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Archive for Wednesday, July 11, 2001

City Commission briefs

July 11, 2001

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Water system strained

Hot weather in recent days is starting to push Lawrence's water system to its limits.

City Manager Mike Wildgen told the Lawrence City Commission Tuesday the high temperatures had forced the water treatment system to process 23 million gallons a day about 87 percent of capacity.

"We don't have to do anything until we hit 26 million gallons," Wildgen said. "We're close, but it's not to be unexpected at this time of year."

Street improvement project receives funds

Lawrence city commissioners approved Tuesday additional expenses to design improvements to Sixth Street between Wakarusa Drive and Kansas Highway 10.

The city and county originally commissioned the design work in 1998 at a cost of $404,482. Both governments approved an additional $68,924 in 1999 to extend the project east of Wakarusa, as requested by the Kansas Department of Transportation.

KDOT agreed to pay for $21 million of the project in 2000, forcing revisions to the plan, Public Works Director George Williams said.

Bucher, Willis & Ratliff, the design firm, was asking an additional $141,582 to fund the design changes, as well the extended period of time required to make those changes.

Homeless advocates seek housing money

Advocates for the homeless on Tuesday asked the Lawrence City Commission to put money into low-income housing.

"I know it's a tight year, and you're trying to cut where you can and save where you can," said Hilda Enoch, a community activist. But, she said, "a community that has real pride in itself has to care for its most basic needs, for shelter for all of its people."

She suggested the city divert the portion of money from its 1-cent sales tax used for parks to low-income housing. A proposed $1.2 million plan for new parks projects should be used on the homeless instead, Enoch said.

City Manager Mike Wildgen said the $1.2 million is in the capital improvement plan, which represents a wish list but doesn't necessarily mean it will get funding.

"That doesn't mean there's budget there," he said. "In fact, there probably isn't."

Commissioners did not respond to Enoch's comments.

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