The Baldwin Beacon

Volume 19, February 10, 2021

What if there’s a power outage?

We’ve heard several questions lately regarding the reporting process in case of a power outage.

Here’s what to do:

1. Call the main Public Works phone number to report any issues for any city-owned utilities (electric, water, sewer): 785-594-6907. After hours, listen to the menu options and press * for the answering service.

2. If you have already called, or if the problem is not urgent, you may fill out this form. This option will send your information via email.

3. The City is not responsible for any information you share into local Facebook groups, nor is messaging us on Facebook an efficient way to get service. Please use the phone number as a first line of contact.

On that note, here’s a running list of known power outages and what’s been done to fix them.

January Council Recap

Council meets the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month at 7pm at the Library. Worksessions are the 4th Tuesday of the month, 7pm, at the American Legion. In-person public attendance is currently limited due to Health Department regulations. Public comments for Council Meetings are accepted ahead of time via email to lhartman@baldwincity.org by 7pm Tuesday or letter delivered to City Hall.

The month of January is typically full of routine work for City Council. On January 5th, the agenda included two personnel items, a Cereal Malt Beverage and Tobacco license for KwikShop, an ordinance dealing with how council should approach the repayment of bonded money, and a resolution for the adoption of the Kansas Homeland Security Hazard Mitigation Plan.

The KwikShop license was passed as part of the consent agenda. Both the Personnel Rules and Regulations and the Salary Schedule were passed unanimously by council. The Hazard Mitigation Plan was adopted, and Ordinance 1427 - Repayment of Bonded Monies - was delayed until January 19th pending some wording changes and a request for information from the bond council.

January 19th the Council heard a presentation from the Bauer Building Advisory Group about the proposed community center. The Council is expected to decide whether to put a quality of life sales tax ballot before voters at the February 16th Council meeting. A resolution for the sale of bonds to fund several projects was passed unanimously. All of the projects had received prior approval and several are already complete. Here is a link to the resolution. By the way, you can always find relevant information about each council meeting right here on our website, including the agenda, documents, minutes, and any available video. The Bond Funding Ordinance 1427 mentioned at the January 5th council meeting was brought up again and passed 3-2.

A draft version of the proposed quality of life Sales Tax Resolution was brought before council but no action was taken. Resolution 2021-04 was passed allowing the City of Baldwin City to participate in the Kansas Main Street Program, if selected. Council nominated and voted on a new Council President as they do every year.

Congratulations to Susan Pitts, the new Council President!

Every year City Council is required to appoint the City Treasurer, Judge, Attorney, City Clerk, and Police Chief. Mayoral appointments for 2021 were unchanged from 2020: Glenn Rodden, Treasurer; Dakota Loomis, Judge; Blake Glover, City Attorney; Laura Hartman, City Clerk and Mike Pattrick, Police Chief. A GAAP Waiver Resolution was proposed and passed. City Depositories must be named annually, and per usual, all three banks in Baldwin City were named. As members of the Kansas Municipal Energy Agency, we are required to name city representatives to serve on the KMEA board.

The last item of business in January involved approving the jail inmate agreement with Douglas County. This agreement with the county means Baldwin City transfers all arrests to the Douglas County jail for housing. No inmates are ever housed within the city as we simply don’t have the facilities or staffing.

The January Worksession was a Strategic Planning session centered around Quality of Life. The February Worksession will continue Strategic Planning with the main topic of Economic Development.

Main Street Program Application

The City, Chamber of Commerce, and a committee made up of downtown representatives have applied to the Kansas Department of Commerce’s Main Street Program. The goal, if we are accepted into the program, is to merge the Chamber of Commerce with the Main Street Organization in order to offer support to all of our local businesses. Here are some things we learned:

  • Baldwin City applied for this program twice before, once 25 years ago and once 30 years ago. We think it’s time to try again.

  • There are more businesses downtown than on the highway, with 45 brick and mortar businesses downtown and 39 on the highway by our count.

  • The Main Street Program at a national level is a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and as such is committed to historic preservation and sustainability.

We should know by February 17th if we were accepted into the program, and we’ll relay that information along with next steps.

Library Corner

Cruising Cupboard: The Cruising Cupboard, Just Food's mobile food pantry, is at your Baldwin City Library March 3rd, 10:30-11:30am. Free produce, meat, dairy products and more for residents of Douglas County who qualify for basic assistance or are in current need of food assistance. 

We're Fine Free in 2021: No fines for overdue materials in 2021 thanks to fundraising by Friends of the Baldwin City Library! 

WiFi++: Did you know your library has hotspots & Chromebooks for check out? Connect to the power of the internet--all you need is a library card.

Tax Help Available: The library is now taking appointments for free tax preparation help with our partners at AARP. Limited availability, call the library to learn more. 

Early Childhood Literacy: Check out the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten Program! It's never too early to start reading to your child, and the benefits of doing so last a lifetime. Your library has everything you need to read 1000 books and beyond!