City Hall

City Hall

Candidates sound off on transportation issues

March 20, 2007

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James Bush

Bush, who is the outgoing pastor of Lawrence's First Southern Baptist Church, said Lawrence streets were in decent condition. He gave them a letter grade of B when asked to rate them, saying they were OK in comparison with other communities.

He did not rule out spending more money on street maintenance repairs, but said he would not support a tax increase to do so. He said any new funding would need to come from a growth in the tax base or by shifting funding from another part of the budget, but isn't prepared to say where money could be shifted from to provide the additional funding.

Bush did say he would consider using impact fees - a one-time fee charged to developers as they build neighborhoods. But Bush said he would be interested in doing so only as long as the city made a commitment to building infrastructure ahead of growth, rather than relying on developers to build the infrastructure as growth is occurring.

On the issue of roundabouts, Bush said he personally has no problem with them but would support the city halting construction of the devices because he's hearing "strong objections from the public" about them. He also said that would be his stance on traffic circles, which are much smaller versions of roundabouts designed to calm traffic in neighborhoods.

Bush said supports the 32nd Street route for the uncompleted South Lawrence Trafficway that would go through the Baker Wetlands. Bush said he believed the mitigation package would help alleviate any environmental damage done to the area.

On public transit, Bush said he was a supporter of the Lawrence Transit System, but said he didn't support any tax increases to make improvements to the system. He said he does support an idea to merge the T with the public transit systems at Kansas University because it would produce long-term cost savings, although it may result in more upfront costs.

Rob Chestnut

Chestnut, chief financial officer for Allen Press, said the condition of city streets is only average at best. He gave them a grade of C.

He said it's likely more money for street maintenance is needed in the city budget. He'd consider a small sales tax increase to fund additional street maintenance, as long as it was approved as part of a citywide election.

Chestnut has concerns about impact fees because he questions whether the city would use them properly. He's not sure the city would truly build infrastructure ahead of growth, but thinks the impact fees instead would be used for a little bit of everything.

Cars pass along the east side of Kasold Drive on Monday afternoon while crews work to fix the other lanes.

Cars pass along the east side of Kasold Drive on Monday afternoon while crews work to fix the other lanes.

He also said he would support "putting a hold" on future traffic-calming devices, such as traffic circles and speed humps. He said because the devices are expensive to build, the city needs to do a study of the ones in place to see if they are working the way the community had hoped. Roundabouts, though, might be all right as long as they are large enough for motorists to easily navigate them.

Chestnut supports a 32nd Street alignment for the eastern leg of the trafficway, as long as the Federal Highway Administration supports it. He thinks choosing another route could delay completion of the project by 10 to 15 years.

He wants to hear more about funding options before committing to a merger of the city's public transit system with the KU system. He does have concerns that more people aren't riding the T. He said he wanted to get "creative" in how the city increases ridership.

Mike Dever

Dever, who owns an environmental consulting firm, said street conditions were improving in Lawrence but still could be better. He said it was "hard for him to gauge" whether more funding needs to be devoted to street maintenance. If more funding is needed, he said he would not support a tax increase. Instead he said money needs to be reapportioned. He said one possible area is to reduce the amount the city spends on consultants.

He said he is undecided on impact fees, because they do create concerns about higher housing prices in the city. If impact fees increase the price of new homes, he said that also could result in an increase in existing home prices.

Dever supports the 32nd Street route for the trafficway. He said he was "comfortable with the environmental tradeoff" created by the mitigation plan for the 32nd Street route. He said the mitigation plan would create high-quality wetlands that would more than replace the portion of wetlands lost to the road project.

A merger of the T with KU bus systems would be wise, Dever said. But he is not convinced of the approximate $500,000 cost that a city consultant placed on the merger. He thinks there are low-cost options, such as better coordination of the routes to increase student ridership on the T.

But he said the community needs to decide whether it truly wants a transit system. If so, "we need to support it through greater ridership and not let it sit around and flounder."

