When they met Tuesday, members of the Leavenworth City Commission approved a ordinance that eliminates the city's review of buildings considered to be within the environs of historic districts.
Commissioners also approved an ordinance that lifts a city ban on switchblades. And they approved the use of almost $300,000 to purchase computers, other equipment and software for the Leavenworth Police Department.
In the past, planned changes to buildings within 500 feet of historic districts were subject to review by the city. Commissioners have now eliminated the requirement by amending the city's 2011 Development Regulations.
Regulations for buildings within historic districts were not affected by Tuesday's action.
The elimination of the historic environs regulations was proposed to commissioners after the practice of conducting a similar review at the state level was ended.
Members of the Leavenworth Preservation Commission unanimously opposed the idea of eliminating the city's 500-foot environs review during a Sept. 4 meeting, according to City Planner Ralph Moore.
The LPC's opposition was not binding on the City Commission.
City Commissioner Lisa Weakley said she supported the position of the LPC. She said it's nice to slow down the process and allow an additional voice.
City Commissioner Davis Moulden voiced opposition to the LPC.
"I don't believe in this committee," he said.
He argued that Leavenworth wouldn't exist if the same preservation rules had been in place 100 years ago.
The other commissioners did not comment before the vote.
The ordinance eliminating the review for buildings considered to be within the environs of historic districts passed with a 4-1 vote. Weakley voted against it.
Moulden initially said he voted "no" by mistake but then changed his vote to "yes."
Commissioners approved lifting a ban on switchblades Tuesday by passing the 2013 edition of the Uniform Public Offense Code.
The League of Kansas Municipalities furnishes an updated version of the Uniform Public Offense Code each year for cities in the state. The Uniform Public Offense Code, which lays out various crimes, serves a comprehensive public offense ordinance for the cities that adopt it.
When the matter came before commissioners for first consideration last month, Leavenworth Police Chief Pat Kitchens told commissioners the 2013 edition eliminated language prohibiting switchblades and the carrying of knives with blades longer than four inches.
Tuesday's vote to approve the updated version of the Uniform Public Offense Code was unanimous.
Commissioners also gave unanimous approval for the Police Department to purchase 24 mobile data terminals, which are computers, to be placed in police vehicles. The Police Department also will be purchasing new in-car cameras.
Page 2 of 2 - Kitchens said the MDTs will make it possible to dispatch officers through computers. Currently, dispatchers answer 911 calls, type information and speak with officers by radio.
The chief said having the MDTs in police vehicles would eliminate the need for dispatchers to speak with officers. He said the extra 15 to 20 seconds it takes for dispatchers to have a conservation with officers can be critical.
Kitchens said the MDTs also will allow officers to access an array of information related to criminals. He said the computers also will allow officers to complete their reports in the field.
The MDTs and other equipment will be purchased from Coban for $231,085.
The Police Department also will purchase software for the MDTs from ProPheonix for $56,000.
And the department will purchase Net Motion software with three years of maintenance for $12,600. Kitchens said this software will reduce the risk of officers having wireless connectivity problems while in the field.
He said the purchases will be paid for using money from seizures in drug cases, an allocation for cameras from the city's Capital Improvements Program and grants from the last three years.
"We've been saving all these grants for this moment," he said.