This week, readers were curious about uses for a historical building and two city ordinances.
Q: What was that large building used for off Airport Road? It’s south of Fourth Avenue and there’s a lot of broken windows.
There’s a lot of ways to answer this question, particularly because this building had a lot of uses over the years. Here’s an overview I’ve compiled from The Hutchinson News archives.
Current Hutchinson residents remember the building as part of the Eaton Corp. campus, but it’s been used for manufacturing since the 1940s.
According to a recent Throwback Thursday column from local historian Steve Harmon, Cessna Aircraft Co. of Wichita built the plant in Hutchinson in 1942. The plant produced wooden gliders for the World War II Normandy invasion effort. After the war, they built Cessna Furniture there.
In 1951, the plant expanded and converted to hydraulics production for aircraft and farm machinery. Eaton Corp. purchased the building in 1988.
In 2006, Eaton’s global officials announced they would close the Hutchinson plant, but local and state officials worked to put together a $3.5 million incentive package. The campus was split and Sunflower Wind purchased the eastern building along Airport Road.
That company, which produced a unique wind turbine, experienced financial problems and instead used the space to store dry wheat from ADM starting in 2010. To store wheat there, all electrical elements previously used for manufacturing were stripped.
The west building continued operations and the Eaton Corp. closed the Hutchinson location in 2017.
Q: Is it legal to transport unopened liquor or wine in your car on your way home?
Short answer, yes. You can transport alcohol in its original packaging in your vehicle – it needs to get home somehow. Now, open containers are a different story.
In Kansas, open containers of alcohol are prohibited outside of private buildings and licensed on-premises alcohol sellers. An open container is prohibited inside any motor vehicle unless it is a licensed limousine or mass-transit vehicle.
In Hutchinson, the city code outlines open container laws in Section 18-401(a). It’s unlawful for anyone to consume alcohol or have in his or her possession, except in the original package or container which shall not have been opened, alcoholic liquor, in or upon any highway, road, street, alley, sidewalk, public easement or automobile parking lot, whether such lot be publicly or privately owned, or in or upon any vehicle while in or upon any such place within the corporate limits of the City.
Q: Is there a city ordinance that requires homeowners/residents to keep trash, brush, piles of tree limbs, and tall weeds cleaned up? There are many alleys that have these items in the right of ways that are not only unsightly but scratch or damage vehicles that must travel through.
Trent Maxwell, building official for the City of Hutchinson, explained that situations are best handled on a case-by-case basis. There are ordinances pertaining to trash and vegetation growing in places like alleys, but they apply in different ways.
“There might be a lot that we can’t take care of and some we can. Call in the address so we can send our inspector by and we can see what’s there and decide what can do to fix it,” Maxwell said.
Keep those questions coming by sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org.