The Flame - February 2012

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In this issue:

  • City continues efforts to improve streets
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Westar Energy Begins Tree Trimming Program in Lawrence

City continues efforts to improve streets

Data shows maintenance efforts are effective in improving overall condition of Lawrence streets

The City of Lawrence's Street Maintenance plan for 2012 was recently approved by the City Commission. This year, the city plans on spending $5.95 million on street maintenance activities โ€“ this includes funding from the Public Works budget and additional funding from the voter-approved 2008 infrastructure sales tax funds.

According to the Public Works Department, the city's efforts in street maintenance over the past several years have begun to pay off. The average PCI, or pavement condition index, has improved by 5% across the city. The PCI is a tool the city uses to maintain and inventory street conditions and is used to develop priorities for future street maintenance improvements. The city uses multiple forms of maintenance to address streets โ€“ from simple pothole patching to complete reconstruction of entire roadways. The city's recent attention to street maintenance shows significant results in street deterioration. For example, the city patched 19,571 fewer potholes in 2011 versus 2010.

To view the proposed 2012 Street Maintenance Program, visit lawrenceks.org/public_works/streetmaintenance. A map is available which shows the type of maintenance planned for the roadway. A guide to street maintenance is also available on the same web page which describes the types of maintenance the city uses (microsurfacing, mill/overlay, concrete rehabilitation, etc.), along with additional information on how the city uses the PCI data to improve the overall quality of streets in Lawrence.

The largest projects that will most impact traffic will be a mill and overlay project on 6th Street (Iowa to Monterey Way), microsurfacing of North 2nd and 3rd Streets in North Lawrence, microsurfacing of Connecticut from 12th to 15th Streets, and KDOT's complete demolition and reconstruction of the bridge on 23rd Street between Haskell Avenue and Learnard Avenue. To follow the progress of construction projects in Lawrence, sign up to receive weekly e-mails from the city at www.lawrenceks.org/construction.

Frequently Asked Questions

Every day, the city is working for you. You see the city's efforts continuously as you drive Lawrence's roads, turn on your faucet for clean water, and when the city's public safety departments respond to emergencies. In 2012, the city will collect $174 million dollars in revenue but only part of that comes from property taxes (14.91%). Twenty-eight percent of the city's revenue comes from charges for services, including your water and trash service. Twenty-four percent of the city's overall budget is funded through other taxes collected, including sales tax.

The city's budget is made up of 14 separate fund accounts, some of which can only be used for a specifi c purpose. The General Operating Fund is the city's largest fund (44.16% of total budget) and provides the resources necessary to fund many of the city's departments. The chart below provides an overview of the various funds the city uses. For complete budget info, visit lawenceks.org/budget.

In 2012, the city will use your taxes, rate dollars, service charges, fines, and fees to:

  • Produce and distribute 3.4 billion gallons of water
  • Treat an average of 10.8 million gallons of wastewater per day Maintain 53 parks, 70 miles of hiking and biking trails, and 2 offleash dog parks
  • Operate 3 recreation centers, 4 aquatic facilities, 11 tennis courts, and 3 outdoor sport complexes
  • Provide 974,000 one way trips on the Public Transit System
  • Respond to more than 9,600 calls for fi re and medical service
  • Respond to over 107,000 calls for police service
  • Process 35,000 Municipal Court citations
  • Provide maintenance of the levee and fl ood control gates on the Kansas River
  • Support operations of the Lawrence Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Provide solid waste services to approximately 31,000 residential and multi-family accounts as well as 1,400 commercial and industrial accounts every week
  • Recycle over 14,000 tons of material through city programs

Westar Energy Begins Tree Trimming Program in Lawrence

Westar tree

Westar Energy has started a four-year, vegetation management program in Lawrence that is aimed at improving the reliability of the electrical service. Currently, overgrowth and vegetation causes 16% of electrical outages. Westar crews and contracted tree services, will be trimming 870 miles of electrical lines in Lawrence and looking for equipment that needs to be repaired prior to failure. Westar will provide notice to homeowners prior to trimming โ€“ look for door hangers and Westar crews out in neighborhoods that are set for trimming. For more information, visit westarenergy.com/wcm.nsf/content/reliabilitree.