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Pittsburg, USD 250 and Motorola work to get students internet access

Pittsburg City commissioners approved multiple agenda items during the regularly scheduled city Commission meeting, Tuesday, October 13, 2020, but non-agenda items garnered attention as well. 

Deputy city manager Jay Byers shared with the commissioners that the city is working with Pittsburg USD 250 School District and Motorola to launch a pilot program to help students who have no internet access. The grant-funded program will serve around 100 students, providing them access to online learning resources through a private cell network. Pittsburg is one of the first communities in the country to participate.  

City Commission meetings are held at Beard Shanks Law Enforcement Center, 201 N. Pine St., Pittsburg, at 5:30 p.m., on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month. Anyone interested in City Commission business can locate agendas, minutes, and recent meeting videos on the City of Pittsburg’s website, www.pittks.org. To meet guidelines, set by health officials because of coronavirus, the city is streaming the meetings live until further notice.  

Tuesday’s meeting opened with Mayor Dawn McNay making proclamations. Mayor McNay honored Rotary International by proclaiming October 24, 2020 as “World Polio Day.” The honor was received by local Rotary member, Bryce Anderson. 

In a second proclamation, Mayor McNay honored the Pittsburg Nazarene Church for their long-standing commitment to the community with the proclamation of October 13, 2020 as “PittNaz Day.” The honor was received by Kyle Rogers, who has led the church since 2014. The church dates to July 17, 1920, when a tent revival was held on the corner of Fourth Street and Tucker. For the past 100 years, the missions of the Pittsburg Nazarene Church have been maintained by “its devoted and dedicated congregation.” 

Commissioners approved recommendations to award the bid for the City of Pittsburg facilities sanitation and as-needed dumpster services to Short’s Trash Service, of Frontenac, Kansas. Other agenda items included grant easements to Evergy for the relocation of electric lines along 4th Street, and the installation of new electric lines to serve a new substation along 520th Avenue, and the acceptance of a grant in the amount of $100,000 from the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation (KHRC) to administer the Tenant Based Rental Assistance (TBRA) program to provide security deposits for low-income households. Other approved agenda items can be reviewed on the city Web site. 

Three special presentations were conducted during Tuesday night’s meeting. Kim Vogel, director of Pittsburg Parks and Recreation, presented the updated conceptual design, budget, and timeline for the Schlanger Park Splash Pad project. The goal is to have the splash pad open next summer. Christy Powell, vice president of IMA, Inc, provided an update on the health insurance plan utilized by employees of the City of Pittsburg. Powell indicated that the fact that Pittsburg has gone six years without a health insurance cost increase to employees while improving health services makes it a model for how to manage health care costs. An update about plans for a conference center in Pittsburg were provided by Hunden Strategic Partners. The representative for the firm shared their findings as to the market demand and feasibility of a new conference center adjoined to a hotel in Pittsburg. Hunden’s research indicated that there is a strong, latent demand for conference center space in Pittsburg without any existing facility being able to address the need. 

City commission meetings are broadcast on the City’s local government access channels (Cox Channel 6 and Craw-Kan Channel 406) and on YouTube. To learn more about the Pittsburg city government, city commissioners, or to view meeting agendas and minutes, visit their website (pittks.org/city-government/city-commission). 

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