Archive for Monday, August 18, 2008

City Commission agenda: Utility rate increase considered

August 18, 2008


Agenda highlights ¢ 6:35 p.m. Tuesday ¢ City Hall, Sixth and Massachusetts streets ¢ Sunflower Broadband Channel 25 ¢ Meeting documents online at

Utility rate increase considered

Bottom line

As one of the final pieces of the city's 2009 budget, city commissioners will consider approving increases for water, sewer and trash rates.


People who use an average amount of water - about 4,000 gallons a month - will see their water and sewer bill increase from about $43 per month to $44.50 per month. Larger water users - like people who heavily water their lawn - could see increases near $5 per month during heavy usage months. The average residential trash collection bill will increase by 51 cents per month to $13.19. Fuel prices are cited as a reason for the higher trash-collection fees.

Other business

Consent agenda

¢ Approve City Commission meeting minutes from Aug. 5.

¢ Receive minutes from various boards and commissions.

¢ Approve all claims.

¢ Approve licenses as recommended by the Department of Administrative Services.

¢ Bid and purchase items:

a.) Approve sale of surplus computer equipment on and approve recycling of 70 computer workstations.

b.) Set bid date of Sept. 2 for City Bid No. B08069, Project No. PW0815, 2008 Microsurfacing Program.

c.) Award Comprehensive Housing Rehabilitation bids as follows:

1.) 1509 E 28th Street Terrace to T&J; Holdings for $24,405;

2.) 920 Rockledge Road to Comet Corp. for $24,900;

3.) 1017 Rogers Place to T&J; Holdings for $24,050; and

4.) 1219 N.Y. to Penny Construction Inc. for $23,646.

d.) Approve Change Order No. 6 in the amount of $38,533.54 to King's Construction for Project 12-CP2-407(BD), 25th Terrace, O'Connell Road to Franklin Road, Street, Storm Sewer, Waterline Improvements.

¢ Adopt the following ordinance(s) on second and final reading:

a.) Ordinance No. 8294, an ordinance providing for the amendment to Chapter V, Article 10 of the Lawrence City Code that requires ground fault circuit interrupter receptacles for all kitchen countertop and bathroom receptacles.

b.) Ordinance No. 8313, authorizing the financing and refinancing of certain real estate property and improvements thereon for economic development purposes and authorizing the issuance of general obligation bonds to pay the costs thereof, in anticipation of the general obligation bond and temporary note sale on Sept. 9. The City Commission will consider formally authorizing the East Hills Business Park project at its meeting Aug. 26.

c.) Ordinance No. 8305, adopting and appropriating by fund the 2009 City of Lawrence budget.

d.) Ordinance No. 8306, noting the necessity of appropriating/budgeting property tax revenues for 2009 in excess of that which was appropriated/budgeted for 2008.

e.) Adopt Ordinance No. 8311 amending Section 17-212 of the City Code consistent with the recommendations of the TSC.

¢ Adopt the following resolution(s):

a.) Resolution No. 6773, changing the name of the Lawrence Arts Commission to the Lawrence Cultural Arts Commission, adding a mission statement and repealing Resolution No. 5966.

b.) Resolution No. 6774, requiring the City Manager's Office to provide the Lawrence Arts Commission with public art plan information and repealing Resolution No. 5015.

¢ Authorize staff to advertise a Request for Proposals for the Design and Construction Phase Engineering Services for the 2008-2009 Watermain Replacement Program.

¢ Receive staff memo regarding Public Wholesale Water Supply District 25 request for water service. This item was received at the Aug. 5 City Commission meeting and was referred to staff for a recommendation.

¢ Approve request from Friends of the Public Library to place signs of community interest for the 2008 Fall Book Sale between Sixth and Ninth streets between Massachusetts and Tennessee Streets from Sept. 25 through Oct. 4.

¢ Receive request from Michael Stultz for donation of open space of approximately 46 acres to the city of Lawrence.

¢ Receive request from developers of Bauer Farms to authorize use of the city's eminent domain authority to condemn required easements for the project.

¢ Authorize the mayor to sign two Subordination Agreements for Russell and Carol Beeson, 507 La., and a Release of Mortgage for Shelley Sandburg, 810 Locust St.

¢ Receive city manager's report.

Regular agenda

¢ Consider adopting on first reading Ordinance No. 8293, rezoning approximately 155 acres from A (Agricultural) to IG (General Industrial). The property is located on the northwest corner of North 1800 Road and East 900 Road; I-70/K-10 Business Park.

¢ Consider the approval of Ordinance No. 8274, amending the requirements for obtaining a Sidewalk Dining and Hospitality License, and consider the approval of related administrative compliance and enforcement procedures.