Boog Highberger

Highberger, an incumbent commissioner and an attorney for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, said Lawrence streets were in relatively good condition compared with other cities. He gave the streets a B grade. He also said their conditions were improving. The commission over the past two years has added $2 million to the street maintenance budget.

Highberger said the city needed to maintain the current level of funding for street repairs but did not see a need for additional funding. He said he "absolutely" supports using impact fees to fund new road construction. To ask existing residents to pay for new roads through property taxes "unfairly shifts the cost of growth" to existing residents, he said. He also doesn't think impact fees will add to the city's affordable housing problems.

On roundabouts, Highberger said he supports them when they are well-designed, although he said they don't work in every geographic location. His opinions on traffic circles and other calming devices are mixed.

He's open to looking at other ideas for traffic-calming because the public seems to be frustrated with traffic circles. But he also said he had a sense that the traffic-calming devices were making a difference in some neighborhoods.

Highberger does not support any route for the trafficway that goes through the Baker Wetlands. He's been an advocate of a route south of the Wakarusa River. He said he would want the final leg of the trafficway to built on existing road right of way, and that the logical choices would be either North 1000 or North 1100 roads.

Highberger thinks the city likely will have to spend more money for its public transit system because the buses will need to be replaced soon. As for paying for the improvements, he said he would be willing to increase the T fare, although he said that likely wouldn't pay for all the needs.

Carey Maynard-Moody

Maynard-Moody, a retired school social worker, said the condition of Lawrence streets are "comparable or slightly better" than other communities. She have them a B grade.

Maynard-Moody isn't sure that more money is needed for street maintenance. Instead, she said the city needs to rethink how it builds future streets. She said many of the city streets are too wide, which adds to the costs to maintain them.

Impact fees are a definite way to finance new streets, Maynard-Moody said. She points to their use in Johnson County, and said Lawrence is "behind the times" for not having them. She thinks any increase in housing costs from the fees would be "marginal."

Maynard-Moody said roundabouts were all right. She also said that traffic circles and other calming devices were effective, but they are a sign of poorly designed streets. Future streets should be designed in a more narrow European-style that naturally forces motorists to drive slower, she said.

Maynard-Moody does not support completing the trafficway. Instead, she would like to see improvements to North 1000 Road, also known as Wells Overlook Road. She said that road could serve as a good route into Johnson County. She also said the community needs to become more serious about exploring light rail.

Maynard-Moody supports spending more money on public transit because "people need choices." She said she would support an increase in transit fares, and would like to explore selling advertising for placement on city buses. She also would like expanded service hours for the T, and additional routes. She said those improvements might have to be phased in because "this is a belt-tightening time."

David Schauner

Schauner, an incumbent who is general counsel for the Kansas National Education Association, said streets had improved during his time on the commission. He said when he came into office in 2003, he would have given the streets a grade of a D. Today, he grades them a high C.

His "very strong preference" is to not have a tax increase to fund additional street repairs. He supports the use of impact fees for new road construction. If the city does not implement the fees, he said many new road projects would not get built. He said the idea that impact fees would significantly increase housings costs was mainly a "myth."

On roundabouts, Schauner said they can be successful in the right locations. But he does not like trying to build a roundabout in existing areas. Instead, they should be used just as part of new road construction.

He's less impressed with traffic circles and traffic-calming devices. He's "very skeptical" they are worth the money, and would rather use more police patrols and portable speed signs to discourage speeders in neighborhoods.

Schauner does not support a trafficway route that runs through the wetlands and wants to look at routes south of the Wakarusa River. He does support looking at making improvements to 31st Street to give local motorists an alternative to 23rd Street.

On public transit, Schauner is the only candidate to firmly say he doesn't support a merger of the T with KU transit systems. He said he could not support the merger as it has been proposed because the city is being asked to share too much of the costs.

