Public Safety Building

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Eudora News and Informationwww.eudorareporter.com

Pull those running shoes out of the closet after a long and snowy winter and get ready for the Wild Over Wellness 5k hosted by the Eudora Lions Club.  It will be held at 8:00 am on Saturday, March 29.  Check in begins at 7:30 am at the new Eudora Public Safety Building, 10th & Main in downtown Eudora.

If you’d rather have a root canal than run 3.2 miles, you can still participate.  Put on your walking shoes and stroll a one mile course or the whole 5k. You can bring your leashed pet, your kids or your baby in a stroller.  You can even ride your bike if you prefer.  And here’s the best part: if you register by March 12, the cost is only $20 (or $25 after that date.)  What’s not to love about this, especially if it’s a nice, sunshiny spring day?  (Neither Eudora Reporter nor the Lions Club is making any guarantees about the weather, especially after the crazy March we’ve had so far.)

Like everything sponsored by the Lions Club, the race is for a good cause.  All proceeds from the event will be used to buy equipment for Eudora’s parks.  After the race there will be a bike rodeo with a helmet giveaway and a health festival with free vision screening.

Register today by calling Audrey Bell at 785-230-2185 or online at www.eudoralionsclub.webs.com.

While we’re on the subject of the Eudora Lions Club, let me tell you a little more about the organization.  Because it’s a quiet, behind-the-scene entity, you might not know about all the good it does in our community, though you have probably enjoyed the annual pancake feed the group puts on each year.

The mission statement of the club is “We serve,” and that is exactly what its members do.  They sponsor Angel Tree and provide food baskets during the holidays.  They collect used bikes and send them to the prison in Leavenworth to be refurbished so they can be given away.  They do eye screening, and even provide eye exams and glasses for those in need.

All of that is done with only about 10 members of the community involved in the club.  When I asked Lions Club member Dr. David Barnhart if they would like to have more members, he said a very emphatic “yes!”  President Tina Jinkins added, “The more the merrier.”  Anyone in the community is welcome to join.

While the club is made up of mostly people in their 30’s and 40’s, Bob Slaper is an exception.  He has been a member of the Eudora Lions Club since October 1955, just four years after the club was founded.  Seems like that might quality for Guinness World Records!Statue5PS1

Slaper feels like the club’s biggest accomplishments have been in getting the Eudora City Cemetery directory completed and put in place in 2005 and in getting the statue of Pascal Fish and his daughter Eudora installed downtown in 2007.  “The statue was the biggest project we ever did,” said Slaper.

If you would like to know more about the Eudora Lions Club or how to become a part of this worthy organization, contact president Tina Jinkins at tmjinkins@gmail.com or Brian Nyp at 785-691-6417.

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Public_Safety_Building_Ribbon_CuttingCity Officials cut the ribbon to open the new Eudora Public Safety Building on Saturday, July 27. Pictured (l-r) City Manager Mike Press, Commission Tim Reazin, Mayor Ruth Hughs, Commissioners Jolene Born and John Fiore (photo by Eudorareporter.com Managing Editor John Schulz)

Eudora News and Informationwww.eudorareporter.com

City Officials cut the ribbon and opened the doors of  the new Eudora Public Safety Building Saturday morning. Several former Police and Fire Chiefs along with dignitaries from Douglas and Johnson County as well as a large contingent of citizens were on hand to witness the dedication of the new building.

Mayor Ruth Hughs described the new facility as a huge step forward for Eudora.

“Today is a milestone day for the city,” Hughs said. “This building represents our present and our future.  It makes a statement that the citizens of our town deserve the best in police and fire protection.”

Acting Fire Chief Pete Feyerabend was amazed how good the building turned out.

“This is pretty magnificent,” Feyerabend said about the new station. “It great that the community and the City Commission stepped up to provide this fantastic facility which will allow both the the Police and Fire Departments to better serve all the residents of Eudora.”

Feyerabend was filling in for Eudora Fire Chief Ken Keiter who was out of town due to family commitments.

The Fire and Police Departments were most recently housed in a much smaller and, as determined by an independent evaluation, very substandard building at 9th and Main Streets.

 Stream_Crossing_Dedicaion_CeremonyCity Commission members assist with the christening of the Fire Station portion of the new Public Safety Building (photo by Eudorareporter.com Managing Editor John Schulz) 

After the speeches by various city dignitaries, the firefighters displayed several age old traditions when opening a new firehouse. As Feyerabend explained to the audience on hand, it is traditional for a new station to be christened with two hoses on either side of the bay doors and have the streams cross together in the middle to form an arch. A baptism if you will, of the new building.

Fire_Truck_Push_Dedication CeremonyMayor Ruth Hughs helps with the long standing tradition of manually pushing the truck into the bay of the new Fire Department (photo by Eudorareporter.com Managing Editor John Schulz) 

Another of the traditions dating back to the years before gasoline powered trucks were invented, was the citizens of a community would help push a fire truck into the station backwards since the horses that would draw the carriage could not walk backwards.  Saturday, with maybe a slight bit of assistance of the combustion engine, the City Commission and several firefighters pushed Engine 1232 into it’s new permanent home at 10th and Main.

The Eudora Public Safety Building has been in the works for nearly three years. Former City Administrator/Manager John Harrenstein along with then Police Chief Grady Walker and Fire Chief Chris Moore began planning for a new building in the summer of 2010. All three worked behind the scenes to make the new building possible. Sadly, none of those three were able to be in attendance for the dedication on Saturday.

