City Council Briefs
Pool construction contract approved
Construction of a new Tonganoxie pool took another step closer to starting as the Tonganoxie City Council voted Monday night to accept a contract from a Lenexa company to build the new pool.
The council voted unanimously to accept a $2,387,200 contract from Prosser Wilbert Co. of Lenexa for the demolition of the old pool and construction of the new pool.
Jim Sullivan of Palmer/Sullivan Architects, the pool's designers, attended the meeting with Ford Bohl of Bohl and Associates, to announce the bids.
Sullivan said he was "ecstatic" the bid came in under budget.
Because the initial base bid came in more than $600,000 under the voter approved $2.99 million, the council also accepted some alternate amenities that added $22,200 to the cost.
These amenities included a textured concrete surface for the wet areas of the bathhouse and changing rooms and possible indoor-outdoor carpeting for the office area. It also included a $10,000 irrigation system to water landscaping surrounding the pool.
Along with the design contract, furnishings and equipment and the upgrades to Pleasant Street, the total cost of the project is expected to be around $2.38 million.
Skate park deadline sought
Frank Merrick, father of a local skater, approached the council during open agenda to first thank the council for including $100,000 for a new skate park and ask that a deadline be set for finding a suitable location for the park.
"But one thing I would like to is set a deadline so we don't keep putting it off, putting it off, putting off. I would like to set a deadline for us to find a place," Merrick said.
The council along with Tonganoxie Mayor Mike Vestal and City Administrator Mike Yanez agreed the biggest problem in a skate park is finding a location for it.
Yanez also suggested city staff meet with those interested in the new skate park to plan all of the amenities and features so a footprint and parking plan could be developed to see how much land a new skate park would need.
Yanez said city staff would try to set up such a meeting within the next 45 days.
Post office petition forwarded
John Evans brought forth a petition signed by 96 different business owners and employees along Fourth Street showing their support for keeping the post office downtown.
"We the undersigned are patrons of the United States Post Office of Tonganoxie, Kansas. We are submitting our signatures to protest of the removal of the post office from downtown Tonganoxie, Kansas. We believe a downtown location provides a safe, secure and convenient service for out postal needs and oppose the proposed relocation," Evans said as he read from the petition.
Evans passed around pictures of the buildings on the corner of U.S. Highway 24-40 and Kansas Highway 16.
"On my way to work every morning, I look at this all the way down the street. I tell you the downtown can end up looking like this corner. This is what can happen in a little town, " he said.
Bonnie Sivyer spoke in agreement with Evans.
"Why did we spend all of that money to make downtown as beautiful as it is, and now we have run out every business it has. I hope that the council and the planning commission will take into account what is happening to our downtown area when they are giving out permits for highway development and other development that is throwing business outside of the downtown area."
"It's real obvious to everyone sitting down that downtown is bleeding. And we need to start developing an action plan to stop the bleeding."
City Administrator Mike Yanez said said the possibility of building a new annex might not work out financially for the Postal Service. The city, he said, does not have he political "muscle" to keep the annex on the table.
The council accepted the resignation of full-time police officer Dustin Holladay. In a letter to Tonganoxie Police Chief Kenneth Carpenter, Holladay wrote that he was resigning his position to pursue a job as a Border Patrol agent.
Carpenter attended the meeting and said there was enough money in his budget to fill Holladay's position and a 10th full-time police officer position that was approved for 2007.
Carpenter recommended Jeffrey Stoker to be hired as a Range 7, step D officer at $15.96 an hour. Stoker has had 17 years of experience as a police officer with a Metro Squad certification, FBI sniper certification and Swat certification. Stoker joined the Shawnee Police Department in 2002.
Carpenter also recommended Thomas Wiles to be hired as a Range 7, step B officer at $15.19 an hour. Wiles has two years of experience as a police officer as well as experience as a detention officer for the Leavenworth County Sheriff's Office.
Tonganoxie Mayor Mike Vestal appointed the two men to the Police Department.