreclosed, or otherwise underutilized or distressed properties in order to convey these properties for productive use. This Board meets on an as needed basis.
These four positions will be appointed by the Fort Scott City Commission and is recommended, but not mandatory, that a position from each one of the following professions be applied for:
One individual who represents the banking industry
One individual who represents developers
One individual who represents real estate
One individual at large in the community
If you have a desire to serve on this board and meet the above requirements, please submit a letter of interest to the City Clerk, Diane Clay, 123 S. Main, Fort Scott, Kansas 66701. She will then submit your letter of interest for consideration to the City Commission. All of the boards and commissions serve on a volunteer basis and are not compensated. If you would like more information on this board, please contact Diane Clay, City Clerk at 620-223-0550 or [email protected]. Please submit your letter of interest by January 21st, 2022.
Bourbon County Inter-Agency Coalition
General Membership Meeting Minutes
January 5, 2022
Fort Scott Mayor Josh Jones said many positive events happened in the community this past year, and the city is poised for some promising events in the new year.
“A lot of things done in 2021 laid the groundwork for 2022 and we expect a lot of 2021 things to be executed in 2022,” Jones said.
The following is what Jones provided fortscott.biz as accomplishments.
In 2021, the Fort Scott City Commission:
1. Refinanced city bonds saving $15,500 per year over the next five years.
2. Passed a half-cent sales tax with 90% of revenue going towards streets and 10% going towards parks. This money will start coming in, in 2022.
3. Started an in-house safety training program saving the city $15,000 per year.
4. Utilized the Firstsource Building for Southeast Kansas Multi-County Health Department’s giving mass vaccines during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
5. Put out Requests for Qualifications for a new city attorney leading to the city commission hiring a city attorney saving the city approximately $200,000 a year.
6. Approved to enter into a cost-sharing venture with the Bourbon County Commission for joint purchase of materials and equipment.
7. Approved a conditional use permit for an area south of town to allow a micro-meat processing plant to build a facility, which will create about 30 jobs.
8. Implemented the SeeClickFix app, which allows citizens to report road problems and code nuisances.
9. Started semi-monthly roller skating sessions at Buck Run Community Center for an added amenity for the community.
10. Moved city-county emergency dispatch to the Bourbon County Courthouse.
11. Improved the beach area at Lake Fort Scott.
12. Sold the Firstsource Building for $315,000.
13. Sold four Lake Fort Scott lots for approximately $500,000.
14. Entered into a shared services agreement with Bourbon County for information technology services, saving approximately $30,000 per year.
15. Used $200,000 of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds for a feasibility study for re-use of the former Mercy Hospital Building as a hospital.
16. Reworked and finalized setting up the Fort Scott Land Bank which focuses on the conversion of vacant, abandoned, tax-delinquent, or otherwise underused properties into productive use.
17. Approved $2,000 bonuses for all emergency services workers that work for the city.
18. Entered into an agreement with Bourbon County REDI (Regional Economic Development, Inc.) to provide economic development services for the City of Fort Scott, saving approximately $100,000 a year.
19. Repaired over one mile of city sewer lines.
20. Entered into an agreement with the Kansas Department of Transportation for traffic signal upgrades in 2022 on Highway 69.
21. Was awarded a $50,000 grant from T-Mobile Internet for upgrades to the Skubitz Plaza area on the north end of historic downtown Fort Scott.
A recent city commission meeting decision prompted action by a group of residents to help the community’s homeless population during the winter months.
Following the Fort Scott City Commission passing an ordinance to allow basic tents in designated camping areas for homeless people, the group of concerned citizens began conversations about helping the homeless in the wintertime.
The core group of Warming Hearts in Fort Scott, the name proposed for the group, is Tonya Cliffman, Anne Dare, and Sarah Maike.
“Our goal is to assist in winter with temporary shelter, clothing, basic essentials, and nutrition,” Tonya Cliffman, one of the organizers of the project, said. “We want to build relationships to provide basic needs in hopes we can move them into more traditional housing in the future.”.
To that end, work has begun on two sleeping pods which are four-foot by five-foot by eight-foot wooden structures. These are being constructed by a small group of men who are donating their skills for the project, she said.
“(Those sleeping in the pods) can sit up, but not stand up, that way their body heat will keep them warm,” she said. “It has no heat or water, just a wooden insulated structure.”
“They are $1,000 each,” she said. “We are building the first one now.”
They will complete two pods by the first of the year and as soon as they have an individual to utilize the pod, that person will use it for the whole winter, she said.
The group reached out to the owner of a vacant lot, a former mobile home park, Patrick Wood, who permitted use of the lot for the project pending approval by the City of Fort Scott. That approval came at the Dec. 7 commission meetings.
The area is located at 19th and Horton Streets, just north of Community Christian Church (CCC).
CCC already has programs in place to provide showers and basic hygiene needs, plus food and some clothing, she said.
“CCC is my home church,” Cliffman said. “This is not a CCC project but they are supporting us.”
The group set up a fund at CCC for receiving the donations to the project, she said. “This is for transparency, accountability, and stewardship. We felt that is a great partnership.”
Once the pods are in place, the individuals who will be using the sleeping pods will have portable latrines and trash service provided, she said, and be told of the regulations to sleep in the pods.
This initial part of the project will provide the sleeping pods until March 31, Cliffman said.
