Archive for Thursday, March 22, 2007

County planning committee taking shape

March 22, 2007

Leavenworth County commissioners have narrowed the list of community volunteers for a new comprehensive planning committee and discussed adding an additional staff member to the county's planning and zoning department.

Last week, planning and zoning director Chris Dunn submitted approximately 40 names for the seven- to 11-member committee, which he said would be tasked with selecting consultants for county development projects in a "citizen-driven process" and directing those consultants and county staff to work to produce a comprehensive land use plan.

With the commission's help, the list of names was pared to 16 by Monday's board meeting, but, because of some geographic imbalances, the list was not finalized.

Dunn said he strove to balance an equal number of people from each commission district on the committee, with two people from rural areas for every person in the cities.

Dunn also stressed the importance of having committee members from all walks of life and not limiting membership, for instance, to just bankers and engineers. While four volunteers currently serve on the Leavenworth County Planning Commission, Dunn said, "I will get you (the board) a broad cross-range of people."

With more than 10 proposals from consultants already in, Dunn said he would like to have the committee ready as soon as possible.

Commissioners also expressed the need to quickly fill an assistant director vacancy in the planning and zoning department and discussed possibly adding an additional position in the coming weeks after a department employee was dismissed Thursday.

"With the transition that has occurred, I think this opens up the possibility of adjusting the department to make the staff more capable," 2nd District Commissioner Clyde Graeber said.

In other business Thursday, March 15, the commission:

¢ Met with developer Robert Conley and engineer Elizabeth Johnson with Aquaterra Engineering to discuss improvements to Evans Road that will accommodate a higher traffic load once private development is finished south of the road.

According to Conley, the county previously allotted $25,000 for the road upgrade. Evans Road has already reached the 300 daily vehicle count necessary for chip and seal resurfacing, Johnson said.

¢ Voted, 3-0, to adopt a procedure for post-offer physical capacity training as spelled out by human resources director Diane Collins.

Collins and commissioners said they wanted to insure that the pre-employment procedures, which include a drug screening, physical examination, and a physical capacity profile do, indeed, follow a job offer so that an offer is not contingent upon successfully completing the procedures.

"I want to make sure that if someone isn't able to pass one of these requirements, they haven't already terminated their position at a previous job," Collins said.

¢ Unanimously approved a motion directing the county clerk to pay a $22,500 bill to Treanor Architects for renovations at the Leavenworth County Justice Center out of the center's sales tax revenue.

In business Monday, March 19, the board:

¢ Further discussed updates to the county's emergency preparedness plan. Commission Chairman J.C. Tellefson reported back from a meeting with the sheriff's office held Friday, explaining that changes must be made to certain sheriff's equipment in accordance with mandates from the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Homeland Security.

According to Tellefson, T-Mobile, a national cellular and Internet services provider, bought a frequency range from the FCC that will interfere with the sheriff's operations.

Tellefson said that changes must be made to four antennas located on three communication towers. The towers are at the Boling center, Tonganoxie and Kickapoo. It is yet to be determined whether T-Mobile or the county is financially responsible for the changes.

¢ Met with county appraiser Donna Graf, county counselor at large Keyta Kelly and information systems director Larry Malbrough to discuss a request by Heartland Multiple Listing Service, a Leawood-based firm that provides real estate information to Realtors and appraisers, for a data feed from the county's parcel subscription service.

According to Graf, a price of five cents per parcel had been agreed upon for the use of the county's real estate information, which equates to a cost of $1,500 per month. Heartland MLS requested specific information on Leavenworth County parcels, including lot size, square footage and tax information but did not request sales information.

"If these people really want the property information, they should have to pay for it," Graf said.

¢ Unanimously rejected a proposal from special buildings director Tim Goetz, who submitted two bids for new doors, drawers, countertops and carpeting for the Basehor and Tonganoxie Emergency Medical Services station.

The commissioners requested that Goetz conduct an official bid process to find more competitive pricing for the renovation.


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