Archive for Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Council approves funding for skate park

September 17, 2008

It's been talked about in the monthly meetings at the Tonganoxie Public Library, and more recently, inside the Tonganoxie Council Chambers. But what was once considered just a half-pipe dream among local skaters is now becoming a reality.

On Monday night the council unanimously voted to award a contract bid of $83,171.80 to Meadows Construction Inc., to build phase one of the Tonganoxie Skate Park. Council members Steve Gumm and Jason Ward were absent from the meeting.

At $101,049.80, the total cost of the project is expected to be just over the budgeted $100,000 for the first phase of the park. The council voted to approve the construction under the condition that the skaters fund the difference.

Bill Jones, who was representing the skate group Monday, said the skaters already had that money waiting in a bank account and they would be able to pay the difference the following day.

Mike Yanez, the city administrator, said Meadows Construction was ready to start at any moment.

The new park will have features like a steel grind rail, a concrete plaza and a fire extinguisher.

Nearly 17,000 visit water park

The final numbers are in and it looks as though the Tonganoxie Water Park was just as popular as people expected.

On Monday night, Darren Shupe, the water park manager, gave his final attendance report to the Tonganoxie City Council. In the two months the pool was open, around 16,873 attended. This included the 362 persons who attended on the opening day and the 358 people who attended on the closing day.

July 21 set the attendance record at 583. The park averaged around 325 guests per day in the 52 days it was open.

"I'm overwhelmed by these numbers," Mike Yanez, city administrator, said. "That makes me proud. Everybody in this room deserves a pat on the back for creating a success story."

During his season summary, Shupe mentioned how there were some things that needed to be worked out for next season, such as maintaining the umbrellas during windy days, but overall he was happy with the new park and his staff.

"The atmosphere there was really positive compared to the previous 10 years," he said. "We get compliments daily."

In his reports, Shupe stated the biggest complaint people had was not being able to use the slides when their swimming suits had metal rivets. Shupe said people would still try to get on the slides despite the rule being posted right on a sign before the stairs to the slide. He hopes this will be less of problem as the years go by and people adjust to the rules.

"It was a great start and end for this water park," Shupe said. "We look forward to having a full season next year. All of the variety of areas from the spray ground to our diving boards : it met everybody's needs and everything was utilized."

Shupe also handed out a special certificate to Councilmember Jim Truesdell, for "outstanding attendance rate for a city councilmember."

"We thank you for your business," Shupe said as he handed him the certificate. "He does have a good back flip too," he joked."

In other business, the council:

¢ Listened to a quarterly update from the Leavenworth County Port Authority. Dan Gutshall, land search committee chairman for the port authority was asking the Tonganoxie City Council to participate in their search for a new industrial park site. Three other sites including an 87-acre tract in Basehor, a 160-acre site in Lansing and a 78-acre track in Leavenworth. The Tonganoxie site is for 237-acres.

Gutshall told the council the port authority was on a pay-to-play philosophy so Tonganoxie would have to fund 50 percent of the engineering to be considered for the industrial park. The city decided to hold off on agreeing with the port authority until it could renew the option the land's owner has with the city to purchase the land.

¢ Listened to a quarterly report from the Leavenworth County Development Corporation.

¢ Unanimously agreed to enter into an agreement with Huffman Corridor Consulting to acquire easements for the third phase of developing Fourth Street.

¢ Unanimously agreed to have the city public works crew install a new 6-inch water line to service the new Tonganoxie Recreation Commission baseball fields. The recreation commission would reimburse the city for $14,883.06 for the parts and materials. The city also requested that the commission expend the money for any equipment rental.


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