Stand down, the Lawrence Missile Crisis is over.
City commissioners at their Tuesday evening meeting directed staff members to politely decline an offer from the Kansas Cosmosphere & Space Center to donate the Polaris submarine-launched ballistic missile that has long been on display in Centennial Park.
The Cosmosphere had sought to restore the missile for a new aircraft and rocket park that it is building in Hutchinson.
Commissioners at their weekly meeting had a little fun with the issue. When introducing the item, Mayor Aron Cromwell asked commissioners to consider whether the city “wanted to get rid of its single line of defense.”
The mayor later noted that isn’t quite right. The city does have a cannon that sits in Robinson Park, the small park near the southern end of the downtown Kansas River bridge.
“We’re not giving away the cannon either, in case anybody is curious about that,” Cromwell said.
The Centennial Park missile — which is, of course, inoperable — was donated to the city in 1964 by the Lawrence Navy League.