Lawrence city commissioners gave a preliminary thumbs up Tuesday to allocations of more than $800,000 in federal funds proposed for city improvements and programs to aid low-income residents.
Commissioners approved proposals to use 1992 Community Development Block Grant funds to fix city sidewalks, fund several service agencies, and continue the renovation of a local historic landmark.
The dollars available for 1992 total $804,000, which includes $50,000 left over from last year. Funding comes from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Commissioners approved the allocations with little debate.
"In my seven years of doing this, this is by far the smoothest the budget process has gone," Commissioner Bob Schumm said.
The CDBG program helps provide quality housing for people living on low or moderate incomes and also funds programs designed to stem urban blight.
The allotments were proposed by the city's 17-member CDBG Advisory Committee, which received funding requests totaling over $1.3 million.
DECIDING which projects to fund and to what degree was a difficult process, said Robert Baker, chair of the advisory committee.
"It just seems like the needs get bigger every year," he said.
The committee earmarked $300,000 for housing rehabilitation loans, administered through the city, which help pay for the rehabilitation of homes for low- and moderate-income homeowners. The CD department also would get $70,000 for weatherization projects, $30,000 for emergency home improvement loans, $150,000 for administration and $2,738 in contingency funds.
Among other recommendations, the committee suggested meting out $15,000 for sidewalk renovation in East Lawrence and $10,800 for sidewalk repairs in the Pinckney neighborhood.
The East Lawrence Improvement Assn. also would receive $2,000 for operating expenses, $4,015 for a coordinator and $1,322 for its annual cleanup. Brook Creek Neighborhood Assn. would get $1,400 for operating expenses, $1,500 for improvements to railroad crossings at 11th and 12th Streets and $3,600 for sidewalk improvements.
The North Lawrence Improvement Assn., would receive $1,000 for operating expenses and $2,000 for its two cleanups. The Oread Neighborhood Assn. would get $6,758 for a coordinator and $3,600 for operating expenses along with $250 for a cleanup, $2,000 for sidewalk repair, $2,800 for dumpster pads and screening and $1,500 for tree planting.
THE PINCKNEY Neighborhood would receive $1,650 for operating expenses, $3,410 for a coordinator, $3,000 for Clinton Park equipment and $700 for a cleanup. The University Place Neighborhood Assn., would receive $10,000 for a model block project in the 1700 block of Illinois.
The committee also recommended continuing funding the restoration of Union Pacific Depot to the tune of $38,400.
Officials from several service organizations thanked the commission for considering funding their groups and asked to be considered again if more dollars become available.
Commissioners hit a minor snag when it came to funding playground equipment for two schools. The committee suggested alloting $3,000 for equipment at East Heights School and $3,350 for Kennedy School.
"I don't want us to get in the position of taking care of the school's business," Schumm said. "We shouldn't get into the position of funding them 100 percent."
Commissioners agreed to match any funds raised by the schools for playground equipment with CDBG funds up to the amount recommended by the advisory committee.
THEY ALSO directed city staff to send a letter to the Lawrence school board asking for an explanation of their funding policies on playground equipment.
Other groups that would receive funding are: Brook Creek Learning Center, $6,000; Douglas County AIDS Project, $2,000; Douglas County Legal Aid, $14,536; Emergency Services Council, $15,000; Health Care Access, $4,500; Hospice Care, $11,500; Life Safety Units, $3,350; Project Acceptance, $8,500; Trinity Care Services, $11,731;
Women's Transitional Care Services, $9,000; Achievement Place for Boys, $2,000; Ballard Center, $4,750; Boys and Girls Club, $950; Douglas County Senior Services, $10,000; First Step House, $3,000; Independence Inc., $7,490; Lawrence Indian Center, $4,500; Lawrence Parks and Recreation, $3,500; and the public works department, $5,900.
Commissioners will consider adopting a resolution at next Tuesday's meeting authorizing the suggested uses of the CDBG funds.
IN OTHER action Tuesday:
ommissioners proclaimed today "National Employee Health and Fitness Day"; May 9 through Saturday "Downtown Lawrence Farmers Market Week" and Sunday through May 23 "National Public Works Week." Dan Affalter and Don Gardner of the Lawrence Police Department made a presentation concerning the torch run for the Special Olympics.
In a single motion, commissioners approved the following consent agenda items:
Payment of city expenses.
Drinking establishment licenses for Duffy's Lounge in Quality Inn University, 2222 W. Sixth; Becerros Mexican Inc., 2515 W. Sixth; and the Full Moon Cafe, 803 Mass.
Awarding a $24,889 contract to Penny Construction Co. for construction of sidewalks on the southwest corner of Sixth and Mississippi streets; 300 feet on the south side of Harvard Road east and west of Randall; 330 feet on the south side of Peterson Road west of North Crestline Drive; 1,450 feet on the north side of Sixth Street west from Bluffs Drive, past Iowa, to a service station frontage road; 330 feet in Watertower Park; and 155 feet near Wagon Wheel Road and platted 12th Street, west to tie into the existing sidewalk at 12th Street.
An ordinance on second and final reading establishing speed limits on Kasold Drive as follows: 55 mph from the north city limits to Peterson Road; 40 mph from Peterson to 400 feet north of Riverview Road; and 30 mph from 400 feet north of Riverview to Sixth Street.
An ordinance on second and final reading removing parking on both sides of Delaware for 150 feet south of 19th Street.
An ordinance on second and final reading deleting obsolete language from the city code concerning child passenger safety restraining measures.
An ordinance on first reading prohibiting parking on setback areas in front and side yards.
A resolution authorizing $250,000 in general obligation bonds for a training tower and other improvements to city property containing Fire Station No. 2 at the southwest corner of 19th Street and Haskell Avenue.
A site plan with conditions for an office building at 3310 Mesa Way.
A request for a Use Permitted Upon Review to operate a day-care facility for children at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 2104 W. 15th.
Receiving a city-county planning commission report on the annual review of the viability of the "Plan 95" land use guide.
A revised master transportation plan for bicycle traffic in Lawrence. The plan would become an addendum to the city's PedalPlan.
A revision to the South Lawrence Trafficway Corridor Land Use Plan adding a bicycle path-pedestrian trail along the trafficway.
Authorized the drafting of an ordinance for a text amendment to site plan regulations in the city code deleting the specific number of site plans required for review.
A Traffic Safty Commission recommendation to construct a sidewalk on the west side of North Michigan Street from the end of the existing walk north to a point across from the Douglas County Christian School, 256 N. Mich. Commissioners referred the recommendation to the 1993 budget process.
A TSC recommendation to install a flashing school beacon on North Michigan Street with half the cost to be paid by Douglas County Christian School. Commissioners referred the recommendation to the 1993 budget process.
A TSC recommendation to deny a request for a stop sign on Ousdahl Road at 26th Street.
Commissioners pulled the following item from the consent agenda for further comment:
Minutes of previous commission meeting and various city organization meetings. Commissionmers suggested several minor alterations to the minutes and approved the amended minutes.
Commissioners rejected a request from the Lawrence Country Club for a benefit district to pave Country Club Terrace between Rockledge Road and the Lawrence Country Club and for the city to pay 50 percent of the cost.
Commissioners called an executive session on an employee matter.
Mayor Bob Schulte announced that five local service agencies had received funding through the city from the Kansas Emergency Shelter Grant program: Ballard Community Center, $7,310; First Step House, $13,760; Project Acceptance, $12,272; Salvation Army, $22,260; and Women's Transitional Care Services, $757.