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Observer Corps

Jill Quigley, chair


Observer Corps reportsPrairie Village City Council

May 6, 2019

Eileen Marshall

Notable items:

  • The Arts Council will host the first “Chamber in the Chambers” event on Friday evening, May 17. This is the first in a series of chamber music concerts to be held at City Hall.
  • Talks continue with the YMCA and the Corinth Library regarding the feasibility of a new Prairie Village community center encompassing all three organizations.
  • Republic Services made a presentation regarding the continued deterioration in the market for recycled materials and the resulting increase in net cost for curbside recycling. The existing waste-hauling contract with the city assumed a profit for selling recyclables, but Republic is now paying recycling facilities for the right to drop those materials. The current contract insulates the city from this expense, although Republic has asked for a small increase to cover part of the added cost. No action was needed or taken at this meeting.

The minutes and board packet can be viewed online.


Observer Corps reportsJohnson County Library Board

May 10, 2019

Karen Wulfkuhle

The Library Board is considering three options for consolidating system-level staff services at the Central Library location, with costs ranging from $2.6 to $8.3 million. The project is intended to improve material flow and incorporate system-level staff from Antioch. Action will be taken in June.

The Memo of Understanding between the Library and City of Merriam has been approved, allowing work on the new Antioch Library to begin. The Library will be located adjacent to a new Merriam Community Center.

The Library and City of Prairie Village have agreed to discuss possibilities for a future Corinth Library.

The Library Foundation Board reported it has launched a planned giving campaign.  

The board report can be viewed online.


Observer Corps reportsWaterOne Board

May 14, 2019

Jim Quigley

The committee received change orders and engineering reports of construction projects that are progressing or nearing completion, including the Lamar Pump Station and a new ozone water treatment facility.

The AWC (average daily winter consumption) measurement period ended in April. The general manager reported the steady decline in AWC for WaterOne residential customers, from 200 gal/day in 1990 to 135 gal/day in 2019. Concern was expressed that the current usage is 6 percent under budget.

A report was received of charitable activities of WaterOne, including a food drive and the recent Tower2Tower run, which raised money for “Water for People.” A legislative report was presented, which indicated that water projects throughout the state have once again started receiving state funds of several million dollars a year, required by statute, after the previous state administration had suspended them for several years.

View a detailed agenda online.


Observer Corps reportsJohnson County Parks and Recreation Board

May 16, 2019

Cynthia Stephens

The interest rates on Certificates of Participation offerings have been adjusted thus resulting in a $105,000 savings.

Paul Snider requested the reduction of the purchases of bike-share bicycles from 102 to 70. The cost for the 102 bikes from Drop Mobility would have been $81,600.00.

The ADA Self Evaluation and Transition Plan for Capital Improvement Program funding provides $332,400 for 2019, and $2,329,820 for 2020-2026.

The Shawnee Mission Park cell tower should provide $32,000 of revenue for JCPRD.

The Children’s Services Employee Benefit Fund, for OST (out of school time) for 36 Olathe schools, is budgeted for $4,333,686. Forty-six employees and 42 seasonal workers will be hired.

The board is requesting a 0.6 mill rate increase in capital outlay from Johnson County to advance outdoor athletic facility improvements. Projects totaling $22.37 million have been removed from the 2020-2024 CIP (Capital Improvement Plan).

The budget of $77,062,973 is paid for with $43,938,814 from taxes and $33,124,159 (43 percent) from non-tax money. The 2020 budget was approved by the board commissioners and will be reviewed by the Johnson County Board.

Next month, there will be a discussion about allowing motorized bikes, especially class 1 motors (up to 20 mph) and class 3 motors (up to 28 mph) on JCPRD trails. JCPRD is requesting public comments.

The monthly report can be viewed online.


Observer Corps reportsJohnson County Community College Board of Trustees

May 16, 2019

Roberta Eveslage

The board recognized the Student Senate President (Tiger Harris-Webster) for receiving the Student of the Year Award, and thanked him for coordinating many student events during the year.  

The college legislative lobbyist, Dick Carter, described many events of the session, including finishing the session on time. The Kansas Supreme Court will hopefully accept the increases in school spending legislated this year.

The board also discovered some additional funds not categorized and discussed whether to use the money to lower tuition for next year or lower property taxes. They decided to lower property taxes.

The board packet and minutes can be viewed online.


Observer Corps reportsLenexa City Council

May 21, 2019

Becky White

Board recommendations: Special use permits for three businesses were renewed, preliminary plans for a place of worship on 101st Street between Sunset Drive and Theden Circle were approved, a rezoning request and preliminary plan for a self-storage facility to be built at 88th and Long streets were approved after discussion of recommendations for rear facade and landscape changes.

Public hearings: A public hearing was held and resultant ordinance approved to vacate a public right of way and easement in Pine Ridge Business Park.  

New business:  Approval was given for a change order request in the amount of $132,000 by McCown Gordon Construction for additional concrete and several minor modifications at the Lenexa Fleet Maintenance Facility, which is currently under construction.

A Lenexa city code was amended to allow drinking of beer and wine at four additional city parks:  Ad Astra Park, Buffalo Meadows Park, Matt Taylor Park and Electric Park. On these properties, alcoholic liquor is permitted at private events if event organizers obtain a city-issued alcoholic liquor permit and rent a shelter for private use. Parks previously allowing alcohol consumption are Sar-Ko-Par and Black Hoof. The city code was also amended to ensure it is aligned with recent changes in state law regarding temporary permits and the consumption of alcohol in public places.  

Business from the floor: A Lenexa resident objected to the plan to move the playground at Heritage Forest Park on 83rd Street west of Pflumm Road. The playground is moving from a site south of 83rd Street to a site on the north side of 83rd Street. The parks and recreation department  director responded by saying the new area is more visible and more accessible and that the old equipment had reached the end of it’s safe use. No change was made in plans for the playground.

View the agenda and minutes.