Comments

dshepoiser 8 years, 3 months ago

The caption on the photograph should be west side of Kasold, not east side. And I live in NYC

purplesage 8 years, 3 months ago

James Bush is leaving First Southern Baptist as pastor? Or is that "outgoing" a reference to his personality? Don't be spreading rumors now.

gabbo 8 years, 3 months ago

Did they call Boog gregarious? Or use adjectives for anybody else? Bush is not going to be pastor anymore. Probably wise for FSB considering primary results. Individuals in positions of city governance needn't have a ready flock of doting loyalists on Sunday morning as well.

jafs 8 years, 3 months ago

I am disappointed in even the candidates I'm planning to vote for.

The streets are abominable, and should be improved.

City workers are inefficient.

I'd implement an immediate moratorium on studies and new construction, and put the money towards fixing the existing streets.

I've called several times about potholes, and only one of them has gotten fixed - it took three trips to do it, and some obvious potholes in the immediate vicinity weren't fixed, although the street maintenance department said they fixed nearby ones when they went out.

Why we even have to call about potholes is not clear to me - drive around the city a little bit (which I'm sure that city employees do) and you'll find them.

Where's the intelligence?

Porter 8 years, 3 months ago

Exactly, Jafs. Where IS the intelligence?

Weather changes cause potholes. You live in Kansas. The weather changes daily. There have always been potholes in winter and spring. If you don't like it, then I suggest you start looking for a home in San Diego.

jafs 8 years, 3 months ago

This is the time the city is supposed to be fixing them, according the street maintenance department, and the crews are reportedly out and about doing just that.

Also according to them, they do in fact fix nearby ones when they're working on one in the vicinity, which they clearly have not done in the case I mentioned.

We shouldn't have to call them about the potholes in the first place - are city employees blind? If you drive around the city, you'll find them.

It shouldn't take 3 trips to fix one pothole, or five city employees.

My complaint was not that there are potholes, but that the city is not fixing them in a timely, efficient manner, and requiring too much input from residents.

Perhaps you should read carefully before responding, especially if you are going to criticize.

Lifelong_Lawrencian 8 years, 3 months ago

Carey Maynard-Moody:

Impact fees are a definite way to finance new streets, Maynard-Moody said. She points to their use in Johnson County, and said Lawrence is "behind the times" for not having them. She thinks any increase in housing costs from the fees would be "marginal."

David Shauner:

He supports the use of impact fees for new road construction. If the city does not implement the fees, he said many new road projects would not get built. He said the idea that impact fees would significantly increase housings costs was mainly a "myth."


In the last 3 years, the city of Lawrence hasn't spent a dime on new street construction, unless you count the expansion of West 6th as a new street. This project cost the city about 6 million dollars, which is less than 10% of the total bill. The rest was paid for by the state.

My question is: Is it fair to make only those moving into new areas of town pay for 100% of the cost of major new thoroughfares through impact fees, while the state obviously looks at the problem differently?

Currently, the only streets that are partially paid for by the city are streets like Clinton Parkway or 15th. Streets like Wakarusa and George Williams Way are paid 100% by new development.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 3 months ago

The current tax model says that all the taxpayers in the city, whether they will ever use the streets, and mostly they won't, are paying for the new streets that new development necessitates. Is that fair, LL?

BTW, 6th Street is a state highway, which is a bit of a different beast from plain old city streets.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 3 months ago

"t's interesting that as an environmentalist Maynard-Moody would suggest we need an other freeway to JOCO through the countryside. Isn't K-10 enough?"

I think her point was more that we should be looking to use existing infrastructure better, rather than creating massive new roadways through environmentally sensitive areas.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 3 months ago

I seriously doubt that she was proposing to make it a major thoroughfare to all the way to Johnson County, but N. 1000 Rd already has a significant amount of development, and using that route (or perhaps N. 1100 Rd.) as a connector from 59 to K-10 makes more sense than plowing up new ground in the wetlands for that purpose. It would appear that 31st is heading towards extension to the east, as well.

rhd99 8 years, 3 months ago

So, the solution to fixing potholes is ROUNDABOUTS. Yeah, more roundabouts (hehehe, sarcasm beyond recognition). Lawrence's chief ambulance chasers have done enough. Bye bye Roundabouts & get lost, Schauner & Dah Dah man.

