Baldwin City Council names Smith interim city administrator
On Monday, the Baldwin City Council approved the appointment of Brad Smith to the position as interim city administrator as the council looks for a replacement for the departed Chris Lowe.
Mayor Marilyn Pearse told the council it could from three to four months to fill the vacation position. She said she had narrowed the list of consulting search firms from four to two and would make a decision on which to hire to lead the search this week.
The city’s finical director, Smith has been with the city since 2013. He came to the city from the city of Spring Hill. Before that he owned his own computing and accounting consulting firm in Olathe.
One vacant administrative position in City Hall has been filled with the hiring of Laura Hartman as city clerk. That position has been open since the departure of Anna Keena in June. Hartman comes to the position from the Baldwin school district, where she was clerk of the board and secretary to Superintendent Paul Dorathy. The position of assistant city administrator, open since Collin Bielser left in July to take the position of city administrator Fairbury, Neb., remains vacant.
The council also approved a contract for the annual street overlay project to the lowest of three bidders, Killough Construction of Ottawa, which is the contractor on the current project to realign the High Street/U.S. Highway 56 intersection. Killough’s bid was $131,636 to repave roughly 20 blocks of city streets, or $23,300 less than the next lowest bid from Advance Asphalt.
Baldwin City public works director Bill Winegar said he was very pleased with the bids, which were lower than those from last fall. The streets to be repaved each year are selected from a street inventory the city conducted earlier this decade with the city working up from the lowest-rated streets on the inventory, he said.
This year, sections of Second, Third, Lincoln and King streets near the Oakwood Cemetery as well as the eastern portion of High Street will be repaved, Winegar said.
The council also approved a contract with Professional Engineering Consultants, a firm with offices in a Lawrence and a number of other Kansas towns, for $4,000 to help prepare the city’s application for a low-interest revolving loan from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. The loan would provide $113,000 to replace 8,700 feet of outdated and undersized waterline in older sections of the city. If the city does not receive the loan from KDHE the contract would be null and void.
In other business, the council:
Approved a final plat for the Copper Eagle Addition on the west side of the 200 block of North Sixth Street, or the property on which the The Pink Lady Consignment Shop now is located. Baldwin City codes administrator Tina Rakes said the former farmhouse and surrounding property was never platted when it was annexed into the city. The final plat did not change its current commercial zoning.
Property owner Karen Sue Carlson requested the platting of the lot of just more than an acre in size and has plans for further commercial development, Rakes said. The platting made formal the granting to the city of two easements on the property.
Heard from Councilman Dave Simmons that the public safety committee was proposing restricting parking on streets near Liston Stadium to one side of the street.
Approved a cereal malt liquor license for the Baldwin Academy of Dance and Voice.
Approved the final reading of the voluntary annexation of the Palmyra Township shop and yard.