City to pursue grant for East Hills entrance
Lawrence city commissioners Tuesday night unanimously agreed to pursue a state grant that would allow for traffic safety improvements near the entrance to the East Hills Business Park.
Commissioners also gave staff members approval to submit applications for state grants that would build a center turn lane on Sixth Street between Folks Road and Monterey Way, and for repaving projects on Iowa from Sixth Street to Harvard Road and from Irving Hill Road to 23rd Street.
The East Hills Business Park improvements would include building Franklin Road north of Kansas Highway 10 and creating a new entrance road for the industrial park that would be west of the current entrance. The project has an estimated cost of $2.5 million. The state grant would pay for 75 percent of the costs.
The Sixth Street project has an estimated cost of $1.2 million with the grant paying for 80 percent of the costs. The repaving projects would cost $663,000 with the grant paying $200,000 of the costs.
Chuck Soules, the city's public works director, said the grants were very competitive and that none of the city projects were guaranteed to be chosen.
Camping ban on private property OK'd
An ordinance that would make camping illegal on private property without the permission of the property owner received approval from city commissioners.
The ordinance is designed to make it easier for the city to take enforcement action against the homeless and other campers. The city's current trespassing ordinance makes it illegal for people to camp on property without the permission of the owner, but it also requires that campers be given a warning before being ticketed. The new camping ordinance does not require a warning to be given.
Originally the ordinance also would have made it illegal to camp on public property and city parks. City commissioners last week deleted that provision from the ordinance. On Tuesday they reaffirmed that the camping ordinance should not deal with public property. Commissioners approved the ordinance 4-0. Commissioner Sue Hack was absent.
Update given on water-line project
City Manager Mike Wildgen said a water-line replacement project on Mass. is moving along well.
Wildgen said the work in the 600 block of Mass. could be completed by late next week, if the weather stays dry. Once work is completed on Mass., crews will move to Seventh Street to begin replacing a water line between Mass. and N.H.
Wildgen said the crews would not be working during the Downtown Lawrence Inc. Sidewalk Sale, which is scheduled for July 21.
Apartment complex gets go-ahead
A preliminary development plan for a new apartment complex in northwest Lawrence won approval from city commissioners.
On a 3-1 vote, commissioners approved plans for a 70-unit apartment complex that would be located north of Overland Drive between Eisenhower Drive and Queens Road.
The project had received a positive recommendation from the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission. City Commissioner David Schauner voted against the project. He said he thought the overall northwest area needed to be planned better. He said he was particularly concerned that planners had not given enough thought to how much traffic Sixth Street would be able to carry in the future.