Archive for Sunday, February 22, 1998

February 22, 1998

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* Agree to appoint Kelly Boyle-Wolfe to the city's CDBG Review Board; Stacy Ezekwe and Amy Lemert also would be reappointed, as recommended by Mayor Bonnie Augustine. Also up for approval: appointment of J. William Carswell and Omofalbo Ajayi to the Lawrence Arts Commission, and reappointment of Jeff Messick and Kent Smalter to the Historic Resources Commission.

  • Agree to buy furnishings for the new municipal court, from Designed Business Interiors Inc., for $74,362. The new court and prosecutor's offices are expected to open later this year at 1006 N.H., on the first floor of Berkeley Tower. The project's interior designer had expected the furniture to cost $115,288.
  • Agree to hire Spectrum Construction Co., for $14,217, to handle repair of sidewalks for the Salvation Army.
  • Approve an ordinance, on final reading, to set assessments for the construction of East 24th Street.
  • Approve an ordinance, on first reading, to require that wiring installed in floodplain areas and within drainage easements must be placed underground.
  • Approve an ordinance, on first reading, to continue the commission's quorum as four members, as authorized by a charter ordinance passed in the early '90s. As specified in state law, the quorum of a five-member commission is three members, which means that a majority of a quorum would be two members. By state law, any meeting with a majority of a commission's quorum present must be open to the public. By enlarging the quorum to four members -- through an exemption from that portion of state law -- a majority of the commission's quorum is three members. That means two commissioners may meet outside of the public eye and discuss business. Commissioners must renew the exemption ordinance each year for it to remain in effect. A minimum of four affirmative votes are required for the ordinance to pass.
  • Approve a permit to allow Douglas County to install a new outdoor warning siren along 15th Street, about midway between Wakarusa Drive and the South Lawrence Trafficway. The siren is to be installed Friday and serve an area not currently served by a warning siren.
  • Agree to hire Burns McDonnell and Landplan Engineering to handle engineering and design work for an upcoming sewer project north of Kansas University's Memorial Stadium. The project, which would install new relief sewers along Ninth and Maine streets, is expected to begin late this fall and be completed by the time stadium renovation is completed and KU kicks off its football season in 1999.
  • Consider approving a tax abatement for Sauer-Sundstrand Co., which plans to build a $30.6 million manufacturing plant in the East Hills Business Park. The company wants an 80 percent break for 10 years on its property taxes on property and equipment. The company is expected to hire 183 employees to work at the new plant. If approved, local governments would be giving up $2.1 million in potential property taxes during the next 10 years. The state would be giving up another $735,000. Even with the abatements, a Kansas University study determined, the project would pay off for the community to the tune of $1.6 million. Taking everything into account -- wages, income taxes, sales taxes and other related revenues -- the community will receive $1.56 in benefits for every $1 it spends, according to the KU study.
  • Consider approving a tax abatement for Packerware Corp., a subsidiary of Berry Plastics, which plans to buy $2.8 million in new equipment to allow for expansion of the existing Lawrence plant's housewares product lines. Packerware -- which before its acquisition by Berry received five tax abatements -- wants a 50 percent break for 10 years on its new equipment. With the new equipment, the company plans to hire 20 new employees. If approved, local governments would be giving up $94,100 in potential property taxes during the next 10 years. The state would be giving up another $32,200. Even with the abatement, a Kansas University study determined, the project would pay off for the community to the tune of $141,900. Taking everything into account -- wages, income taxes, sales taxes and other related revenues -- the community will receive $2.07 in benefits for every $1 it spends, according to the KU study.
  • Consider approving an ordinance, on first reading, to establish the Special Alcohol Fund Advisory Board. The group, whose members have not been selected, would advise the commission about how to spend an estimated $330,000 a year the city receives from taxes on sales of alcohol, and intended to be used for the prevention and treatment of alcohol and drug abuse.
  • Consider a request from Mike and Le Anne Maples, 1226 E. 1500 Rd., to hook their property up to water lines from Rural Water Dist. No. 4. The water district's agreement with the city, which treats the district's water, prohibits any connections north of the Wakarusa River. The Maples' home is north of the river, along the east side of what would be Haskell Avenue.
  • Consider a recommendation from the Mayor's Arts Center Advisory Committee to select Glenn Livingood Penzler Architects, 1001 N.H., to handle design development for the renovation and expansion of the Lawrence Arts Center, 200 W. Ninth. Commissioners also are scheduled to discuss how to finance the design development contract. The center's project is anticipated to cost $5.8 million, of which $3.625 million would come from the city and the rest to be covered by donations.
  • Accept public comment regarding the possible purchase of Corpus Christi Catholic Church, 1100 Kasold, for conversion into a neighborhood recreation center. The church, which plans to build a new spiritual campus farther west, wants to sell its existing church and surrounding property for $1.5 million. Church representatives proposed the sale last year, and presented options to the Mayor's Task Force on Recreation Alternatives. The public hearing is intended to give anyone in town, particularly nearby property owners, a chance to advise commissioners about the proposed purchase or project.
  • Discuss the possibility of developing a corridor plan for West Sixth Street, from Wakarusa Drive to the South Lawrence Trafficway. Also possible: annexing up to 1,200 acres of rural property on either side of Sixth (U.S. 40) into the city, to allow for coordinated planning before the road is reconstructed to handle more traffic.

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