lenexa town talk - december 2013

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  • December 2013 Issue 6TownTalk

    Winter weather preparations began this year with city employees participating in a snow roadeo to practice their snowplow maneuvering and technical skills. Lenexa also enlisted the help of Rosehill Elementary and Christa McAuliffe Elementary to paint a few of the snow plows with a bit of winter cheer. Now that temperatures have started to fall, our crews are ready for the first snow. When a snowstorm occurs, crews place the highest priority on major streets, school zones and known problem areas. Second priority is given to residential streets. The citys goal is to have all public roadways plowed or treated within 48 hours after the end of a storm event. Storm severity, winds and temperatures can influence actual operations. After this time period, problems can be reported at www.lenexa.com or through the Lenexa 311 app available in the App and Google Play stores. Snow HeadquartersThis winter, Lenexa is rolling out its online snow resource center, www.lenexa.com/snow. Residents can log on to access information about how the city handles snow events and what residents can expect when it comes to plowing roads. Features available on the site include frequently asked questions, animated graphics, and links to resources where residents can find more information about regional road conditions and weather forecasts. The resource center will also be the location where updates will be posted during snow events this winter season.

    A jewel of Lenexas past is getting back to its roots. In order to better reflect its rich Lenexa history, the Lenexa Conference Center has been renamed Thompson Barn. Located at 11184 Lackman Road, Thompson Barn is a hub of high-tech meetings, memorable events and social gatherings. It is part of the Lackman-Thompson estate, which was once home to Margaretha and William Lackman. They sold their property at the corner of Lackman Road and College Boulevard in 1908 to Kansas City horse dealer Frank Thompson. When the propertys original barn burned in a fire, Thompson rebuilt it as a state-of-the-art barn in 1932.Around 1984, Thompsons son, Hugh, bequeathed the house and barn to the Johnson County Community College Foundation. In 1996, the JCCC Foundation

    offered the estate to the City of Lenexa for the city to put to good use. The original Lackman-Thompson house is now home to the Lenexa Chamber of Commerce, Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Economic Development offices. The city preserved the barns historical character and turned the building, which once housed livestock and grain, into the Thompson Barn. In addition to changing the name, the City of Lenexa will be implementing a new rental fee structure beginning Jan. 1, which will give renters more flexibility in reserving times at Thompson Barn. Patrons can expect a high-class experience during their rental, which includes the latest in audio and visual integration all included in the rental price.

    Thompson Barn (formerly Lenexa Conference Center) is the perfect location for events, meetings and special occasions. Learn more about recent changes online.

    Winter weather is near Lenexa Conference Center renamed as Thompson Barn

  • TownTalk

    The City of Lenexa is working with ETC Institute to conduct its biennial survey of residents. The survey gathers information about city priorities and the quality of city programs and services. This is part of an ongoing strategic planning process designed to provide citizens with the best services possible. Participants were chosen at random, and those who received a survey are encouraged to share their opinions. We thank residents who have already given feedback. The report is a valuable resource as we work to provide residents with the most responsive government possible. Results will be shared in the weeks ahead. Look for a summary of survey results in a future issue of Town Talk and on the citys website, www.lenexa.com.

    In October, students at Sunflower and Mill Creek Elementary schools conducted water quality testing under the direction of the Blue River Watershed Association (BRWA). BRWA provides classroom and hands-on water quality education for Lenexa students on an annual basis and is supported by Lenexas Rain to Recreation program. The tests conducted at these events include measurement of air and water temperature, dissolved oxygen and solids, levels of pH, phosphate, nitrate and fecal coliform and the collection

    of macro-invertebrate data. BRWA utilizes data collected by students to rate the health of the water bodies tested. To learn more about Lenexas Rain to Recreation program, go online to www.raintorecreation.org.