Lifelong_Lawrencian 8 years, 3 months ago

Bozo,

I mentioned West 6th because it is a state hiway. I meant to draw a parallel between state hiways and city streets. It is somehow considered fair that people who live in Goodland, KS must help pay for the construction of a road within the city of Lawrence because it is a state hiway which benefits the whole state. How is that different from requiring someone in old west Lawrence to help pay for new main thoroughfares that enlarge the city Lawrence in the west? At what point do we say that the construction cost should be shared? Over the last 20 years the portion paid by new development has greatly increased.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 3 months ago

"It is somehow considered fair that people who live in Goodland, KS must help pay for the construction of a road within the city of Lawrence because it is a state hiway which benefits the whole state. "

This ignores the fact that people in Lawrence are also paying for highways in Goodland and other parts of the state. You're trying to make a comparison that just isn't there.

The infrastructure in the older parts of town is already there and paid for, and taxes collected over the years have paid for any maintenance and improvements necessary.

For the most part, new infrastructure in new parts of town is strictly for the benefit of those who move there, but somehow, the residents of older, mostly paid-for parts of town are expected to help them pay for that infrastructure, while the new residents (or more correctly, the developers of those new areas) will in no way reciprocate.

Is growth so important to you that basic fairness is an irrelevant consideration?

Godot 8 years, 3 months ago

"For the most part, new infrastructure in new parts of town is strictly for the benefit of those who move there, but somehow, the residents of older, mostly paid-for parts of town are expected to help them pay for that infrastructure."

Let us hope no one in the city government thinks like that. If so, those of us west of Iowa should get busy with a plan to secede from the City.

altarego 8 years, 3 months ago

bozo is saying that no west of Iowa dollars went into that sewer work that was happening when I moved here.

Man, oh man! That is so like unfair!!!!

Lifelong_Lawrencian 8 years, 3 months ago

This ignores the fact that people in Lawrence are also paying for highways in Goodland and other parts of the state. You're trying to make a comparison that just isn't there.

But I think this is a good comparison. Your argument assumes that there is the same amount of growth in Goodland as there is in Lawrence. The people of Goodland may have no need to enlarge the hiway through their town now, or for a long time into the future, while all the time Lawrence continues to grow and need more hiways.

If this entire system of building cities is so unsustainable and so badly broken, why haven't most of the cities in the U.S. gone bankrupt? When does the "pyramid scheme" you are so fond of referring to come crashing down?

Lifelong_Lawrencian 8 years, 3 months ago

The infrastructure in the older parts of town is already there and paid for, and taxes collected over the years have paid for any maintenance and improvements necessary.

We are about to pay for this old infrastructure a second time. Granted, we have been collecting taxes for these properties for 100 years, but these taxes are for maintenance. How often do we completely replace a neighborhood's sewer and water system? You must agree that this will be far more expensive than new construction in an open field. So now you have infrastructure that is more expensive than new areas in town in an area that has 1/3 the tax base.

For the most part, new infrastructure in new parts of town is strictly for the benefit of those who move there, but somehow, the residents of older, mostly paid-for parts of town are expected to help them pay for that infrastructure, while the new residents (or more correctly, the developers of those new areas) will in no way reciprocate.

Tell you what, when those 100 year old sewers and water lines give out, you just fix em yourself!

monkeyhawk 8 years, 3 months ago

Funny how everything was high clover when boozo's (paid blogger) side of town was not in jeopardy of losing control of the money. I had to laugh at boozo's feeble attempt at conciliation on another thread when someone implored us all to just get along. Boozo is truly the puppet master of divisiveness.

