Emporia Planning and Zoning Specialist Joe Foster presented Emporia City Commissioners with a proposed updated floodplain map Wednesday morning.

It was last updated in 2008.

Foster said the state is working with a private consultant to update the floodplains around Emporia and elsewhere.

“They will be down to present information to any interested party,” he said.

From 2 - 7 p.m. Aug. 8, there will be a public meeting regarding the local floodplain. Foster said the state will provide maps and other interactive materials to discuss updates with the public.

“[It’s about] 50/50, amount coming in and going out,” he said. “It’s kind of shifting some areas. Technology is improving, so the maps are getting better, which is good and bad.”

Large areas are proposed to be added on the southwest and northeast edges of Emporia — the latter of which is replacing an area slightly to the east that will be taken off of the floodplain.

Budget discussion

During the study session, commissioners also discussed the 2020 and multi-year budget.

“We’re really in a very positive shape with some very stable funds,” City Commissioner Rob Gilligan said between meetings — an action session and study session, both of which were Wednesday morning.

The city has a general fund and three main utility funds — water works, solid waste and wastewater.

“Our utilities have been really the ones that have been taking the brunt of impacts lately,” he said. “The general fund really looks positive right now and is stable. I’m excited that we’re able to adopt a budget for 2020, it looks like, that will see no mill levy increase for our property taxes. So, we’ll be able to keep the mill rate flat and still be able to fund the essential, vital services that the community expects.”

Commissioners plan to approve the 2020 budget at their Aug. 7 meeting.

Action session

Commissioners also met earlier Wednesday for an action session to approve grant agreements for the 2020 Kansas Airport Improvement Program Project.

The Emporia Municipal Airport rehabilitated the runway in 2013. Longitudinal and transition cracking has occurred between then and now. According to the background summary, “a sealcoat application would be the least expensive way to preserve the life of the asphalt.”

According to a written summary, the City of Emporia applied for a grant from KDOT, which was then approved in the form of two grants. The first grant of $40,000 is applied to Airport Design and Planning — the city is responsible for 5 percent, or $2,000 — and KDOT is responsible for the rest. The second grant of $415,000 is applied to Airport Preservation. KDOT’s share is 90 percent, or $373,500, and the city’s share is 10 percent or $41,500. In total, the city will pay about $43,500 out of the $455,000 total project cost.

Zoo Director Lisa Keith and Emporia Friends of the Zoo president Rick Mitchell came to commissioners for the approval of the Emporia Friends of the Zoo Master Plan. Emporia Friends of the Zoo contracted GLMV Architecture to complete the master plan, which includes a renovated and expanded education center, street renovation and expanded parking, three new and five renovated animal exhibits and more. The master plan was approved.

“Please tell your staff and your volunteers thank you for all of the work,” Mayor Jon Geitz said.

Commissioners discussed the relocation for Live in the Lot Junior World’s Jam Block Party. They previously approved a beer garden during the event on Seventh Avenue. Wednesday they approved the relocation of the beer garden to the 900 block of Commercial Street.

Quarterly Above and Beyond Awards were distributed to the C shift of the Emporia Fire Department and Emporia Police Captain Jim Tilton. The fire department was nominated for their involvement in helping lay sod at Peter Pan Park. Tilton received the award for his extensive work during the Dirty Kanza.

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