The cold weather throughout the month of March did not stop McPherson residents from new construction projects.
Bret Reynolds, McPherson building inspector, reported a near triple in the amount of permits issued in March 2013 as compared to previous March months. Reynolds reported a total of 67 monthly permits issued last month, compared to 27 issued during March 2012. Commercial permits are tied between both years, staying at eight for both the months of March 2012 and March 2013.
Reynolds also reported three new houses approved thus far for the 2013 year. McPherson also had three approved new houses by the end of March 2012.
The monthly total in construction dollars for March 2013 was reported to be $794,216, with $624,895 reported in March 2012.
The two most expensive projects in March 2013 include a new single family dwelling at 1319 Robin Drive, and a new cell tower at 1340 Treatment Road owned by Elite wireless. The cell tower site was approved in late February and will provide wireless services to southern McPherson.
Some of the most common permits issued include roofwork and water heater replacement.
Reynolds attributed the significant rise in permits to increased awareness and enforcement of code requirements and said the increased attention is making the city much safer as a whole.
“Better safe than sorry,” Reynolds said.
Mayor Tom Brown thanked Reynolds for the report and for the work done during the last month.
“This is the sort of thing we want to see,” Brown said.
In other business:
• Commissioners approved a proposed route for a Giving for Hope 5K Run, which will be on Sept. 14. The run is sponsored by Home State Bank and will go from Lakeside Park through Wall Park and back. Officers will provide patrols on Kansas Avenue and provide necessary barricades elsewhere.
• Commissioners approved a request by police chief Rob McClarty for police escort down Main Street during The Kansas Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics. The run will take place at about 2 p.m. May 31 down McPherson Main Street. The flame is carried from the four corners of Kansas by law enforcement officer throughout the state, meeting at Wichita’s Cessna Stadium.
• Commissioners approved an amendment to the air ambulance agreement with McPherson Hospital. Officers and firefighters will no longer respond for every landing and will only respond if specially requested. The agreement awaits hospital signature.
• Commissioners appointed Kody Kraemer as interim cemetery sexton. Kraemer will hold the title officially until a more permanent decision can be made. Nick Gregory, city administrator, said the goal is to ensure cemetery services are adequately met, especially going into Memorial Day.