Saturday, June 9, 2018

Baldwin City Council Discusses Transportation, and Police Station

Kevin Surbaugh

The June 5, 2018 meeting of the Baldwin City Council meeting got started with technical issues as they tried to figure out the new live streaming equipment. It is now possible for residents to watch the council meeting, live on the cities website (, from the comforts of their home or office. Unfortunately, it can only be watched live, the video will not be saved or archived so that it can be seen at a later time.
Mikel Stoops, owner of Three Sisters Inn (1035 Ames) addressed the Council during public comments regarding some things he had learned.  His Bed and Breakfast is listed on Airbnb, and they; according to an agreement with the state are supposed to be paying taxes on any bookings that going through their site. However, Stoops has learned that they are not doing that.
Also under public comments, Matt McClure stepped up to introduce himself to the council as the new recreation commission. Council-member Tony Brown welcomed him to town.

Ashly Myers, Transportation Planner, Lawrence-Douglas County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) introduced the council to the plan her organization had been working for the last couple years.   The Transportation 2040 Plan covers all areas of transportation in the county and is required by a Federal mandate for counties that meet the government's minimum population guidelines. Myers said it cannot be thrown together haphazardly, the plan has to make sense and there must be a real budget to pay for implementing it. To view, the plan residents can visit  She also said that residents could attend an open house for the countywide Bike plan on June 12, 2018, between 5 and 6 p.m. There will also be a bike ride following from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Mayor Casey Simoneau discusses the Police Station RFP.
Photographer Kevin Surbaugh

The council also addressed the RFP for the new Baldwin City Police Station. Two architectural firms submitted proposals on the adaptive reuse of the building at 203 First Street. Jay Zimmerschied, Lawrence who designed the public works building currently under construction and Paul Michelle, Kansas City and is the General Manager of BG Consultants.
Zimmerchied said his proposal would evaluate whether the building could be repurposed or if it would be better to construct a new structure. He did admit that he doubts new construction would be cheaper than repurposing.
Michelle said he would see what it would take to rejuvenate the building to meet Federal standards for a police station while making it fit within the community.  His firm has done police stations in communities across the country.
Mayor Casey Simoneau and the council asked the two to go back and narrow their proposals, as the council is buying this building to repurpose it and not interested in building new.

In other business the council:
  • Unanimously alcohol waivers for the Winefest and the Car Show.
  • Approved on a voice vote of 4-1, a mural grant application.  Council-Member A. J. Stevens cast the dissenting vote. The theme for the new mural is "Welcome to Baldwin City."
  • Appointed a citizen Dog Park Advisory Board that will not be a Council Committee.

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