By Jessica LeDuc
Blade staff writer
Concordia's flood control project at 21st Street continues to move forward after the Cloud County Community College Board of Trustees agreed to sell a portion of land to the City at a special meeting Wednesday morning.
In January, Concordia City Manager Larry Uri told Commissioners that KLA Environmental Services engineers had indicated the construction of dams at 21st Street and Plum Road could start as early as September of this year. A needed piece of the puzzle was a tract of land south of Pawnee Mental Health, which the college owns.
This morning, the board authorized college President Danette Toone to sign an agreement to sell a portion of the land to the City for a fair market value price. The piece of land will be part of the flood control area, where engineers' renderings show a standing body of water.
At this time, the college will retain ownership of a triangular-shaped piece of land that borders the city's commercial lots, as well as land next to College Drive that is slated to eventually become a parking lot.
Toone said that in the event a business purchases the commercial lot, the college could sell that portion of land at fair market value. If, in construction of the dam, enough dirt is left over to grade the piece of land that is to become a parking lot, the college would deed that to the City for a dollar.
The decision came after 45 minutes of executive session.
The board also approved hiring Kim Reynolds as the new executive director of the college's Foundation at a salary of $54,000, effective May 1.
Reynolds, who is currently the college's director of admissions, replaced Jim Lukacevich, who was let go in November 2012.
Trustee Roger Koester questioned the interview process, saying he knew one of the candidates was an employee of the K-State Foundation. Toone said she thought the search committee performed their job well.
"I'm comfortable that they did a thorough job and an unbiased job," she said. "They were very independent and that's what a search committee should be."
Larry Henry questioned Reynolds' experience as a Foundation director. Toone said she is currently in charge of all of the college's internal scholarships, as well as working with the Foundation and the scholarships it gives.
With Henry and Koester abstaining from the vote, the board approved hiring Reynolds, and authorized the administration to fill the position of director of admissions.
In another personnel matter, the board accepted the resignation of Bill McGuire, instructor and department chair of the Agriculture Department, effective May 18.
Toone told the board that she had been in discussions with an advisory committee, which has been charged with restructuring the Ag program.
At a later meeting, she said, she will formally present a plan to do away with the college's equine management degree and reduce the number of horses the college owns.
She said the program is not one that is producing jobs in Kansas, and the horses have not made money for the college as was originally proposed.
She said she would like to sell or return three mares and two colts that had been donated, leaving six horses that came from the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation in 2009. In addition, Toone said, the rodeo team will be phased out after the students who are currently on the team graduate.