Archive for Thursday, October 11, 2007

Phase 1 park plans submitted

October 11, 2007

Lansing residents could have an additional place to practice sports, go for a stroll, have a picnic and possibly even watch a Fourth of July fireworks display during Lansing DAZE as soon as next summer.

Plans for phase 1 of the proposed Lansing City Park to be located west of Kansas Highway 7 on Gilman Road were submitted to the City Council at their meeting Thursday, Oct. 4.

Those plans, presented jointly by representatives of McAfee Henderson & Strick and Ochsner Hare & Hare, include four baseball diamonds, seven soccer fields (two full-size, three under-10 and two under-8 fields), at least one pond, a marketplace area, parking lot and a chip-and-seal drive.

Lansing Parks and Recreation director Jason Crum said he hoped phase 1 would give people their first access to the park, would alleviate some of the stress of not having adequate practice space for youth sports and would provide some type of trail experience as well.

Crum said the entire project, to be paid for out of Lansing's share of the 1-cent countywide sales tax, originally was slated for completion in five phases but really will develop as the budget allows.

Phase 1, currently, has a budget of $2.2 million, he said.

Subsequent phases will include a long-awaited aquatic park, a football field at the north end of the park and a permanent home for the Lansing DAZE festivities.

Shannon Gordon, a project manager with Ochsner Hare & Hare, also said the park could feature bocce ball, shuffleboard and play areas for children, too.

Joe McAfee of McAfee Henderson & Strick said phase 1 of the 123-acre park is essentially a mass grading of land and road layout.

Council members' concerns included drainage from the ponds planned for the park.

McAfee acknowledged that the creeks running through the site are the headwaters to Nine-Mile Creek but said a hydraulic analysis was conducted and all drainage will flow into a large box culvert in a safe manner.

"This will actually leave the site better hydraulically than when we found it," McAfee said.

Other concerns revolved around allowing football teams to practice on the soccer fields and tying the park's hiking and biking trail into a citywide trail system.

"Hopefully it won't be stand alone," Crum said of the park's trail.

For the most part, though, council members expressed their satisfaction with the plans laid out before them.

"The overall plan looks good to me," council member Ken Ketchum said. "It's a good start on something we've been looking at for a long time."

Gordon said construction on phase 1 should start Oct. 22, with a completion date tentatively set for July 15, 2008.

"This date could be much earlier," said Gordon, who hinted that the first phase of the park, could be open for Fourth of July festivities. "We're being very conservative with this estimate."

In other business Thursday, the council:

¢ Heard Mayor Ken Bernard announce the resignation of longtime council member Ken Ketchum, who is moving to Hot Springs, S.D.

For over twenty years, Ketchum has served as "an outstanding council member," Bernard said. "He's very loyal, very dedicated. He was willing to do anything that was asked of him to help the city."

Bernard said the city would begin advertising for Ketchum's vacancy, and once applications are in, the council will make a decision on a replacement. On Thursday the council voted, 7-0, to replace Ketchum with Janette Holdeman on the city's space committee.

¢ Heard a fall sports update on the 486 youths who participate in the parks and recreation leagues.

Crum reported that 295 children joined soccer leagues up 34 from last year. The number includes the upper age groups who play with the Leavenworth County Soccer Association League.

Football Commissioner Bernd Ingram said 48 children under 7 years old played flag football this fall. The officials do not keep score in the games, Ingram said, but it's a good chance for them to learn football fundamentals.

Also, Ingram reported, 114 third- through sixth-graders made up seven tackle football teams in the Northeast Kansas Athletic Association's youth football league.

Ingram was pleased to announce that this year, free of charge, parks and recreation will conduct a local punt, pass and kick competition, and that he hopes to get involved in the national NFL Pepsi Punt, Pass & Kick program.

Julie Hawkins, cheerleading commissioner, said her program had about half the enrollment as last year most likely do to competition from soccer.

"Hopefully we can get more girls for next year," Hawkins said.

¢ Pronounced October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

¢ Announced the members of the Lansing Student City Council, led by Brittany Shelton and Sara Logan. They are: Christine Cordes, Kylie Filbert, Kelsey Hoppe, and Rachel Pride (Parks Committee); Lauren Jaqua, Kristen Gould, Kristyn Russell, Melanie Pilkington, Kielin Green and Anisha Patel (Economic Committee); Sarah Thomas, Emilee Taylor and Katie Welks (Library Committee) and Cullen Moriarty (Museum Committee). The Student City Council's adviser is Ben Doll.

¢ Voted, 7-0 (council member Billy Blackwell was absent), to approve two cereal malt beverage licenses for the Women's Division of the Leavenworth-Lansing Chamber Commerce for their Autumn in the Grove event scheduled for Oct. 13 and for the Leavenworth County Co-op.

¢ Voted, 6-1, with Don Studnicka opposed, to amend the zoning at 200 Holiday Terrace from duplex residential to a commercial business designation to allow Lan-Del Water Department to move additional office and storage space behind its current building.

Lan-Del's attorney, David Van Parys, said the "contractor's yard" would store large, metal pipe fittings and would be enclosed by a 5-foot, residential-style fence.

"The idea is to make the appearance very similar and compatible with the adjoining property owners," Van Parys said.

Studnicka questioned whether the building would look like the artist's conception, and Van Parys assured him it would.


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