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Eileen Marshall, chair

 

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Johnson County Library Board

July 2019

Observer: Karen Wulfkuhle

At the end-of-year special meeting:  

At the July meeting, the board approved a Central Staffing and Space Consolidation project at the Central Library in an amount not to exceed $8,707,000 with the intent to use a combination of existing project funds, Public Building Commission debt, and Library reserves. The design process will begin this fall. The project goals are to:

The Capital Library Master Plan calls for replacement of Corinth Library (sometime in 2026) after the Antioch project completion in 2023. The Library Board approved a Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Prairie Village and the YMCA outlining agreement for a market sustainability study to determine options for a shared project.

Read more here.

  • Improve system and branch material flow.
  • Accommodate incoming system-wide staff from Antioch.
  • Create workspaces that facilitate collaboration and allow future flexibility. 
  • Optimize adjacencies. 
  • Split branch and system functions. 

The Capital Library Master Plan calls for replacement of Corinth Library (sometime in 2026) after the Antioch project completion in 2023. The Library Board approved a Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Prairie Village and the YMCA outlining agreement for a market sustainability study to determine options for a shared project.

Read more here.

 

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Lenexa City Council Public Meeting 

Aug. 6, 2019

Observer: Julie Lester

 

Mayor and all city council members were present. There were also about 200 citizens in attendance, primarily to protest the closing of the Ad Astra pool at the end of the summer season of 2019. The meeting primarily consisted of two city employees outlining the history of Ad Astra, particularly highlighting the severe maintenance problems that exist at the site. 

The expensive maintenance is due to three reasons, but primarily to a poor initial design and  construction flaws caused and exacerbated by the poor decision to build on landfill instead of solid ground. The ground simply has never been strong enough to support a structure this size. There have been a string of costly renovations over the years and none of them actually fixed the problem of the pool settling, cracking concrete and breaking pipes. The repairs and maintenance are far beyond the expense of the other pools. 

Second, it would be very expensive to make the site ADA compatible. For example, to do so, the city would have to raise the level of the entire parking lot. Finally, attendance at the pool is down, when compared to other Lenexa pools, or neighboring Shawnee. There were 9,201 visits last year, and 62 percent of those were daycares that the city arranged to come because the pool was usually not busy. Only 1,195 visits were from Lenexa citizens. Ad Astra, Lenexa’s largest pool, only accounted for 21 percent of  attendance at all Lenexa Pools.

The Aquatics Study commissioned by the city supports but did not determine the decision to close. 

The site will remain a public park with many possible options, including trails, fitness stations, community gardens, a splash pool/park and other possibilities.

Public comments, particularly those representing the neighborhoods surrounding the pool, were  passionate about Ad Astra. The Lenexa City Council voted to consider the cost to build a new pool on the site. 

Read more here.

 

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Olathe School Board

Aug. 1, 2019

Observer:  Cindy Hicks

 

The Olathe School Board held their regular monthly meeting on Aug. 1, 2019.  

  1. A public hearing will be held on Aug. 22, 2019 for the financial budget to be presented and approved by the board. The school district is proposing a Base Aid for Student Excellence of $4,436 per student. This is the highest it has been since 2009 fiscal year when it was $4,400 per student. The proposed Local Option Budget mill levy is $70.537, which is slightly less than the previous year. The budget needs to be filed with the county clerk and the Kansas Department of Education by Aug. 25, 2019.
  2. During the public comments period, four individuals spoke regarding the Tyson Distribution Center use of anhydrous ammonia, a hazardous chemical, for refrigeration in its distribution center. This distribution center is located next to the Olathe School District Activities Center. The individuals are proposing that Tyson switch to a CO2 cascade system, which could potentially reduce the use of ammonia by 90 percent. The individuals wanted to ensure the board was aware of this potential risk (a dangerous ammonia leak that could affect the Activities Center) and of a proposed solution.

To read more, click here

 

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Prairie Village City Council

Aug. 5, 2019

Observer:  Eileen Marshall

 

Notable items:

  1. A representative of KCP&L presented a follow-up study on the reliability of the power grid in PV and actions that have been taken to improve it. Details on next steps are due in the fall.
  2. The council approved the budget for 2020. The mill levy remains the same at 19.314.
  3. Somerset Drive from 83rd to Roe will be closed for about two months for the flood mitigation project. Roe from 63rd to 67th is being completely replaced and will be closed for some time. A map of road closings is available on the city website.

To learn more, click here.

 

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Board of County Commissioners

August 2019

Leonore Rowe

 

Aug. 8:  The BOCC adopted the Fiscal Year 2020 budgets including those for the Library District and the Park and Recreation District. The vote was 5 to 2, with the opponents concerned about the “dark store” lawsuits and over-taxation.

Aug. 15:  Commissioner Becky Fast made a statement about the “public comments” portion of the agenda. As an observer for the League, I attend most meetings and am able to see how the commissioners interact during the meetings. I find the meetings interesting, but I know that the public does not get the sense of the entire meeting from the video because many of the comments are not on the tape. And the minutes do not reflect the comments made during the meeting.  

If you are near downtown Olathe, do watch the progress on the new courthouse. It has reached its full height and much of the exterior coating is in place. The public will now be given a chance to make comments on the design of the “public square” which will result after the existing courthouse is demolished.  

Read more here.