Main Street

A new concept drawing of the Public Safety Building proposed for 10th & Main 

Eudora News and Informationwww.eudorareporter.com

In a surprising twist to the saga of where to build a new public safety building, the City Council gave the green light to begin planning for a public safety building to be located at 10th and Main Street.

The difference this time around in putting a new Police/Fire/EMS structure at the cornerstone of downtown is the look and cost of the building. The new proposal is a Butler style building that will have a brick and wainscoating facade.  The picture above is a sample and not intended to be the exact look of the final design.    The cost of the 16,670 square foot building is estimated to be approximately $2.47 million and would require a mill levy increase of 1.72 mills.  This is down from the 2.85 mills that was needed for the original proposal at 10th & Main.

To give some understanding to the cost of the 1.72 mill levy increase, a $150,000 house would have a tax increase of $29.67.  Under the old proposal, the rate increase would have been $49.

The original project was put to a halt back in March 2012 when the City Council made the decision that a 2.85 mill increase was too large of a burden to taxpayers. In the City Council discussions at that time, the Council agreed to look for an alternative location where the could put a less expensive building than the projected $4 million structure that was initially considered.

At Monday’s City Council meeting, Council members Bill Whitten and Ruth Hughs, who took on the task of attempting to  finding a new location, stated that they looked at various locations and talked to some landowners in Eudora since March. According to Whitten, no landowner was willing to sell their property to the city.  Whitten and Hughs did not state any specific names of landowners they contacted or what locations they were interested in.

The next step in this long process will be put the project to bid which, according to City Administrator John Harrenstein, should take about six weeks.

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Eudora News and Informationwww.eudorareporter.com

Reaction was mixed today from various business owners downtown about the cities efforts on snow removal. Mother Nature returned to town overnight, dumping close to two inches of snow on the area.

Several business contacted EudoraReporter.com to complain about the lack of snow removal from parking stalls located on Main Street.  Those business owners, who wished to remain anonymous, stated that while efforts in the past have been fair, they did nothing today to clear the parking spaces. Many business owners depend on these stalls being clean so clientele can easily reach their place of business.   Some business owners we contacted were in fact happy with the efforts and had no complaints at all.

One business owner stated “I don’t know why it hasn’t been done yet. It’s 9 o’clock and we’ve got customers wanting to park and they can’t because of the snow in the parking spaces.”  Another business owner mentioned how, the large piles from all the snow of recent storms keeps getting piled up blocking spaces and walkways and that it really hampers their business.

City Administrator John Harrenstein stated the policy currently in place is that snow removal crews are not called out until two inches of snow has fallen.  “If that is at 3 in the morning, they are called then.” In this case we didn’t get two inches, so the Police and Public Works Department followed procedures in place.”

Harrenstein, who has shown a concern for the businesses in Eudora, paying particular attention to the needs of downtown business in the last few months, said that “I understand that the snow should have been cleaned off and it  will not happen again.  The procedures didn’t work in this case and they will be changed.”

Harrenstein added that one thing that inhibits effective clearing of snow from the parking areas on Main Street are the cars parked in the spaces when it snows. “Police will be making efforts in the future to clear the cars out of the spaces so that we can quickly and easily clear the spaces.”

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Back in October, Grady Walker, Chief of Police for the City of Eudora, sent a note to all downtown businesses explaining that delivery trucks were blocking the roadway and impeding traffic. In that letter, it stated that the Police Dept. would be warning delivery drivers prior to Dec. 1 and start ticketing those still blocking traffic after that time.  A link to the full story is here.

Last week, one of our readers posed the following questions:

Duane: December 15, 2010

I am wondering if the enforcing of the standard traffic ordinances for Kansas Cities by ticketing delivery trucks parked on Main Street in an illegal manner has begun by the Eudora Police since we are now well past the December 1st date mentioned in the article? I still see trucks parked illegally on Main St. to make deliveries. It is one of several traffic problems that need to be addressed on Main St., especially now that there is much more traffic coming thru (sic) town on the County Road, which is also Main St.

We decided to go to the source and get an answer to this question.  We had a conversation with Chief Walker who stated that the situation has indeed improved.

“To date we have not had to ticket any drivers” Walker said. “My concern was for the roadway safety.  So far, the blocking of traffic has not occurred.” He went on to say that “We have been working with the business owners and the delivery drivers to get the trucks out of the lanes of traffic.”

In our personal observations of deliveries downtown, we noticed that trucks now pull over into some of the parking spaces to make deliveries which does not block the lanes of traffic, but will block a few of the parking spaces. We asked Chief Walker if this was permissible. “We would prefer they use the back alley for deliveries, but as long as they don’t block traffic, unload quickly and then vacate those spaces, we are allowing that.”  Walker did also say that he has made sure officers routinely patrol the area and monitor the length of time delivery trucks are on Main Street. “As long as they don’t block traffic and aren’t blocking those spaces for an extended period of time, The Police Department will work with the delivery drivers.”

We would like to thank Duane for the question. If you ever have a question about a previous story or about anything in Eudora, you can either comment on that story or send an email to: editor@eudorareporter.com. We welcome any and all questions.

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The City of Eudora is working towards building a new Public Safety Building. This new building would house Fire, Police and EMS services for the City.  The City of Eudora approached the Eudora School District about purchasing the Kerr Field property as a site for this new Public Safety building.

This option was discussed at the School Board meeting on Thursday night. At the urging of Board President Kenny Massey, the idea of selling Kerr Field was rejected at this time. Massey stated during the meeting that the Kerr Field property is too valuable to let go during a down economy.

“I don’t know that now is the time to be selling that property.”  “The lot value may go back up and if it does, it’s going to be worth a lot more than what it is appraised at now.” Massey said. “That’s something we hold onto until we see what’s going to happen down the road.”

School Board member Belinda Rehmer also discussed the current use of this land. “That property is worth more to a good number of citizens…as green space.  Every single day I see people using that field.”

The School Board did bring up the idea of possibly selling the property located at 10th & Main to the City. This is the location of the old Eudora Middle School.  The building is falling into disrepair and is in need of demolition.  During the discussion, it was brought up that cost of demolition was estimated two years ago to be approximately $190,000. If the city would pursue interest in the 10th & Main property, who would be responsible for demolition would need to be negotiated.

It remains to be seen what the city will do next. Options could include looking at the old Eudora Middle school property or continue searching for another location. We will keep you up to date and informed about any future decisions.

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On Friday, Grady Walker, Chief of the Eudora Police Department sent a letter to all downtown Eudora businesses, explaining that there have been “several” complaints about delivery trucks either parking in the street or taking up several parking stalls along Main Street.

Chief Walker, in his letter, stated that none of the parking slots in downtown can be assigned or saved for particular businesses, nor, can traffic or parking be impeded due to illegally parked vehicles making deliveries.

“Beginning December 1st, 2010, the Eudora police department will begin enforcing the standard traffic ordinances for Kansas Cities by ticketing delivery trucks parked on Main Street in an illegal manner” said Walker.  Walker strongly suggested the businesses utilize the alleyways to the rear of the buildings along Main Street, for deliveries and stop accepting deliveries on Main Street.

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