The Baldwin Beacon

Volume 20, March 10, 2021

Happy March! We have some great news for Baldwin City this month.

February Council Recap

There was only one council meeting in February due to the extreme cold. Council met February 2nd to work through a short agenda.

The agenda included cereal malt and tobacco licenses for the new Casey’s store, the approval of general obligation bonds, a presentation from the Lawrence-Douglas County Metropolitan Planning Organization on the Safe Routes to School Plan, and submitted bids for two new trucks for the Electric Department.

The licenses for Casey’s were approved under the consent agenda. General Obligation Bonds were approved for sale/issuance through an ordinance and adoption of a resolution. These bonds are intended to fund several projects, all of which had received prior approval and several are already complete. As always, you can find relevant information about each council meeting right here on our website, including the agenda, documents, minutes, and any available video.

The presentation from the Lawrence-Douglas County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) on the Baldwin City Safe Routes to School Plan is available at this link. City Council approved the plan.

Council voted to accept bids for two trucks for the Electric Department: an F250 pickup at $35,555.00 and an F350 pickup in the amount of $33,426.00, both from Laird Nollar Ford. These vehicles will replace 2 older trucks.

After committee reports, Council adjourned at about 7:20pm. Here is the entire video.

The Council met again for a work session on February 23rd to continue Strategic Planning with the main topic of Economic Development.

Sidewalk Gap Project Approved for Transportation Alternatives Grant

On February 19, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly and Kansas Department of Transportation Secretary Julie Lorenz announced the awarding of $13.5 million for 18 projects selected for inclusion in its Transportation Alternatives (TA) program for Federal Fiscal Year 2022-23.

“The projects we announced today will help our communities make the kinds of improvements that will ensure that Kansas remains the best state in the nation to work, live, and raise a family,” Governor Kelly said. “These are projects that make it safer for children to walk and bike to school, they will add sidewalks for Kansans to walk, bike or use a wheelchair, and they continue to build on our efforts to improve access to our state’s many outdoor recreational opportunities.”

Baldwin City was one of the projects selected. The Sidewalk Gap Project received $620,000 to construct a 5-foot wide, concrete sidewalk, including ADA accessibility along four (4) road segments: 1) 11th Street (westside); 2) Quayle (northside); 3) 2nd Street (eastside); and 4) High Street (northside), according to Ed Courton, Community Development Director.

More information on this project is available here.

Blackouts Avoided for Baldwin

City power plant employees worked 12 hour shifts 24/7 throughout the energy crisis in February to keep the lights on in Baldwin City. Thankfully our power plant engines are dual-fueled - they can run on either natural gas or diesel. Even though natural gas was extremely expensive throughout the crisis, we were able to obtain and use diesel fuel.

At this time, city administration does not anticipate a large increase in power prices to customers. Citizens should be aware that March bills will likely be higher than normal due to the painfully cold weather we experienced.

Baldwin City Joins Kansas Main Street

Atchison, Junction City, and Baldwin City are the three new communities welcomed into the Kansas Main Street Program this year. No new communities have been added for a number of years, so this is an exciting event. We’re thrilled to roll our sleeves up and get busy making an even bigger difference in our community with the aid of this no-nonsense program that’s been around since the 1980s.

Here’s the full scoop, from the Department of Commerce.

Left to right: Scott Sewell, Kansas Main Street Director; Glenn Rodden, Baldwin City Administrator; Casey Simoneau, Baldwin City Mayor; Governor Laura Kelly; Cory Venable, Baldwin City Councilman; Lynn Hughes, Baldwin City Communications Director; Lieutenant Governor and Commerce Secretary David Toland.

City Clerk Retires

City Clerk Laura Hartman has retired, effective March 12th, 2021. Please feel free to wish her well via any of our social media accounts, or email her.

City Seeks Mowing Bids

The City of Baldwin City is requesting bids from mowing contractors to mow private property for the Baldwin City. A mowing company must be able to mow high grass and remove trash and other debris as part of the mowing service. This will be an on-call service for the City.

All interested parties will need to download and submit a Contractor Proposal form by following this link. The form can also be obtained from the Public Utilities building located at 1015 Orange Street. Incomplete forms will not be accepted for consideration.

The successful bidder will mow the 2021 season. Submit proposals to Ed Courton, Community Development Director by email ecourton@baldwincity.gov. First review deadline is 5:00 pm, Friday, March 26, 2021.

The City of Baldwin City reserves the right to reject any and all proposals received and is under no obligation to award a contract as a result of this bid.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Ed Courton at 785-594-6427.

Baldwin City Library Corner

Free Covid testing is available at the Baldwin City Library every Monday morning in March, between 9am and 1pm, located at 800 7th Street. No appointment necessary. Results should be available in about 48 hours.

Laptops & hotspots available

Laptops and hotspots available for check out at the library — all you need is a library card. Call or come by for more information. 785-594-3411

Lucky Library Leprechaun

Lucky Library Leprechaun on the Loose: Connor O'Reader, Library Leprechaun, is hiding around town. Take a photo with Conner with your library card and bring it to the library for a colorful surprise. Don't have a card? Come by and get one. Lucky you, your library is full of resources you can access with this card.

Calendar

  • March 16, City Council Meeting

  • March 19, Warm Up in Sullivan Square

  • March 23, Council Work Session

  • April 6, City Council Meeting