Archive for Wednesday, February 14, 2007

City council briefs: Fourth Street decision delayed

February 14, 2007

Fourth Street decision delayed

The fate of the Fourth Street Phase III renovation project once again has been delayed.

Council members on Monday discussed the project, which would improve East Fourth Street between Tonganoxie Creek and the South Park subdivision.

Design proposals for the project have included widening Fourth Street from 20 feet to 31 feet, relocating utilities along the road, constructing a 5-foot sidewalk, replacing the existing water line along the curb line and installing curb, gutter and water drainage.

Residents in the neighborhood have staunchly opposed adding a sidewalk, especially neighbors on the north side, because it would substantially cut into their property and clear out longstanding trees.

City officials have met with residents several times about possible design alterations.

On Monday, resident Paula Crook, who lives on the north side of Fourth Street, offered that the city use five additional feet of homeowners' property on the north side in hopes of coming to an agreement.

Brian Kingsley of BG Consultants, the city's engineering firm, discussed possible snags in reconfiguring the project.

At the end of the discussion, council member Velda Roberts suggested another work session to discuss particulars of the project.

"We need to look at facts and figures," Roberts said. "We need to get the sidewalk in. That is necessary for the school. We need to address what this is going to cost."

No date for the work session was established.

Behind closed doors

The council went into executive session about 7:15 p.m., just 15 minutes after the meeting started. City Attorney Mike Kelly and City Administrator Mike Yanez joined the council to discuss attorney-client privilege, land acquisition and personnel issues. When the council returned 15 minutes later, it took no action.

Cleaning extension

Wanda Bjoorgard, Bonner Springs, asked the city for more time to clean up property she and her husband, Ernest, own on the south side of U.S. Highway 24-40 near Laming Road in Tonganoxie.

Several months ago the city requested that the owners clean up several items on the property, including semi trailers, furniture, appliances and other items.

The deadline was Monday, but Bjoorgard and her son, Ed Bjoorgard asked for an extension.

"I would have had it done if we wouldn't have such bad weather," Ed Bjoorgard said.

The council granted the Bjoorgards two more weeks and will decide at the next meeting whether to grant another extension.

"We'll do everything we can to get it done," Wanda said.

In other business, the council:

  • Approved contributing $5,658 to Leavenworth County Development Corporation for annual funding.
  • Approved an engineering contract with BG Consultants for $48,650 for design plans regarding intersection improvements along U.S. Highway 24-40 at Main, Laming Road and 12th Street.
  • Approved staff changes in the police department. Reserve officers Jack Angell and Jeff Howlett were appointed as part-time officers. Each will be paid $12 an hour. Tanya Hawkins, a dispatcher with the Leavenworth County Sheriff's Office, was hired as an on-call police clerk at $11.02 an hour. She will work when police clerk Sandy Koontz is off-duty or on vacation.

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