Archive for Thursday, January 4, 2007

Council posts are available

January 4, 2007

Three of the five positions on the Baldwin City Council are up for election this spring. Two council members announced they'd run for re-election at Tuesday's meeting, while a third held off.

"It's still the first of January," said Ted Brecheisen, Jr., declining to say whether he'll seek re-election.

Council Member Tony Brown didn't hesitate.

"Oh, yeah," said Brown of running again. "Why do I not? That's the question."

Council Member Nancy Brown even took it a step further.

"Yep," said N. Brown when asked if she'd run. "I should have the paper work in by the end of the week."

Candidates have until Jan. 23 to file for the election. That is done at the Douglas County Clerk's office in Lawrence.

Winners of the April election will join Mayor Gary Walbridge, Council President Amy Cleavinger and Council Member Doyle Jardon. Those three won election two years ago. Cleavinger was the lone incumbent to win.

There was little action taken at Tuesday's meeting. There was no new business or old business on the agenda. Council members needed to approve the consent agenda to get the bills paid. Otherwise, the council wouldn't have had to meet.

The Tuesday meeting was necessary because of the holiday on Monday, when the council usually meets. It will be the same situation at the Jan. 16 meeting, which is moved to a Tuesday because of the Martin Luther King holiday Jan. 15.

Council members did ask about two ongoing projects, the restoration of the Women's Bridge and the new playground equipment being built next to the Baldwin City Municipal Pool. The Women's Bridge is on High Street between 10th and 11th streets. During the project, streets will have to be closed during certain times.

"The masonry people were here today," said City Administrator Jeff Dingman. "I'm not sure what they did. Bill's (utility director Winegar) guys were outside putting the (playground) equipment together."

"The Legos?" asked Cleavinger.

"Yeah, it's fun," said Winegar.

City crews are putting in $56,000 worth of playground equipment. Currently, they are working on the section for 5-11 year olds. When that's complete, the playground equipment for younger children will be added.

Council members also asked about progress on the Downtown Project, a $1.2 million project that will put new sidewalks and other items downtown. Dingman said it should go out for bids soon.

"The timeline for the downtown project should be this month for bids," he said. "They'll start as soon as possible."

There have been some changes to the project and they must be approved by the Kansas Department of Transportation, which is paying for 80 percent of the project.

"They do need to give us the thumbs up," said Dingman. "The changes we've made will hopefully scale down the cost."

He was also asked about the full-time fire fighter position, which was budgeted for this year. Dingman said the job description is still being worked on. When that's finished, it will be advertised.

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