City news

The Heritage Commission is asking the Abilene City Commission to request signage on Interstate 70 that directs motorists to historic downtown Abilene.

Duane Schrag, a member of the Heritage Commission, made the request on behalf of the Heritage Commission at the regular Abilene City Commission meeting on Monday.

“This is an effort to bring attention to downtown,” he told commissioners.

Mayor Tim Shafer directed staff to review the request at a study session.

Schrag said the city should request the sign through the Kansas Department of Transportation.

The signs with a brown background are installed on the highway at the intersection with the closest and most direct route and are installed at no cost to the attraction.


The commission approved on a 4-0 vote the 2018 audit by Varney and Associates.

April Swartz presented the audit report to the commission at a study session last week. She said there were no issues or concerns.

“Our opinion is a clean opinion,” she said.

The report shows the city collected $11.4 million and had $11.7 million in expenditures. The losses were in the Water Utility Fund ($166,042) and the Sewer Utility Fund ($227,026).

A utility rate review was conducted back in the spring of 2018 and the commission approved a multi-year plan to bring rates up to expenditures.

However, the city started with a $6.51 cash balance and finished with a $6.50 cash balance.

The general fund cash balance, often a key to a city’s bond rating, grew from $1.59 million to $2.1 million.

Also at Monday’s meeting the commissioners were told that the city’s bond rating remained at AA- by S&P Global Ratings.

Commissioner Sharon Petersen was absent.

Contact Tim Horan at

Contact Tim Horan at

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