Archive for Sunday, August 9, 2009

Lawrence city commission agenda

August 9, 2009


Agenda highlights • 6:30 p.m. Tuesday • City Hall, Sixth and Massachusetts streets • Sunflower Broadband Channel 25 • Meeting documents online at

Bottom Line

Lawrence city commissioners will accept public comment on their proposed city budget for 2010.

After the formal public hearing, commissioners will consider approving their formal budget ordinance on first reading. A handful of other budget-related ordinances also are slated for approval on first reading.

If approved, the budget ordinance would be set for approval on final reading Aug. 18. The budget then would be filed with the city clerk a day later, with the adopted budget scheduled for posting to the city’s Web site Sept. 14.


The recommended budget projects revenues of $164 million, of which $24.5 million would come from property taxes.

The recommended budget includes increases in fees for water, sewer and sanitation service; fees and fines for parking downtown; green fees at Eagle Bend Golf Course; and fees for Parks and Recreation programs, including new fees for admittance to the Prairie Park Nature Center and the wading pool at South Park.

Other Business

Conduct an executive session, beginning at 5 p.m., to discuss “possible property acquisition,” the “possible terms and conditions” of which would be kept “confidential at this time.” The regular meeting would be scheduled to resume at 6:30 p.m.

Consent agenda

• Approve City Commission meeting minutes from July 21.

• Receive minutes from boards and commissions.

• Approve claims.

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

• Waive bidding requirements and authorize the repair of Unit 615, a reserve Quint for the Fire Medical Department, by Central Power Systems of Kansas City for a total cost up to $18,210.16.

• Authorize the city manager to execute an agreement with Sunflower Broadband for fiber connectivity between City Hall and the Clinton Plant for $1,500 a month along with a $2,000 installation fee.

• Set bid date of Aug. 25 for Project No. PW0901 (City Bid No. B09049), 23rd Street, Ousdahl Road to Barker Avenue, milling, overlay, pavement marking and geometric improvements (KLINK).

• Adopt, on first reading:

a) Ordinance No. 8426, for the rezoning (Z-4-6-09) of 135 & 137 Pawnee Ave. from RS5 (Single-Dwelling Residential) to RSO (Single-Dwelling Residential-Office), to include conditions that already had been approved but not included in a previous version of the ordinance.

b) Ordinance No. 8449, amending SUP-01-02-07 to increase the overnight participant occupancy at Lawrence Community Shelter, 944 Ky.

• Adopt on second and final reading Ordinance No. 8437, adding to the city’s existing rights under various agreements, leases and liens used to regulate the Lawrence Community Housing Trust and enabling Douglas County to consider resale restrictions for purposes of determining the fair market value of land trust properties.

• Adopt Resolution No. 6860, amending Resolution No. 6844, concerning the debt service reserve requirement for water and sewer bonds.

• Approve these items related to Pump Station 25, approximately 4 acres north of 3800 Greenway Circle, as submitted by BG Consultants Inc.: annexation A-5-1-09; Ordinance No. 8442, on first reading, to annex the property; accept dedication of easements and rights of way; rezonings Z-5-9-09 and Z-5-8-09, to rezone the property from County I-4 (Heavy Industrial) to OS (Open Space) and OS-FP (Open Space with Floodplain Overlay); adopt Ordinances Nos. 8444 and 8443, on first reading, to rezone the property; and Special Use Permit SUP-5-6-09, for a minor utility serving more than one development.

• Authorize payment to the clerk of the district court in the amount of $17,500 for acquisition of property for construction of Burroughs Creek linear park trail.

• Authorize the mayor to: sign the grant application for the Kansas Housing Resource Corporation’s Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-housing Program as well as subsequent grant agreements and other documents required by KHRC for administration of the grant; sign releases of mortgage for Michelle Bird, 1220 Pa., and Ardys Ramberg, 812 N.Y.; and execute a letter of support for Bowersock Mills and Power Co.’s application to the U.S. Department of Energy for a Recovery Act Hydroelectric Facility Modernization grant.

• Receive city manager’s report.

Regular agenda

• Conduct public hearing on the proposed 2010 budget and consider adopting on first reading several ordinances related to adoption of the budget:

a) Ordinance No. 8440, adopting and appropriating by fund the 2010 city of Lawrence budget.

b) Ordinance No. 8441, noting the necessity of appropriating/budgeting property tax revenues for 2010 in excess of that which was appropriated/budgeted for 2009.

c) Ordinance No. 8416, establishing solid waste service rates for 2010.

d) Ordinance No. 8438, establishing water service and sewage disposal rates for 2010.

e) Ordinance No. 8439, establishing system development charges for water utility and wastewater utility connections for 2010.

f) Charter Ordinance No. 39, regarding the transient guest tax.

Also up for approval: the city’s wholesale water rate for 2010.

• Consider authorizing the city manager to execute a Video Service Provider Agreement between the city of Lawrence and Community Wireless Communications Co. and authorize the city manager to send a written request to Community Wireless Communications Co., to pay a video service provider fee equal to 5 percent of the gross revenues received for the services provided within the corporate limits of the city.

• Receive update on the activities of the Kansas University/City Transit Coordination Planning Team.

