The Flame - December 2010

dura patcher

City purchases new pothole patching truck

New equipment will help tackle road hazards when it is cold outside

This fall, the City of Lawrence Street Maintenance division purchased a new piece of equipment that will help crews in the perpetual fight against potholes. The city purchased a self-contained unit, called a DuraPatch, that mixes the raw materials internally to produce a hot-patch mix that is more efficient and durable during the winter months when temperatures bounce between freezing and thawing on a daily basis.

The city has been looking at ways to increase efforts related to street maintenance. The new DuraPatch system was purchased at a cost of $164,000 and is just one of many ways Public Works is reacting to the maintenance needs of our street infrastructure.

During the winter of 2009/2010 (December 1 to April 1), the city saw a particularly large increase in the number of potholes patched. During this time frame, Public Works crews patched a total of 16,901 potholes and used 646 tons of asphalt and 5,001 work hours in the process. Last winter’s extreme cold and heavy snow wreaked havoc on the roadways and the city diverted funds from other planned road projects to address specific maintenance concerns.

Ready for snow?

Keeping sidewalks clear during snow storms helps community

What is the property owner’s responsibility?

According to the city’s snow ordinance (No. 8324), Lawrence property owners must keep the sidewalks adjacent to their property clear of snow and ice within 48 hours of a winter storm. This ordinance applies to all public sidewalks in the city limits. The city’s snow ordinance was revised in 2008 to strengthen the policy related to property owner responsibilities.

What are the consequences of not clearing your sidewalks?

If property owners fail to comply with the ordinance, a citation will be written. Fines for not clearing sidewalks are $20 for each day the violation occurs, plus court costs, if found guilty of the violation. This ordinance is in place to make public sidewalks safe for pedestrians.

For more information on the snow and ice removal ordinance, contact Development Services at (785) 832-7700 or visit

How can you help others in your neighborhood with their sidewalks?

Able bodied Lawrence residents with an interest for helping others and an enjoyment of winter weather are needed to volunteer for the Safe Winter Walkways program. For several years, the City of Lawrence partners with Douglas County Senior Services to match residents needing assistance with snow removal and volunteers who want to do a neighborly good deed. Volunteers are asked to commit to the entire winter season and visit his or her matched home each time snow falls. This program is an excellent resource for members of our community who physically can’t keep their sidewalks clear during snow events. Volunteers can sign up by calling (785) 832-3338 or register online at

Make the season merry and bright

City offers services designed to help you through the holidays

Yardwaste Man

‘Tis almost the season to recycle your old Christmas tree. After Christmas, please place your live-cut tree at the curb or alley for collection. The trees will be used for wildlife habitat. Please remove all artificial items including tinsel, lights and tree stands. Have your tree set out at the curb by 6:00 a.m.

Collection days: Monday, January 3 and Monday, January 10.

For more information on yard waste or treecycling, please call the Waste Reduction and Recycling Division at (785) 832-3030 or visit

Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department offers several opportunities for families to register for programs and keep busy over the holiday break.

Dec. 27 to Dec. 31
Holiday Happenings
Holcom Park Recreation Center
MTWRF 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Cost - $60, ages 5-12. Must register by Friday, December 24 at 6:30 p.m.

Dec. 31 to Jan. 1
New Year’s Eve Overnighter
Holcom Park Recreation Center
8 p.m. to 8 a.m.
Cost - $30, ages 5-12. Must register by Friday, December 31 at 5 p.m.

Keep your New Year’s resolution - sign up for fitness classes now (classes begin January 3).

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I rent a city facility (i.e. a park shelter, The Community Building or Train Depot?
A: The City of Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department handles all reservations for park facilities and buildings. Call (785) 832-7906 or visit for information on rental facilities and rates.

Q: Where can I find more information on the SmartStar meters that will soon begin appearing in Lawrence?
A: Westar Energy, the local electric utility for Lawrence, will start rolling out their SmartStar meters in 2011. SmartStar is the name of Westar Energy’s new smart energy grid. Homeowners will have online tools available that can help in understanding household electricity use and costs. There is no charge for the SmartStar meter exchange and Lawrence is the first city in Kansas to have the new technology. More information is available online at

Q: Is there an easy way to access online forms for pothole repair, code enforcement complaints and other city services?
A: Yes, the city offers a one-stop web page for the most commonly requested city services. Visit for a list of forms.

Q: How do I report a pothole?
A: The city offers two ways to report a pothole: call the Pothole Reporting Line at (785) 832-3456 or go online and submit the complaint at

Q: Is there a list of the dates the city is closed for holidays?
A: Yes. Visit for a complete listing of the recognized holidays for the city.

Q: Can I pay my water bill online?
A: Yes, the City of Lawrence offers numerous options for online or auto pay. Visit for a list of options.