Archive for Thursday, June 14, 2001

Council holds off changing signs at Eudora’s entrances

Despite census results, no action taken for change

June 14, 2001

The signs drivers see when entering Eudora optimistically proclaim Eudora's population is "6,300 and growing." But the 2000 census shows that the brightly-colored signs may be a little too optimistic.

The census counted 4,307 people in Eudora, a 1,993-person discrepancy.

"I'm not hearing a lot of enthusiasm to change it tonight," Mayor Ron Conner told the city council at Monday's meeting.

The signs are the city's responsibility, as the last two changes have been made by the city. Former mayor Fred Stewart changed the signs about a year ago, Donna Oleson, city clerk, said. Stewart said he arrived at the number by tallying the number of utility customers by three, estimating an average number of three per household.

"I think it's only a matter of time before we're there," Oleson said of the population on the sign.

Council member Dan Gregg agreed.

"I'd come closer to believing the signs out there than the census," Gregg said.

Changing the sign could be part of a downtown or comprehensive improvement plan if Eudora receives a grant from the state, council member Willene Blackburn said.

Despite the numerical inaccuracy, the signs provide a realistic picture of the city as far as Don Cooper, vice president of operations and development for Commercial Group in Topeka, is concerned. Cooper's company developed the Pinecrest Apartments.

Population represents only a part of what attracts developers, including marketing studies and market demands, he said.

"The census figures may have empirical data that we could say is factual," Cooper said. "Other data we look at and community input would indicate that Eudora is still a good place to develop; a good community to work and live in. It may not be growing as much in the city, but look around it."

Cooper said that looking at the westward growth in Johnson County and on the outskirts of the city show that Eudora has growth potential that makes it attractive, even though the population is less than 5,000.

"The demand is there," Cooper said. "The need is there."

Marilyn Graham from the Kansas Department of Commerce and Housing discussed grants that could renovate downtown and finance other community improvements.

John Mitchell, engineer with Burns and McDonnell, Kansas City, Kan., updated the council on a plan to update pumps and sewer lines in east Eudora.

Recreation and parks director Diana Beebe discussed necessary park renovations, which include upgrading unsafe playground equipment and updating park facilities to meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards.

The council donated $250 to Relay for Life.

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