As a prelude to resurfacing a six-block section of Iowa Street, Lawrence city commissioners approved the removal of raised medians on Iowa between 25th and 31st streets at their meeting Tuesday.
"We think it would be a good project to help that street, and help snow removal as well as some of the maintenance problems," said George Williams, director of public works.
The curbs on the medians are in bad shape, as well as the concrete guttering between the curbs and the asphalt, said Williams.
Mayor Bob Walters, who lives near the area, endorsed the plan. "I put down here on the report, `Yea,'" Walters said.
The cost of removing and replacing the curbs and repairing the medians was estimated at $85,000, according to a report to the city manager by Terese Gorman, city engineer.
Gorman suggested in the report that the city instead remove the medians, resurface the street, and denote the median area with plastic striping. The project would cost about $55,000.
REMOVAL of the medians would be part of a resurfacing project for Iowa between 25th and 31st streets that the city has been planning for more than a year.
The estimated cost of the project is $340,000, which would include removing the medians, repairing curbs on the east and west sides of Iowa, repaving the street and making pavement markings.
Williams said the Kansas Department of Transportation has agreed to chip in $100,000 for the project. Iowa Street is part of U.S. Highway 59.
The city will issue bonds to pay for the remaining $240,000 estimated for the project, Williams said.
Gorman said in her report that she plans to ask for bids on the project in May, so resurfacing would be complete this summer.
EARLIER in the meeting, the commissioners deferred discussion of a proposed policy to ensure builders meet city setback requirements.
Under the policy, a licensed land surveyor or professional engineeer would have to certify that lot boundaries and setbacks are marked correctly before a builder can get a building permit.
A surveyor or engineer also would have to check the position of the structure against the setbacks before the building is completed. Setbacks are areas both on and off the lot reserved for use by the city or utilities.
Bob Santee, president of the Lawrence Homebuilders Assn., said in an article in Tuesday's Journal-World that problems with building onto setbacks could be handled in a simpler fashion.
He proposed that the commissioners, city building inspectors and local builders work together to formulate a new policy.
Mayor Bob Walters suggested deferring the issue, so builders could meet with city officials about the policy. Although there wasn't an official vote, the commissioners agreed to put off the issue until Feb. 25.
In other action Tuesday:
In a single motion, the commissioners approved the following consent agenda items:
Minutes of previous commission meeting and various city organization meetings.
Payment of city expenses.
A date of 2 p.m. Feb. 4 to receive bids for practice ammunition for the Lawrence Police Department.
A site plan with conditions for construction projects at Oread Labs, 1501 Wakarusa Dr., including an administrative office building and library.
An ordinance on final reading regulating mobile home and manufactured home parks.
An ordinance on final reading regulating cross-connections to the city water supply.
AN ORDINANCE on first reading regulating private clubs and drinking establishments.
An ordinance on first reading to install stop signs on: Allison Drive at 25th Terrace; Ponderosa Drive at 25th Terrace; Cimarron Drive at 25th Terrace; Maverick Lane at 25th Terrace; Rawhide Lane at 25th Terrace; Trail Dust Court at 27th Street; Ponderosa Drive at 27th Street; Maverick Lane at 27th Street; Bonanza Street at 27th Street; Rawhide Lane at 27th Street; Harper Street at 27th Street; Ponderosa Drive at 28th Street; Maverick Lane at 28th Street; Bonanza Street at 28th Terrace; Rawhide Lane at 28th Street.
An ordinance annexing about five acres west of Monterey Way and south of Trail Road.
Purchase of additional pipe and the realignment of the storm sewer system on Harper Street between 23rd and 25th Terrace and authorizing the city manager to sign the change order. The improvements would cost $10,250.
AN AGREEMENT with the Kansas Turnpike Authority for a construction and maintenance easement for a water line on KTA property along North Michigan Street.
An agreement with Santa Fe Railway for a sanitary sewer easement across railroad property from near Seventh and New York to Eighth and Delaware.
The commissioners pulled the following item from the consent agenda for further discussion:
A site plan with conditions for renovating a two-unit residence at 732 Conn. into a one-unit boarding house, and for renovating a garage at 732 Conn. into a one-bedroom residence. The commissioners asked the applicant to include a floor plan for the boarding house with the site plan.
On the regular agenda, the commissioners:
Denied a sign variance request for Shepley Enterprises Inc., 627 Monterey Way.
The commissioners agreed to make the city a member of the Association for K-10 Corridor Development. The membership costs $3,000. The city will pay for the membership with $1,800 in cash and $1,200 in in-kind services, such as paying for the printing of the association's quarterly newsletter and sponsoring an upcoming planning conference.
Commissioners agreed to meet at 4 p.m. Feb. 3 with the Douglas County Commission to discuss the proposed 150-foot setback requirement for the South Lawrence Trafficway.
Commissioners asked the city manager to notify the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce that the commission is eager to receive reports from two chamber groups Visit 2020 and the Downtown Task Force by early March.
Commissioners approved cereal malt beverage license requests for the Alvamar golf course clubhouse snack bar, 1809 Crossgate Dr., and the Alvamar Racquet and Swim Club, 4120 Clinton Pkwy.