After 16 years of service, Marvin Peters, McPherson Industrial Development Company Inc. executive director, will be stepping down at the end of the year and took the opportunity Monday morning to name his successor.
The announcement came during the quarterly MIDC report at the McPherson City Commission meeting, where Peters welcomed Brad Eilts, who will be joining MIDC starting Oct. 17.
Eilts comes to McPherson from Independence, where he has served as executive director of the Montgomery County Action Council for the last several years. He also is a serving member of the Board of Directors of the Kansas Economic Development Alliance. He will move to McPherson with his wife, Janet, and three sons.
"I have no doubts Brad will do an excellent job," Peters said. "And that both the city and the county will benefit from his work."
Peters took a moment to reflect on his time as executive director, noting he had given 60 quarterly reports in his time with MIDC.
"I can't ever remember one of them when McPherson County wasn't faring better than those around us, even during the recession," Peters said. "That's something the city and county should well be proud of."
In other business:
• Commissioners and city staff discussed proposed changes to the regulations regarding oversized loads coming through McPherson during a study session. City Attorney Jeff Houston presented a draft of an ordinance that required any load taller than 15 feet or wider than 12 feet be required to obtain a permit prior to coming through town. Houston split the ordinance between moving a house and other oversized loads and questioned how much notice was needed for city staff to prepare for these loads. The consensus was reached that 7 to 10 days was needed, in order to get the permits issued, have the necessary insurance policies amended and organize any extra help required, such as police escorts or the removal of power poles and traffic lights.
• The commission also discussed proposed updates to the city's building codes. Building Inspector Bret Reynolds suggested switching the city's codes from ADA standards to American National Standards Institute regulations, which Reynolds said would meet and exceed anything the ADA would require. Mayor Tom Brown asked Reynolds to reach out to various contractor and realty groups in McPherson to receive their feedback before proceeding with implementation. Brown said they hope to have updated building codes in place by the end of the year.
• Commissioners studied a possible increase to the building permit fees Monday morning. Reynolds called the current fee schedule cumbersome and confusing, and proposed modifying the fee schedule to be based solely off of the cost of construction. Currently, a contractor is required to provide the estimated cost of construction, the square footage of the project, the number of electrical outlets, the number of waste outlets and the number of mechanical systems. Reynolds noted most of those requirements wouldn't be available at the start of the project due to owner preferences. The new fees structure proposed by Reynolds would bump up the cost of a permit by about 40 percent, though Brown was concerned about increasing the cost that much. He suggested Reynolds compare the fee structure with surrounding communities and come back with a recommendation.