Just back from his State of the Union visit to Washington, City Administrator Steve Hewitt jumped headlong into several pending issues during his update to Greensburg’s City Council at Wednesday’s Work Session.


   Just back from his State of the Union visit to Washington, City Administrator Steve Hewitt jumped headlong into several pending issues during his update to Greensburg’s City Council at Wednesday’s Work Session.
   One that has been at the forefront since shortly after the tornado — configuration of the future freeway version of US 54 through town — was apparently covered at length between Hewitt and Roberts during his time in the nation’s capital.
   “Roberts asked when we’re going to finalize the highway plan,” Hewitt said.  “I told him we’d be moving on that once the business group finishes their vision of the plan.”
   Hewitt said he also envisions a gathering of Roberts, himself, a County representative and officials from KDOT in Topeka some time soon to “come to a clear conclusion as to what Greensburg is requesting so our Congress people will know what they can be helping us to fund.”
   Speaking for the business community, Kelly Estes of the county’s Business Redevelopment group referred to an open letter being finished by Tom Corns (local banker) and Kevin Stephenson (local attorney) that is intended to plainly state what the group would prefer to see in the way of exits off the freeway.
   Estes also indicated the 50 to 75 business people who have attended Redevelopment meetings in the past will be given opportunity soon to voice their agreement with or opposition to the content of that letter.
   “We’re trying to put in that letter what’s in the best interest of the City, County and local businesses,” Estes said.  “We want to try to get the most up front that we can.”
   Stephenson, for his part, said he thought, “There will probably be little opposition to what’s in that letter.  If it’s approved we’ll send it on to the City Council as the business community’s position, and they can take it from there in their consultations with Roberts, KDOT and others.”
In other matters…
•Mayor John Janssen reported he’d recently spoken with USD 422 Superintendent Darin Headrick in regard to the school sharing use of the soon-to-be-rebuilt Twilight Theatre, and said the school district is “interested” in taking a fourth lot in addition to the three already acquired by the Theatre Board in the 200 block of Main for construction.  (Most of those three lots have come through donations by Ki Gamble and the Peoples Bank.)
   “That would make the theater 25 feet wider so there could be a wider stage area,” Janssen said.  That increased width would better enable the construction of a dual-use stage area that could accommodate live performances when movies aren’t being screened.  Janssen spoke of the likelihood of plans being redrawn to accommodate the increased width.
•Janssen also said up to 50 moderate income houses could be built in Greensburg, with up to 20 coming at the hands of both Habitat for Humanity and Mennonite Housing, and another 10 by the Fuller Foundation.
•The mayor also lobbied for support of his vision of incorporating the future Big Well Museum with a new County Historical Museum and possibly a weather museum related to the tornadic destruction of Greensburg.
   “If you combine them and put it near the Big Well all three would get a lot more visitors,” Janssen said.   County commissioner Gene West and an unnamed county museum board member are among those to whom Janssen said he’s already mentioned the idea.
    “If you agree this is a good idea, visit with people if you have any influence with them,” Janssen told those gathered at the work session.
•Greensburg GreenTown’s Daniel Wallach told the group “momentum keeps rolling,” saying Scholfield Honda of Wichita continues to lobby Honda to “go beyond giving a second natural gas car to Greensburg.”  He also said he’d recently been contacted by a town in Connecticut interested in adopting Greensburg as a sister city.