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Public Safety Building Construction accident SceneEMS crews assisting the injured worker at the Eudora Public Safety Building construction site on the morning of January 30, 2013

Eudora News and Informationwww.eudorareporter.com

A construction worker that was injured in January at the site of the New Public Safety building at 10th and Main in downtown Eudora has made significant improvements..

In an interview with Eudorareporter.com, the fiancé of the injured worker gave us an update on his condition.

“Keith is back home now and doing really well,”  fiancé Sarina said. “He was in Overland Park Regional Hospital for 8 days and then spent two weeks at a rehab center in Lincoln, NE.”

Keith, who did not wish to have his last name identified in the story, fell approximately 10 feet from an iron girder into the concrete basement of the building on a cold and  icy morning January 30.  According to Sarina, it was likely that he was unconscious before he hit the ground.

“Keith does not remember the accident at all and no one else knows how he did it,” she told us. “Other workers there think that when he slipped he hit his head on a beam which knocked him out.”

Sarina reported that Keith’s progress in the rehab center surpassed expectations.

“He’s doing really well and healing up nice,” she told us. “He was only in the rehab center two weeks.  Initially they thought it would be two months or possibly more, but he was progressing so quickly, they let him go early.”

Sarina also said Keith was looking forward to returning to his construction job as quickly as possible.

Following the accident, several Fire Department members took up a collection from city employees to assist the couple with expenses.

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Public Safety Building Construction accident Scene

 EMS crews working at transporting the injured worker at the Eudora Public Safety Building Wednesday morning (photo courtesy Sydney)

Eudora News and Informationwww.eudorareporter.com

One worker was injured this morning at the construction site of the new Public Safety Building at 10th and Main Streets in Eudora.

According to Eudora Police Chief Bill Edwards, a worker fell from the metal beams on the first level of the construction project into the basement of the building.

“He apparently lost his footing on one of the beams and slipped on the ice,” Edwards told us. “It was about a 15 to 18 foot drop to the concrete floor.”

Rain and snow fell during the day yesterday continuing into the early morning hours creating the slick conditions.

Edwards said that the construction worker was transported to Lawrence Memorial Hospital by ambulance and described his injuries at the time he was transported as serious.  Police were not releasing the name of the injured worker and there was no word as to his current condition.

As we get more information, we will update the story.

 

 

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Eudora News and Information www.eudorareporter.com

Story by George Diepenbrock, courtesy The Lawrence Journal-World

As Eudora Police Chief Grady Walker sits in his department’s conference room next to Fire Chief Chris Moore and City Administrator John Harrenstein, he’s talking about how cramped both agencies are in the current 8,000-square-foot building.

Then, suddenly, he points to an out-of-whack door frame in the corner. “A prime example,” Walker said.

Some time earlier, a ladder on a fire truck in the garage that’s just on the other side of the wall smacked and damaged the frame.

“The truck did that,” Harrenstein said, because there’s so little space to park the fire trucks as firefighters back them into the bay in the station.

The story illustrates one finding of a 2010 audit of Eudora’s fire department, he said, that revealed the space in the city’s public safety building is too small to safely house heavy fire trucks. The bumpers rest only inches from the wall in the building, 840 Main St.

But that and other issues with the building will be changing soon. Eudora’s City Council last week approved bonds to fund a $2.84 million public safety building two blocks to the south that will double space for both departments. Construction is expected to begin in September at 10th and Main streets, home to the old Eudora Middle School, which was razed last year. The city hopes the project will take eight months.

“By building a new facility, we’re going to attract more members. We’re going to retain more members,” Moore said, which is critical for the volunteer department. “We’re going to provide better quality training.”

The new building will also take care of the space issue for the fire trucks. It includes four drive-thru bays and more room for volunteer firefighters to stay the night comfortably and for training. It will also include an exhaust fume relief system to allow crews to start the trucks inside once they get ready for a call.

City leaders wanted to package improvements for Eudora police into the project as well, primarily because the department has its own problems with crowding on its half of the current building.

Walker said most of their rooms fill multiple purposes. There are lockers for the officers in a hallway, and many times when victims or members of the public come to make a report, they first meet with officers in the front lobby while other people come in to make payments with the municipal court clerk’s window a few feet away.

“There’s just no privacy,” he said. “We’re crowded, and it’s going to be able to free up a little more space.”

The departments do like being able to remain in the same building together, and municipal court will also be held in the new building instead of at city hall, meaning officers won’t have to leave the building to appear in court.

Harrenstein said the city considered both a smaller version and a more expensive new building at $4 million before arriving at the current project. He also said city leaders believe it’s important that the new building will remain downtown, both to emphasize a commitment to revitalizing downtown and to not affect response times to fire, medical and police calls.

The council approved the new project to pay off the bonds with a 1.5 mill property tax increase, which according to the city would cost the owner of a $150,000 to $200,000 home an extra $30 to $40 per year more in taxes.

“Especially in these times we don’t like to raise taxes,” Harrenstein said. “But for the services that they are providing, the city council and the staff felt that we needed to give them a space to do their jobs well. I think it sort of recognizes the commitment to public safety in the community.”

Eudorareporter.com Editor’s Note (courtesy the City of Eudora):

In an effort to provide citizens with information regarding the new public safety building, the police chief and fire chief are conducting tours of the existing building to explain why a new building is being constructed.  These tours will take place on July 30th, August 6th, 9th, and 16th.  Tour time will be from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  The goal of the tours and open house is to answer questions the public has about the proposed project and allow citizens to examine the current deficiencies of the existing station.

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