CITY MANAGERíS REPORT

Week ending December 2, 2017

 

 

LED Lighting Issue Follow-up

At the November 21, 2017 meeting, two citizens expressed concern about the color temperature of LED lights that were recently installed by the City as part of the energy efficiency upgrades and also the LED street lights that are being switched out by Westar. They requested an ordinance requiring all future installation to be below a color temperature threshold. As part of the City Managerís report on the November 7 meeting, staff provided a report, which compiled information submitted by citizens and input from Westar.† The 4000K vs. 3000K color temperature issue is an emerging issue that has recently been intensified by research in the transportation and medical fields as well as media coverage. Driver and pedestrian safety is a primary interest regarding all aspects of the transportation system. Traffic control practices and infrastructure are subject to standards that serve the safety of drivers and pedestrians. Transportation industry standards continue to support use of 4000K color temperature LED fixtures because they provide better visibility and detection distance compared to alternatives.

 

Westar has replaced lighting fixtures on half of the 3,900 street light poles in Lawrence. The operation involves installing new fixtures when old bulbs burn out. In addition to replacing the burnt-out fixtures, they also replace old fixtures on surrounding poles while they are on site (for operational efficiency). When they install the new fixtures, Westar tries to maintain the same lumens as the old bulbs were originally capable of producing. People certainly notice when the new fixtures are installed though because in most cases the old bulbs were burnt out and the surrounding bulbs were dim because they were at the end of life. The leaves have fallen in most neighborhoods, which reduces the natural shielding by the urban forest. Brightness and light intrusion issues are typically exposed in the autumn and winter seasons and Westar is responsive when they receive concerns this time of year. Of the roughly 2,000 fixtures that have been installed in Lawrence, Westar and the city have received around five complaints about unintentional light intrusion or brightness and each was promptly resolved by installing shielding. The brightness issue has been the primary feedback the City has received and those issues are different than the color temperature concerns.

 

Staff does not recommend pursuing an ordinance on this matter at this time.†

 

Housing Study to get underway

Earlier this fall, the City Commission approved a contract with BBC Research & Consulting, Inc. to conduct a Housing Market Study.  In accordance with BBC Research & Consultingís proposal, the study will gather key data based on an assessment of Lawrence housing needs and identify specific strategies and goals for enhancing housing affordability. Stakeholders and citizens will be actively engaged during the study.  BBC Research & Consulting has extensive experience conducting similar studies for cities such as Austin, Texas; Boulder, Colorado; City and County of Denver, Colorado, and the City of Cincinnati, Ohio among others.  The study is anticipated to be kicked off soon with findings presented later in the spring.  The Affordable Housing Advisory Board is scheduled to visit with the consultants at their upcoming meeting on December 11, 2017. 

 

Update on Alternatives to Incarceration through Municipal Court

With shared goals to improve equal opportunity irrespective of economic status and to enhance the use of alternatives to incarceration, the City of Lawrence Municipal Court has entered into a partnership with Douglas County to provide electronic monitoring services for those individuals that otherwise would serve a sentence in jail due to an inability to pay for the monitoring service through a third-party provider. Prior to the partnership agreement, the Municipal Court initiated a request for proposals from house arrest providers, but the selection process was placed on hold while City staff worked with County officials to determine the most efficient and cost-effective approach. In an effort initiated by Robert Bieniecki, Coordinator of the Douglas County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, the County has informally agreed to waive all costs of providing electronic monitoring services to the City during the pilot phase of implementation, with an understanding that a contract identifying shared costs between the entities may be considered at some point in the future.

 

This program was implemented October 20, 2017. As of November 22, 2017, 40 defendants that were sentenced to serve part, or all, of a sentence in jail have been granted the alternative of electronic monitoring. Of these 40 defendants, 13 have qualified financially for referral to the Douglas County House Arrest program. While not all of these Defendants will be successful on electronic monitoring, those referred to the program within just the first thirty days have the potential of successfully completing their obligations to the Court while receiving support to maintain employment, housing and connections to community resources.

 

Community Advisory Committee Appointments for KU Indoor Football Practice Facility

Attached, please find a letter from Neeli Bendapudi, Ph.D., Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor for the University of Kansas, regarding the formation of an Ad Hoc Committee and Community Advisory Committee Appointments for the Indoor Football Practice Facility.†† City Letter Naming Appointments - Added 12/05/17

 

Fire/Medical Department Monthly Report

Attached is the October 2017 monthly report for the Fire/Medical Department

 

Future Agenda Items

Attached, please find a summary of future agenda items.

 

Future Work Session Items

Attached, please find a summary of future work session items.