Archive for Sunday, November 24, 1996


November 24, 1996


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Lawrence city commissioners will consider charting a development path for 1,500 acres of park land near Clinton Lake

Commissioners will consider adopting a 25-year conceptual master plan for the land, which the city leased for 25 years from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The land is located generally below the Clinton Lake Dam, south of the South Lawrence Trafficway.

The plan is intended "as a guide and may be adjusted as time passes," said Fred DeVictor, the city's director of parks and recreation.

Among the uses proposed:

  • Amphitheater and special events performance park,
  • Archery range,
  • Bird and wildlife sanctuary,
  • Retreat center, including an information center, bike rental shop, possible cabins and group meeting spaces,
  • Second 18-hole golf course,
  • Orienteering course,
  • Equestrian services, including stables and horse trails.

DeVictor also will ask commissioners to permit staffers to pursue requests for proposals to sublease an area for equestrian services. Several parties have expressed interest in using land to operate horse stables, an arena and trails at the far south end of the site, adjacent to the lake's current horse trails.

City Background

The plan is an update of an initial conceptual plan proposed by parks and recreation staffers in the spring of 1995. Commissioners then agreed to lease the land, in an agreement that became final May 9.

Staffers then accepted public comment -- by mail and in person -- through the end of September.

Among the suggestions: Mountain bike trails; soccer fields, including lights; parking lots; a BMX track; fast-pitch softball diamonds for youth; preservation of natural areas; picnic areas; a rollerblade and skateboard area; and a bird and wildlife sanctuary.

After reviewing all suggestions, staffers forwarded a recommended plan to the city's Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.

The board recommended approval of the plan Nov. 12.

Commissioners must approve the plan, which then would be forwarded to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for review and approval.

City Manager Mike Wildgen said the corps wanted to make sure the city didn't lease any land for a convenience store, for example. The plan offers an adjustable road map for years to come.

"It's a long-term plan," he said.

The property already includes several city-sponsored recreational uses, including the Youth Sports Inc. complex. The city plans to open its Clinton Lake Adult Softball Complex in the spring and a new municipal golf course in 1998.

Other business

  • Proclaim Nov. 29 "Salvation Army Christmas Kettle Kick-Off Day."
  • Approve drinking establishment licenses for Fatso's, 1016 Mass.; American Legion, 3408 W. Sixth; Liberty Hall, 642 Mass.; and Paradise Cafe, 728 Mass. Commissioners also would approve a retail liquor license for Craig Retail Liquor, 1910 Haskell; and cereal malt beverage licenses for Commerce Plaza, 3034 Iowa, and Alvin's IGA, 901 Iowa.
  • Approve a third change order for the city's anaerobic digester project at the Wastewater Treatment Plant, 1400 E. Eighth. Another $13,574 is needed to install emergency switches and controls, plus other work not planned in the initial project. The project's contract, with BRB Contractors, then would be nearly $2.05 million.
  • Approve a resolution declaring 832 Conn. "environmentally blighted," and give the property owner 20 days to clean things up. The city's environmental inspector said there were two abandoned vehicles on the site that must be removed.
  • Approve ordinances, on first reading, to annex two 1-acre tracts -- the "Waisner" and "Harmon" tracts -- south of West Sixth Street, near Folks Road.
  • Approve an ordinance to condemn property for the construction of East 24th Street for the city's HAND Addition, a low-income housing project east of 25th Street and Haskell Avenue.
  • Allow Habitat for Humanity to install signs promoting its annual Homefest show. The signs would be placed in various locations in town from Feb. 7 to Feb. 21. An art class at West Junior High School has also created posters for the event
  • Set a public hearing for Jan. 14 to determine whether there are any "feasible or prudent alternatives" to expanding onto the west side of the Lawrence Arts Center, 200 W. Ninth. The center's board wants to start on its $5.8 million expansion, which thus far has been opposed by the city's Historic Resources Commission and the state's historic preservation officer. The city owns the building, which served as the city's first municipal library, known then as the Carnegie Library.
  • Set a public hearing for Dec. 13 to consider approving an agreement to permanently combine the Lawrence Fire Department and Douglas County Ambulance Service. Commissioners would receive and discuss the joint proposal Tuesday night.
  • Consider creating a benefit district to help neighbors in the Creekwood/Deerfield area address drainage problems.
  • Receive a report regarding the city's health insurance program for 1997.

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