Lecompton building placed on historic register; Eudora wireless metering moving forward; Baldwin Education Foundation awards grants; final 2016 art walk set for Baldwin City

Historic Lecompton officially has become more historic. Lecompton City Clerk Lynley Sanford said the town’s community building, 333 Elmore, is now on the Kansas Register of Historic Places. The building made of locally quarried limestone opened in 1906 as a Radical United Brethren Church. It was constructed on the footprint of an older wood church that had burned down. Helping build the case for its historic pedigree was a visit from Bishop Milton Wright, the father of Wilbur and Orville Wright, who ordained a few Radical United Brethren ministers there after that group split from the United Brethren with which Lane University of Lecompton was associated.

Sanford said the city purchased the building in 1933 after services ended at the church in 1927. It served as Lecompton City Hall and a community building until 2003, when the current City Hall was built. The stone building in what is now Lecompton City Park was renovated at that time and still serves as a community building.

With the building’s addition to the historic register, Lecompton now has four buildings on either Kansas or national registers. The other three are Constitutional Hall, where two state constitutions were drafted in the 1850s in hopes of bringing Kansas into the union as a slave state; the Democratic Headquarters from the Bleeding Kansas era; and the Lane University building, which is now the Territorial Capital Museum.

The majority of the wireless water meters that the city of Eudora is installing are in place, and the rest should be installed in the next two months.

Eudora City Manager Barack Matite said the first half of the new electrical meters still to be installed are to be delivered this month with the rest coming in October. The city then will hire a private contractor for their installation, he said. The city anticipates installing the electric meters in November and December, but that schedule is dependent on the weather and the contractor’s schedule, Matite said. It will be around March or April when the city enjoys the full benefit of the new system, he said.

The city experienced some hiccups with the new water metering system with the first round of billing in July. Customers found water bills higher than expected because a couple of days were added to the billing cycle, and some customers experienced higher charges because the new meters read their water use more accurately. To help customers, the city extended the payment deadline for July bills.

Matite said the city has not heard similar complaints about higher than expected bills from more accurate readings with the August or September billing cycles.

The Baldwin Education Foundation awarded 18 innovative project grants totaling $12,596 to 21 teachers in the Baldwin City school district during a visit to district schools on Sept. 9. The innovative project grants are meant to give teachers the chance to share educational opportunities with students beyond what is available in the day-to-day classroom.

The BEF’s board of directors vote on the grant applications that teachers submitted. Nicole Neil, a teacher in the 4-year-old program at Baldwin Elementary School Primary Center, received the most votes for her $710 application of “Leaning about Life Cycles.”

The final Lumberyard Arts Center art walk of the season will be from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday at the arts center, 718 High St. The event will include a Cup of Java, in which attendees will be invited to decorate a coffee mug or select one already painted; adult and children coloring; an ice cream social; and an artist reception for Nancy Marshall, whose work is now on display at the Lumberyard’s gallery.