Archive for Thursday, January 5, 2006

Mayors look forward to new year

Basehor, Linwood officials outline work

January 5, 2006

In Basehor municipal government, priorities include hiring new employees for key positions and fine-tuning project plans. Its southern Leavenworth County neighbor, the city of Linwood, has its mind's eye on completing construction of another lagoon cell, implementing a municipal court system and advertising itself as a player in the growth market.

Bring on the new year, mayors of both cities say.

In interviews this week, Basehor Mayor Chris Garcia and his counterpart in Linwood, Steve Campbell, indicated that this year the majority of government attention will focus on following through on blueprints developed by city officials last year.

"With all the things we're trying to get done, I don't think we can throw another thing into the fire," Garcia said.

"This is a good city, a good place to live and have a business," said Campbell in a test run at promoting Linwood as an up-and-coming locale for residential and economic growth.

Once a new city administrator and director of community development are hired in Basehor, Garcia said, city officials would shift focus to implementing a revised version of the city's comprehensive plan. That could be placed before the council for a vote in late February or early March. Also on the 2006 agenda is completing a revision of an emergency management plan, a project begun in late 2005.

"I don't think anybody wants to see that sit on the shelf," said Garcia, adding that city officials would give the new plan a "mock trial" of sorts shortly after its completion.

Campbell said the immediate agenda for Linwood entails overseeing the completion of a third sewage lagoon cell, a long-standing $225,000 project that could be finished by the end of January.

"That's going to be a big deal for this city," he said. "The additional hookups will allow for more population."

Sewer treatment problems are also a pressing issue for Basehor. City officials there spent numerous time and dedicated a dozen or so meetings to considering remedies for the sewer plant, which is nearing capacity.

The mayor said council members, representatives from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Larkin Group, a private consultant hired to analyze the treatment plant, soon would dedicate time to "coming to a conclusion" about the future of the sewer plant.

And, like fruit from a tree, further plans for 2006 -- namely planning and orchestrating new economic growth -- will spawn from the cooperation between council members, department heads and the new administrator and director of community development, the mayor said.

"There's a lot we all have to get to," he said.

Linwood, which witnessed one of its most successful years of new-home construction and business development in 2006, will turn its attention to updating water lines, expanding its commercial base and setting up a municipal court system.

"(Municipal court) will give us more teeth on our ordinances," Campbell said. "It'll help us get the town cleaner and that will help us increase the tax base."

"The first priority is improving the water quality," said Campbell, who noted that city officials have routinely fielded complaints regarding poor water and pressure.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.