Community project updates given at commission meeting

Meghan Flynn
Garden City Telegram

Finney County Economic Development Corporation announced and gave updates on projects in the area during their quarterly update at the Garden City Commission meeting Tuesday. 

Lona DuVall, President/CEO of the FCEDC, said the biggest project that can now be announced is Garden City Co-op, which is a logistics/industrial project. The FCEDC is assisting large agricultural industries with rail improvements and industrial area development. A new property has been closed on in the city of Holcomb where the FCEDC is assisting with development of a new grain shuttle loading facility.

Another new project is First National Bank, which will be located between Target and the Kwik Shop on Kansas Ave. 

A veterans memorial will also be constructed on the site, DuVall said. FCEDC had actually been approached by veterans groups years ago about there not being a veterans memorial in town and they've been looking for opportunities for one ever since and First National Bank was one of the projects that came to them after they had discussions with the groups. "When we first started talking with First National Bank we said what if you set aside some space for a memorial?" she said. "They were really excited to do that."  

A committee has been made up of primarily city staff who are working to come up with a design, DuVall said. The veterans groups all asked that they be provided with a list and pictures of some different types of memorials as they would rather vote on something than try to pick out on themselves.

"We're happy to help them with that," she said. "That process is ongoing."  

DuVall also gave an update on empirical foods, stating that the project is well underway and for people to be mindful of the construction going on down there. 

"Bear in mind that there are about 300 additional people in our community right now working out there and they aren't as familiar with our traveling patterns, so just be mindful when we mix that in ... with the windmills that Garden City puts on the highway, it's a busy place," she said. "Good things happening there."

Other updates include a waste water study is being conducted on the west side and the FCEDC is working with a developer for the old Sears building in Garden City Plaza, DuVall said.

DuVall also presented this information at the Finney County Commission meeting Monday.

In other business, the City Commission approved a rezoning request by Bryan Luzmann for a property located at Third and Fulton Streets. It's set to become a local game store. 

Luzmann said there are about 6,000 local game stores across the U.S. but none are in southwest Kansas and the store is a place to buy and play games. 

"The general idea is usually between a quarter and a third of the area is retail space for board games, card games, miniature games, anything you can sit down at a table with other people and play," he said. "The other two-thirds to three-fourths of those, of an LGS, is usually play space, which usually just looks like standard card tables and chairs. Different games require different size tables, so there's quite a bit of space for that. Usually even a fridge full of drinks and some snacks and stuff like that. You want people to come down and stay for a while." 

The general demographic of the store is typically somewhere between 18 to 35, and 14 to 16 on the lower end, Luzmann said.

Local game stores tend to congregate around college towns as that's a big part of the target demographic, Luzmann said, which may be why southwest Kansas doesn't have one, however there are a lot of college graduates in the area.

"One of the hardest things to do is attract college graduates back to the area and to keep them here and keep them happy," he said. "It's not going to appeal to everyone, but for a certain demographic of college graduates, this was something they did every weekend in college, and to be able to have that here is going to be I think a really actually important part of sort of quality of life."