City reviews 2015 successes, looks ahead to 2016

During the final Chamber Coffee of 2015 Thursday morning, members of the community were introduced to city employees and leaders as well as given a report on the accomplishments of the city in 2015.

12-17 Chamber Coffee 2

City Manager Dave Martin listed a number of additions and improvements to Fort Scott in 2015, including the completion of the Lowell Milken Center building, the LaRoche Baseball Complex, the Marmaton Riverfront trails, the National Historic Site’s new exhibit, the expansion of a number of businesses as well as the opening of different venues for community events.

Other changes include the addition of the new Fort Scott Community College president and the approval of the school and jail bonds. It was also determined that Mercy Hospital would remain in Fort Scott while the demolition of the Western Insurance building will likely be complete by the end of the year.

Martin expressed gratitude to the Chamber of Commerce and the Historic Preservation Association for their work with the city to continue to improve the community.

In 2016, Martin said residents can look forward to the completion of the National Avenue project and possibly the quiet zone where the railroad tracks intersect with Wall Street. Work will also begin on widening Highway 69 for a turning lane, improving Maple Road, constructing the Western building apartments and creating a new entrance for the Industrial Park.

Kansas Fiber will also arrive in Fort Scott as well as the new assisted living facilities being built on Horton. Grants will be used such as the safe routes to school grant and another grant that will permit the city to put sidewalks in place on Wall Street.

“We just really appreciate our jobs,” Martin said on behalf of the city. “We appreciate serving in the community. And when I say that, we couldn’t do that without everyone in this room—the hospital, the college, the school district, the county and everybody working together. We have to work together to move forward.”

Other announcements concerning upcoming events included:

  • The Fort Scott Community College will host a Red Cross Blood Drive Thursday 1-7 p.m., and Friday until noon.
  • The Young Professionals League of Bourbon County will hold a Christmas social Friday evening at 6:30. Further details can be found on their Facebook page.
  • The Fort Scott Public Library will hold a Christmas party for children Saturday at 11 a.m., with activities and snacks provided. They are also looking for volunteers who might help with the event.
  • The Common Ground Coffee Co. will host a Christmas concert by Nine Mile March Saturday evening at 7 p.m., using the event as a fundraiser for a barista who will leave for Uganda in January.
  • The Salvation Army Kettle Drive is still looking for volunteers to help with the drive through December 24. The money raised will remain in Bourbon County to be used to assist those in need.
  • The Leadership, Exploration and Development program beginning in 2016 continues to look for participants for the 10-month program, which will meet the second Thursday of each month. Deb Needleman and Robert Uhler will facilitate the sessions which will include curriculum from the Kansas Leadership Center.

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