Some of us really resent our tax dollars going to promotion and subsidy of downtown business owners. Some of us never even go downtown. Some of us never drive on the streets of east Lawrence (other than to transit town to KC). So, to use boozo's reasoning, those on the west side should not have to pay to maintain or reconstruct very, very old infrastructure anywhere east of Iowa.

Godot, more people than you know would probably like to secede. Could be a good platform...

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 3 months ago

The difference is you are talking about infrastructure that, in theory, at least, is for the benefit of all, and all pay for it and use it on a more or less equal basis-- the level of "subsidy," if there is any, from one community to another is rather insignificant.

The existing neighborhoods of Lawrence don't need the new $80 million sewer plant now under planning for far SE Lawrence, any more than I need the living room or the garage or the toilets of one of the new houses that it is being built to serve. Why should I have to pay for it?

If I should, why shouldn't I be asked to pay for widescreen HDTV's for these new houses, while I'm being forced to be generous?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 3 months ago

"Tell you what, when those 100 year old sewers and water lines give out, you just fix em yourself!"

This is exactly the crux of the problem. Instead of the taxes collected over those 100 years being socked away for the eventual needed replacement, it's been sucked away for subsidies for new development. So instead of having a nice nest egg for this sort of maintenance and replacement, we get hit with a second round of tax increases to pay for it.

Why is it that so many people have so much difficulty with simple math ? (I know, for some that willful ignorance is very profitable, indeed.)

Michael Capra 8 years, 3 months ago

I think bozo could be rundle he whines like him sounds like him and trys to shove his agenda down our throats,Hey bozo do you have a little hitler mustache so you can give us all a rash

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 3 months ago

"bozo is saying that no west of Iowa dollars went into that sewer work that was happening when I moved here. Man, oh man! That is so like unfair!!!!"

Actually, the subsidies to development make taxes on every property in town go up-- even the new developments that are being subsidized. But at least for those properties, they get a little something for the tax increase.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 3 months ago

The T sees double digit increases annually so some new funding may be necessary to meet demand. As gas prices increase do does use of the T. As Lawrence ages the demand will increase. The T staff is having to increase T lift services due to a 16% increase in demand over the last two months.

Maynard -Moody had the best solution for diverting traffic to 1000rd. From there it could connect with K-10 at county rd 1057 interchange or continue directly into JOCO. JOCO is improving their side of 1000 rd. Saves bundles of douglas county tax dollars. A KDOT engineer told me Sunday KDOT is out of money into 2012. 1000 rd is the way to go as that road will be improved sooner or later due to growth. The sooner it is improved the more money is saved.

Dever,Bush and Chestnut are backed by developers and their special interest money yet claim they will bring more jobs to the city. All they really propose is to deregulate developers which means no impact fees for sure which has little to do with job growth but a lot to do with further increases in our taxes. So far as new neighborhood streets are concerned fund them with impact fees and/or establish a benefit district for each block. Let the new homeowners take care of themselves with regard to sidewalks and streets,water lines etc. Eastside should not be subsidizing west side growth. ==============================

This rather large sum of special interest money is compromising the integrity of Lawrence so I say VOTE OUT Chestnut,Dever&Bush for unacceptable behavior in politics and establishing a blatant conflict of interest. Dever and Bush are members of the same church so I wonder what their god thinks of this behavior. Equal rights issues obviously will not stand a chance. ===============================

VOTE IN Carey Maynard-Moody,Dennis"Boog" Highberger and David Schauner.

Perhaps Lawrence is establishing a reputation for building cheap crummy new homes for high dollar. Wonder what kind of lifespan those new drivways can expect? Sooner or later what goes around comes around. It's not a secret anymore. =============================== VOTE IN Carey Maynard-Moody,Dennis"Boog" Highberger and David Schauner.

