Results are in for flag vote

Iola City Council members will discuss results of a public vote for a new city flag at their Monday evening meeting. The Clock Tower option won overwhelmingly.


Local News

March 8, 2024 - 3:32 PM

Clock Tower flag

The people have spoken and they overwhelmingly prefer the Clock Tower option as the new Iola city flag. With the vote tallies in, 261 voted for the Clock Tower option compared to the 74 who voted for the Land & Water flag. Council members are slated to discuss these results at Monday evening’s meeting and provide city staff with direction moving forward.

Land & Water flag

City staff had presented community members at the beginning of January with the option to decide via Facebook or a ballot box in the City Clerk’s office between the two flags. Local artist Max Grundy, who also serves on city council, had previously presented the options to council members, with explanations of each flag. He noted the Clock Tower flag was uplifting and honored the community’s history, representing the past and future working together. The Land & Water flag honored the area’s connection to agriculture and promoted the idea of growth and abundance.

ALSO SCHEDULED for Monday’s meeting, Humanity House will seek assistance to help with the organization’s community garden. Georgia Masterson, of Humanity House, has requested the city provide $1,000 of free water at the garden.

The garden typically opens for the season toward the first of April each year with water usage running through October. From 2018 through 2020, the city provided the garden with $1,000 worth of free water. In 2021 and 2022, the city provided $500 worth of free water each year. No request was made for 2023. The organization only exceeded $1,000 in usage in 2018, when the total was $1,218.59.

The council will also consider re-approval of the Neighborhood Revitalization Plan (NRP). The council adopted the NRP at a rebate level of 100% for 10 years. This plan was approved by the Allen Community College Board of Trustees and USD 257 at the same level. Allen County Commissioners voted in December 2022 to keep the reimbursement at the previous tiered rebate, offering a 100% rebate for the first six years and every year after that decrease the tax rebate by 20%.

With the county approving the program at a different rebate level, the current software would have to be upgraded. Allen County Treasurer Darolyn Maley explained to commissioners at their Feb. 27 meeting that their stair-step approach would result in needing to purchase new programming to the tune of $45,250. Due to this, the county has decided to participate at the same level as the other taxing entities.

Because of this change, the city council will need to present the plan to the other taxing entities (ACC and USD 257) for re-approval and then submit the revision to the Kansas Attorney General’s office. The revised plan has already been presented and approved by both the county and ACC, and will be presented to USD 257 at their next meeting.

Also on the council’s agenda, Mayor French will recognize April as National Poetry Month and proclaim April 26 as “Poem in Your Pocket Day.” Community members are encouraged to observe this day by reading a poem recognizing the ongoing achievement of American poets.