Locust Street nears completion

Staff writer

Road construction began Monday morning on the south end of Locust Street going to the city limits at 60th Street, City Administrator Mac Manning told council members at their regular meeting Monday night.

This is the final leg of the Locust Street repaving project that began in the summer of 2011.

APAC of Kansas will tear up the existing street from the park to 60th and prepare it for a 3-inch asphalt overlay. APAC has advised the city that the dirt work should be done Thursday.

At that time, the road surface will be gravel and open to all traffic. APAC plans to come back Sept. 5 and apply the final hot mix surface.

The public will be detoured to Peabody Street during this construction, Manning said.

The council’s street committee also has arranged for APAC to do some spot patching in the city as part of this year’s street expenditure. Streets that have been opened to fix water leaks will be properly sealed. Crack sealing will be done to several streets. The committee has allotted about $10,000 for this type of repair this year.

In other business:

  • The council went into executive session to discuss non-elected personnel. Upon return to open session, they voted to hire Leah Becker to fill the municipal court clerk vacancy.
  • The council gave final approval for resolution RO5-2012, which allows the city to participate in public housing development at 119 to 121 N. Walnut.
  • Public Works Superintendent Darren Pickens reported that mosquito spraying had been minimal during the summer due to heat and lack of moisture. With the heavy rains of the past weekend and increases in cases of West Nile virus in Kansas, they will begin spraying again.
  • Police Chief Bruce Burke gave a final report on some issues that arose on the Fourth of July involving alcohol consumption at the park, crowd control issues after the event, and a complaint about damage to a barbed wire fence at the south end of the park. He said the Fourth Fest Committee will take care of the complaint about the fence and review the other issues before the next celebration.
  • Also discussed was the parking situation around the park, swimming pool, and Peabody Care Center. The streets in that area become congested with parked cars during major events. Burke will look into the purchase of some signs to announce a given area is temporarily a no parking zone.
  • Burke brought up an issue with a long-standing nuisance property, noting that Judge Jantz is ready to issue a deadline in the case. The council agreed to follow the judge’s ruling. If the homeowner does not clean up the property, the city will do it and bill the owner. City ordinance allows for the cleanup costs to be added to the property taxes of the homeowner.
  • In a follow-up to discussion at the previous meeting about the capture and re-use of water being flushed through the city hydrants, Steve Rose announced that members of the fire department would willing to help with water capture. No action was taken.

The next meeting of the Peabody City Council will be at 7 p.m. on Sept. 10 in the city building.

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