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Larned City Council prioritizes road projects
Proposal to market land discussed
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In the above map, colored areas indicate proposed and completed roadway infrastructure projects within the City of Larned. Completed in 2018 were the green (Southwest Trail Street from Broadway to Main) and red (Northeast Trail Street from Broadway to Toles). Scheduled for 2019 is the blue (Southwest Trail Street from the Pawnee River Bridget to Kansas St.) and brown (Northeast Trail Street, Toles St.). Two others were the subject of discussion concerning priority scheduling at Monday night’s ci - photo by COURTESY ART
Here’s a quick look at what happened Monday night at the Larned City Council meeting:

• Approved the consent agenda

• Heard a report from Junior City Council representative Caden Herman.

• Heard an appropriations report from Finance Director Monica Steiner

• Heard a report from Allen Taylor, Superintendent with the Street Department. Approved moving up in priority a South Broadway road project.

• Discussed marketing city property near Prairie Vista duplexes. No action was taken

LARNED — Allen Taylor, Superintendent with the Street Department, asked for the Larned City Council’s feedback Monday night  in adjusting the priority scheduling for some of the upcoming 2019 roadway infrastructure projects, as well as options for future projects. 

A one block stretch of 10th Street between Park and Johnson streets will be included in a $25,000 city project. The city has also budgeted $98,000 to address a section of NE Trail St. between Toles and Park streets. 

Also scheduled for 2019 is a fiscal year 2020 joint project with KDOT to address the 890-foot section of Southwest Trail St. between the Pawnee River Bridge and Kansas St. For that project, KDOT will spend $688,848, with an additional $36,255 from the city. 

South Broadway prioritized

In 2018, another section of SW Trail street was completed. Recently, KDOT turned down a request to award a $1 million KDOT City Connecting Link Improvement Program grant to complete the middle section of that stretch of road in 2021. Taylor’s recommendation to the council was to shift the priority of that project with a smaller ask. In his opinion, with two sections of newly laid road, the remaining 870 foot middle section between Kansas and Main Streets would easily last another three years with minimal maintenance. He could wait and propose that CCLIP project for 2022. 

There is another stretch of road south of the railroad tracks in greater need of attention Taylor said. He recommended the council shift priority to this smaller ask. 

“The road from the rail road tracks to the city limits on Broadway is probably the worst that we have,” Taylor said. “It’s around eight years without having anything on that one. We have alligator tracks and its dried out pretty good.” 

He suggested if the project is approved, it would be a good time to coordinate with the railroad to get the crossing there smoothed out.

“With 95 percent KDOT matching it makes it really reasonable for us,” he said. The city’s five percent required match would be $36,953.

He estimated it would take four weeks to complete the project, and agreed with City Manager Bradley Eilts that the project could be scheduled to lesson any impact on harvest. The CCLIP proposal would need to be turned in by May, 2020. After some discussion, the council approved Taylor’s request. 

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Larned Street Department Superintendent Allen Taylor addresses the Larned City Council concerning road projects Monday night. - photo by Veronica Coons
City interested in marketing land

Also discussed was a proposal to market roughly 4.5 acres of city property located near US 156 and the Prairie Vista Duplexes. Currently, the property is zoned Agriculture Urban. The estimated market value of the property is undetermined at this time, but the county has appraised it at $1,023,550, which includes land and improvements. With rezoning, the property could be marketed either as commercial or residential land. With Shopko’s recent announcement it will be closing, and the future of that commercial property uncertain, the council leaned towards marketing it as residential building lots. 

Mayor William Nusser wondered aloud if the city should go to the expense of platting and bringing infrastructure to the property with the attitude of “build it and they will come,” or simply put a sign up and market the property as is. There was lukewarm support for both suggestions from different council members.

Allen was asked for a ballpark idea of what road and guttering would cost should the city plat a couple lots. At current pricing, he estimated $9.80 per square foot for a 40-foot street. Currently, the city rents the property, billing annually.

Nusser asked Eilts to look into finding a developer that might be interested in building in Larned. No further action was taken.