Archive for Wednesday, April 5, 2000

City briefs

April 5, 2000

Library board action tabled

The Baldwin City Council tabled an ordinance that would allow one member of the Baldwin City Public Library board to live outside of the city limits.

Members of the library board attending the meeting said they did not oppose the ordinance, but wanted the opportunity to discuss the change at a board meeting. Action on the ordinance was tabled until the library board meets April 25.

City Administrator Larry Paine said some of the names suggested to Mayor Stan Krysztof for appointment to the board lived in rural Baldwin. The ordinance allows one member to live within the city limits or within a five mile radius of town.

"It's an opportunity to recognize people who are contributing to the library, but don't live in town," Paine said.

The Baldwin City Planning Commission also allows one member to live in rural Baldwin.

"I don't think people who live outside Baldwin and use the library are going to be detrimental to the library," said council president Marilyn Pearse. "It might be good."

City joins town clean-up

The Baldwin City Chamber of Commerce is initiating a beautification of the community through the planting of trees, gardens and encouraging good lawn care.

The city is joining in the community clean-up by preparing to enforce city codes relating to abandoned vehicles, condition of yards, condition of structures, collection of debris, low-hanging branches, and the height of weeds and lawns.

Just driving through town city staff members Terry McKinney, Bill Winegar and Jim Tarwater noticed about 180 violations. Property owners in violation of city codes will be notified by letter and given at least a month's time to correct the violation. Uncorrected violations will be cited, and the property owner will be requested to appear in municipal court.

A fall community clean-up day is being planned in advance of the Maple Leaf Festival. The city will place dumpsters around town for the collection of trash, and will provide for the collection of other items, such as tires.

USD 348 request sent to committee

A request from the Baldwin school district to receive a lower electric rate will be discussed during a joint meeting between the city's Utility Committee and the school board. A date for the meeting has not yet been set.

The school district has requested it be included in the city's commercial classification for electric rates, which would save the district about $1,000 a month. The district is currently being charged a rate for business.

There are currently no customers charged the commercial rate, which is designed for industrial businesses.

City Administrator Larry Paine said he will be reviewing the city's electric rates soon, and would have some information prepared prior to the joint meeting.

Truck purchased for power plant

Council members agreed to the purchase of a $19,100 pickup for use by city utility director Terry McKinney.

McKinney and Bill Winegar shopped for the truck, comparing prices, and decided on a Ford F-150 from Beckman Ford in Garnett.

Council members approved the truck purchase, but requested it be paid for from the general electric fund, and not from the sale of a generator as was presented to them. Funds from the sale of the generator are being used to replace a cooling tower at the power plant.

Street dance approved

The City Council approved a street dance from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, April 28, west of the intersection of 8th and High streets. The Phi Mu sorority at Baker University is organizing the family-oriented dance. The sorority plans food and game booths and the event is a fund-raiser for the Children's Miracle Network.

Pool operations change for summer

The City of Baldwin and the Baldwin Recreation Commission plan to share responsibilities of the city pool this summer.

City Administrator Larry Paine said it makes sense for the recreation commission to be responsible for a recreational activity. An agreement has been proposed and should be presented to the City Council at the April 17 meeting of the council.

According to the agreement, this summer:

The city would provide a certified gas chlorine operator to handle gas chlorine operations; provide maintenance of the filtration system; provide major maintenance and repair of the facilities, and will underwrite the operation expense of the pool by $32,000.

The recreation commission would administer the operation of the facility, including personnel, programming and general daily maintenance duties. The commission will also provide an instructional program of swimming lessons and water aerobics.

The recreation commission would collect all revenues from the operation of the pool and be responsible for paying all operational expenses of the pool, including payroll, operational supplies, cleaning supplies, program expenses and telephone.

The city would waive costs for water, sewer and electricity.

"We would have people who are experts in recreation doing recreation, not the city clerk and other city staff," Paine said of the change that has been discussed since last winter. "That makes a lot of sense."

Next summer, the recreation commission would take full responsibility of pool operations, Paine said.

"As the city is the owner of the facility, we have to have the contractual ability to say, 'You are not doing what you are supposed to,' and pull operations back under the city banner," Paine said. "We don't expect that to happen."

Golf cart driver requests law review

Gailen Murray, Baldwin, requested the City Council review its laws regarding golf carts Monday night. Murray is legally blind and started driving a golf cart, which he can see well enough to drive.

Murray said he stopped driving the golf cart after he was stopped by a Baldwin police officer for driving a golf cart as a vehicle. He said he would like the council to allow golf carts on Baldwin streets, and noted that Baker University employees drive golf carts on campus and in the downtown area.

Murray said he used the golf cart to drive to and from work.

The council forwarded the request to the city's Public Safety Committee, which is scheduled to meet at 7:30 p.m. Monday at City Hall.

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