Archive for Thursday, April 26, 2001

City council attempts to engineer deal with Taylor

Winchester Road also faces continued obstacles

April 26, 2001

The Eudora City Council is exploring the possibility of retaining City Engineer Matt Taylor on a part-time basis.

Taylor submitted his resignation to the city two weeks ago, citing a desire to move on to a position with more challenges. At Monday's meeting, council members Willene Blackburn, Dan Gregg and Rex Burkhardt expressed their wish to retain the engineer.

Mayor Ron Conner expressed the same sentiment for Taylor to stay. He asked if an agreement could be made so Taylor could work either part-time or on a consulting basis with the city. The council agreed and Taylor said he would discuss the arrangement with Burkhardt and Conner in more detail.

Burkhardt cited several projects Taylor had been instrumental in seeing developed, such as the city's wastewater treatment plant, the new water tower, a sewer interceptor line and the paving of Winchester Road. Burkhardt said Taylor did a good job of representing the city at a Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) hearing last year.

Though Eudora was not granted the funds, Burkhardt said Taylor did a good job of at the hearing from Kansas Lt. Gov. Gary Sherrer.

"Matt's proudest moment and my proudest moment was when he represented Eudora at the KDOT hearing last year," Burkhardt said. "I was so proud of Matt I could have busted my shirt."

As the council searched for a way to keep Taylor working for Eudora, it also welcomed a new face to its workforce. The council approved Tracy Manweiler as the city pool manager, as requested by Eudora Recreation and Parks Director Diana Beebe.

"I received a whole five applicants for the position," she said. "Tracy is by far the most qualified candidate."

The council also discussed the paving of Winchester Road. Taylor indicated some land was needed at various locations along the road to allow for drainage pipes, curb and guttering and grading. The needed space is owned by adjacent residents, so the council decided to ask property owners to donate needed parcels to complete the project. Taylor said a letter would be sent out this week to those property owners, inviting them to attend a meeting at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, at Eudora City Hall. At the meeting, property owners will be shown the specifics of the plan and the areas needed for the road-paving plan to proceed.

"What the council is hoping is that property owners will see the benefit of having the road improved and be willing to donate these small areas of right-of-way to have the project completed," Taylor said. "The cost of the project will be higher than was expected and the city is operating on a very tight budget."

If property owners are not willing to donate the needed space, the city will have to abandon plans for the project or go through the condemnation process. Taylor said that would have detrimental effect on the Winchester Road paving timeline.

"Unfortunately if they do that, it takes another three months and it will push it back into late fall after school starts, which is what we hoped to avoid," he said.

In other action, the council:

approved a change of zoning to industrial at 603 Acorn for lots 12 through 15 for Senor Stan's Salsa.

approved changing the second May meeting from May 28 to May 29 due to Memorial Day.

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