Council adds one more site for police station consideration
The Tonganoxie City Council agreed Monday it would not consider more proposals for the city police department’s new home other than the six on the table before that meeting.
Council members acknowledged the decision would put the council in the position of considering three sites BG Architects was now evaluating for suitability and the cost of remodeling or construction — the former Annie’s Country Jubilee building, the closed video store at 302 Shoemaker Road and city-owned property at Third and Main streets — along with three buildings offered since that study was authorized last month. Those properties are the old post office downtown, the building across the street on the northwest corner of Main and Delaware streets and — as of Monday — the building on Laming Road in the Urban Hess Industrial Park owned by Steve LaForge.
Last month, the council voted to establish Monday’s deadline because of the need to make progress on the search for a new police station, based on a proposal from Councilman Dennis Bixby.
That leaves six buildings in play, three of which the council will not know the cost to remodel, Bixby observed.
Mayor Jason Ward said that was true but said the deadline was needed so the council could make progress. The council could now review the study results — which could be available at its Dec. 27 meeting — and use those numbers to make a decision on one of those sites or to consider whether one or more of the other sites should be studied, Ward said.
In other action, the council:
• Approved a 3 percent cost-of-living pay raise for city employees for 2012. Councilman Chris Donnelly voted against the increase.
• Approved the hiring of Kent Magnussen as a full-time police officer to replace Jeremiah Howell, who resigned.
• Was approached by Lisa Patterson about eliminating the no-parking zone on the west side of Shawnee Street during school days, which was approved before school started in August. She said the ban didn’t allow parents to do such things as unload musical instruments, drop off food for class parties or — in her case — deal with a child’s toilet mishap without being ticketed.
The council’s consensus was that the change had made the street safer but that it would be revisited in April, during which time changes that could be made during the summer construction season would be considered. Furthermore, Police Chief Jeff Brandau said selective enforcement of the parking ban would continue.
The council did, however, agree to work with Kansas University engineering students, who at Patterson’s request will study the site in the spring semester for improvements
• Appointed Nick Hoegler and Ken Freemyer to the Tonganoxie Planning Commission.
• Listened to four teenage members of Transforming Tonganoxie Together explain a program that will place stickers on beer and wine coolers sold at two local liquor stores warning of the consequences or providing alcohol to minors.
• Approved 2012 cereal malt beverage licenses for Caseys General Store, B&J Thriftway an C&P Country Market.
• Agreed to seek request for proposals from those interested in farming part of the undeveloped industrial park south of the city.
• Paid under protest to the Leavenworth County Appraiser $8,452 for half the taxes due on the industrial park.