Some residential streets in Lansing have 20 mph speed limits, though state law would put the speed 10 mph higher in most residential areas.

Some residential streets in Lansing have 20 mph speed limits, though state law would put the speed 10 mph higher in most residential areas.
That was discussed in Thursday night's meeting of the Lansing City Council, so members decided this should be the topic of a future work session.

The issue arose as council members had to vote on adopting the standard traffic ordinance for Kansas cities as of 2013. This is an annual consideration. One of the streets, Holiday Drive, was mentioned as an example by council member Tony McNeill, who said he thought the city should comply with the law. Public Works Director John Young said the ordinance calls for traffic studies to justify exceptions. That is true for residential street speeds set after 1994.

However, in-house traffic studies are permitted, he said, noting that it would take time and resources to conduct them. However, he noted, if council members wished staff to proceed that way, they will. Several streets were listed as exceptions, but Young said traffic studies have been conducted for them.

Council member Kerry Brungardt said he, too, thinks the city should comply with the law, but he thinks "common sense should prevail," because he realized higher speeds could be a safety issue in some neighborhoods. Mayor Billy Blackwell suggested a work session on the issue, so council members can make the right decision. McNeill said he wanted to make it clear he wasn't against slow speeds in neighborhoods; he simply wanted the city to be compliant. Council members generally agreed that the study session would be a good way to air the issue and make decisions.

The council voted 7-0 to adopt the standard traffic ordinances and in a separate vote, also unanimously OK'd adopting the uniform public offense code for 2013.

Another issue that sparked discussion involved approving the final plat for the subdivision for the new high school, previously approved by the planning commission. The council voted 7-0 to do so.
However Janette Holderman, a former council member, said she was confused about what she called the "water district problem at the high school."

She wondered why Water District 8 would supply the water to the school, since the cost seemed more expensive than using LanDel. Holderman said in the past, whenever property was built on annexed areas, the county water districts have relinquished the rights to provide water to LanDel. She said she understood the cost for Water District 8 to provide water would be between $250,000 and $500,000 of taxpayer money, when she thought the water line could be switched to the other side of 147th Street in order to access an existing 12-inch pipe.

The mayor said the school district has an agreement with Water District 8, which had been approved by the planning commission. In cases of such construction, there must be agreements to show that all utilities are provided for.

"This is a decision the school district makes, not the city," Blackwell said. He said he and City Administrator Mike Smith had met several times during the discussions, but ultimately realized the city had to step aside. He and Smith said the school district's major consideration had been to keep the new school project going, so it could open on schedule.

Council member Andi Pawlowski said her major concern was the sewer district, since the city doesn't have a relationship with Water District 8. However, city staff indicated they will make efforts to establish the kind of relationship needed.