Archive for Sunday, August 24, 1997


August 24, 1997


Bottom line:

Commissioners will discuss whether to order five Lawrence homes either repaired or demolished.

Four of the properties are owned by Harold C. Shephard: 810 N.J., 837 E. 13th, 1309 N.J. and 832 Conn.

The fifth property, 909 Pa., is owned by Valentin Romero.

City building inspectors consider each of the properties "unsafe and dangerous." As such, inspectors recommend that each property either be repaired or demolished.

City Manager Mike Wildgen said the public needed protection from such properties. As properties remain blighted or unsafe, he said, such conditions can spread to neighboring properties.

"It's a life-safety issue," Wildgen said.

Commissioners will receive a report regarding Shephard's properties and are scheduled to "direct staff as appropriate."

As for Romero's property at 909 Pa., commissioners are scheduled to conduct a public hearing to determine whether the structure formally is "unsafe and dangerous." Commissioners will consider whether to pass a resolution requiring that the property either be repaired or razed.


Lawrence City Commission background for Aug. 26, 1997, meeting


Discussion of the five properties at city hall is nothing new.

On May 13, commissioners discussed whether to declare 832 Conn. an "abandoned" property. The Lawrence Preservation Alliance wanted to take control of the home so that it could be renovated and sold to a qualifying low-income person.

Shephard said he owned the property and planned to renovate it himself. City inspectors, however, have yet to receive any documentation that Shephard owns the property, which "is deteriorating visibly and structurally at a rapid pace," said Gene Shaughnessy, the city's chief building inspector.

Shephard's properties at 810 N.J. and 1309 N.J. have yet to be renovated, Shaughnessy said, and work at 837 E. 13th has not occurred for several weeks.

In November, Shephard accused the city of discriminating against his company, C&S; Shephard Construction Inc. His complaints led to a revision in the city's bidding processes for various projects.

Romero had sought to raze 909 Pa., using federal housing grants, but he never applied for the money after commissioners placed restrictions on their use July 8. The home was built sometime before 1873, and some claim it survived Quantrill's Raid in 1863.

Other business

8-24-97 Lawrence City Commission business for Aug. 26, 1997 meeting

Other business:

  • Approve appointments recommended by Mayor Bonnie Augustine: Jon Narum and Bob Bowline to the Lawrence Arts Commission; Keith Haynes and Tracy Gordon to the Board of Electrical Examiners & Appeals; Roberta Meade to the Convention and Visitors Bureau Advisory Board; Lesley D. Catlin to the Aviation Advisory Board; John Ross to the Recycling and Resource Conservation Advisory Board; and Commissioner Erv Hodges to the Internet Advisory Board. Mike Treanor also would be reappointed to the Building Code Board of Appeals.
  • Hire LRM Industries to handle chip-and-seal improvements to the Clinton Dam Outlet Road, for $25,835. The road is located along the south side of the lake's spillway and connects to the road that leads to the new Lawrence Municipal Golf Course at Clinton Lake.
  • Approve an ordinance, on final reading, adopting the 1994 edition of the Uniform Building Code, with local amendments.
  • Approve an ordinance, on first reading, adopting the city's $74.1 million budget for 1998.
  • Approve resolutions to: authorize the city to sell $2.9 million in general obligation bonds and $6.2 million in temporary notes Sept. 16 to finance several projects; authorize the city to sell $120,000 in general obligation bonds to finance installation of traffic signals at the intersection of Clinton Parkway and Wakarusa Drive; declare 2720 Ponderosa environmentally blighted and allow the property owner 20 days to clean things up; and authorize the city to sell $100,000 in general obligation bonds for upgrades of traffic signals at several intersections in town.
  • Hire Quality Electric, for $38,073, to handle lighting and painting renovations at the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vt.; Penny Construction would be hired for $27,932 to handle repair, cleaning and coating of exterior concrete at the library.
  • Hire Black & Veatch to conduct a Water Treatment Plant study, for $48,500; and a Water Distribution Master Plan update, for $41,000.
  • Agree to pay R.E. Pedrotti Co. $16,887 for a filter console upgrade at the Clinton Water Treatment Plant.
  • Schedule a 2 p.m. Sept. 9 surplus property sale for the city's department of utilities.
  • Hire White Martin Engineering to handle construction observation services for two phases of water line rehabilitation projects. The company would earn $10,800 for the first phase of projects and another $28,800 for phase two.
  • Approve an agreement with Douglas County that sets out responsibilities for maintaining a new pedestrian-bike trail along the South Lawrence Trafficway. The city would maintain the 5 miles between U.S. Highway 59 and Clinton Parkway. The county would handle the rest, which is set to be built in the coming months between the parkway and Interstate 70. The city has set aside $15,000 next year for maintaining the path.
  • Approve a site plan for a Conoco convenience store to be located at 2330 Iowa, south of Furr's Cafeteria.
  • Receive a request to reconsider its rejection of a final plat for Lewis Subdivision. The request -- from attorney Price Banks, who represents property owner Ed Stroda -- would be referred to city staffers for a report.
  • Agree to install stop signs at the intersection of 21st and Rhode Island streets, as unanimously recommended by the Traffic Safety Commission.
  • Approve a permit allowing use of a parking lot at Old Chicago Restaurant, 2329 Iowa, for Big Blue Weekends.
  • Consider removing parking restrictions in front of 3020 University and allow parking on the street. The owner of the property, Joseph Alonzo, wants to be able to park his pontoon boat on the street.
  • Receive and discuss a downtown parking study completed by Walker Parking Consultants. The study suggests several ways to increase parking downtown, including restriping existing lots, adding angled parking along Vermont and New Hampshire streets, boosting parking fees and fines to increase turnover and building a parking garage at the northeast corner of Ninth and Vermont streets.

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