I can't tell you how proud I am of your city council. There are many accomplishments attributed to our council persons working hard on your behalf. These accomplishments will be noted in this newsletter. As we approach the 4th quarter of this year, our city is in fine financial shape. We continue to look at ways we can make Eastborough a proud place in which to live. I urge you to take note of the various council reports and thank your council members personally for their dedication of time and effort.
I want to remind you that in April, two council persons will complete their 4 year terms. Councilman John Johnson and Councilman Dave Anderson have served your city well. My term as your mayor ends in April. I continue to be dismayed by the lack of enthusiasm by our Eastborough citizens in attending our council meetings. With the possibility of losing two council persons and your mayor, I think it would be important for interested citizens to attend our council meetings and watch your council in action. It would be good preparation for those who might think of running for an elected position. At this time I have not made a commitment to run again for mayor. I have enjoyed my time and have tried to maintain positive relationships with the City of Wichita and the County of Sedgwick.
I urge you to take a more positive approach to your city of Eastborough. Again, please take note of your council person's reports. Have a safe and healthy year.
The Eastborough Police Department will be implementing a bicycle patrol program into our services beginning this fall. The purpose of the program is twofold:
We plan to have the Police Cyclist Unit in place and utilized for the Race for the Cure on September 27, 2008. Thereafter, the bike unit will be used an average of 20 hours per week between the months of April and October. Since we have overlapping shift assignments, this will still allow a patrol car to be on the streets during the hours of bike use.
Simply put, your city is in good financial shape. A five year Capital Improvement Plan that will include major expenditures for street improvements, city hall updates and park improvements has been adopted.
Over the last year, your Website has been improved and updated. One of our valued additions is "Crime Scene" where we keep residents informed of safety issues in their community. The newest addition to the website is the "On Line Directory" which every resident may access. We would appreciate your help in verifying the information is correct and keeping it current. For those of you that have one, we would request you add your e-mail address. At some point in the future, it is our intent to notify you via e-mail of important events. Also, for those that request it, in the future we will be looking at delivering the newsletter via e-mail.
We have also increased the frequency of Newsletters and hope you find the information useful and timely.
Over the past year we have updated and added ordinances addressing such items as Animals, Driveways, Banning Rubbish and City Nuisances.
It is obviously our goal to address resident concerns and to maintain Eastborough as one of the premier places to live.
In 2008, the Beautification Committee was busy keeping the East and West entrances into Eastborough looking beautiful with colorful flowers and plants that make a positive statement about our city.
The Beautification Committee also headed up the citywide clean-up weekend. Waste Connections placed dumpsters at designated areas so that residents could drop off bulky items, and tree and yard trimmings to be hauled off at no expense. The Beautification Committee also engaged A-1 Tree Service to remove dead trees and Tree Top Nursery to install new trees in our park areas. Thanks to all members of the Beautification Committee for your hard work and dedication to Eastborough!
In 2008, the Community Affairs Committee again became active after an extended period of inactivity. Now in the future, beginning with Halloween, the city can again enjoy fun and festivities during the holidays. Thanks to all members of the Community Affairs Committee for bringing these activities back to the citizens and children of Eastborough.
Also in 2008, Eastborough City Hall received new carpet throughout the basement which was badly needed, and helped improve the look of City Hall. Next on the agenda for City Hall is the replacement of an outdated and inefficient air conditioning system.
Finally, in 2008, the City of Eastborough received a promising new prosecutor, Becky Mann, of Young, Bogle, McCausland and Wells. All reports indicate that Ms. Mann is doing a great job for our city.
In 2006 Council instituted a 10 year plan to address resurfacing all the streets. This plan calls for doing a complete three inch mill and overlay of the streets city wide. Phases I and II have been completed and we should begin phases III and IV this fall. The process includes scraping up the existing asphalt, reconstituting it and reapplying it. You have seen this process many times in Wichita. It is a fast, economical and reliable maintenance protocol.
