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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Police won't park in new lot

  • County officials are proposing that spaces not be set aside for the Leavenworth Police Department in a new parking lot next to the Justice Center as had been requested by the police. But county officials say there should be sufficient parking for police vehicles in an existing lot at the Justice Center.
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    • In other business
      When Leavenworth County commissioners met Thursday, they took up the following issues:

      They discussed issues related to a state law that allows the concealed carry of firearm...
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      In other business
      When Leavenworth County commissioners met Thursday, they took up the following issues:
      They discussed issues related to a state law that allows the concealed carry of firearms in county-owned buildings unless security measures are in place. The county has been granted an exemption from the law until the beginning of the year, and officials could seek a longer exemption.
      They listened to a resident voice concerns about semitrailers being driven on a county road that has signs prohibiting commercial vehicles.
      They scheduled a meeting with local state legislators for 7:30 a.m. Dec. 14 at the Leavenworth County Courthouse.
  • County officials are proposing that spaces not be set aside for the Leavenworth Police Department in a new parking lot next to the Justice Center as had been requested by the police. But county officials say there should be sufficient parking for police vehicles in an existing lot at the Justice Center.
    "They will not be in the new parking lot," County Administrator Pat Hurley said.
    He spoke to Leavenworth County Commissioners about the matter Thursday morning.
    The new lot recently has been a source of contention between the city of Leavenworth and county governments.
    The Justice Center houses the Leavenworth County Sheriff's Office, Leavenworth Police Department, Leavenworth County District Court and other entities. The new parking lot is being constructed to the north of the building at the site of the old Leavenworth County Jail.
    A 1999 agreement between the city and county regarding the operation of the Justice Center requires the county to "provide adequate secured parking spaces for the Leavenworth Police Department vehicle fleet."
    Leavenworth Police Chief Pat Kitchens requested that 16 spots be set aside in the new lot for his department. He argued the Police Department in the past has parked in the area in the old jail, which was demolished before work began on the new lot.
    County commissioners expressed reservations about setting aside that number of spaces for the city's Police Department in a lot that's being paid for by the county government.
    Last month, a building committee for the Justice Center voted to recommend that 15 spots be designated for the Police Department.
    County commissioners later decided to proceed with the construction of the parking lot and develop an plan for the assignment of spaces.
    While the proposal for assigning spaces won't be presented to the County Commission until next week, Hurley offered a preview Thursday. He said the plan is to transfer parking spaces for other people who work at the Justice Center to the new lot. This should open up enough spaces in an existing lot to the northeast of the Justice Center for police vehicles.
    Hurley said he believes this plan resolves the request for making up the loss of spaces around the old jail.
    Commissioner Clyde Graeber asked if the proposal has been shared with Leavenworth's city manager and police chief.
    John Forslund, the county's director of buildings and grounds, said the plan had not yet been shared with the city officials.
    Hurley said his recommendation is to bring the plan to the commissioners first for their approval. It then can be forwarded to the Justice Center building committee. The county administrator said going to the building committee first could result in a debate between city and county officials.
    Page 2 of 2 - Graeber told Hurley there will end up being a debate "whether you like it or not."
    Commissioner Dennis Bixby questioned why the matter would need to be taken to the building committee.
    Hurley said the 1999 agreement requires the adequate, secured parking for the police. He said the agreement also created the building committee as an arbiter.
    Bixby argued the agreement created a building committee not a parking committee.
    Hurley said the agreement includes language about parking at the Justice Center.
    The issue about the assignment of parking spaces came after commissioners approved a $12,100 change order for the parking lot's construction in order to remove a ridge at the a site.

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