Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Selling Event Center In Focus

Another Issue For City: Getting New Economic Developer

The Kimball City Council at its Nov. 19 meeting discussed the possible sale of the Kimball Event Center and moving forward after the departure of Amy Sapp from her role as the city’s economic developer and special projects coordinator.

It was also decided to have the Citizens Advisory Committee consider the request to redefine the economic developer/special projects coordinator position. This update is being considered because Sapp is moving into the private sector.

The council continued to discuss and make progress on the potential sale of the Kimball Event Center and the Fitness Center. The process was initiated several months ago, as it was determined that the expenses of operation were greater than generated revenues.

End-of-year figures for the event center showed a positive balance of about $5,000 and a negative balance for the fitness center of around $2,000.

Some want to return these establishments to the private sector to generate occupation and sales tax revenue. Part of this process was updating a city ordinance to accurately reflect changes made at the state level that no longer require property to be put out for bid or auctioned.

Now, with Ordinance 775 having been passed at the council’s Oct. 28 special meeting, Kimball may choose which type of action best suits the needs of the city. The next step is to pass a resolution with specifics of a sale that will be on the Dec. 17 council agenda.

After required notification through legal publication for three weeks, the public will have 30 days to file an official complaint. If a complaint is filed, the city can’t sell the property for one year.

There was a public objection made at the meeting to inventory being included in the sale of the property. Details of all the specifics of the sale are yet to be decided and will be proposed in the upcoming resolution.

In other business:

• The council declined to change the definition of local contractor to Kimball County for purposes relating to grant money allocation.

• Several visitors were present to observe as the council approved the disbursement of funds for various grants. A tourism grant request for $517 was received from the 2020 All-Class Reunion group, which will use the funds to cover the cost of printing postcards and to boost posts on social media outlets to publicize the event. Two Business Façade Improvement Grants were approved, one to Sportsman’s Liquor for $11,979 and another to Johnson Construction for $1,790.

• The council approved Tammy Land for a position on the Fair Housing Commission.

• The council approved the purchase of equipment to live stream council meetings in the future. This would give members of the public an opportunity to watch proceedings from a location other than council chambers, but they would not be able to comment or participate in accordance with the Open Meetings Act.