Courtroom renovations approved, city commission discusses improvements to 24th and Industrial

Renovations to the municipal courtroom at White Auditorium will proceed in the coming weeks.
The Emporia City Commission took action Wednesday morning to approve a base bid of $262,000 to Mitchell Markowitz for the project. Commissioner Bobbi Mlynar says the improvements are long overdue and will meet several needs.
The project also includes the addition of public restrooms. The project will begin construction in early spring with an anticipated completion date of Sept. 15. Mlynar says a decision on where to hold future action sessions will be made in the next few weeks.
During study session, the city commission discussed preliminary information about Aldi's plat/rezoning and development agreement for a proposed new location at 24th Ave. and Industrial Road. The agreement is for construction of a southbound turning lane on 24th. Assistant City Manager Lane Massey says they're looking at other ways to alleviate congestion in that area.
The cost of the agreement is $25,000 and will come back city commission approval next week.
The city commission heard from Emporia Farmers' Market manager Jessica Hopkins on a proposal to move the kiosk. The project would cost just over $9,900 to move it to the southeast corner of the parking lot from where it currently sits. A request for a barrier to be constructed around nearby trash receptacles is also being submitted. Hopkins says the Farmers' Market has secured $5,000 from the Emil Babinger Charitable Trust to assist with relocation. She anticipates doing so also will open up about 4 to 6 additional parking spaces.
In other business, discussion continued on a building trades board ordinance that would give a Chief Building Inspector authority to grant an exception of requirement for an onsite Certified Building Supervisor for residential construction projects. Also discussed was the possibility of consolidating some boards and commissions for efficiency, most notably the Board of Zoning Appeals and Planning Commission. Commissioners favored possible implementation beginning in January 2019.
The Emporia City Commission will next meet Feb. 21 for an action session.