    Lenexa residents looking for ways to dispose of their live holiday trees have two options available: Drop-off service: The city offers a free Christmas tree drop-off area for Lenexa residents. Trees may be dropped off between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Dec. 26 Jan. 12 at the Mill Creek sports fields parking lot (79th Street and Cottonwood). Only Christmas trees will be accepted. Please remove all decorations, nails and plastic bags. For more information, send an email to David Howell at dhowell@lenexa.com. Pick-up service: Boy Scout Troop 136 has again partnered with the city for the annual Christmas tree pickup Dec. 29, and Jan. 4 and 5. To schedule a pickup, register online at www.troop136.org. The Boy Scouts request a minimum donation of $10.

    Sar-Ko-Par Trails master plan establishedHoliday tree recycling

    Citizen survey reminder

    Rain to Recreation: Collaboration with BRWA

    2

    As one of the largest and most-used parks in Lenexa, Sar-Ko-Par Trails Park continues to emerge as a destination park for residents and visitors, and because of this, the city started to develop a long-range plan.Starting in early 2013 a series of public input sessions and meetings with stakeholders were held to discuss needed improvements at the park. Surrounding neighborhoods and the community as a whole were invited to a public open house to provide input for a final Sar-Ko-Par Trails Park master plan. Several areas were identified, including the Rose Pavilion area, north central

    slope and creek, skate park area, southeast corner, Indian Trails Aquatic Center, Legler Barn and northwest of Roses Pond. These improvements include installing a 9-hole disc golf course and constructing a 200-person shelter near the pond. While no exact timeline has been established for the improvements, each recommendation will be implemented as funding is secured. A full listing of the identified improvements and a map depicting the final master plan are available on the citys website, www.lenexa.com.

  • 3The City of Lenexa has experienced a dramatic increase in fires caused by the careless discarding of smoking materials, and the effects have been made worse by recent high temperatures and low humidity. Fires started by smoking materials are the leading cause of fire-related deaths. These materials can ignite dry fuels, sometimes days after being discarded. In response to this trend, we have conducted learning forums for Lenexas apartment complex managers over the last three years. We discuss the risks of fires caused by smoking in their complex and simple prevention steps they can take to reduce their risk of large-loss fires.While the problem is not isolated to apartment buildings, it is the most frequent site for smoking-related fires. This year alone, the LFD has responded to more than 50 structural fire alarms, with a fire loss of nearly $200,000.There are many things occupants and property owners can do to prevent these types of fires. We encourage you to: Allow smoking only in areas

    well away from structures and combustible materials.

    Discard cigarettes in airtight sealed containers or disposal fixtures to limit the oxygen needed for a fire to exist.

    Prevent the spread of fire; keep dry vegetation away from your home.

    Make fire safety a priority in your home or business.

    Check and maintain smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms in your homes and businesses at least twice a year.

    Remember to develop a fire escape plan and exercise your plan with your family or co-workers. Never assume you will not suffer loss from fire. As the holiday season nears, remember that Christmas trees can be a source of fires, too. Regularly water your tree to keep it hydrated, and unplug holiday lights when they are not in use. If you have questions or require assistance in developing plans and practices for fire prevention, contact the Lenexa Fire Department Prevention Division at 913.888.6380.

    As one of the main gateways into Lenexa, the 87th Street Parkway bridge welcomes visitors and residents to our vibrant community. Its colorful lights and prominent location make a visual impact on motorists using the roadway.In order to celebrate Lenexas events, seasons and other fun things, the city is utilizing the ability to program the lights to varying color schemes. Every few weeks, the lights on the bridge will change to reflect the current observances. Examples include bright, colorful lights from now until Dec. 31 for Sar-Ko Aglow, blue and yellow as a Happy New Year from Lenexa in January and jewel tones in February to remind everyone about Cupids Gems Jewelry Show. To see a full listing of lighting plans, go to www.lenexa.com/bridgelights.

    As the winter season draws near, the Lenexa Police Department has a few reminders for residents: Dont leave your car running while

    unattended. Though the idea of a warm, cozy car is nice, leaving your car running in a garage, driveway or parking lot for just a few minutes can lead to problems. It only takes a few seconds for a thief to jump into a running car and drive away with it. It is illegal to leave your car running while unattended. The

    only excepti