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Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

Town Talk: Treanor proposes office building for downtown; dog numbers to be debated; city to consider donating fire engine

November 5, 2010

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News and notes from around town:

• Another downtown development project that looks to build upward is being proposed at City Hall. Lawrence-based Treanor Architects has filed plans to renovate the former Strong’s Office Supply building, 1040 Vt., to serve as offices for their architecture firm. The project includes demolishing the old showroom portion of the building and replacing it with a two-story structure. The warehouse portion of the building would remain and be renovated.

The project would bring about 75 new employees downtown. Currently Treanor — which grew significantly after it acquired Lawrence-based Glenn Livingood and Penzler — has Lawrence offices on McDonald Drive and West Sixth Street.

Bill Fleming, general counsel for Treanor, said the company has had a longtime desire to be in the downtown area. He said the firm hopes to begin construction in January and to move into the building next summer.

The site already has the proper zoning for the project, but the new building’s design will need to be reviewed to meet historic resources guidelines.

• City commissioners are being asked to consider how many dogs one person can be allowed to own at a Lawrence residence. Currently city code does not allow more than four dogs that are more than 10 weeks old at any Lawrence home. But Lawrence bail bondsman and former city commission candidate Sam Fields is asking commissioners to allow for some exceptions to that rule. Those exceptions could include allowing an unmarried couple to have more than the four maximum or also could allow people with a hobby breeders license to own more than four. City commissioners just received the letter asking for the change, and are expected to ask staff members to research the request before considering any changes.

• A request to annex land northwest of Lawrence for potential industrial development will get discussed Tuesday night by city commissioners. Commissioners will consider annexing 51 acres at the southwest corner of North 1800 Road and East 1000 Road, which also is Queens Road extended. Commissioners specifically will consider approving a resolution asking Douglas County commissioners to sign off on the annexation, which is a required step because the property is not adjacent to the city limits. If the annexation is approved, commissioners will be asked to consider a rezoning request that would allow industrial development at the site. No specific project has been proposed for the site, but the owners want to begin marketing the property as an industrial location because it is adjacent to Interstate 70. Several neighbors have objected to the plans, but the project has received a unanimous recommendation from the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission.

• City commissioners are being asked to donate an old fire engine to non-profit organization that will paint it pink and use it to promote breast cancer awareness. Fire Chief Mark Bradford is recommending that the city donate a 1987 fire engine that the city soon plans to retire to the Wichita Area Chapter of Pink Heals/Guardians of the Ribbon. The Guardians of the Ribbons drive pink fire trucks across the country to honor and support women who are fighting breast cancer.

Bradford said the fire engine, if not donated, would be sold through a government auction website. It has an estimated value of about $6,000. The city has already bought a new Pierce fire engine that is in the process of being put into service to replace the 1987 model.

• A couple of Lawrence trail projects have been completed and are now open to the public. Crews have finished installing 10-foot hike and bike paths along a two mile stretch of Clinton Parkway near Inverness Drive. The paths replaced two six-foot wide paths that were constructed in the 1970s and had deteriorated. The project was funded through federal stimulus dollars.

The city also has completed a new portion of the DeVictor Park trail in West Lawrence. The new northern section of the trail completes about 80 percent of the loop around DeVictor Park. The city received about $15,000 from the Sunflower Foundation to complete the $40,000 project.

• The Lawrence-Douglas County Housing Authority is getting closer to hiring a new director to replace Barbara Huppee, who is retiring at the end of the year.

The Housing Authority’s board is holding three special meetings to interview candidates. The first is at 11 a.m. today. Others are at 9 a.m. on Nov. 11 and 9 a.m. on Nov. 18. The board has not announced the names of any of the candidates. They will be interviewed in closed-door executive sessions.

Comments

Bob Forer 4 years, 1 month ago

Instead of giving away a piece of equipment worth 6G, I suggest the fire department raise the 6G similar to what they do for national charities--by standing in traffic and using a fireboot as a collection plate. They could paint the boots pink. Such a plan would have more of a local impact than a gratis donation, and wouldn't cost the taxpayers a dime. And don't tell me fireman don't have the time--they do.

Bob Forer 4 years, 1 month ago

Instead of giving away a piece of equipment worth 6G, I suggest the fire department raise the 6G similar to what they do for national charities--by standing in traffic and using a fireboot as a collection plate. They could paint the boots pink. Such a plan would have more of a local impact than a gratis donation, and wouldn't cost the taxpayers a dime. And don't tell me fireman don't have the time--they do.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 1 month ago

Annexation of property just so someone can market it under a specific zoning is a back door tax increase. The more we annex the more taxpayers must maintain and provide city services. Next the developer will want water and sewer lines which will not come for free to taxpayers.

This request makes no sense and obviously cannot does not pay for itself. One big example of why taxpaying voters should be allowed to vote on "growth" that will cost we taxpayers money.

ScottyMac 4 years, 1 month ago

Don't leave out a couple of other staggering facts: Obama passed the largest tax cut in US history. He also oversaw the largest decrease in federal spending in US history too. Of course, you never heard that on Fox.

