SUMMER HELP NEEDED
The City of Oberlin is accepting applications for temporary summer jobs for the 2014 season. Lifeguards must be 16 years old and have completed CPR, Basic First Aid and Lifeguard Certification by opening date of the pool. Various maintenance and labor jobs must be 18 years old for the positions. Applications will be accepted at the Oberlin City Office, 1 Morgan Drive, Oberlin, KS or at www.oberlin-kansas.com EOE/AAE
March 7, 8 9th and March 14, 15, and 16th – Mr. Peabody & Sherman 3D/2D
On Thursday, July 5, the Mayor of Oberlin declared a Stage 2 Water Warning due to the continuing drought and the lowered water level in our city water wells. The regulation actions of a Stage 2 Water Warning are as follows:
An odd/even lawn watering system is imposed on water consumers. Residents with odd-numbered addresses will water on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday; even addresses will water on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. A rotation system for non-resident water consumers will be developed by the City Administrator.
Outdoor water use, including lawn watering and car washing will be restricted to from 12:01 AM to 9:00 AM, and from 8:00 PM to midnight.
Refilling of private swimming pools will be allowed one day a week after sunset.
Emergency water rates may be imposed.
Waste of water is prohibited.
Continuing to encourage everyone in Oberlin to complete and return the demographic surveys to the City office. Some have expressed concern about the control numbers – this is used to be sure that only one survey per household is submitted, to be sure that only legal residents of Oberlin are surveyed, and are strictly controlled in the manner that they are calculated and are assigned to addresses only. This is also a requirement of the Dept of Commerce. Again, millions of dollars of grant money is at stake over the next 10 years!!! You can drop your completed survey in one of the city’s drop boxes or at the city office. Thank you!! Ruth Meisner
NOTICE FROM THE CITY OF OBERLIN
The City of Oberlin is currently making an application for a Community Development Block Grant through the Kansas Department of Commerce to assist in funding an infrastructure improvement project. Taking into consideration the financial resources the City currently has, the current debt obligations of the City and the projected cost of this proposed project, it is unlikely the project can be undertaken at this time without the financial assistance from the grant.
The application requires that certain demographic information be provided about the citizens that are to benefit from the funding. In order to obtain this information, I need to have you fill out the enclosed survey for your household and return it to the City offices located at the Gateway Civic Center, 1 Morgan Drive. You may also return the survey at either of the City’s drop boxes which are located in front of the police station located at 107 W Commercial and in the parking lot south of the Gateway Civic Center.
The surveys are coded so that there is no identifying information about the respondent on the survey. There is a master list in my control that does link the codes to the address the survey was mailed to as required by the grant guidelines. This master list and the returned surveys are confidential information and will not be available for public inspection. The only outside parties that will be allowed to view or inspect this data is the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) or Kansas Department of Commerce as part of their grant verification process.
It is very important for the success of this grant application that I get your survey response back. The grant application deadline is also quickly approaching, so I need your response back as soon as possible. If you have any questions, please call me at 785-475-2217.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation. Your participation will assist in making the City of Oberlin a great place to live now and for future generations to come.
Very Truly Yours,
The trend for both young families and senior citizens to rely on communications via the Internet spurred the Oberlin-Decatur Area Economic Development board to put a lot of emphasis this past year on improvements to the (www.oberlinks.com) community web site and to dip its hand into social media through an Oberlin Facebook page. The director is working with webmaster Joann Lerew and Decatur Tomorrow Action Team member Jeff Leitner to keep information up-to-date and to make both communication options more user friendly. A new community events calendar is now operational so all activities and events can be effectively promoted on time to draw more area participants in 2013.
While several public meetings were held in 2012 to discuss private investment in a new hotel for Oberlin, local investor interests have been on hold as they are waiting to see when the county and city will finalize a Neighborhood Revitalization plan that offers tax rebates. The program is beneficial to other business owners and residents who may be planning to do new construction or an expansion or remodeling project as it offers rebates on existing properties as well. A 30-unit hotel located near the Gateway would serve as an asset to the city when large events are held at the civic center as well as other local activities which draw people from a distance. Initial estimates for such a facility would require at least $750,000 equity from private individuals to make the project feasible. Preliminary drawings are available for view at the EDC office. The hotel project, as previously mentioned, ties into the 5000-5500-foot airport runway realignment proposal that has been on and off the table for more than six years. More work remains to be done to see that project rejuvenated but essential contacts have already been made in order to move forward.
A similar group representing the economic development corporation spent a day in Topeka last March visiting with Steve Anderson, state budget director; National Guard director, and Secretaries of both the Agriculture and Commerce Departments. They came away realizing that one upcoming opportunity for Kansas may center on dairies wishing to relocate from more populated areas to rural confines if they want to stay in the business. That information led to the board voting to circulate a petition to get a special question put to a vote in the November election that, if passed, would allow corporate dairies to locate in Decatur County. Voters did approve the question and corporate dairies are now allowed to move here if the state recruits them from other areas. EDC board members have made numerous contacts to date and follow-up calls continue.
Health issues sidelined the manager of Sunflower Recreation last May which left operation of the bowling alley mainly up to the EDC director, board members willing to work as well as numerous community volunteers as the center was kept running throughout the summer months. Rick Salem signed on as manager in August but with his racing schedule not yet finished for the season the volunteers continued to work well into the fall. The same scenario exists this summer as volunteers will be needed on weekends to keep the facility open. Again, interested volunteers should call the EDC director at 475-2901. Anyone interested in participating in fall leagues should call Rick Salem at 475-7010. By November of 2012 the bowling alley was busier than ever with four leagues and a Sunday mixed travel league hitting the lanes as scheduled. There has also been enough interest to purchase new balls, shoes and merchandise for a handy pro shop. New pins were installed in May. The next step will be erecting new signage for the cinema and bowling alley which is close to getting final approval from a much appreciated donor.
On the business side of the ledger the last two revolving loans approved by the EDC went to Green Oil Well Services in Jennings to fill a growing need in the drilling and pumping industry. That company was started by an experienced couple in the oil servicing business, Eric and Chris Green. The other loan went to Stallman Construction. The new entrepreneur is a local construction worker wanting to manage his own operation. The EDC revolving loan program has been used to finance four start-up businesses and two business expansions in the past five years amounting to an investment in the county of $175,000.
As for the local business incubator at 104 S. Penn, Kelly’s Home Medical outgrew the small office space in the BEE center in 2011 and moved to the south portion of the building previously rented by Bridges Insurance Group. That vacancy left room for another new venture, Jill Reichert, E.A. who offers tax preparations. Another new business that moved into the center during December of 2012 is a thrift shop called, “New To You”. Several office spaces are available to rent by calling the EDC office at 475-2901
The state’s new incentive program to draw people to rural counties known as the Rural Opportunity Zone has been a success to date as more than $14,000 has been spent to pay back a portion of student loans owed by people that have moved into the county and remain here after the first year, as program guidelines require. Last year that accounted for nine more young families coming to Oberlin.