Douglas County commissioners will vote Wednesday on resolutions to bar people from carrying weapons into the county courthouse or any other county building, and to exempt the county from a new state gun law that would otherwise require them to allow certain people to carry concealed weapons into the building.
The resolution provides for a four-year exemption on all county buildings, including the courthouse, the Judicial and Law Enforcement Center, both the adult jail and the juvenile detention facility, Public Works Department facilities and all of the buildings at the Douglas County Fairgrounds.
That would give the county until Dec. 31, 2017, to install security features on those buildings to prevent anyone from carrying weapons inside, which the new law requires in order for local governments to continue prohibiting people with valid permits from carrying concealed weapons into municipal buildings.
The new law does not apply to public schools. State colleges and universities were given until until 2017 to come into compliance.
Commissioners have met at least twice in closed-door executive session in recent weeks to discuss security plans for the buildings. The new law, however, exempts those plans from the Kansas Open Records Act and only requires local governments to make them available upon request to the Attorney General's Office and local law enforcement agencies.
"A security plan has been developed for the building being exempted which supplies adequate security to the occupants of the building and merits the prohibition of the carrying of a concealed handgun as authorized by the personal and family protection act," the resolution states.
Commissioners are also scheduled to meet again in executive session to continue discussing those plans.
Also Wednesday, commissioners will discuss the possibility of listing the courthouse on the city of Lawrence's Register of Historic Places to gain control over future development in the surrounding environs of the building.
The courthouse is already listed on both the state and national registers of historic places. In years past, those designations meant that any development within a 500-foot radius of the building had to be reviewed and approved by the state historic preservation officer.
But Kansas lawmakers changed that statute in 2013 by removing protection of the environs area.
Local developer Doug Compton has proposed building a multi-story residential and retail complex at 11th and Massachusetts, immediately north of the courthouse.
Commissioners will meet at 4 p.m. Wednesday in the courthouse for the final scheduled meeting for 2013. Commissioners will not meet Wednesday, Dec. 25, or the following Wednesday, Jan. 1.
In other business, the commission will:
• Consider changing the county's permit fee schedule to allow for a single, flat inspection fee of $115 for stand-alone solar, thermal and photovoltaic energy installations.
• Consider authorizing staff to negotiate and finalize contracts with US Bank for banking and procurement card services, and FIS for merchant services.
• And consider approval of cereal malt beverage license for Clinton Marina, 1329 East 800 Road, and Clinton Submarina, 1329 East 800 Road.