Now, what this has to do with the Strong Office Supply building is beyond me.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 1 month ago

If taxpayers are required to vote for library expansion expenses,street repair expenses,public transportation expenses backed by additional sales and/or property taxes why not treat annexation the same. There is no guarantee new annexation will pay for itself!

lakerat 4 years, 1 month ago

TheSycophant says... "And don't tell me fireman don't have the time-- they do."

Well Mr. TheSychophant it is obvious that you have no clue about what fire departments do, especially LDCFM. Granted, you are not in the minority, everyone thinks fireman lay around watch t.v. and sleep waiting for the occasional alarm. I know this has been discussed numerous times on these blogs but that could not be further from the truth. Lets look at a quick run down of what LDCFM does during the day

  1. Business inspections- Think about the number of businesses, apartments, schools, warehouses etc. in the city of Lawrence. Now 5 fire stations, 3 crews apiece....according to my math that is a hell of alot of businesses per crew that need to be done annually. Not to mention that amount of paperwork that is done in the station behind the scenes to complete these.

  2. Training- You ALWAYS see fire trucks at there training center on Haskell or at Station #5 in Lawrence. Sometimes those trucks dont move for up to 4 hours. I think we would rather have trainined firefighters than amateurs.

  3. Public Eductation- Grade Schools, High Schools, Middle Schools, Dorms, Frats, Sororities, Businesses... that list could go on and on. These guys are out constantly educating the public about fire safety. Obviously it works cause how many fires does Lawrence have compared to Topeka or Kansas City.

  4. Station/truck upkeep and maintenance. One thing you cant argue is that Lawrence has some beautiful and well maintained fire stations that look immaculate 99% of the time.

  5. Physical Training- I know some people will argue this one by saying firefighters are lucky to get to work out on duty. Again, would we rather have trained in shape firefighters or amateurs.

  6. And last but not least, emergency runs- According to LDCFM statistics they ran close to 10,000 calls last year. Obviously that is a little time consuming.

So to say the department doesnt have time is a load of crap. I think it is an amazing gesture to donate something worth that amount of money to an amazing cause. Good Job Chief Bradford for recommending that your department donate this truck. I have seen this organization in person in Kansas City about a week ago and it was definetly a sight to see!

kansasredlegs 4 years, 1 month ago

Response calls are bloated. It's well known that LDCFM turns out for calls, b*lls to the wall for most of these calls to pad stats. Show quick response times for 'routine' "emergency" calls that turn into the wash the radiator coolant off the street and we can justify to the powers that be that we need more personnel. Oh well, it counts as an emergency run, doesn't it?

I will never forget the quote from the firefighter when DCAS and LFD merged, "If we have to go on all these toned-out-medical calls, then I won't be able to keep my SECOND job as all those nonfire related tones will keep me from sleeping and I'll be to tired to keep my other job." Hilarious it was and still very relevant today. Firefighters down time is tremendous.

Don't get me wrong, I know we need you guys, but you're not the sacrificing heroes you want us to think you are. BTW: LKPD officers are always on scene first.

Be safe and ... Keep puttin' the wet stuff on the hot stuff!!!

somedude20 4 years, 1 month ago

unless you have a dog sled does one person really need more than four dogs? I notice that some of the homeless in this town have a new dog every few weeks but I always guessed that they ate them (homeless savings account, if you will)

sidhe 4 years, 1 month ago

Does one person really need more than four dogs? I don't but why should anyone tell anyone else what they NEED? If it doesn't cause anyone reasonable a huge problem( which I think it doesn't) those exceptions should be allowed. Any rules and regulations that result in a limitation of something that makes a person happy should be very carefully considered before imposing.

I don't see why it matters if someone is married or unmarried either. Any restrictions should be per person regardless of marital status.

4 years, 1 month ago

The code needs updated to state more than 4 dogs. But it should be clearly stated that the number of dogs is per domicle or home, regardless of martial status. And while they are updating the code, how about stipulating the number of cats that are owned?

Speaking of code, check out page 6 of the city code on this matter. Interesting, eh? www.lawrenceks.org/city_code/system/f...

4 years, 1 month ago

Sorry that should say page 5, section 3-106.

4 years, 1 month ago

Sorry that should say page 5, section 3-106.

4 years, 1 month ago

Sorry that should say page 5, section 3-106.

slowplay 4 years, 1 month ago

Sure you were. Probably the kid they hired to wash the trucks.

1983Hawk 4 years, 1 month ago

Hang on to your wallets if Treanor Architect$$ are involved in some downtown development scheme. They were heavily involved in the nascent stages of the $tatehouse renovation and kept pushing for additional expansion so they could put it on their re$umes.

BruceWayne 4 years, 1 month ago

Anyone know who owns the strong building?

Clara Westphal 4 years, 1 month ago

Not if they are going to stop at my property on their daily walks.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 1 month ago

"Anyone know who owns the strong building? "

Try Doug Compton...

blindrabbit 4 years, 1 month ago

The pink fire engine is a good idea, but why to Wichita and not Lawrence?

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