Archive for Wednesday, April 28, 1999


April 28, 1999


Weekend auction set

for seized, found items

Whoever lost a Sanyo TV remote -- or had it seized by police during a crime investigation -- can get it back Saturday morning.

For a price.

During their meeting Tuesday night, Lawrence city commissioners approved the schedule for the city's annual "Spring Police Property Auction," set for 10 a.m. Saturday at the city's traffic division garage, at Fifth and Mississippi streets.

A city-hired auctioneer will conduct the sale of dozens of items either turned over to Lawrence police or seized by officers investigating crimes.

Any unclaimed items eventually hit the auction block, and this time there are plenty. Among them: pagers, cellular phones, stereos, cameras, jewelry, compact discs and 118 bicycles.

Also available: A Geoff Rowley skateboard; a Norelco electric razor; a nylon tent; a motorcycle helmet; a yo-yo; and bolt cutters.

All revenues collected from the sale are put into the city's general fund, which finances general city operations.

Financial report reveals

'no real concerns'

Police are writing more tickets, fewer people are parking downtown and sales-tax revenues are lagging behind last year's levels.

Other than that, officials said, the city's budget is looking just fine through the first three months of 1999.

"There are no major concerns," City Manager Mike Wildgen said.

Wildgen and Ed Mullins, the city's finance director, briefed commissioners about the city's financial health for the first quarter, which covers January, February and March.

The report noted that the city's own sales tax revenues were down 10.7 percent in the first quarter, compared to the first three months of 1998. The tax, collected in Lawrence to finance police and fire protection, brought in $2.3 million thus far this year compared to $2.58 million during the same period a year ago.

"I don't think Lawrence suffered a 10-percent loss in sales," said Wildgen, who noted that allocations from the state typically are erratic. "Hopefully, we'll see some rebound."

Also included in the report: Revenues for "fines and forfeitures" are up nearly $63,000, thanks in part to police writing more tickets, Mullins said. Parking revenues are down about $10,000 for the Lawrence Riverfront Plaza Factory Outlets and about $10,000 for downtown parking meters.

Restrooms coming

to Eagle Bend

New restrooms will be installed this summer on the course at Eagle Bend, the city-owned golf course located below the dam at Clinton lake.

Commissioners agreed to hire General Construction Inc., for $29,776, to handle the job, which will locate permanent restrooms for use by golfers when they are away from the clubhouse.

"That's probably the last major construction work that will go out there for a while," City Manager Mike Wildgen said.

Two weeks ago, commissioners hired Penny Construction Co., for $37,854, to build a new outdoor shelter at the course, between the clubhouse and driving range. The 1,920-square-foot shelter will have picnic tables and be used to help stage awards ceremonies, meetings and dinners related to events at the course.

Completion of the shelter is expected to be finished in about four weeks. No schedule for the restrooms has been set yet.

Summer flea market

set for American Legion

Flea markets are in the works this summer for the American Legion.

Commissioners approved a site plan to allow the organization to conduct 12 flea markets this summer on the southern parking lot at its Dorsey-Liberty Post No. 14, at 3408 W. Sixth.

The markets will run from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. The starting dates for the markets have not been released.

Plans call for various vendors to set up shop in the American Legion's parking lot south of the building. The vendors themselves will park along the east side of the building.

The post plans to have customers park in a lot at the nearby KU Credit Union, which has 20 spaces available. The credit union and American Legion have a "verbal agreement" for use of the parking spaces, a city report said, but officials want a written agreement before allowing sales to start.

The site plan would be effective through September, and would need approval once again next year to take effect in 2000. City officials want to see how the first year affects the site and adjacent properties before signing off on it again.

City borrows

$9.03 million

Another day, another $9.03 million.

Commissioners agreed to borrow that much money Tuesday night by selling bonds and temporary notes.

The $4.39 million in bonds, backed by the "full faith and credit" of the city, were sold to Stern Brothers and Associates, which offered an interest rate of 4.103827 percent -- the lowest among five bidders.

Total interest cost on the 10-year bonds: $940,939, or $2,858 less than the next-lowest bidder.

The bonds allow the city to pay off nine projects, including the city's recent drainage upgrades along Carolina Street and in the area of Second and Michigan streets.

The $4.64 million in temporary notes, which help pay off projects for the next year, were sold to CIBC Oppenheimer, which offered an interest rate of 3.2369 percent, the lowest among five bidders.

Total interest cost on the notes: $163,060, or $6,293 less than the next-lowest bidder.

The notes will allow the city to finance repaving projects, new traffic signals, drainage improvements and other work that is yet to be completed. The debt eventually will be transferred to bonds once the projects are finished.

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