Week ending October 10, 2008


Building Permit Report

Building permits, fees and valuation for September 2008 were down from September 2007 numbers. Year to date permit numbers were also down. Year to date permit fees and valuation, however, have increased. Permits for single-family dwellings were higher in September 2008 (22 permits) than September 2007 (5 permits), but year to date numbers are still down (85 for 2008 compared to 123 at this time in 2007). Please see the attached report for more details.


Flashing yellow arrows

The Traffic Engineering Division recently implemented a new traffic signal display for “permissive” left-turn movements. It is referred to as a Flashing Yellow Arrow and has been installed on Louisiana Street at 19th Street for northbound and southbound traffic. Future installations planned in Lawrence include 6th Street at Vermont Street and 31st Street at Home Depot/Post Office, as well as at all new traffic signals with permissive left-turn phases. Please see the attached report for more information.


T-Mobile pursuing communication pole at Holcom Park

Last February, Sherri Edward of T-Mobile contacted Parks and Recreation to inquire about leasing and installing a stealth communication pole in Holcom Park. Ms. Edward presented the concept to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board at their March 11 meeting. The Advisory Board approved the concept as long as it was bird friendly and recommended the monies from the negotiated lease be earmarked for Parks and Recreation. Because Land and Water Conservation monies were used in the construction of Holcom Park Sports Complex, the department began communication with the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks to gain approval (see attached letter). The City received approval from the Department of Wildlife and Parks late last month. The area T-Mobile is proposing to lease would be a small area where there is currently a light pole. In the agreement, T-Mobile will replace the left field pole on Ice field and enclose their equipment by fencing and landscaping (see diagram). T-Mobile will be submitting all the necessary site information to the City’s Planning and Development Services Department for zoning requirements. 


Update on street projects

§         Traffic calming projects: Project Engineer David Cronin prepared the attached report on traffic calming projects completed on Lawrence Avenue between Harvard and 9th, at 18th and Louisiana, and on 18th between Maine and Missouri.

§         W. 17th overlay. See attached photos.

§         W. 6th Street break out and patch. See attached photos.

§         E. 23rd Street break out and patch. See attached photos.



City’s website is runner up in National Association of Government Webmasters 2008 “Pinnacle” Awards

The City of Lawrence’s website,, was selected as a runner up for the National Association of Government Webmasters Pinnacle Web Award (see award website) last month at the NAGW Annual Conference in St. Charles, IL. NAGW’s Pinnacle Awards are given to local governments for websites based on content, organization, design, function, accessibility, standards and interactivity and team size.


The backend development and architecture of the City’s website is maintained by Eric Gruber, eGov Coordinator, with the aid of Web Content Developers who post content within each department or division as follows: Bobbie Walthall, City Manager’s Office; Cristiane Possar, Administrative Services; Cynthia Colbert, Jennifer Kortlucke and Scott Wagner, Legal; Emily Lubliner, Transit; Heidi Nelson, Finance; Jeanette Klamm, Utilities; John Williams, Information Systems; Kathy Richardson and Stacy Warner, Waste Reduction and Recycling; Kipp Connell, Police; Rachel Palmer, Fire Medical; Renee Yocum, Planning and Development Services; Roger Steinbrock, Parks and Recreation; and Tammy Bennett, Public Works.


City employees organize food drive benefiting Ballard Center

On Friday, October 3, City employees delivered food and cash donations to the Ballard Center (see attached photos). City departments had been collecting food donations throughout the week, and the donations were supplemented with cash donations raised by a “Sno-Balls” give away fundraiser.


Sporting News names Lawrence a top sports city

Lawrence was recently ranked #15 on Sporting News’ list of best sports cities. All of the cities ranked ahead of Lawrence are major metropolitan areas, and Lawrence is the highest ranked Big 12 Conference city (excluding Boulder, which was grouped with Denver).


Division Chief Rich Barr Appointed to NFPA Committee

Division Chief Rich Barr has been appointed as the Principle International Association of Fire Chiefs representative to the National Fire Protection Association’s Northcentral Region Fire Code Development Committee. This nationally recognized committee is instrumental in developing fire codes that will be used across the country. Barr was appointed by the IAFC President Larry Grorud, chief of the Janesville, Wisconsin Fire Department. The mission of the international nonprofit NFPA, established in 1896, is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education. The world's leading advocate of fire prevention and an authoritative source on public safety, NFPA develops, publishes, and disseminates more than 300 consensus codes and standards intended to minimize the possibility and effects of fire and other risks. NFPA membership totals more than 81,000 individuals around the world and more than 80 national trade and professional organizations.


KU students studying economic development strategies

Through a contact with Mayor Dever and the KU School of Businesses, staff is working with a group of students, “Jayhawk Student Consulting” to look at various potential economic development strategies for Lawrence based upon successful strategies employed by other similar communities.   The project will be underway over the next few months and will be completed by mid-December.  The students will provide the City with a report at the end of the project.  The City and students will be working with the Chamber of Commerce and Douglas County as appropriate.  The services do not come with a direct cost to the City, but the City may provide a contribution to the Jayhawk Student Consulting Program at the option of the City at the end of the project.