Michael Capra 8 years, 3 months ago

merill your also done YOUR FIRED your post are cute and far from the truth go plant flowers and leave this to people that have biz sence since you dont have what it takes to run a biz or what it takes to do a great jod on the planning commision DAVID

Lifelong_Lawrencian 8 years, 3 months ago

Perhaps Lawrence is establishing a reputation for building cheap crummy new homes for high dollar. Wonder what kind of lifespan those new drivways can expect? Sooner or later what goes around comes around. It's not a secret anymore.


Thank you, but my 14 year old driveway is in perfect shape and my home with it's high-efficiency heat pump, R-18 walls, and high performance windows use 1/3 of the energy than the homes old west Lawrence that have their walls stuffed with newspaper. Merrill, how big is your carbon footprint?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 3 months ago

"1/3 of the energy than the homes old west Lawrence that have their walls stuffed with newspaper."

I'm sure they would have rather invested some money in increasing the energy efficiency of their houses rather than subsidizing the construction of yours.

Lifelong_Lawrencian 8 years, 3 months ago

So far as new neighborhood streets are concerned fund them with impact fees and/or establish a benefit district for each block. Let the new homeowners take care of themselves with regard to sidewalks and streets,water lines etc. Eastside should not be subsidizing west side growth.

Merrill, get your facts straight. Name the most recent new street built in this city that was funded in anyway by the city. The fact is, it's been a long, long time.

It disgusts me how these paid bloggers, can get away with spouting this misinformation.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 3 months ago

"Name the most recent new street built in this city that was funded in anyway by the city."

Both Wakarusa and 15th had to have cost a bundle, and I'm sure there are plenty more that could be listed, and Kasold has been going through a rather major rebuild, no doubt because of the increased traffic there over the last few years. There are almost certainly lots of other streets that have been built or expanded through the city's general fund over the last several years. The expansion along 6th street, your example, was due almost entirely to new development, and it's being paid for by Goodland, as well as all Lawrence taxpayers.

If the cancerous growthers have their way, we'll see major new developments in all-new areas that will have to have new and/or expanded arterial streets, subsidized by everyone in town, with a bow on top.

BTW, that bit of blogging was free of charge, just for you.

Michael Capra 8 years, 3 months ago

bozo your so fine you blow our minds,,what a wake job

Lifelong_Lawrencian 8 years, 3 months ago

Bozo wins a cookie! 15th street is the correct answer, although this is hardly a neighborhood street that Merrill referred to. The city did also contribute some to Wakarusa, but only the parts South of 6th. Kasold is not a new street. This is a rebuild. The city nearly always pays for that, just as they pay for new water lines downtown.

The point is that the city must pay for certain things that growth is responsible for, like enlarging 6th, and like replacing old 2' diameter sewer mains with 4' mains to take on the extra volume. It is because of these relatively rare but costly projects that buiders pay impact fees on every new home. I just think it is about time to give them credit for what they do pay for instead of blaming all of Lawrence's fiscal ills on development and using words like "cancerous" to describe it.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 3 months ago

As of now, impact fees do not pay for construction of arterial streets. So what exactly is your point?

Lifelong_Lawrencian 8 years, 3 months ago

There you go again bozo, spouting that misinformation. What is an arterial street? If it's a street like Wakarusa or Harvard or George Williams Way, then you're wrong. I'll say it again, it's been a long time since a new street was built in town that was paid for by the city. I would even be willing to bet that there never will be again, including streets like Clinton Parkway with their 10' wide sidewalks.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 3 months ago

"The point is that the city must pay for certain things that growth is responsible for, like enlarging 6th, and like replacing old 2' diameter sewer mains with 4' mains to take on the extra volume. It is because of these relatively rare but costly projects that buiders pay impact fees on every new home. I just think it is about time to give them credit for what they do pay for"

Sorry, but that was such an incredibly weak argument, I had to read it again to make sure you actually said it.

I fail to see how sticking taxpayers with the expense of such huge projects is any way fair or reasonable, and you certainly haven't given any explanation other than because developers are such hardworking good guys.

