Archive for Wednesday, June 13, 2007

At joint meeting, future domnates discussion

School district, city officias talk about plans for growth

June 13, 2007

Plans for a school bond issue and how the proposed new facilities fit with city expansion were among the major topics at a joint meeting Monday of the Basehor City Council and Basehor-Linwood School Board.

"This meeting is intended to get everybody on the same page," City Administrator Carl Slaugh told those gathered.

Basehor-Linwood Superintendent Bob Albers talked about the need for new school facilities.

"At the present time all we know is we want to propose a bond election to the public to build some new facilities because we are experiencing some overcrowding," Albers said. "One of our major concerns is that we make sure that we have sewer services to whatever sites we select."

Slaugh explained that the current wastewater treatment plant's capacity is about 650,000 gallons per day and the city is treating 560,000 gallons per day. He said construction of the expansion of the plant should take about two years.

He also pointed out areas on the city map where sewer lines were not available and asked when a more specific site for school facilities would be chosen.

Albers said that would most likely occur within the next six months because the district wants to have the bond election this fall, however there is no specific timeline for selecting a site.

Council member Jim Washington suggested the school board turn to the city's comprehensive plan for guidance when selecting a site. He also said leaving voters in the dark about where facilities would be specifically located might hinder the chances of passing the bond issue. But Randy Cunningham, school board president, said the board would continue to be cautious about releasing such information.

"We don't want somebody to anticipate that we will be buying land from them and then have the prices go up," Cunningham said. "We have to be really careful about what we do here. Do we have some sites in mind? Absolutely."

The city also shared information about road work under way in the community, including the half asphalt, half chip-and-seal Hollingsworth Road project from Kansas Highway 7 to 147th Street and improvements to 147th Street and Parallel Road.

The possibility of working with the Basehor Police Department for a school resource officer also was discussed. Albers said the school district was exploring different avenues regarding a school resource officer, including working with the Basehor Police Department and the Leavenworth County Sheriff's Office.

"We are thinking it seems to work better to work with the county since some of the schools are outside the jurisdiction of the Basehor Police Department," he said. "But, we are still in discussions with both agencies."

Eight board members, including Eric Dove and Jeane Redmond, who will begin their terms July 1, were present at the joint meeting, along with Albers. Council members Terry Thomas, Terry Hill and Washington were present, along with Mayor Chris Garcia, Slaugh and Planning Director Dustin Smith.

Both groups agreed to continue to meet as plans progress.

"I think we need to continue visiting," Albers said. "When we come up with a plan, we'll visit with you about your comprehensive plan. But, we have two communities involved and we need to serve everybody."

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