City Commission: Tree committee proposed for Pony Creek Lake

Retiring fireman Don Strahm, center, is presented with a commemorative clock at the Sabetha City Commission meeting Monday, September 25. Pictured are (L-R) Sabetha Fire Chief Jim Johnson, Don Strahm and Mayor Doug Clark.

At the Sabetha City Commission meeting Monday, Sept. 25, Doug Grimm of Grimm’s Gardens presented a proposal on beautifying the area surrounding Sabetha Pony Creek Lake.

Present for the meeting were Mayor Doug Clark, City Commissioners Nick Aberle, Norm Schmitt, Julie Burenheide and Maridel Wittmer, City Administrator Doug Allen and City Clerk Steve Compo. Assistant City Administrator Bill Shroyer was absent.

Greg Strahm, who is employed at Grimm’s Gardens, also was present at the meeting.


Grimm explained that about a year ago, Tim Kellenberger asked him what it would take to plant trees at Pony Creek. Grimm told the commissioners that he thought the best option would be to plant seeds, because seeds will put on a root first.

Grimm proposed setting up a committee called “Friends of the Sabetha Pony Creek Lake (SPCL).” He said it would operate similar to Friends of the Mary Cotton Public Library. Grimm would serve on the committee, along with Kellenberger, Strahm and Rebecca Drew, who also works for Grimm’s Gardens. He felt the committee needed one more person, and was looking to fill that spot.

“The long and short of it is we would like to start right away,” Grimm said. “We would want to plant some seeds and acorns along there.”

Grimm proposed planting a row of oak trees, a row of hickory trees and a row of maple trees. Mayor Clark asked how much care the trees would need in the coming years. Grimm said he did not feel like much care would be needed.

“It would be the committee’s job to take care of them,” he said. “Down the road, depending on how the community picks up on this, we may ask for water.”

For now, Grimm said, he was just asking permission to proceed.

“As time goes on, someone may want to donate money for trees,” he said, adding that someone may want to plant a tree in memory of someone and include a plaque.

“I think we want to plan for an area like that,” Grimm said.

City Administrator Allen said that trees had been planted in the area in the early 1990s, but deer basically destroyed them.

“We tried some different things, but nothing worked,” he said. “Doug [Grimm] will have a better idea of how to handle this if it becomes an issue.”

Commissioners discussed the committee. Commissioner Schmitt said there needs to be a differentiation between this board and the City Tree Board.

Commissioner Aberle said he liked the idea of the Friends of the SPCL being set up like the Friends of the MCPL.

Allen said it would be imperative that the Friends of the SPCL report back to the city commission periodically, just to keep them apprised of the committee’s progress.

Commissioners agreed that the committee could develop their own board and then report back to the commission semi-annually. It also was recommended that the committee work through the Greater Sabetha Community Foundation so they could receive donations.

Fire Department

Sabetha Fire Chief Jim Johnson presented retiring fireman Don Strahm with a commemorative clock, recognizing him for 35 years of service. Strahm served as fire chief from 1992 to 1998.

Burn Dates

Fall burn dates were approved for Sept. 25 through Nov. 27.

Also at the meeting:

Also approved were minutes from the Sept. 11 meeting.

A hearing was held on Resolution No. 2017-15, granting tax incentives for Trifecta Solutions. Nancy Gafford of the Rural Development Association presented a cost benefit analysis to the commissioners. Chris Rebant was present on behalf of Trifecta. This was approved. Resolution No. 2017-15 can be viewed on Page 7A of this week’s Herald.

Commissioners entered into an executive session with attorney Martin Mishler (present via phone conference) regarding a legal issue and attorney/client privilege.

The next regular commission meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 9.

Krista Wasinger71 Posts

Krista Wasinger is Co-Editor of The Sabetha Herald, where she has been on staff since 2011. She specializes in city reporting and feature stories, as well as photography and page and advertising design. Krista is a 2004 Fort Hays State University graduate with a degree in communications studies with an emphasis in journalism. She lives in Sabetha with her husband and four children.

1 Comment

  • Anthony Reply

    September 27, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    I hope they do something because it looks horrible in it’s current state. Someone went around the entire thing and cut all the trees and brush from the edge of the lake. It’s nearly unrecognizable. I cannot think of a single reason why anyone would think this is a good idea. Maybe it was a highschool summer crew or something?

What Are Your Thoughts?


Welcome! Login in to your account

Remember me Lost your password?

Lost Password