• Consider authorizing the city manager to negotiate and execute an agreement with Kansas University Parking and Transit to provide game day shuttle service for the 2009 KU football season.


cowboy 8 years, 10 months ago

Property aquisition on behalf of the taxpayers should be done in broad daylight , not behind closed doors !

All taxpayers , please bend over cuz here it comes again.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 10 months ago

*The recommended budget includes increases in fees for water, sewer and sanitation service AGAIN? Instead of increasing the trash tax let's go with Pay AS You Throw.

When retail and housing markets are overloaded, property values drop which impacts personal property tax revenue. So instead of inflating property values to cover the loss we get tax increases every where else.

In simpler terms our government bodies have over extended local taxpayers by the extension of the tax base which is failing to pay back. This fiasco has been a problem long before the Bush/Cheney fiasco. Such as the more than one million NEW square feet of retail OVER what Lawrence can support. Bad economics = bad for business and taxpayers.

*Conduct an executive session, beginning at 5 p.m., to discuss “possible property acquisition,” the “possible terms and conditions” of which would be kept “confidential at this time.” Hmmmmmmmmm what could this be?

Taxpayers should have the privilege of knowing aka transparency.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 10 months ago

America Is Over Stored

This decade's building frenzy produced a bumper crop of new retail space. But the occupants haven't materialized.

The carnage in retail hasn't been this bad since an anarchist bombed Chicago's Haymarket Square in 1886. In January, Liz Claiborne said it would shutter 54 Sigrid Olsen stores by mid-2008; Ann Taylor announced that 117 of its 921 stores would be closed over the next three years, and Talbots axed the Talbots Men's and Talbots Kids concepts and 22 Talbots stores. (Those muffled screams you hear are Connecticut preppies trying to suppress their rage.) Even Starbucks has scaled back its yearlong saturation-bombing campaign.

Blame that exhausted marathon runner, the American consumer. Fueled by cheap credit instead of PowerGel, she looked great at Mile 16, but bonked at Mile 23 and is now crawling to the finish line. Sales fell in December, putting the cap on a miserable Christmas season. Last week the government reported that retail sales rose 3.9 percent between January 2007 and January 2008. But back out inflation and sales of gasoline, and retail sales fell in real terms in the past year. Clearly, demand is down.

And supply is up. This decade's building frenzy produced a bumper crop of new retail space—from McStrip malls built near new McMansions, to hip new boutiques in the ground floors of hip new Miami condo buildings. But as is the case with those McMansions and condos, the occupants for new retail space haven't materialized. In the fourth quarter of 2007, the national retail-vacancy rate rose for the 11th straight quarter to 7.5 percent—the highest level since 1996, according to research firm Reis, Inc. With new projects coming online—34 million square feet of retail space will be completed in 2008—the rate is expected to spike further to 8 percent. In the parlance of the trade, many chains are simply over-stored.


Richard Heckler 8 years, 10 months ago

By Kim McClure

July 24, 2009

To the editor:

The July 14 editorial asks, “What’s downtown going to look like five, 10 or 15 years from now?” The answer can be known, and the picture is not pretty.


Lawrence has enough spending to support about 4.1 million square feet of retail space, but the City Commission permitted developers to expand the supply to over 5.5 million square feet.

Lawrence has too much retail space chasing too few vendors, which means that many stores go empty, especially in the older shopping centers like downtown.

The surplus development has stalled redevelopment plans downtown and has pushed the vacancy rates so high that disinvestment and blight now threaten. Investment, both public and private, is wasted. The taxpayers’ $8 million parking garage stands largely empty. The Hobbs-Taylor building and the 600 block of Massachusetts should be the top performing spaces in the community, but they have significant vacancies.

The recession has contributed to the problem, but had we properly managed our growth we would be much better off.

The developers’ short-term gain is now our long-term loss. Managed growth would have prevented much of the problem and would have protected and enhanced our downtown.

It will take many, many years to absorb this surplus space and, until this happens, it will be hard for downtown to compete. We can only look forward to many years of high vacancy and disinvestment. We need a City Commission that knows how to pace the growth of supply so as to protect our unique downtown.

McClure is from Lawrence

Richard Heckler 8 years, 10 months ago

The symptoms of retail OVER saturation are everywhere:

  • We have more than 4,000 abandoned shopping malls in America.
  • We have more shopping centers than high schools.
  • We have 20 square feet of retail space for every man, woman and child in America, up from 14.7 s.f. per person in 1986, compared with 2 s.f. per person in Britain.


Even the people who produce all this sprawl admit that we have more retail stores than our disposable income can absorb.

Here's Wal-Mart's confession in 1996 taken from a court deposition in North Carolina of Tom Seay, at the time Wal-Mart's Vice President for Real Estate:

"We have more shopping center space in the U.S. than is needed. We're in an over-built situation."

Flap Doodle 8 years, 10 months ago

Doing some more recycling this morning, merrill?

GardenMomma 8 years, 10 months ago

I don't like the sound of this:

"Other Business

Conduct an executive session, beginning at 5 p.m., to discuss “possible property acquisition,” the “possible terms and conditions” of which would be kept “confidential at this time.” The regular meeting would be scheduled to resume at 6:30 p.m."

Sounds rather ominous.

das 8 years, 10 months ago

Possible property acquisition = Don's Steakhouse as new shelter? Or was that covered already and I missed it?

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