The Lawrence Alliance is asking asking a private trust for $300,000 to help improve race relations and eliminate discrimination in Lawrence.
The alliance, formed in 1991 by the Lawrence City Commission, is eligible to receive up to $400,000 from the Pew Partnership for Civic Change, a $7.9 million project to implement strategies for solving specific urban problems in cities with populations of 50,000 to 150,000.
The project, administered by the University of Richmond (Va.), is financed by the Pew Charitable Trusts, based in Philadelphia.
During their meeting Tuesday night, commissioners agreed to write a letter supporting the alliance's efforts. Applications are due in Charlottesville, Va., next Wednesday.
``It almost looks like something that was written with us in mind,'' Commissioner Bob Schulte said. ``It's almost a perfect match, so we hope that they see it that way.''
IF SELECTED as a finalist, the alliance would submit a final application by Sept. 30. Grant recipients would be noitified by Dec. 15.
Ann Weick, chair of the 15-member alliance, said the money would be used to add staff and start new programs, particularly dealing with youth.
Among the possibilities: expanding citywide educational programs, conducting membership drives and creating educational videos chronicling the history of minority groups in Lawrence.
The grants also would speed up development of a new teen cable television show, ``Talk It Out.''
``With this money, it would give us a major boost,'' Weick said.
Lawrence is one of 109 cities in the country to qualify for the program. The alliance is asking for $100,000 a year, for three years.
To receive the money, the alliance's sponsors would need to kick in an annual match of $25,000.
The city's current $15,000 annual allocation would cover the city's share, Mayor John Nalbandian said. Kansas University, Haskell Indian Junior College and the Lawrence school board also would be asked to participate, Weick said.
IN OTHER MATTERS during Tuesday's meeting:
May 9-15 ``Historic Preservation Week in Lawrence,'' and the Lawrence Preservation Alliance recognized residents' efforts in historic preservation.
May 16-22 ``National Public Works Week.''
May 17-23 ``Lawrence-Douglas County Community Transportation Week.''
May 19 ``National Employee Health and Fitness Day.'' The City of Lawrence Health Activities Management Program (CHAMP) will sponsor a 1.5-mile run-walk for city employees from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., beginning at city hall, Sixth and Massachusetts. Two ``brown bag'' luncheons also will be sponsored by CHAMP, each of them at noon in the city commission meeting room at city hall and open to the public: on May 20, cardiologist John Hiebert will discuss having a healthy heart, and on May 21, Mike Chapman, of Watkins Student Health Center at Kansas University, will discuss fitness shoes and running.
On the consent agenda, commissioners approved:
Minutes from the previous city commission meeting, and receipt of minutes from meetings of the Board of Zoning Appeals, Traffic Safety Commission and Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.
Payment of city bills: $636,582.37 to 225 vendors.
The rejection of all bids for a bucket truck for the public works department, because the low bid failed to meet several specifications.
Awarding a $402,482 bid to Smeal Fire Equipment Co. for a new Quint fire pumper-ladder truck.
A site plan, with conditions, for Parkway Medical Office, to be built at the southwest corner of Clinton Parkway and Kasold Drive.
A resolution authorizing Mayor John Nalbandian to complete an agreement with the Kansas Department of Transportation for repaving 23rd Street, from Louisiana to Iowa streets. KDOT will provide $100,000 for the summer project, while the city will pay an estimated $153,000. Commissioners also set May 25 as the deadline for bids on the project.
A resolution declaring 1500 N. Third ``environmentally blighted,'' giving the property owner 20 days to remove abandoned and unregistered cars from the site. Commissioner Bob Moody said the city already had spent nine months trying to get the situation remedied.
The removal of parking on the south side of 17th Street, east 125 feet from the east curb of Massachusetts. The Traffic Safety Commission approved removing the parking earlier this month, to prevent cars from swerving over special sensors that control a 2-month-old traffic signal at the intersection of 17th and Massachusetts.
Paying Layne-Western $11,280 for equipment and installation of a well casing in the utility department's well field in Burcham Park.
On the regular agenda, commissioners:
Referred to the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission a request from property owners in Nieder Acres, southwest of the intersection of 31st and Iowa, for annexation into the city, contingent on rezoning requests. Developers have expressed interest in building a new Target store on the property, which contains more than 10 acres.
Asked city staff to write a resolution forming two benefit districts: one for a sidewalk along one side of Alabama Street, between 23rd and 27th streets; and another for a sidewalk along the south side of 27th Street, west of Naismith Park to Iowa Street. Members of the Indian Hills Neighborhood Assn. requested the districts, which would require residents living in the area to pay for the construction. The precise areas for payment will be determined by George Williams, the city's public works director.
Asked city staff for more information concerning a proposed charter ordinance to allow non-law enforcement personnel to issue notices to appear. The ordinance would exempt the city from state law, and allow commissioners to devise a policy giving certain city employees building inspectors, animal-control officers and fire officials, for example the power to write citations for violations of the city code. Currently, a sworn police officer or municipal court clerk must write such tickets. ``It's not arresting anyone,'' Wildgen said. ``It's simply a notice to appear in court.'' Moody said he was concerned about eliminating the middle man between inspectors and property owners: police officers who are trained in ``conflict resolution.'' Changing current policy could lead to more tickets, he said. David Corliss, assistant to the city manager, said city staff's desire wasn't to increase the number of citations issued, a concern that could be addressed when it came time to write a specific policy. Commissioners agreed not to vote on the charter ordinance until after Corliss proposed some specifics.
In other action, commissioners:
Authorized Wildgen to sign a permit application for the Lawrence-Douglas County Household Hazardous Waste Facility, which needs approval from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment before it can accept wastes such as motor oil, paints and insecticides.