Emporia city commissioners had a quick meeting Wednesday, including a 45-minute executive session, blazing through a number of items on the consent agenda.
With the approval of the consent agenda came consequent approval of the new health insurance plan for city employees through Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Kansas. Over 250 city employees will receive coverage under the new insurance coverage. Even though rates are going up 11 or 12 percent, depending on the package, commissioners said the rates didn't increase as much as they had thought.
Interim City Manager Mark McAnarney also mentioned during the meeting that the Kansas Department of Transportation has preliminarily approved the economic development grant for Warren Way, located between East Logan Avenue and Penny Lane in Industrial Park 3.
That item will appear on an upcoming agenda. Once final approval is given, Simmons Pet Food can follow through on plans to expand its production capacity and add up to 30 jobs.
A $100,000 grant for affordable housing repairs was approved. Approximately $5,000 will be allocated per home, and 20 homes occupied by what are known as "income-qualified" owners will receive repairs.
ValuNet will now be able to do franchise video service business in Emporia, and the parking lot at 512 Market is now a 24-hour parking area.
In other business, McAnarney has found a consultant to assist him in the coming months. Jim Witt, out of Coppel, Texas, will start working with McAnarney on Nov. 13. McAnarney says Witt was a natural choice, with 25 years of experience as city managers in both Dodge City, and in the aforementioned Coppel, Texas.