A glance at what’s in the City of Lawrence’s 5-year, $530M capital improvement plan

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Lawrence city commissioners on Tuesday will discuss and give feedback on the city’s proposed five-year capital improvement plan. It includes about $530 million in projects, $172 million of which are slated for 2025.

Two of the projects with the highest price tags in the plans for 2025 include a portion of the first phase of the city’s Municipal Services and Operations campus, at $32.6 million, and improvements to the Kansas River Wastewater Treatment Plant, at $21 million.

The plan also includes two expansion Fire Medical stations, which would be built over the course of the plan covering 2025-2o29 for a total of $29.2 million. Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical leaders have pushed for the past few years to build new stations, citing slower response times to some hotspots in the city’s outskirts as city limits have expanded. The plan also would fund ambulances and firetrucks for both stations.

City staff members use factors such as strategic plan alignment, regulatory compliance, asset management and external funding to evaluate projects for the CIP, according to the agenda item.

Some other high-scoring projects in this five-year plan include a major renovation to the outdoor aquatic center, at $5.85 million over 2025 and 2026, and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) sidewalk and right-of-way transition improvements totaling $16.4 million over the five-year plan.

Another project would convert the South Park wading pool into a splash pad for $800,000 over 2025 and 2026.

The plan also recommends funding $6 million in 2025 and $3 million in 2026 for utility relocations related to an expansion of the west leg of the South Lawrence Trafficway, the segment of Kansas Highway 10 between the interchanges at Iowa Street and at Interstate 70.

A summary table in the plan breaks down the projects that city staff members are proposing to be funded and others that they are not:

20240618-City-of-Lawrence-5-year-CIP-summary

Commissioners won’t give the CIP final approval until their Sept. 10 meeting, when they will also adopt the 2025 budget, according to the agenda item.

See the full draft plan, which includes project details for each line item, online at this link. The full meeting agenda is online at this link.

As part of their agenda, commissioners will also hold a work session to hear a presentation on the results of the Lawrence Music Census.

The commission will meet at 5:45 p.m. Tuesday, June 18 at Lawrence City Hall, 6 E. Sixth St. Meetings are open to the public and livestreamed on the city’s YouTube channel, youtube.com/@lawrenceksvideo.

People may submit written public comment until noon the day of the meeting by emailing ccagendas@lawrenceks.org. The commission also hears public comment in person and via Zoom during meetings. Register for Tuesday’s Zoom meeting at this link

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Mackenzie Clark (she/her), reporter/founder of The Lawrence Times, can be reached at mclark (at) lawrencekstimes (dot) com. Read more of her work for the Times here. Check out her staff bio here.

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Kaw Valley Almanac for July 15-21, 2024

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Gray coneflower, Ratibida pinnata, is a long blooming native perennial whose name refers to the gray cone under the brown disk florets, here being visited by a bumblebee interested in their sweet nectar.

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