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Tom Beem sworn in as new Wamego City Commissioner



Tom Beem new Wamego City Commissioner
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Tom Beem takes the oath of office to become a new Wamego City Commissioner at the meeting Tuesday night. Shanda Jahnke administered the oath. photo by Beth Howell Day, The Smoke Signal.
June 03, 2014
Tom Beem took his oath of office to fill the vacancy on the Wamego City Commission Tuesday evening.

The position was held by Larry Fechter.

"Tom was asked to serve and fill the vacancy and he graciously said yes," said City Manager Merl Page.

After Beem took the oath, the commission got right to work considering an access request from Chris McDonald.

"He approached us about a month ago," said Page. "His property backs up to Lilac Lane." Page said McDonald was seeking access off of Lilac to build a garage.

"I'd like to have access off the city right-of-way to the property," said McDonald. "Then I want to widen the area and clean it up, making it more eye appealing. I'd put gravel down and have better access."

Page explained that the property is where the intersection would have been, had 9th Street been built.

"But, they didn't build Lilac that far," he said. "There was about 60-70 feet of street not completed, the width that 9th St. would have been."

Wary of setting a precedent, the commission hesitated. "I'd hate to set precedence in doing something wrong," said Cliff Baughman, commissioner. "I hate delay, but I'd like to make the right decision."

In the end, the commission tabled the issue, asking McDonald to come back with more suggestions. McDonald agreed, but said he wasn't sure there were any more to make, and added if the request wasn't approved, he'd probably not build the garage.

In other business:

• Doug Sellers reported on the Wicked Run Marathon that was held in March. He said that 47 people signed up and 43 started the race with 40 finishing.

"One of the great things about this race is how many people came from other states," he said. "There were 24 representing Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnisota, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas. That's what we wanted to do, bring people in from all over."

Sellers also noted this was the first race he'd done with no negative feedback and he was especially happy with the Wamego Police Department and the Pottawatomie County Sheriff's Department. "They were all over it," he said. "Everyone said how safe they felt over the entire course."

Sellers said that next year the run would be March 28 and they were adding a half-marathon. He's hoping for 200-300 participants.

• The commission had a special proclamation read in praise of Bob Cole for the 12 years he devoted to the area as executive director of the Pottawatomie County Economic Development Corporation.

In part, the proclamation read, "We'd like to officially thank and recognize Bob Cole for 12 years of exemplary service."

• At the request of Megan Umscheid, executive director of the Wamego Area Chamber of Commerce, the commission approved the closing of portions of Lincoln Ave. for the July 4th Parade and the OZtoberfest.

Umscheid also told the board that approximately 1,000 participants from Bike Across Kansas will be in town next week, as Wamego is one of the overnight stops for the group.

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