Archive for Wednesday, February 28, 2007

City council briefs: Property cleanup extension OK’d

February 28, 2007

Property cleanup extension OK'd

The city agreed to extend the deadline for Ernest and Wanda Bjoorgard to clean up property they own on the south side of U.S. Highway 24-40 near Laming Road.

Wanda Bjoorgard and her son, Ed, asked the council at the Feb. 12 meeting for an extension. The city requested that the Bjoorgards, who live in Bonner Springs, clean up several items on the property, including furniture, trailers, appliances and other items.

The family has made significant progress in the clean-up, but was granted an extension because of the recent inclement weather.

During the discussion, council member Ron Cranor opened up a copy of the Feb. 21 edition of The Mirror and held it up in front of him.

He started to read an article in which the county, and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, addressed concerns about items on the Bjoorgards 13-acre homestead on Loring Road in Bonner Springs. The site contains empty chemical drums, trailer remnants and trailer debris. The county agreed to help KDHE in the cleanup of the potentially hazardous material.

"I know it's nice to help people out at times, but from what I know and what I've observed these people drag their feet on every issue they're involved with in clean-up," Cranor said. "They have demonstrated to KDHE and the county that they're unreliable as far as their ability to clean up their problems

"I just want to make that statement. If you want to make the extension that's fine."

Council member Jim Truesdell responded to Cranor's comments.

"As far as we're concerned they're making progress," Truesdell said. "They did take a long time to get to this stage but they're near completion."

Parade committee updates council

Kathy Graveman and Cheryl Hanback, co-presidents of Tonganoxie Chamber of Commerce spoke to the council about its progress in fundraising for the St. Patrick's Day parade, which will be March 17.

Graveman and Hanback showed the city their costs and revenue for the annual event. A fund-raiser meal recently was held that included an auction that raised nearly $1,000, according to the group's financial numbers.

The group still is seeking donations to cover costs, which total about $1,725.

The council agreed to allocate $425 for float awards, the same amount the city offered last year.

Hanback said the biggest cost comes in booking bag-pipers for the event. The fee is $850.

"People say it makes the parade," Hanback said about the bag-pipers.

In addition the Tonganoxie High School video department will film the parade.

Last year, Sunflower Broadband Channel 6 covered the event. However, this year the Tonganoxie parade falls on the same day as the Lawrence parade and many others.

Council member Velda Roberts asked Hanback whether the traditional green stripe would be painted down Fourth Street before the parade.

"I don't know how that happens, but it happens," Hanback said.

The council also approved a special-event permit for the parade itself.

Special meeting scheduled Monday

The Tonganoxie City Council have scheduled a special meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in council chambers to discuss the Fourth Street Phase III project, Pleasant Street sidewalks and the Pleasant Street bridge, and Tonganoxie bridges in general.

At Monday's council meeting, members voted to conduct a special meeting this Monday. But, assistant city administrator Kathy Bard said Tuesday that Brian Kingsley of BG Consultants, the city's engineering firm, had a schedule conflict and wouldn't be able to attend.

The meeting was rescheduled so he could attend, Bard said.

BPU loan agreement wins approval

Council members approved a loan agreement with KDHE to provide funds for the anticipated water line connecting the city to the Kansas City, Kan., Board of Public Utilities.

The original ordinance stipulated that the loan would be for $3 million. Monday, the council increased the loan agreement amount by $7,519 to reflect the correct amount of the loan.

The city is not required to use the entire loan, Bard told council members.

Council member Jason Ward announced that one of his relatives is working with BPU on a project. He checked with city attorney Mike Kelly about whether that would pose a conflict of interest.

"As long as it's not a financial impact on me, it's not a conflict," Ward told the council. "I'm not going to consider it as a conflict."

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