City commissioners on Tuesday replaced a card in the deck then told a citizen committee to reshuffle its recommendations for allocating community development funds this year.
Following a recommendation from City Manager Mike Wildgen, commissioners unanimously agreed that Douglas County Legal Aid, which the committee had recommended be cut, be financed through the federal program.
"Then come back with recommendations that make that work," Commissioner Bob Schumm said.
So the committee, which spent the past four months sifting through requests for shares of the $785,207 in Community Development Block Grant funds, this week will return to the table to decide how the $13,000 allocation for Legal Aid will affect funding for several other organizations.
CDBG FUNDS are allocated by the federal government to offer assistance to low- and moderate-income residents and to eliminate slum and blight in targeted neighborhoods.
The advisory committee's original proposal cut all financing for Legal Aid, which had requested $27,783. It had received about half of that in 1990. The committee recommended the organization be financed from the city's general fund.
But Wildgen told commissioners in a memo that such a move would set a dangerous precedent and that the general fund could not bear the added strain.
"I am bothered by the trend to add groups and substantially increase levels of funding for other groups" in the CDBG program, Wildgen wrote.
He noted that the committee had recommended financing two new groups and increases of more than 50 percent over previous levels for others.
"What will happen next year? What group will the CDBG Advisory Committee declare to be a general fund responsibility so that others can be added or have higher funding levels?" Wildgen asked.
HE ALSO warned that such shifts could lead to increases in property taxes, which finance the general fund.
Eric Cleveland, chairman of the CDBG advisory committee, reminded commissioners that the committee had recommended removing Legal Aid from the CDBG program for the past two years.
"It was recommended that it not be funded, not because of its worth, but because it has the potential of being funded from other city funds that are not as restricted as this pool of funds," he said.
The committee will return its revised recommendations to the commission at next Tuesday's meeting, when final decisions on allocations will be made.
On a single motion, commissioners unanimously approved these consent agenda items:
Minutes of various boards and commissions.
Payment of expenses totaling $1,377,650 and payroll totaling $567,462.
Bids for pavement marking at various locations; milling, overlay and pavement marking on Massachusetts from Seventh to 10th; computer equipment and 1991 vehicle towing contract for the police department.
Awarding the Ballard Center window replacement project to Kennedy Glass.
AN ORDINANCE on final reading that annexes 30 acres east of Prairie Park and west of Lawrence School District property and County Road 1600E.
An ordinance on final reading that removes a no-parking zone from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the east side of the 1400 block of Massachusetts.
An ordinance on final reading that changes the name of Hartland Drive to Woodland Drive.
An ordinance on final reading that removes a no-parking zone on the east side of Mississippi for 200 feet north of 11th Street.
An ordinance on final reading that establishes a bus loading zone on the south side of Jayhawk Boulevard near Marvin Hall.
An ordinance on final reading for a stop sign at Second Street Terrace and Michigan.
An ordinance on first reading that allows car washes as ancillary use to service stations and convenience stores in the C-2 (neighborhood shopping) zoning district.
An ordinance on first reading rezoning 30 acres east of Prairie Park and west of Lawrence Schoool District property and County Road 1600E from A (agricultural) to RS-1 (single-family residence) to be used as city park land.
AN ORDINANCE on first reading rezoning lots 1-6, Tiffany Addition No. 2, from RS-1 (single-family residence) to RS-2 (single-family residence). The property is on the east side of Monterey Way between Harvard and 15th.
An ordinance on first reading establishing a 35 mph speed limit on Kasold from Harvard to 15th.
Receipt of the Planning Commission review and findings for Plan '95, the city's comprehensive planning guide.
Allowing the mayor to sign release of planned unit development covenants for Floral Estates No. 2. The property is north of the 1200 block of East 23rd.
Receipt of annexation request from Michael Stultz for 2.803 acres north of Trail Road and west of Monterey Way and consider authorizing drafting of ordinance.
Allowing the city manager to execute an agreement to plat for Habitat for Humanity on Harper and issue a building permit.
After removing the following items from the consent agenda for individual discussion, commissioners:
On a 4-0-1 vote, 1 with Commissioner Bob Schulte abstaining, approved on first reading an ordinance rezoning about 22 acres east of the southeast corner near Wakarusa and Highway 40 from A (agricultural) to RM-1 (multiple family residence) and RO-2 (single family residence). Schulte abstained because of potential conflict of interest concerning his business.
Unanimously authorized the mayor to sign 1991 Kansas Emergency Shelter Grant Program Application for First Step House, Hannah's House and Ballard Center.
On these regular agenda items, the commission:
Voted unanimously to receive a letter from Robert Rose concerning residential parking issues. Rose is concerned that boats, trailers, buses and campers parked in driveways might violate the city's setback regulations. City commissioners referred the matter to the city-county planning commission.
Unanimously approved declaring 422 Locust blighted and allowing the owners 20 days to abate the violations found.
Unanimously approved a motion to allow the owners of 319 Maple three weeks to remove glass from the property.
Unanimously approved a sign variance for Lawrence National Bank, 647 Mass.
Unanimously denied approval of an agreement with Morley Inc. to allow use of public right of way north of 432 La. for a private driveway and a building permit.
Deferred for one week consideration of a staff report concerning licensing and regulation of private mobile escort services.
Unanimously approved the staff recommendation to select Black & Veatch to conduct a utility rate study and authorize the mayor to sign the contract.
Recessed to executive session to discuss matters relating to city-firefighter negotiations.