Cliffman was able to visit with 15 out of the 18 residents that are on the block where permission was given for the sleeping pods, she said.
“I know the Lord’s hand is on this,” Cliffman said. “Doors are opening: we’ve been blessed with a location and some donations to get started. I’m following the gifts the good Lord gave me to do this.”
Facebook page to follow along on progress: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1758963627644201
A link to donate to the cause: https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fsquare.link%2Fu%2FvlWqsupK%3Ffbclid%3DIwAR0MJZ72StGpxT2LUFEBHazoIC-yFIsUeNLx_aGckz1307kcXabEmFTmyxw&h=AT3rALx3zY7_yxqjlM-EsM2Ev8UEbz2qsgSRXrAIxZv57vdTPe9gwKxIzFcm11BOXEeXj7aESOwn_A3VYXsYdsoVGKd3XAskyGHRrLIVAeXhjWUgREYtJlWBMlHVqm5K_gCk&__tn__=-UK-R&c=AT0eZ_iOSWcNYAEGcJuoJuQ8KZz2CFqTEig36EFyTBI025cbPswq7KfMGW3AcYQXYsYXmJ-SzeajqZPxwBbF_P-XEiO6YD4W56OMFPllDu3Eq62zcD3fdup2rhA42XOZmHSTz5oAehpwZlDsTuzX-k1ftjVyi-8rj4Af2l8At9iKwPGznq2xzV2-4h_1StsBC7-9EJsZyhXp_MZvxuI
The former Garrison Quarters apartments reno is completed after being purchased by Fort Scott Community College last spring.
FSCC purchased the complex for student housing and the building is renamed FSCC Garrison Hall.
“Each unit has two large bedrooms, one bathroom, kitchen, and living space,” Tom Harvon, FSCC Vice President of Student Affairs, said. “Each unit will house four students, for a total of 40 residents.
The apartments are a female-only complex, he said.
The reno added amenities.
“We have added on a laundry facility on the south end,” he said. “Also, we have put new flooring, security system, and fire suppression system in the entire complex.”
The cost to students aligns with other student apartment living, Harvon said, which is $2,500 per semester.
“We are working with the city to get crosswalk markings across Horton for students to safely get to and from campus,” Havron said.
The college administration is being proactive for the school year.
“We have a waitlist at the start of every fall semester,” he said. “It is difficult to turn students away, as many will then go somewhere else who can provide them housing and meals. FSCC providing equitable housing options to students continues to be a priority.”
“We currently have students at (former) Mercy (Hospital building),” he said. “We can’t predict the number of students who will be there this spring, at this time. Hopefully, in the coming weeks, we will have a better idea of who will be completing their academics or transferring on to their four-year institution.”
Finals week at FSCC is Dec. 7-10.
The campus will open Jan. 5, 2022, classes start on Jan. 12, with spring graduation on May 14.
The Fort Scott Housing Authority, 315 Scott Avenue, has 2 and 3 bedroom units available for rent.
For more information on this income-based housing:
Fort Scott Housing Authority
315 Scott Avenue
Fort Scott, KS 66701
History of the house
The Fort Scott downtown area is seeing new life.
Already approximately one dozen buildings have been purchased by new buyers and are being or have been renovated in the last few years.
Judy and Jerry Witt, who sold their suburban home and moved downtown to an apartment at 9 Main Street, have also purchased a building in the back of their living space, located at 20 N. Scott Avenue.
The purchased building has 1,812 square feet on each floor and was built in 1880 as a harness shop, Jerry said.
“Harnesses were put on horses to pull wagons,” he said.
“It’s the small building north of the Courtland Hotel,” Judy Witt said. “It was formerly owned by Jim Shoemaker and before that, it was a coffee shop.”
“I wanted to preserve it,” Jerry Witt said. “I wanted to see renovations on Scott Avenue.”
“It was basically in good shape,” Jerry said. “We finished the downstairs area; redid the bathroom and put new cabinets in.”
“The upstairs has a commercial kitchen,” he said. “Three sinks, a double oven, and a range.”
“We hope to have an area for a small business on the lower level,” Judy said. “And an apartment upstairs.”
“The idea is someone could start a business downstairs and live upstairs,” he said.
“I’d like to see something like an ice cream shop or popcorn,” he said. “To serve the visitors to the fort (Fort Scott National Historic Site).”
The building will be for rent, when the reno is completed, which should be the end of the year, he said.
Jerry and Judy moved downtown last year.
“We have a front door on Main Street and a back one on Old Fort Boulevard,” he said. “I talk to a lot of visitors to the fort and find out where they are from.”
Old Fort Boulevard is directly in front of the national historic site.
Jerry said he is enjoying living downtown.
“We are part of everything going on,” he said. “And it’s close to restaurants. There is always something happening. It’s beautiful and peaceful at night.”
“I have my rental office in the front room of my condo,” he said. “It’s the only one-story building on Main Street.”
The Witts own three businesses on North Main Street that currently house Audette Davis’s beauty shop, Mary Eastwood’s upholstery shop, and Stacy Gooderl’s healthy living store, he said.
This week Mid-Continental Restoration Co. of Fort Scott was working on the front side of the building at 20 North Scott Avenue.
“They are doing siding, awnings, painting, and bringing the brick back to life,” Judy said.