Lawrence police soon will be communicating with brand-new radios.
Lawrence city commissioners agreed Tuesday to spend $62,575 for portions of a new 800-megahertz radio system. The multichannel system will be compatible with communications systems currently used by other local law enforcement agencies.
``I think that's a positive,'' Commissioner John Nalbandian said.
Of the total cost, $58,000 will come from federal grants and $4,575 will come from the city's general fund, backed by local taxes on property and sales.
The department will buy 20 mobile radios and four portable radios from Motorola Direct, the sole source for such equipment. The radios, together with others bought last year, will provide safer and more secure communications for the department's patrol division.
The department's detective and administrative sections are expected to get their new radios sometime next year.
Rural couple gets
OK for city water
Mike and Le Anne Maples may live a mile from town, but they'll be able to drink city water as soon as they can get the pipes installed.
Commissioners agreed to allow the couple to tap into the city's water system, despite living south of town on East 1500 Road -- what would be Haskell Avenue, were it in Lawrence's city limits.
Commissioners agreed to allow the exception to city policy -- normally one has to live in the city and pay city taxes to take advantage of such city services -- because the couple's residence has no access to potable water, nor the ability to hook onto a rural water district line.
Besides, the couple agreed to pay the necessary fees to run a line and associated fees: at least $6,000.
``The Maples are willing to do almost anything,'' said Price Banks, their attorney.
``I'll even wash your car,'' Mike Maples said.
Commissioners didn't take Maples up on the offer, but agreed to allow the water service connection.
City hires contractor
for new skate park
Plans to build a new skate park in Centennial Park remain on track, as commissioners agreed to hire a local contractor to handle the job. They also rejected a bid for the project's largest obstacle.
Commissioners agreed to hire Penny Construction Co., for $77,156, to build the ``street course'' skate park atop dilapidated tennis courts in Centennial, southeast of Sixth Street and Rockledge Road.
Plans call for eight ``obstacles'' popular among skateboarders. A plaza, pyramid, fun box, bank ramp and quarter pipes all will be made out of concrete, while a steel grind rail and a half-pipe -- coated with a skate-friendly, plasticlike Skatelite material -- also will be included in the park.
The entire area is to be surrounded with a 10-foot-tall chain link fence.
Even with a contractor on board, commissioners still aren't done yet. They rejected a $28,400 offer from Hot Rails Inc. to sell a half-pipe skate ramp to the city for use in the park.
Deeming the cost too high, commissioners agreed to seek other bids.
Mayor reappoints two
to hospital board
Mayor Marty Kennedy reappointed two members of Lawrence Memorial Hospital's board of trustees to four-year terms.
Kennedy reappointed Donna Bell and Ray Davis to the board, which oversees the city-owned hospital at 325 Maine. Both board members' terms were set to expire Sept. 30.
Kennedy still needs to find a new board member to replace Kay Kent, whose term expires Sept. 30.