Archive for Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Bonner to ask state for changes in K-7 plan

October 24, 2012

The Bonner Springs City Council has decided completely abandoning support of the state’s freeway plans for Kansas Highway 7 may not be the best option after all.

But the council agreed that it would ask for several conditions to be met before the Kansas Department of Transportation moves forward with construction of an interchange at Kansas Avenue or 130th Street.

Since the city of Olathe last spring terminated its memorandum of understanding with the state concerning K-7, stating some of the same concerns the city of Bonner Springs has long had, Bonner officials have questioned what they should do regarding the highway’s future. In a workshop prior to its regular meeting Monday, the council and John “Jack” Helin, city manager, covered a proposed resolution to amend the city’s K-7 memorandum of understanding.

“I think it would be best to approach them this way… Rather than be Olathe and just pull out, that we stay at the table with them, that we identify some key things that are important to us, and pass a resolution that says that,” Helin said.

Helin said the city should try to work with KDOT by establishing dates and other triggers that would require the construction of interchanges, because stating that K-7 should maintain at-grade intersections may prove shortsighted in 30 years or more. He didn’t want the city to get in trouble if it attracted a development that supported the need for an interchange.

“It may get to the point where all the sudden, people are sitting here in this room 10 years out and going, ‘We really need this,’” he said.

However, Helin said city officials don’t believe traffic will increase at the rate the state is predicting, with traffic counts based on full build-out projections provided by each city along the highway. In fact, he said, the state’s traffic counts have shown a reduction in daily traffic on the highway in recent years.

“Don’t use these wildly optimistic figures and stick them in your computer program,” Helin said. “ … That’s great, but that’s assuming total build-out in the area, and that’s not going to happen.”

So, the resolution restates the city’s numerous concerns, chiefly that the freeway option could hurt the city’s economy because all of its major sales-tax-generating businesses are located on the highway, and the uncertainty surrounding the state’s plans hurts the city’s ability to attract other developments.

It suggests that the city work with the state to:

• determine a “no earlier than” date before work would begin on interchanges beyond the I-70 interchange,

• determine actual traffic counts that would be reached before any interchange is constructed,

• ensure the Kansas Avenue intersection will not be converted until all other at-grade intersections on the highway are converted, and

• plan for additions and improvements to the street network in and around the intersections to help alleviate congestion on K-7.

The resolution also states that, without a mutually satisfactory revision, the city will terminate the memorandum of understanding.

Council members generally seemed to approve of Helin’s suggestions.

“It’s a reasonable way to address this, where they aren’t saying ‘Oh, well they just don’t want anything,’” Jeff Harrington said.

The resolution will be placed on the Nov. 13 council agenda for final approval.

In the workshop, the council also briefly discussed amendments Helin proposed to the ordinance for private use of public parking lots. Council members George Cooper and Eric Freeman said some of the amendments were unfair, and the council decided to table the discussion until all members were present.

Council members Jack Knight and Racheal Haas were absent from the workshop sessions. Knight also did not attend the regular meeting.

In its regular meeting, the council:

• Heard the mayor proclaim Oct. 25 as Senior Citizen Day in recognition of the Bonner Springs Senior Center’s 25th anniversary, Nov. 11 as Veterans Day and Oct. 22-26 as Kansas Business Women’s Week in the city.

• Approved items on the consent agenda, including the following items added to the agenda: amend the project authority for the 134th Street utility relocation project, a cereal malt beverage license for 7-Eleven, and lower the minimum age for membership of the senior center from 60 to 55 years old.

• Awarded KLINK project bid to O’Donnell and Sons construction for $162,441. The city’s estimated portion of the cost is $43,810. The project will include a mill and overlay of Cedar Street from Front Street to Nettleton and of Gibbs Road from the Wolf Creek bridge to the county line.

• Awarded 6-1 the contract for pedestrian trail, Phase IV, Shadyside to Morse, to Amino Brothers for $179,805. The city has received Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality funds for 80 percent of the cost the city’s estimated portion of the cost is $35,961. Cooper voted in opposition saying he’d rather the city’s portion of funding be spent on sidewalks.

Comments

DaniG 2 years, 1 month ago

"a cereal malt beverage license for 7-Eleven"? Where is there a 7-11 in Bonner? Or is one of the local businesses owned by 7-11?

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Bob_Busk 2 years, 1 month ago

Steve Fitzgerald running for State Senate has been active with communities trying to resolve the K7 corridor and attempting to get the state to work with communities instead of dictating to municipalities the states terms. A recent K7 study didn't even consider Lansing or Leavenworth. Fitzgerald will represent us in Bonner and Edwardsville, his opponent is fixated on the Legends and Piper. It is so important to get a representative that works for us and not seeking to use us as a stepping stone. Vote Fitzgerald.

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Ronald Grover 2 years, 1 month ago

Dear Bonner Springs City Council,

I am not a resident of the city of Bonner Springs however I do hold a Bonner Springs mailing address. Just to let you know, I spend several thousands of dollars in your city each year, from groceries, hardware and garden supplies, restaurants, fuel and etc.

Your callousness towards the safety of your citizens and visitors is astonishing. I don't have the facts and figures but from knowing the area very well I cannot think of a more dangerous intersection in your city. I personally have observed the aftermath of many accidents at K-7 and Kansas Ave. I once even observed one horrific accident happen.

Your attitude to dismiss creating a safer intersection by providing an overpass on a busy highway is pure nonsense. Personally I do try to avoid that intersection when I can due to the danger. What I have seen is that you don't have to be the one that is a poor or inattentive driver to be injured there. The current design of the intersection is fatally flawed.

Your willingness to compromise the safety of your citizens for a loss of sale tax money is shameful. In fact there is no way you can even prove you would lose sales tax money but you cite that reason as fact, unless you have some mystical power to see the future that none of the rest of us possess.

Tell me this, if you could see the future and you saw your loved one bleeding or dying in that intersection would you be voting the same way?

We know from history, there will be someone's loved one lying there bleeding in the future will you be willing to personally explain your vote to them that you were afraid of losing the money from a 10% sales tax rate in that area?

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