Lawrence city commissioners said Tuesday that they wanted proposals from more than one firm before shelling out money for an update of a feasibility study for a city-owned golf course.
"I think it should be open to whoever has the best proposal," Commissioner Bob Schumm said of the update, which would gauge demand for more local golfing and the chances for a successful municipal course.
Schumm asked commissioners Tuesday to consider paying for an update of a 1988 feasibility study on a 160-acre course on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers land near Clinton Lake.
"I think that for peace of mind and good factual information, it would behoove us to get a fresh set of numbers and an idea of the need that is met or not being met," Schumm said.
COMMISSIONERS dropped plans for a city course last fall in hopes that golf course developer Jeff Gazaway could follow through on his plans for a privately owned public course a few miles east of Lawrence.
"Even for Mr. Gazaway's effort, to relook at that would be a benefit for anybody wanting to provide an additional course," Schumm said. "We're not committing to building an additional course."
The updated study would cost $4,500 plus travel and related expenses, according to an official from THK Associates Inc., the Englewood, Colo., firm that drafted the 1988 study.
It would estimate construction and maintenance costs, as well as the effect of changing demographics and any new competition in the area.
Most commissioners sided with Schumm's proposal.
"If this does nothing more than present new information for the consumption of our citizens, I'm for that," said Commissioner Bob Walters.
COMMISSIONER John Nalbandian said he would support getting an update that provided the latest figures and market factors. "My thought has always been we don't want to overbuild," he said.
Commissioner Shirley Martin-Smith objected to the idea, saying the update would be "an extraordinary expense."
"I'm not interested in funding a study for the private sector," she said. "And I think an update of the feasibility study implies the city's commitment to a golf course."
Schumm suggested that the city request proposals from other firms for the update. In a 4-1 vote, commissioners agreed to ask city staff to pursue proposals from other firms for the study. Martin-Smith dissented.
IN OTHER business Tuesday, commissioners:
In a single motion, approved the following consent agenda items:
Minutes of previous commission meeting and various city organization meetings.
Payment of city expenses.
Setting a bid date of 2 p.m. Sept. 8 for sale of property from the utilities department, including scrap copper tubing, scrap iron, brass fittings and obsolete water meters.
A $25,097 contract to Olathe Ford Sales Inc. for one 1-ton cab and chassis.
A retail liquor license for Horine Retail Liquor, 2420 Iowa.
A class A club license for Lawrence Country Club, 400 Country Club Ter.
Ordinances on final reading that approve assessments to affected property owners for these benefit district projects: sanitary sewers for Stone Meadows West No. 3, $50,107; streets, sidewalks and storm sewers for Stone Meadows West No. 2, $87,495; streets, sidewalks and storm sewers on Harper Street, $94,896; streets, sidewalks and storm sewers for Tiffany Addition No. 2, $79,695.
An ordinance on first reading that authorizes issuance of $4 million in industrial revenue bonds for Packer Plastics Inc. and a 50 percent tax abatement on $4 million in new equipment.
A site plan for an addition to Mid-American Auto Salvage, 2001 E. 19th.
Authorizing the mayor to execute "Exercise of Option to Redeem Bonds" that would allow E&E; Specialities Inc., 910 E. 29th, to pay off $1.135 million remaining from $1.6 million in industrial revenue bonds issued through the city in 1984.
Commissioners pulled the following items from the consent agenda for further discussion:
A drinking establishment license for Quinton's Bar and Deli, 615 Mass., and The Yacht Club, 530 Wis. Commissioner Bob Schumm abstained from voting on the issue due to a business relationship with one of the establishments. The four remaining commissioners approved the licenses.
Authorizing the mayor to sign an agreement selling city frontage road right of way at the northeast section of 25th and Iowa to Robert R. Hopkins for $30,603. Hopkins wants to buy the land for a retail center. Bill Mitchell, 1201 Emery Rd., told commissioners he was concerned that the city was getting the best price when buying right of way and charging enough when selling right of way. City Manager Mike Wildgen told commissioners that the city stays close to appraisers' estimates when considering buying and selling right of way. Commissioners unanimously approved the agreement selling Hopkins the right of way.
On the regular agenda:
Commissioners reviewed a letter from Douglas County officials requesting comments on a proposal to expand by one or two days the permitted firework sale days whenever sales on one or more of the allowed days is hampered by bad weather. Commissioners decided to suggest that sale days remain the same, regardless of the weather.
Commissioners authorized the city to hook up a residence in the 1300 block of Wagon Wheel Road to the city sanitary sewer system at a cost to the resident of $2,200, the usual rate for sewer system tie-ins.