The annexing of a small piece of land just 1.01 acres in length will bring it into the city of Garden City and complete a purchase of land by Empirical Foods for its new processing facility.

Garden City commissioners unanimously approved the annexation during a short commission meeting Tuesday that lasted just 18 minutes.

The land is a narrow strip that runs along the south side of US-50/400, just east of Jennie Barker Road and along the north side of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad.

Carol Davidson, of Neighborhood and Development Services, requested annexation of this remnant parcel of land that had never been annexed by the city. The $500 million Empirical Foods facility will employ 300 people.

The latest appointments to the Park and Tree Advisory Board are current members who want to stay on the board. Andy Liebelt, superintendent of Public Grounds, presented Linda Motley and John Aguilar for reappointment to the board. The commission unanimously approved the appointments. Both Motley and Aguilar were appointed to three year terms.

The Park and Tree Advisory Board presents information to the city commission about the city parks and the trees in the city. Garden City is a Tree City USA and the advisory board's duties include identifying trees that do well in the western Kansas environment and seeking out trees with foliage that fits into the climate as well, said city manager Matthew Allen.

The board also has an advisory role for the two city cemeteries, Valley View Cemetery and Sunset Memorial Gardens.

In the final portion of the meeting, the commissioners give individual reports. At Tuesday's meeting, those reports included expressions of thanks to retiring Mayor Dan Fankhauser, who served for eight years, and Lindsay Byrnes, who served for two years.

Next week's meeting will be held at 1 p.m. Monday, Jan. 13, and it will be the official final day Fankhauser, Byrnes and the new commissioners, Deb Oyler and Manny Ortiz, will be officially sworn in to start serving their two-year terms. Refreshments will be served at this special meeting.

Fankhauser said it was fun to see Garden City grow and thanked the commissioners for their comments.

Commissioner Troy Unruh said Fankhauser provided a good example for the rest of the commissioners and he enjoyed serving with him. Unruh appreciated Byrnes' candor and her willingness to say the difficult things that needed to be said.

"She called us to a higher standard," Unruh said.

Commissioners Roy Cessna said he was honored to serve with Fankhauser and Byrnes and reminded them there were many advisory boards in the community they could serve on.

Commissioner Shannon Dick said he was thankful for Fankhauser and Byrnes' service and for the opportunity to work with the other commissioners and was looking forward to changes in 2020. He was also grateful for the first responders, especially during the fire at the Tyson plant.

Byrnes said it was a an amazing experience to serve on the commission. She said it was a wonderful opportunity and she will keep her ears and eyes open for other opportunities to serve.