City council briefs
City rejects request for de-annexation
Richard Lenahan's request to de-annex a small piece of property from the city was rejected Monday night.
Tonganoxie City Council members said they were concerned that removing 0.18 of an acre along Rogers Road in southeast Tonganoxie would prevent developments from being annexed into the city.
The small parcel which Lenahan said is a driveway connects city land north and south of it. If that piece were removed, council members said, two parcels south of it would create an island of city land in the county.
Because of that, land adjoining those parcels could not be annexed.
Lenahan said he wanted the de-annexation to connect 50 acres he owns in the county with the smaller parcel.
"I'm just asking you to use logic," said Lenahan, who was making the request on behalf of his mother, Beulah Lenahan. "I'm trying to get 0.18 of an acre hooked to 50 acres."
Lenahan said it doesn't make sense to bring the 50-acre tract into the city because no city utilities run to the property.
"If this blows some major development plan you've got, it doesn't matter to me," he said.
Council members voted 5-0 to reject the de-annexation request.
After the vote, Lenahan asked, "I am a citizen of Tonganoxie?"
"Your driveway still is," answered city planner Linda Bohnsack.
New right of way OK'd by council
City council members on Monday approved a new right-of-way annexation ordinance.
An ordinance that council members had OK'd last January was illegal because the right of way that was brought into the city was not bordered by land that already was in the city. Those slivers of right of way created "fingers," which are not allowed by Kansas law.
"The purpose of the statute is to prohibit a finger annexation, where you could take it out, say, to Reno," said Mike Crow, city attorney.
Tonganoxie resident Roger Shilling drew the council's attention to the illegality of the previous rightofway annexation late last year. One of the illegal annexations bordered property that Shilling owns that is just beyond the east city limits of Tonganoxie.
Mayor John Franiuk said city limits signs on the south side of the city along U.S. Highway 24-40 will be moved, as have signs on the east side of the city.
City to vacate alley off 24-40 highway
The alley between Casey's and a building that formerly housed the Mills Agency insurance company will be closed.
Only that part of the alley between the two businesses will be closed, and the portion of the alley west of the businesses will remain open, providing access to residences in the area.
The alley will be split down the middle, with the south portion being deeded to Casey's convenience store and the north portion to the owners of the Mills building.
City council members agreed to close the alley once Casey's accepts agreements it negotiated with the city concerning property annexation required for an intersection improvement project.
Closing the alley will help traffic flow, once U.S. Highway 24-40 is widened in that area.
"It's a wise idea to not have too many entrances onto the highway in that area," said Linda Bohnsack, city planner.
City Administrator Shane Krull said bids on improvements to the intersection of U.S. Highway 24-40 and Kansas Highway 16 would be let about two months later than originally scheduled. The bids will be let June 19, rather than in April because final plans had been delayed, according to a letter Krull received from the Kansas Department of Transportation.
Merit pay increases approved for workers
After a 15-minute executive session, city council members unanimously approved merit pay increases for city employees. The pay increases ranged from 2.11 percent to 5.65 percent. The actual amount of the increases ranged from $523 a year to $1,838 annually.
City council members on Monday also:
Set a meeting with the school board at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 28. This is an annual meeting during which the council and the school board discuss points of mutual interest. The gathering will be a dinner meeting at Bichelmeyer's Steakhouse.
Agreed to pay a $2,800 membership to Leavenworth Area Development, which handles economic development issues in the county.