The Hiawatha City Commission met on Monday evening, and the group came to an agreement, given the recent rapid spike in Covid-19 cases in Hiawatha and Brown County, that as of Wednesday, the City will close the Fisher Center, as well as City Hall, which will be open by appointment only. The Police Department building will continue to be open under its current guidelines.

The commission also voted to request an ordinance to be brought back at the next meeting to create a land bank, which will be managed by a board, in conjunction with HFED. Properties owned by the land bank will not be taxed and will have most past taxes removed. Properties can be purchased or donated, and the purpose of the project is to maintain and improve derelict properties and empty lots and then re-selling them to interested buyers.

Sarah Kleopfer, administrator with the Hiawatha Chamber and Visitors Bureau informed the commission that in lieu of some of the activities that would need to be canceled or altered this year, the group will be hosting a Merry and Bright Night on Dec. 19. Maps will be provided so families can drive around town and see private homes and businesses decked out for Christmas. The event will run from 6 p.m. to 9:30.

In other business:

The commission voted to accept petitions to annex three properties into the city limits, and then voted to adopt ordinance 2089, annexing 2268 Linden Road, 2276 Linden Rd and 2291 Linden Road into the city limits.

The group also approved the purchase of parts to make needed repairs at the Wastewater Treatment Plant, voted to bring back a resolution of abatement regarding a junked motor vehicle at 203 Oregon Street in Hiawatha.

The commission agreed to amend the Code Enforcement/Building Official job description to make it a full time position and setting the wage at $25 per hour.

The commission approved the Consent Agenda, which included payments to Crawford, Murphy & Tilly in the amounts of $5,000, and $4,000 for work at the airport, a payment to gWorks of $10,773.30, a payment to Herzog Construction in the amount of $40,094.25 and a payment to the KS State Bank in the amount of $18,887.67.

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