Archive for Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Council handles a variety of business items

November 21, 2007

Baldwin City Council members approved an agreement for improvements on Sixth Street and to extend the golf course lease, annexed the Santa Fe Trail well into the city limits and bought a new mower at Monday's meeting.

The Sixth Street improvement agreement is with Douglas County because the street is also County Road 1055. The city and county are sharing the cost to reconstruct the street from Indiana Street to the city limits. The city has budgeted $500,000 for the project.

"What if it costs more than $500,000?" asked Council Member Ted Brecheisen Jr.

"That's what we have," said City Administrator Jeff Dingman. "We would have some decisions to make."

The agreement calls for the city to pay half the cost for engineering/design, half of the roadway and storm sewer construction and half of the construction inspection services. The council approved the agreement on a 4-0 vote. Council Member Ken Wagner was not at the meeting.

The other agreement approved was for lease of the Baldwin City Municipal Golf Course that the city purchased several years ago with plans to turn it into a recreation area. No plans have been made for that and the Baldwin Golf Association has been leasing the course for $2,400 a year since then. This year's lease is again the same.

"We make this an annual agreement so we can review it every year," said Dingman.

Before the vote was taken, Mayor Gary Walbridge suggested that there needs to be movement made on the recreation area.

"I will remind the council that this land was purchased for recreation, not to continue as the golf course," said Walbridge.

The possibility of soccer fields being located on the land, which was purchased for around $560,000, was mentioned.

What looked to be the routine purchase of a front-mounted mower turned into quite an exchange between council members. McConnell Machinery of Lawrence had the low bid at $15,891, compared to Baldwin City's Heritage Tractor at $16,899.85. Both tractors, a Kubota and a John Deere, met specifications and city staff had recommended going with the low bid.

However, Council Member Doyle Jardon made an impassioned plea that because the bids were only $1,000 apart, the money should be kept in town. He also pointed out how trips for repairs and other items would make up the difference in price.

"The major factor for me is shop local," said Jardon.

The purchase of the John Deere passed 4-0.

Also gaining approval was the annexation of the parcel of property where the Santa Fe Trail well is located in Palmyra Township. The move gives it a city address that should help tourists to locate it on Washington Street. It also passed 4-0.

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