Archive for Thursday, April 13, 2006

City hires point man for Main Street questions

April 13, 2006

Lansing's point man for questions and concerns about the Main Street System Enhancement project has been hired and will be on the job next week.

Ken Miller, a former public information officer with the Kansas Department of Transportation, will begin his duties as the Main Street public liaison on Wednesday, April 19.

"His main job will to be out there, on site, to help the businesses along Main Street," said City Administrator Mike Smith.

Miller won appointment to the two-year post from a pool of about 25 applicants, Smith said. From that pool, five applicants were interviewed.

"I'm very impressed with him," Smith said. "He knows how things work on both sides of transportation issues, and he has contacts and knows how to get things done."

For the past two years, Miller has been executive director of the Midwestern Innocence Project, an organization whose mission is to free those who are wrongly convicted and incarcerated.

After serving as a public information officer with KDOT from 1995 to 1998, Miller was executive director of NASCO, North America's SuperCorridor Coalition Inc., a group that promoted Interstates 29 and 35 as a trade corridor.

He said he was looking forward to returning to work in the transportation sector.

"I've got a lot of transportation background," Miller said, "In Kansas and in a lot of the state DOT's public involvement has become more important over the years in road projects. This is a chance for me to get back."

The liaison is intended to be the city's point man to deal with inquiries from everyone from City Council members to the media to the public about the $13.3 million Main Street System Enhancement project.

The project calls for widening Main Street from Connie to Ida streets to include a center turn lane, rebuilding the bridge over 7-Mile Creek, reconstructing medians from Gilman Road to Ida Street and constructing a "reverse frontage road" north of West Mary Street to West Kansas Avenue.

Miller's first day on the job coincides with KDOT's bid-letting for the project.

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