Lifelong_Lawrencian 8 years, 3 months ago

So Bozo, as a professional full-time blogger, how would you like it if the city placed an impact fee on blogging. Especially, professional blogging, say $1/post. What impact would that have on your business? Would you not pass that cost on to you clients, Shauner, Maynard-Moody, and Boog, or would you eat the cost?

Surely you don't expect the rest of us recreational bloggers to subsidize your profession? Afterall, franchise fees from Sunflower just aren't covering the bill for all this "cancerous" growth of the internet. You know, fiber-optics running everywhere. I even heard on the internet that laser beams can cause leukimia in children. Who's gonna pay? Not me!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 3 months ago

"Bozo wins a cookie! 15th street is the correct answer, although this is hardly a neighborhood street that Merrill referred to. The city did also contribute some to Wakarusa, but only the parts South of 6th."

"What is an arterial street? If it's a street like Wakarusa or Harvard or George Williams Way, then you're wrong."

Man, make up your mind. Your going to get whiplash.

Lifelong_Lawrencian 8 years, 3 months ago

How much does commercial pay from a percentage point of view vs. residential?

If you are referring to property taxes:

Commercial property is assessed at 25% of the appraised value, while residential is only 11.5%. Yet commercial-zoned land is still much more valuable. http://www.douglas-county.com/appraiser/appraiserfaqs.asp#rp3

If you are referring to impact fees:

A commercial 2" water meter has an impact fee of $25,540, while a residential 1" meter impact fee is $4,290.
http://www.lawrenceutilities.org/SDCReport/2005SDCAnnualReport22806.pdf Page 6.

Lifelong_Lawrencian 8 years, 3 months ago

If you believe in city studies. The Tischler-Bise study commissioned by the current city commission says that the average new home valued at $274,000, costs the city $26/year. The average big box store earns the city $2,711/year.
http://www.lhba.net/LawrenceCostofLandUseStudy.pdf

This study gives the big box store credit for paying all the sales tax, which makes up the bulk of the cities revenue from them. I think the people who live here should get at least part of the credit for this.

Keep in mind that the average value of a home in Lawrence is only $154,000. The people with average homes are really being subsidized.

yellowhouse 8 years, 3 months ago

Yes the T-bus will be needed since there are single mom's out there that can't have cars given to them by local businesses without suffering tremendously.

http://www.forums.larryville.com/viewtopic.php?t=25793

This is an emotional story so get the kleenex ready!

jafs 8 years, 3 months ago

The point is that cities incur significant costs from new growth, including the ones mentioned above, like wider sewer lines, in addition to the costs of new infrastructure creation.

This is an argument which actually cuts against the pro-growth faction - these costs should be factored into the cost/benefit analysis of growth.

As far as I know, the city doesn't charge impact fees now, as they are currently being debated, and are being opposed by the pro-development candidates.

Why should current residents pay for significant costs like the above if we do not significantly benefit from the growth?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 3 months ago

"Keep in mind that the average value of a home in Lawrence is only $154,000. The people with average homes are really being subsidized."

Man, there's the solution!! Bulldoze everything but $270,000 houses and big box stores, and voila, all problems solved. You're a genius, LL.

jafs 8 years, 3 months ago

The reason why some of us don't mind paying for public education even though we don't have children is because we believe it is in the best interests of our community as a whole.

I wouldn't say the same for new housing developments.

Our taxation system does indeed collect from all of us and fund various services that we may not all use - the concept of "common good" must be applied to make sense of this.

Are the new houses which have sprung up around the edges of town promoting/supporting the "common good"? I'd say no.

hujiko 8 years, 3 months ago

yeah, the roundabouts need to go away, I can just as easily burn through them af if they werent there, but the city still spends money on something that just angers citizens more. the money could be allocated into other building projects that dont include roundabout, speed humps, and medians, all of which dont change the speed of many drivers as they are intended.

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