Improving downtown Valley Falls part of council discussion
by Clarke Davis
Improving the downtown business district was part of the discussion when the Valley Falls city council met March 21.
Problems with the brick sidewalks, trees that have grown too large, and the lack of any theme brought about the conversation, Administrator Chris Channell reports.
This discussion led to the need to connect with county and regional planning councils that can help small towns write grants and provide assistance.
Channell said he advises belonging to the local regional council called MoKan, an economic and community development organization that serves the northeast Kansas and northwest Missouri area.
Channell said the city is wanting a comprehensive plan for downtown that takes in all the factors such as sidewalks, lighting, trash receptacles, and other decor, which he called “streetscaping” and then work toward accomplishing the goal.
Police Chief Josh Pence has developed a plan to incorporate a community service program that can be used by the city judicial system for youthful offenders to work off their fines.
Pence has developed an application form, rules, and check sheet. The material was to be presented to the prosecutor and judge when city court took up March 28.
Furthermore, in regard to the courts, Channell said a better diversion program needs to be established and tracked. A diversion is a process of paying a fine but not having the offense reported to the state to show up on one’s record and causing insurance rates to increase.
Channell said the current process lacks guidance as to what the costs should be and the city lacks records to follow up with.
It was reported earlier that the city would have to put a ramp of some kind in the swimming pool this year to meet ADA requirements. Now it appears the federal government is backing off its deadline and the city will have time to budget the expense and put one in next year.
Councilman Todd Harrington was absent.
The council meets at 6:30 p.m. the first and third Wednesdays of each month.
Short URL: http://www.jeffcountynews.com/?p=12466