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Archive for Wednesday, April 2, 2008

City approves $1.1M Carnegie Library expansion

April 2, 2008

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A tight city budget won't put the brakes on plans for the city to spend $1.1 million to expand the Carnegie Library building downtown.

City commissioners on a 3-2 vote agreed to move forward on plans to renovate the 104-year-old building at Ninth and Vermont streets so that it can be used by the city's Parks and Recreation Department and serve as offices for the new National Heritage Area promoting the region's Civil War history.

"I think we have had an empty building in a prime location in downtown Lawrence for too long," City Commissioner Boog Highberger said, referring to the fact the building has been vacant since the Lawrence Arts Center moved from the location in 2002. "I know it will be a tricky time, but I think we need to move ahead."

Commissioners Mike Amyx and Sue Hack joined Highberger in directing staff members to prepare the project to be bid this summer. Commissioner Rob Chestnut and Mayor Mike Dever - who as expected was elected by his fellow commissioners Tuesday to serve a one-year term as mayor - voted against moving forward.

"I like the design, and I like the uses that have been proposed for the building," Chestnut said. "The issue for me is the funding."

Chestnut said he's concerned that the city has too many other urgent needs - he cited replacing aging fire engines as an example - that makes now a bad time to proceed.

Commissioners did leave themselves an opportunity to pull back on the project at a later date. Commissioners gave architects the approval to prepare the necessary bid documents for the project, but commissioners still could decide not to put the project up for bid after receiving a report from city staff members about the city's capacity to issue future debt.

Staff members, though, did tell commissioners that they are concerned that the building - which in the future could be rented out by parks and recreation for wedding receptions and other events - will deteriorate if it continued to sit empty. City Manager David Corliss also said the city likely would lose about $98,000 in federal grant money if the project weren't under way by August.

"For us to not take advantage of the grant, I don't think that would be a smart thing for us in terms of our relationship with our federal legislators," Hack said. "They put work into getting us the grant."

Comments

aginglady 6 years, 6 months ago

Does Lawrence have any history of tarring and feathering government types?

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Richard Heckler 6 years, 6 months ago

I thought the tourism department were moving into this space? There is plenty of office space in this building as is?Gee have all forgotten how many years the arts center made do with what there was. Either improve the existing library or build a new one at 9th and New Hampshire. I say converting the existing library, to a small town convention center will generate far more revenue for the city than renting out Carnegie Library. There is no need to the demo the building... remodel and new landscape will do the trick.When I suggest build a new one we are not talking $30-$50 million. More like $17.5 million and make use of that idle parking space across the street aka parking gararge.

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toefungus 6 years, 6 months ago

I am too broke to buy the tar given my property tax burden.

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Godot 6 years, 6 months ago

arghhhhhhhhhh. I'm going to compile a list of all the irresponsible things Hack, Amyx and Boog have done to keep handy for talking points just in case any of them is stupid enough to run for reelection.

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aginglady 6 years, 6 months ago

Amyx voted against this. So did Dever.

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LogicMan 6 years, 6 months ago

"...likely would lose about $98,000 in federal grant money if the project weren't under way by August."Hopefully they can start in late July, but drag it out over four or five years. That way the fiscal impact will be moved largely to after the economy recovers (hopefully).But if the raise-taxes/spend like drunken sailors crowd wins the federal elections in November, too, be prepared for another long Jimmy Carter-like era of stagflation. If you think the potholes are bad now, ...

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Godot 6 years, 6 months ago

"Commissioners Mike Amyx and Sue Hack joined Highberger in directing staff members to prepare the project to be bid this summer. Commissioner Rob Chestnut and Mayor Mike Dever - who as expected was elected by his fellow commissioners Tuesday to serve a one-year term as mayor - voted against moving forward."Looks to me like Dever and Chestnut were the dissenters.

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Eileen Jones 6 years, 6 months ago

Looks like Fiscal Restraint Dever is at it already. This, and Dever wants to destroy the T bus?

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Eileen Jones 6 years, 6 months ago

$98000 in federal grant money that requires a $1.1 expenditure to get? Does that mean you'll buy a shiny new car you cannot afford and have to borrow money for because the salesman offers you a 9% discount?This is pure idiocy. Not as hugely idiotic as the Oread Inn but fiscal irresponsibility just the same. I'm sure all the usual winners will get contracts to do the $1.1 million of work.

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aginglady 6 years, 6 months ago

Thank you for the correction godot, (sorry all) my brain transposed before typing.Good to know at election time.

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SettingTheRecordStraight 6 years, 6 months ago

Cool,Please, please, pleas. Put the environmental kookiness to rest for one day.

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BigPrune 6 years, 6 months ago

Has the revolution started yet?

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twaldaisy 6 years, 6 months ago

Sorry Cool, but you are as bad as Merrill about your reposting the same drivel. Face it, they are going to build the hotel, they are going to convert the old Carnegie building. They are going to do whatever they and their buddies desire. I learned over 20 years ago that no matter what the Lawrence citizens want/need or don't want/need does not matter, only money matters. It is always easy to spend other people's money and a few select in this town do that quite well and always have and always will. I have been in Lawrence over 40 years, grew up here, and I will be moving closer to my job this summer and getting cheaper rent for a better home than I can do here in Lawrence. This makes me sad.

