Archive for Thursday, July 26, 2007

Council OKs park, street funding

July 26, 2007

As Mayor Kenneth Bernard was leaving the dais after last week's City Council meeting, he paused for a comment.

"Ever seen $2 million spent so fast?" he said.

In the span of seven minutes - the shortest council meeting of the year - members approved spending a combined $2.3 million on three projects that have long been in the city's hopper: construction of a new bridge to extend Bittersweet Street from Lansing Middle School to the new Lansing Elementary School on West Mary Street; upgrading a stretch of 147th Street; and designing Phase I of the new Lansing Community Park.

Votes on each of the expenditures were 7-0 with Council member Don Studnicka absent.

Work on the Bittersweet extension is expected to begin sometime in August, after council members awarded a $1.4 million bid to Bryan-Ohlmeier Construction.

Paola-based Bryan-Ohlmeier is the same construction firm subcontracting on the Seven-Mile Creek bridge on Main Street, Public Works director John Young told council members, noting he had "no reservations whatsoever" about doing more work with the firm.

In all, the city received bids from seven firms wanting to secure the Bittersweet job, ranging in price from Bryan-Ohlmeier's low bid to as high as $1.8 million.

The $1.4 million cost to build the bridge, combined with design, right-of-way acquisition, utility relocation and engineering puts the total price tag for the project at $1.625 million. The city is sharing the cost of the project with the Lansing School District through a benefit district arrangement.

City Administrator Mike Smith said construction of the bridge should be completed by March 2008, well before the planned opening of the new elementary school in August 2008.

The 147th Street project, which calls for placing curbs and gutters, plus laying six inches of new asphalt on the road, a nearly mile-long stretch north and south of Dempsey Road, will be done by Linaweaver Construction of Lansing.

Linaweaver submitted the low bid of $685,199 for the project. The cost will be split between the city and Leavenworth County.

Smith said work on 147th Street is slated for this autumn.

The council also awarded a design and engineering contract for the new Lansing Community Park to Ochsner, Hare & Hare, a landscape architecture firm based in Kansas City, Mo. The fee for the contract is $217,300.

Ochsner Hare & Hare was recommended for the job by a review committee composed of Bernard, Smith, Young and Council members Andi Pawlowski and Harland Russell.

The review committee heard presentations and conducted interviews with Ochsner Hare & Hare and Jeffrey L. Bruce and Company, which had prepared the master plan for the park.

Shannon Gordon, who had been a senior project manager with Jeffrey L. Bruce and was a key player in development of the master plan, is now with Ochsner Hare & Hare.

Smith said Ochsner Hare & Hare would be tasked with designing a road to loop around the planned 128-acre park, which is west of the city on 155th Street, along with designing soccer and baseball fields, shelters, picnic areas and trails.

"I think the design will probably take three months," Smith said this week. "We'll probably not turn dirt until after the first of the year."

In other business Thursday, the council:

¢ Approved the quarterly treasurer's report.

¢ Gave individual praise to those involved in Lansing being named No. 88 in a list of the Top 100 Best Places to Live as noted by Money magazine.

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