Lawrence city commissioners agreed Tuesday to spend nearly $50,000 for new sidewalks along Alabama and 27th streets, part of an effort to encourage pedestrian improvements in older neighborhoods.
Commissioners voted unanimously to seek establishment of two benefit districts for sidewalks: one along the south side of 27th Street, between Iowa Street and the Naismith drainage ditch; and another on the east side of Alabama Street, between 23rd and 27th streets.
The city would pay half of the estimated $99,000 improvements. Area property owners would pay the rest, with individual rates determined by frontage lengths and proximity to the sidewalks.
"It shows encouragement on the part of the city to do it in older neighborhoods," Commissioner Bob Schulte said.
Commissioners agreed to conduct a public hearing Aug. 3 to determine exactly how the costs should be assessed.
Commissioners also deferred consideration of a third proposal for a benefit district -- along 15th Street, between Monterey Way and Wakarusa Drive -- until after questions could be answered about who should pay for already-agreed-to sections of sidewalk.
Glenda Brundage, 4403 Quail Point Rd., said property owners had never been told about developers' agreements to build a sidewalk along the south side of 15th.
Two-thirds of the area's residents are on fixed incomes, she said, and tying them into a $90,000 project isn't fair.
"I don't think they figured this into their futures," Brundage said.
Commissioner Jo Andersen said the commission was committed to building a sidewalk along 15th, with the only question being how to pay for it.
"Somebody has to pay somewhere down the line," she said. "It's a matter of now or later."
Also at Tuesday's meeting:
@sc7.5:On the consent agenda, commissioners approved:
-- Minutes from meetings of city commissions and boards.
-- Payment of city bills: $1,417,065 to 568 vendors, and $673,213 in payroll.
-- Drinking establishment licenses for the Red Lyon Tavern, 944 Mass.; Teller's, 746 Mass.; Carlos O'Kelly's, 707 W. 23rd; Pancho's Mexican Food Inc., 711 W. 23rd; and Panda Garden, 1500 W. Sixth; a retail cereal malt beverage license for Metro Oil Co., 501 W. Ninth; and a retail liquor license for Schwartz Liquor, 1215 W. Sixth.
-- Setting 2 p.m. July 20 as the bid deadline for hand-held meter reading equipment, and the 1993 manhole rehabilitation project.
-- Setting 2 p.m. Aug. 24 as the deadline for bids on used vehicles being sold by various departments.
-- Awarding a $11,771 bid to JCI for replacing the primary sludge pump at the wastewater treatment plant.
-- Buying a value operator and four mounting plates from Limitorque Equipment for $8,260.
-- Awarding a $254,687 bid to W.A. Dunbar and Son for phase one of street, storm sewer and waterline improvements in the Colonial Addition.
-- Rejecting bids for sanitary sewer improvements in the Colonial Addition, because all exceeded an engineer's estimate.
-- Awarding a $63,730 bid to B.A. Green Construction Co. Inc. for installation of clay tiles to the exterior of Fire Station No. 3.
-- Rejecting a bid for the sale of a 1977 Pierce Mini Pumper, a surplus fire truck.
-- Awarding a $389 bid to H-O-T Fire & Safety for a compressor.
-- Accepting Harold Mallonee's $1,025 bid for a 1955 American LeFrance Pumper, another surplus fire truck.
-- Awarding a $95,550 bid to B.A. Green Construction Co. Inc. for improvements to ball fields at the Youth Sports Inc. complex near Clinton Parkway and Wakarusa Drive.
-- Awarding a $118,300 bid for lighting improvements at the YSI complex.
-- An ordinance, on final reading, providing a franchise agreement between the city and Western Resources, the parent company of KPL.
-- An ordinance, on final reading, to remove parking on the east side of Missouri Street, between Fourth and Fifth streets.
-- Four resolutions declaring properties environmentally blighted: 524 Lake St., 604 Lake St., 2332 Haskell and 319 Maple.
-- A resolution to expand the Lawrence Alliance from 15 to 16 members.
-- Receiving a petition for public improvements in the Colonial Place Addition, and authorizing staff to draft a resolution ordering the work.
-- Accepting easements and rights of way for two plats: Nelson South Addition, a one-lot industrial subdivision of 30,749 square feet at the northwest corner of 22nd and Haskell; and Parkway West Townhomes, a low-density, multifamily residential subdivision of nine lots on 8.3 acres south of Clinton Parkway, west of Raintree Montessori School.
-- Allowing Mayor John Nalbandian to sign a rental rehabilitation agreement agreement for James A. Slough, 811 E. 11th.
Commissioners removed the following items from the consent agenda for further discussion:
-- An annexation request for property north of Peterson Road and east of North Iowa Street from contract purchaser Michael Stultz and property owner Hallmark Cards Inc. Commissioners referred the item to the planning commission, with the promise that they would discuss stormwater drainage issues during a study session at 4 p.m. July 26.
-- A site plan for the Compton Office Building, to be located at 4343 W. Sixth, was approved on a separate, 4-0 vote, with Commissioner Doug Compton abstaining.
On the regular agenda, commissioners:
-- Agreed to conduct a "public information meeting concerning the repaving" of an alley in the 1700 block between Tennessee and Ohio streets. Ten of 32 property owners along the gravel alley signed a petition asking for the improvement, estimated to cost $25,000 and be financed through a benefit district. Charlotte Muckey, 1709 Tenn., said several property owners in the area were not notified about the proposal, and deserved more information. City Manager Mike Wildgen said the petition did not require public notification, but would provide property owners along the alley with information prior to the meeting, a date for which was not set.
-- Approved the final plat for Houston Place, a two-tract residential subdivision of 1.5 acres, the site of Delta Upsilon Fraternity, 1035 Emery Rd.
In other action, commissioners:
-- Heard a report from Andersen, lauding city staff for developing "summer fun" activities for Lawrence teens. Three weekends remain for Lawrence High School and junior high students to take advantage of free, extended weekend hours at three city recreational facilities. Basketball, swimming and volleyball will be available from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Senior high students may use the municipal pool this Saturday, and on July 23 and Aug. 6; the Carl Knox Natatorium and west gym at LHS this Friday and July 24; and the Holcom Park Recreation Center Aug. 7. Junior high students can use the facilities on alternate days: the municipal pool this Friday, and on July 24 and Aug. 7; the natatorium and gym this Saturday and July 23; and Holcom on Aug. 6. Summer Brain Cramp 2 will be Aug. 13, with details pending.