guardian_owl (Ira Rott)

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The city added $2.17 million onto approved city bids, but no public list of change orders exists

I find elements of this story lacking. For instance, the author gives the example of the Clinton Water Treatment Plant Phase 1 Taste and Odor Improvements Project UT1209 and how if the Change Orders authorized over the course of 2 years are added to the contractor's base bid, the cost of the contract is higher than two of the other bidders, implying something nefarious is occurring. As evidence of this murkiness, the author supplies only a link to Change Order 5. Based on that and the author's assumption that the other companies bids would have remained flat, I can only assume that the author did not search for the other Change Orders on this project. Past city commission agendas and memos are digitized and available online which means with a little google searching one can easily find the other three big ticket COs on this project.
https://assets.lawrenceks.org/assets/...
https://assets.lawrenceks.org/assets/...
https://assets.lawrenceks.org/assets/...

with supplemental memo from the engineer for CO 3
https://assets.lawrenceks.org/assets/...

CO 1 added to the scope of the project, "costs to relocate an electrical duct bank away from the footprint of the new ferric chloride building and containment."

CO 2 is an extensive, itemized list of "items of work that were not apparent until construction of the improvements started."

CO 3's cost is mostly from the "Carbon Dioxide Tank Relocation" due to the failure of supply lines during testing (which were installed in 2007 as future proofing for the eventual installation of the carbon dioxide system which is a part of this project, as detailed in the letter by the engineer) or additions requested by the city.

CO 5 also added to the scope of the project.

All the COs would have been additional costs added to the contract of any of the other 4 bidders had they been awarded the contract instead of the low bidder (the pricing for them would not have remained flat) and all were blessed by the engineering firm who was hired by the city to assist in managing the project.

June 17, 2018 at 3:54 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Kansas has $8M surplus in tax collections in November after estimates were revised downward

The state can only currently force a website to collect sales tax if they have a physical presence in the state; a retail store, a warehouse, etc.

December 2, 2015 at 9:58 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Kansas has $8M surplus in tax collections in November after estimates were revised downward

Unfortunately that probably won't have the desired effect. Rather than raising education funding, they will reduce education spending to match whatever extra funding comes from marijuana taxes to keep education funding flat, and then divert that former education money to fill budget holes elsewhere. That's what eventually happened after lotteries were legalized, education money overall stayed the same.

December 2, 2015 at 9:53 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Kobach says Kansas attracted most new businesses since 2003

Critics are correct, I know many businesses which dissolved as an Inc. and reformed as an LLC to take advantage of the tax exemption.

February 18, 2015 at 10:30 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Amazon closing distribution plant in Kansas

Online shopping is basically a brick and mortar store in your living room with self-check out. It's not like in the old days when you couldn't expect people to calculate the price for sales tax themselves when making orders out of a catalog and mailing in the payment, it can all be calculated automatically by the website software. Eventually state governments will probably try to reclassify the point of sale so that it is not where the servers are located, but the store front in the customer's living room, especially as online shopping inevitably becomes more popular.

October 1, 2014 at 8:51 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Saturday Column: Shifting political waters challenge state incumbents

I don't even know where to begin... it's too much...

September 27, 2014 at 2:21 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lawrence school bus vandalized with anti-Free State messages

Most of the drive which stretches from the Eldridge St. to the back of the church parking lot is city property. The round section of that drive where the buses park in is actually meant so that emergency vehicles can turn around easier. Look at google street view at the western end of Overland Dr. to see where they normally park, it's not in the church parking lot, it is on this adjacent city street.

September 22, 2014 at 6:29 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Mexican restaurant moving to 34th and Iowa streets; food truck debate set for Tuesday; city to consider tax rebate for another apartment project

I really like El Potro, but that space they are moving into has been a revolving door of failure. I am afraid the added cost of doing business in that larger space (as well as less traffic driving by it due to his location further away from popular stores) will exceed the added revenue of more space for customers. Hopefully they have carefully run the numbers.

September 19, 2014 at 11:47 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Kansas Supreme Court orders state to remove Taylor from Senate ballot

Under what legal authority is he allowed to delay the mailing of absentee ballots everything said up to this point made it sound like it was a hard-locked deadline, otherwise why the urgency to get the ruling done before Friday? It's funny that he was so inflexible about the candidate withdrawl date (such as allowing him to correct it the next morning since he filed the letter on time), but now that the ruling didn't go his way he is suddenly Stretch Armstrong.

edit: Even the ruling makes note of this:
"The next day, September 10, Kobach filed a notice regarding scheduling. In it, he confirmed that the list of candidates for the general election had to be finalized by September 18, because the STATUTORY DEADLINE for sending ballots to members of the Unisted States Armed Forces serving overseas in 45 DAYS BEFORE the general election i.e., September 20. Kobach represented that ballots WOULD BE prepared and printed on September 19."

September 18, 2014 at 10:57 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

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