Archive for Sunday, January 30, 2011

City commission agenda for Feb. 1, 2011

January 30, 2011

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Bottom line

City commissioners will receive a report from the city’s Retail Task Force.

Background

The city-created task force studied for more than a year how the health of the community’s retail industry could be improved. The report includes a recommendation to create a database that local retailers could access to learn more about the Lawrence market and what type of sales are being lost to other communities. As part of receiving the report, commissioners will consider issuing a request for proposals for consultants to develop such a database.

At 4 p.m., the city commission will meet in a study session with the Douglas County Commission to discuss:

• Two proposed amendments to Horizon 2020, the city’s comprehensive plan. One is to include a chapter on environment, while the other would include the Northeast Sector Plan.

After a short break, the city commission’s regular meeting will begin about 6:35 p.m.

• Recognition of “Go Red for Women” campaign.

Consent agenda

• Approve commission meeting minutes of Dec. 14 and Jan. 4.

• Receive minutes from various boards and commissions.

• Pay claims.

• Approve licenses recommended by the city clerk’s office.

• Approve appointments recommended by the mayor.

• Bid and purchase items:

a. Set a Feb. 15 bid date for the microsurfacing program.

b. Set a March 1 bid date for airport area sanitary sewer improvements.

c. Award a construction contract for $114,000 to Shelley Electric Inc. for North Final Electrical and Kaw Well Field Electrical Improvements.

• Adopt ordinances on final reading that:

a. Rezone 51.13 acres at the southwest corner of North 1800 Road (the Farmers’ Turnpike) and East 1000 Road (Queens Road, Extended).

b. Amend the city’s Land Development Code related to Boarding House parking standards and their ability to exist by right in certain zoning districts.

• Authorize the mayor to sign an order vacating Perry Street, west of North Seventh Street, in Smith’s Subdivision of North Lawrence.

• Accept transfer of ownership from Kansas University to the city of a manhole and about 341 feet of sanitary sewer in the right of way of 15th Street, west of Naismith Drive.

• Authorize the mayor to execute an addendum to the city manager’s employment contract.

• Authorize issuance of a request for proposals for the Arts Economy Study requested by the Lawrence Cultural Arts Commission.

• Authorize the mayor to sign a letter opposing a House bill that, if approved, would prohibit municipalities’ abilities to determine appropriate residential fire protection systems and is contrary to cities’ constitutional home rule authority.

Regular agenda

• Consider adopting on first reading an ordinance authorizing issuance of up to $10.5 million in Industrial Revenue Bonds for Lawrence Memorial Hospital to finance various improvements at the hospital.

• Consider authorizing the city manager to execute an engineering services agreement for $394,170 with Bartlett & West Engineers for design services for Iowa Street reconstruction and geometric improvements.

• Receive final report from the Retail Task Force and consider issuing a request for proposals for the retail database information, as recommended by the Retail Task Force.

• Receive staff memorandum discussing possible annexation of the Miller/Wells acres area. Consider authorizing staff to conduct a public meeting with area residents and property owners.

Comments

Richard Heckler 4 years, 3 months ago

• Adopt ordinances on final reading that:

a. Rezone 51.13 acres at the southwest corner of North 1800 Road (the Farmers’ Turnpike) and East 1000 Road (Queens Road, Extended).

How much is this going to cost taxpayers? Expansion/Annexation of the responsibilities does not come free.

b. Amend the city’s Land Development Code related to Boarding House parking standards and their ability to exist by right in certain zoning districts.

  1. How will this impact on street parking spaces in the neighborhoods no matter where these 14 - 80 bedroom structures are built?

  2. One parking space per bedroom is not part of the deal. All neighborhoods can become victims. Oread is merely the first victim.

Receive staff memorandum discussing possible annexation of the Miller/Wells acres area. Consider authorizing staff to conduct a public meeting with area residents and property owners.

Annexation is not free to taxpayers. Always missing from the discussion is how much will this cost taxpayers. Powers that be always love to tell taxpayers that annexation is expanding the tax base.

Over the past 25 years Lawrence has expanded the tax base many times yet our user fees(taxes) and other taxes keep GOING UP! Isn't there somethng wrong with this picture? Could it be that annexation is neither paying for itself nor paying back the taxpayers?

Richard Heckler 4 years, 3 months ago

One big issue usually missing from city commission discussions is how much will any project be costing Lawrence or Douglas County taxpayers.

New housing projects cost taxpayers money - If residential growth paid for itself and was financially positive, we would not be in a budget crunch some think. With increased numbers of houses you have increased demand on services, and historically the funding of revenues generated by residential does not pay for the services they require from a municipality.

New retail in Lawrence cost taxpayers money. Because Lawrence is over built retail cannot possibly generate its' fair share of taxes to pay for itself or pay back taxpayers for the over extended tax dollar liabilities related to any project. Why Lawrence powers that be think Lawrence can become the shopping metropolis that challenges KCMO metro,JOCO Metro and Topeka Metro is beyond logic. Where is the hard evidence? KCMO/JOCO metro has close to 2 million people if not more. The retail dollars are not available in Lawrence,Kansas and cost for real estate is inflated aka living an illusion.

Is it the taxpayers responsibility to guarantee the real estate industry and developers a nice tidy profit on their speculation and/or risky investments? ABSOLUTELY NOT!

Richard Heckler 4 years, 3 months ago

Is annexation expanding our tax base or our tax bills?

There is one consequence that usually goes unmentioned - annexation is draining our pocketbooks and raising our taxes.

Annexation is the result of over five decades of subsidies paid for by the American taxpayer. These range from the obvious to the obscure and include big projects-like the billions we spend on new roads as well as smaller ones-like the tax-breaks that encourage businesses to move to the edge of town.

We've subsidized annexation at such a basic level for so long, that many people believe the status quo is actually fair and neutral. This is false-what we think of as a level playing field is tilted steeply in favor of developers and the local real estate industry.

How we subsidize annexation:

  • building new and wider roads
  • building schools on the fringe
  • extending sewer and water lines to new developments
  • extending emergency services to the fringe
  • direct pay-outs to developers

Is it the taxpayers responsibility to guarantee the real estate industry and developers a nice tidy profit on their speculation and/or risky investments? absolutely not!

middlemgmt 4 years, 3 months ago

Meeting will most likely be cancelled due to snow.

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