CITY MANAGER’S REPORT

Week ending March 31, 2018

 

 

Bike Share Program to be Launched at the University of Kansas – Added 04/03/18

The University of Kansas announced Monday, April 2 that it will begin a bike share program for its students, launching on Wednesday, April 18.  KU is in discussions with the City to develop a plan to proactively address concerns and potential issues.   See attached for more information.

 

Strategic Plan Webpage Updated – Added 04/02/18

On March 6, 2018 staff provided an update to the City Commission on the strategic plan progress. During that meeting staff indicated that they would notify the City Commission when the strategic plan webpage was updated, which has now been complete. It looks different from the last work session, as the software the City uses to track the strategic plan has undergone a major update. The strategic plan webpage can be accessed here: https://lawrenceks.org/strategic-plan/.

 

Upcoming events and services hosted by the Solid Waste Division – Added 04/02/18

 

Compost Facility open to the public on Saturdays:

The City’s Compost Facility located at 1420 E. 11th Street is now open to the public on Saturdays through mid-December, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., for the following:

It is “cash only” for all transactions at the Compost Facility.

 

Earth Day Parade and Celebration - Saturday, April 21:

The 18th Annual Earth Day Celebration in South Park, hosted by the City’s Solid Waste Division, will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 21st. The day starts with a parade, hosted by KU Environs, at 11:00 a.m. on Massachusetts Street from Eighth Street to South Park. Admission is free and open to the public. The festivities at the park include local food vendors, live music, children’s activities, and educational exhibits. The Lawrence Transit System will offer free rides on the T all day Saturday, April 21st, providing the experience and benefits of public transportation. Additional event details here.

 

Electronic Recycling Event - Saturday, May 19:

The spring Electronic Recycling Event will be held at the KU Park & Ride east parking lot, accessible from Clinton Parkway and Crestline Drive, on Saturday, May 19th from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. There is no recycling fee for electronic equipment except for CRT televisions ($20 per CRT television 19” and under, and $40 per CRT television 20” and over). Cash only. Electronic recycling will be provided by Teknix Solutions. Items accepted for recycling include televisions, video and audio equipment, computers, printers, copiers, scanners, fax machines, microwaves and other small appliances, cell phones and other handheld devices, power cables and string lights, VHS and cassette tapes, CDs and DVDs, and vinyl records. Additional event details here.

 

Planning & Development Services Monthly Project Report

Attached is an update on Planning & Development Services projects.

 

Request by Local High School Students to Raise the Age to 21 to Purchase Tobacco Products

During the public comment section of the Commission’s March 20, 2018, meeting, three well-spoken high school students requested the Commission consider raising the age for the purchase of tobacco products in Lawrence from 18 to 21.  Some Kansas municipalities, and a number of other cities and states have passed similar laws. 

 

The City of Topeka recently joined the list of cities legislating on the topic.  It passed an ordinance in December 2017, barring the sale, furnishing, or distribution of cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, tobacco products or liquid nicotine to any person under the age of twenty-one (21) years or buying the same for a person under age 21.  Two Topeka businesses that sell one or more of the items listed in the Topeka ordinance filed an action in Shawnee County District Court challenging the ordinance.  On March 22, 2018, the court ruled that the Topeka ordinance unconstitutionally conflicted with the Kansas Cigarette and Tobacco Products Act, K.S.A. (2017 Supp.) 79-3301 et seq., an act the court determined applied uniformly to all cities. The court entered a permanent injunction enjoining the City’s enforcement of the ordinance.  The court’s decision may be appealed.

 

While the Shawnee County District Court opinion is not binding on the City of Lawrence, if we passed a similar ordinance, we may face a similar legal challenge.  Before the court issued its ruling on the Topeka ordinance, the Kansas Attorney General and the Kansas League of Municipalities opined that such local ordinances were a valid exercise of home rule authority. 

 

The City Attorney’s Office will continue to monitor this legal issue.

 

Downtown Solid Waste Rate Structure

City staff plans to solicit proposals (RFPs) for a firm to analyze and refine the downtown rate structure for solid waste services. This is the first phase of a larger project for an overall analysis of rates and construction of a comprehensive solid waste rate model. Approximately 9.5 blocks of the downtown area have a unique rate structure based on square footage and use, due to the space constrictions and need to provide shared containers in the downtown area. Outside this small area, rates are based on size of container and frequency of collection. The model for the downtown area has not been revised since at least 1978, although the nature and character of businesses downtown have changed during that time. Staff has identified several flaws inherent in the current model. Further, staff has identified inconsistencies in the application of the model. Initial errors found were corrected, and more comprehensive efforts were undertaken to review the accounts. A full rate study has been discussed and planned for 2019. Given the number of businesses downtown who may be impacted by higher bills and the awareness of the limitations of the current model, staff plans to undertake phase 1 of the rate study in 2018, focusing on the downtown rate model.  Staff Memo

 

GFOA Distinguished Budget Presentation Award Received for 2018

On March 9, 2018 the City of Lawrence was notified that it had received the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association for the 2018 budget book. This award reflects the City’s commitment to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting. In order to receive the budget award, a number of nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentations had to be met. These guidelines are designed to assess how well an entity’s budget serves as 1) a policy document, 2) a financial plan, 3) an operations guide, and 4) a communications device. The City has received this award in fifteen of the last sixteen years.

 

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.