¢ Consider the following airport industrial park annexation and rezoning items. This item was deferred from the May 27 City Commission meeting at the applicant's request. Because valid protest petitions have been received, a super-majority vote (4 votes) would be needed regarding the rezoning items.

a.) Consider approval of the requested annexation of approximately 144.959 acres and direct staff to draft an ordinance for A-06-05-07, for Airport Business Park No. 1, located at East 1500 Road and U.S. Highway 24/40.

b.) Consider approval of the requested rezoning and direct staff to draft an ordinance for a request to rezone a tract of land approximately 99.31 acres, from A (Agricultural) and B-2 (General Business) Districts to IL (Limited Industrial) District with use restrictions.

c.) Consider approval of the requested rezoning and direct staff to draft an ordinance for a request to rezone a tract of land approximately 43.48 acres, from A (Agricultural) and B-2 (General Business) Districts to IL (Limited Industrial) District.

d.) Consider approval of the requested rezoning and direct staff to draft an ordinance for a request to rezone a tract of land approximately 26.22 acres, from A (Agricultural) & B-2 (General Business) Districts to IL-FP (Limited Industrial-Floodplain Overlay) District.

e.) Consider accepting dedication of easements and rights-of-way for a Preliminary Plat for Airport Business Park No. 1, located at East 1500 Road & U.S. Highway 24/40. The Planning Commission will also consider a number of waivers from the Development Code with this request.

¢ Consider adoption of Resolution No. 6789 establishing a Tax Increment Financing District policy and Resolution No. 6790, establishing a Transportation Development District policy.

¢ Consider establishing 2009 rates for water and sewage disposal, system development charges for water utility and wastewater utility connections, wholesale water rates, and solid waste service rates.


jafs 9 years, 9 months ago

It's fairly easy to cut down on your water use through the use of water saving showerheads, aerators, low water use toilets and being mindful.These increases might provide more of an incentive to do this.

jmadison 9 years, 9 months ago

The city has the highest charge for basic service of any utility in town. The increase in service charge is a thinly veiled increase in the citizens' taxes.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 9 months ago

Shouldn't this rate increase be put to a vote in November? If the measure fails, then people can just make do with less sewer and water service.

cowboy 9 years, 9 months ago

Bend over Lawrencians cuz here it comes again. since our city comms and staff can't/ won't initiate any cost cutting our rates are going up again. There arent many households that use the minimum 4000 gallons , most small families are in the 8000 range plus the sewer multplier factors it up.It would be interesting to see what the number of meters in Lawrence adds up to , guess at 30,000 , this rate increase may add 3 milion in residential revenue. Be nice if the LJW could ask a few questions like how much and exactly where is it going.There have been numerous writers on these forums that can tell the city how to save millions. I am tired of the city balancing the budget on the backs of water customers. Get off your gov employee rearends and initiate some cost savings programs. And since the sewer plant out south is on hold why arent the fees on hold also. Why did the city need 534 acres , why don't they sell off the ground they don't or won't utilize. And the incompetency rolls on unabated.

Sigmund 9 years, 9 months ago

jafs (Anonymous) says: "These increases might provide more of an incentive to do this."People do not conserve that which is cheap an do not waste that which is costly. This is as close of a fundamental law of economics that exists and is as true of water as it is for gas, health care, or anything else.

cowboy 9 years, 9 months ago

monthly increase estimate based on a level that few achieve , come on city , tell us how much you forecast to bring in on this , 3-5 million annually. For those that think cost is a way of enacting conservation , you would probably like 10 buck a gallon gas and think it's great. We could also crap in our backyards but I don't think it's an acceptable solution. when costs are increased while obvious waste is in front of us it's time for the highly compensated management of the city to earn their money. This as I watch the trash truck cruise up our street to pick up grass clippings today , of which there are none , burning up diesel , wages , and wear and tear on the equipment. Say no to increased costs from the city until they demonstrate they can manage effectively.

Bud Stagg 9 years, 9 months ago

OMG people. You are bitching about $1.50-$5.00 a month increase? Yet you'll pay an increase of over $10 per fill up at the gas station? The proposed increase probably doesn't cover the increase in the cost of diesel for the garbage trucks.Is this something even worth complaining about? Let's stay on track and think about getting some jobs and industry to this town that will help alleviate many of the tax issues. Quit bitching about every single proposal and get behind something that actually fixes the financial problems of this community. We need a larger commercial tax base, we need higher paying jobs. Those two items are a huge step to fixing many of the other problems.

chargdup 9 years, 9 months ago

JOEHAWK, add this increase to the average $9 proposed increase that Westar is asking for and a proposed tax increase in November to boot.These rate hikes in the midst of a struggling economy are not good for the public. Tapped out yet?

Sigmund 9 years, 9 months ago

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (Anonymous) says ... "Shouldn't this rate increase be put to a vote in November? If the measure fails, then people can just make do with less sewer and water service."Sewer and water are essential services. Spending $2,600,000 per year in corporate welfare to MV Transportation a private company to run empTy bus mass transit in a city of 80,000 that less than 5% of the citizens use is not. It is no use pretending otherwise. The fare no where covers the cost of the service and things that are too cheap are wasted.

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