Archive for Thursday, March 27, 2008

City Council allocates DAZE revenue to prisons museum

March 27, 2008

As warm weather approaches, Lansing City Council members are already looking ahead to the lazy 'DAZE' of summer.

The council discussed, in a regular meeting Thursday, March 20, how excess revenue created from the annual Lansing DAZE festival would be allocated to the city's Kansas Regional Prisons Museum fund.

Lansing economic development director Nolan Sunderman said $49,000 out of the city's economic development budget would fund this year's festival, which, in turn, would create roughly $15,000 in revenue to be added to the prisons museum fund, according to current projections.

Council member Harland Russell questioned whether the $15,000 leftover was an accurate measure of excess revenue.

"It seems that at a minimum, we would factor some level of the staff's participation and the overtime we're paying to staff members at least in the actual function of working the festival, we would use that in our cost before we start declaring profit," Russell said.

Smith acknowledged that the festival - held in May - would require roughly four hours of work from 50 to 60 city employees as well as a "tremendous" amount of volunteer work, but, he said, "To make it run the way we have liked in the past, we have to use staff."

Council member Tom Smith called the issue "an accounting drill."

"We're going to pay our city staff for the amount of work they do for a city function," he said. "The city function is a vehicle by which we put some money into the prison museum fund."

Tom Smith further noted that Thursday's discussion in no way called into question the council's support for a regional prisons museum in general.

Mayor Kenneth Bernard also pointed out that no city-sponsored events are run for profit.

Ultimately the council voted, 5-2 (with Russell and Billy Blackwell opposed and Don Studnicka absent), to allow excess funds from Lansing DAZE to be diverted back to the museum fund.

Russell maintained, however, "I think we're running the risk of not truly knowing : truly what the cost is to run this."

In other business Thursday, the Council:

¢ Met in special session and voted, 4-3 (with Dee Hininger, Janette Holdeman and Andi Pawlowski opposed), to appoint William Taylor to the 10-member Lansing Planning Commission.

Taylor will assume a vacancy left when Tom Smith was appointed to the City Council in December 2007.

The retired Army officer is a 16-year resident of Lansing with a background in strategic planning, programming and resource management.

"I bring over 25, almost 30 years experience to the planning," Taylor said. "As an Army officer, that's what we do: we plan and we execute. We're very methodical about it. I've worked programs at the Pentagon and also here that were in excess of millions and millions of dollars."

Also applying for the position were longtime Lansing resident Paul Lamborn and former council member Rick Dodson.

The planning commission meets the third Monday of each month at 7 p.m. at Lansing City Hall, 800 1st Terrace.

¢ Adopted, 7-0, a resolution supporting Lansing PRIDE as the city's official entrant in the Kansas PRIDE program in 2008.

¢ Approved, 7-0, the purchase of a zero-turn mower for the public works street division from Bonner Springs-based Coleman Equipment Inc., at $11,350.

¢ Voted, 7-0, to allow Mike Smith to continue discussions with the Lansing School Board in regard to the hiring of a School Resource Officer for the district.

¢ Heard Council member Dave Trinkle commend the number of Lansing High School athletes who have signed with colleges recently.

¢ Heard Tom Smith remind those present to attend a Lansing Educational Foundation Fund breakfast and fundraiser on Friday, April 11.

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