City council approves annexation of 42 acres of land
Baldwin City took the first step to getting bigger Monday at the city council meeting, but it’s not huge growth.
The Baldwin City Council approved the annexation of three tracts of land Monday on first reading. Council members will vote again in two weeks for the final stage of bringing the 42 acres of land into the city.
The tracts are the Pioneer Cemetery (20.35 acres) southeast of town, the Brunellie property (14) on the southwest edge and the Baldwin School District property (7.5) where the soccer field is now and a practice track will be built.
“First is the Pioneer Cemetery,” City Administrator Jeff Dingman said. “This is property the city acquired from the Baldwin Cemetery Company. This is technically an island annexation, but as city-owned property, a cemetery no less, it is appropriate for the property to be annexed.
“Since the property is owned by the city, state statute authorizes us to annex it, even though it is not contiguous with existing city limits,” said Dingman.
Gino Brunellie owns the second parcel, which surrounds two cemeteries located near North 200 Road and East 1600 Road. It is adjacent to the city limits and is on the south side of the Midland Railroad tracks.
The school district’s property is north of the high school and existing ball fields. The annexation will help with plans to upgrade the area to city standards, not county.
“The property is surrounded by city limits on three sides and is where the (school district) soccer field is located,” he said. “The new practice track and varsity soccer field approved as part of the district’s bond issue are going on this property.”
In other business, the council approved unanimously a three-year lease agreement for the Santa Fe Depot building with the Santa Fe Trail Historical Society.
“We’ve done a one-year agreement with them for the last three years and I’ve asked that we do it once every three years and they agree,” said Dingman.
The only other business item was to re-appoint Dingman as a representative to the Kansas Municipalities Energy Agency.
The council did hear from concerned resident David Simmons regarding the need for a sidewalk to be built to the Signal Ridge subdivision which would join it with schools and the downtown. The council said it would be taken under advisement.
“I’m just looking to get discussion started,” said Simmons, adding that a trail from the subdivision to Douglas County State Fishing Lake would be even better.
“Jeff (Dingman) and I have talked about it, Ken (Wagner, council member) and I have talked about it and we’re excited about it, but the funding is the question,” said Mayor Gary Walbridge.
“It’s my intention to bring this up at the community development committee,” said Wagner.