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twaldaisy 6 years, 6 months ago

Well, I voted my conscious when we were allowed to vote on issues. And guess what, the people in power still did what they wanted. I voted against the Riverfront Mall way back when, they still built it. What else could/should I have done Cool? As for your constant posts, I read them the first few times and appreciated the information, as I do Merrill's. Actually I am impressed with the knowledge and research you both do on your posts. However, it gets old and people tend to skip over them. And I see do not see where your constant ramblings have changed a darn thing. The people in power are still going to build the idiotic hotel on our dime. I would appreciate your input on what more I can do to change things in Lawrence. I want to stay here, hell even went to school for 8 years while working full time to "better myself" to get a better job and it ain't in Lawrence. Again, been here 40 years and the ones with the money run this town, always have and always will.

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twaldaisy 6 years, 6 months ago

Cool, I support it also, but not at our expense, which seems to be Lawrence's mantra, spend my money on something I will not probably ever use. I know that I will not use all services in Lawrence, I support the T, but do not use it, but want it here for those that need it. I think it is awesome that you take your valuable time to research your subjects as well as Merrill. I just don't see where either of your posts are changing anything. If I am wrong, please point me to the change because I love it when people do positive things for change and it actually changes things for the better. I feel I am pessimistic enough that I do not see the change.

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twaldaisy 6 years, 6 months ago

Oh and P.S. my degree is in the healthcare field, so I should be able to get a decent job in Lawrence, but I make more money in K.C. even with commuting I make a "profit." However, I am trying to shrink my carbon footprint by moving closer to work. Is that a positive change?

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kugrad 6 years, 6 months ago

That's it? They hear the proposal and immediately decide "yes?" Yesterday the LJW reported that they would "hear" about the proposal, not that another tax hike was imminent without opportunity for public comment.This sucks.

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samsnewplace 6 years, 6 months ago

Question: What does "A tight city budget" and "City approves $1.1M Carnegie Library expansion" have in common? Absolutely Nothing. If you are close to BROKE and looking at ways to SAVE money, you don't go spending it before you make it like a teen-ager would. City needs HUGE financial guidance in all aspects.

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twaldaisy 6 years, 6 months ago

I hear ya Cool! I think putting a hotel up there is ludicrous. It adds absolutely no value to the area and I find it hard to believe that people will stay there and make it profitable. And it is obvious that is not asthetic to the area and will be an eye sore, even though there are alternatives to make it fit in better. So, perhaps your posts do create change by educating those of us that do not take the time to research a subject. Back to subject still seems odd to spend more money to get a federal grant worth less money. At least it will have a use and not be boarded up and sit empty or catch on fire mysteriously.

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janeyb 6 years, 6 months ago

I have to ask. Is Boog short for Booger? Is he a dried piece of nose mucus?

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classclown 6 years, 6 months ago

cool (Anonymous) says: "someonehas to dissent or try to improve the situation"===============================I'll agree with that statement. However, like merril, you just like to hear yourself talk. Or as the case may be on these blogs, read what you've written over and over again.It's as if you (again, like merril) have convinced yourself that by repeatedly posting the same drivel over and over again, that it will somehow transform into non drivel and everyone who reads your posts for the umpteenth time will come to realize that you truly are the visionary that you think you are.The truth is that just like merril, more and more people will see your name at the front of the post and scroll down until they see a post made by someone else and begin reading anew.Unfortunately for me, I've had a long day and am a bit tired. Causing me to not scroll far enough which further caused me to actually read the post to which I am responding.A bit of advice. If you truly want people to consider your point, do not continue to shout the same thing over and over from the tree tops. That only makes everyone believe you are a kook.

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aginglady 6 years, 6 months ago

twaldaisy (Anonymous) says: Oh and P.S. my degree is in the healthcare field, so I should be able to get a decent job in Lawrence, but I make more money in K.C. even with commuting I make a "profit." However, I am trying to shrink my carbon footprint by moving closer to work. Is that a positive change?__Getting away from this board would be a positive change.Lawrence is clearly a town of internet addicts.I know I am, and it needs to change..some..

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DaREEKKU 6 years, 6 months ago

This is wonderful! I just hope I can dodge mobile-home sized potholes and actually make it to the new library in one piece! Stupid arse-holes......

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not_dolph 6 years, 6 months ago

Hello,The user cool sent the following message to you via LJWorld.com:==============================response to NOT DOLPH ?come on LJW, do something about not dolph and its getting warmer and sigmund. IGW & siggie are both polar opposite of my opinion - which is against coal plants and i believe that a lot of the static generated is because of my anti-coal and anti-spot zoning commentary.i mostly write only about these two issues but not/dolph,sigmund, and IGW seem to always interrupt the forum in their own way by complaining about another forum member. whiners !==============================

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not_dolph 6 years, 6 months ago

The user cool sent the following message to you via LJWorld.com:==============================response to NOT DOLPH ?come on LJW, do something about not dolph and its getting warmer and sigmund. IGW & siggie are both polar opposite of my opinion - which is against coal plants and i believe that a lot of the static generated is because of my anti-coal and anti-spot zoning commentary.i mostly write only about these two issues but not/dolph,sigmund, and IGW seem to always interrupt the forum in their own way by complaining about another forum member. whiners !==============================

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not_dolph 6 years, 6 months ago

Hello,The user cool sent the following message to you via LJWorld.com:come on LJW, do something about not dolph and its getting warmer and sigmund. IGW & siggie are both polar opposite of my opinion - which is against coal plants and i believe that a lot of the static generated is because of my anti-coal and anti-spot zoning commentary.i mostly write only about these two issues but not/dolph,sigmund, and IGW seem to always interrupt the forum in their own way by complaining about another forum member. whiners !==============================

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KsTwister 6 years, 6 months ago

There isn't any....at all. A rock has more common sense by far. Wasteful. Fix the roads before a pothole causes some deaths from vehicle accidents and city bankruptcy from the ensuing lawsuit(s).

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