The streets involved in the next two phases include: Willowbrook, Peach Tree Lane, Lakeside Blvd., and Hampton Road. Because of the major construction on Hampton between Huntington and Norfolk, that section may be delayed. Discussions with the contractor are ongoing as to the best way to handle that particular segment of Hampton.
The west side of Eastborough is presenting a challenging problem. As the west side residents already know, their streets are deteriorating at an increasing rate. This is because the underlying base is eroded in many areas. However, repair, other than to fill in potholes, has been delayed because of continuing home construction. We don't want to repair the base and then mill and overlay to just have construction equipment tear it up. We have been studying this issue to try and come up with a repair and maintenance plan the city can afford. Because of the estimated expense, the council developed a five year capital fund to ear mark money to address the west side streets. With this plan we hope to accumulate the funds to at least partially address what eventually will need to be done.
There has been some talk of putting in curbs on the west side. This issue has come up because we have been advised that curbs would assist in prolonging the life of any new surface we might apply. This is only one option being considered and no decision has been made on what to do at this time. The council has received some reports of objection to curbs from both east and west side residents. Before any decision is made in this regard, the issue will be studied in depth, the costs will be considered to see what we can afford and the residents will be given the opportunity to express their opinions.
The Council is striving to maintain our streets in the best possible condition during a period of rising construction and material costs. We have a limited budget and are earnestly trying to meet our transportation obligations within our constraints.
Since our last newsletter the new street signs have finally been installed. I hope everyone likes them. They have been needed for years.
In addition, our Chief was directed to review all informational street signs in the city, such as stop and no parking types, to determine which needed to be replaced due to damage or rusting. The process has been completed. When Wade Vickery, our maintenance person, replaced the signs he also straightened those that needed it.
Our main waterfall pump was finally replaced and is working. The secondary pump near the small waterfall at the north end of the pond is still not working properly. The mesh filtering system needs to be repaired to insure that the pump does not get clogged and run dry. Since the pond level will need to be lowered to make the repairs we have decided to delay that work until the winter months when we plan to do other pond bank repairs.
As most of you know, it was necessary to place signage in the new park asking that the wildlife not be fed. According to the state Wildlife and Parks Department, we have an excess number of ducks and geese for our size of pond. The only way to correct the problem is to decrease the amount of food available and the problem should correct itself without any harm to the wildlife.
I hope you have all noticed that Wade Vickery and his wife, Carol, have spent a lot of time along Woodlawn between Douglas and First Streets weeding, mowing and removing excess growth. We will continue to monitor all public areas for needed maintenance. If you see a need please contact Barbara Kratzer at city hall and she will pass on the request to Wade, the Chief or myself for review.
The Beautification Committee has worked with Tree Top Nursery and a number of new trees have been planted to replace some that were removed. The committee, headed by Holly Friend, has done a great job keeping our community up to date.
If you see a public area that needs improvement, repair or needs other attention, please let the office know and we will do whatever we can, given our financial limitations, to improve the situation.
The City of Eastborough successfully reviewed and established a method of paying out the retirement benefits it has accumulated for retired employees.
In addition, The City has a 401(k) plan for current employees that allows a method of savings for retirement. We are in the process of updating our City's retirement plan document so that comply with the new retirement plan laws that will be taking place on January 1, 2009.
The City of Eastborough reviews the "Insurance Coverage" needed for our city property each year. Last Spring we again reviewed and continued our coverage's as needed. All employee benefits are being reviewed this fall to assure we have a competitive benefit package for our Officers and Employees.
Over the past year, the City Council has reviewed and acted on numerous variance requests presented before the city council.
We are working on the Long Range Planning Committee and expect to hold our first meeting this fall. We have several residents that have expressed interest in this committee.
Just a reminder: A building permit is required if your are planning to build an addition on your home, a separate structure on your property or a fence. If you have any questions about required permits, please contact City Hall @ 682-4111 between 9:00am and 5:00pm.
The basement at City Hall is a designated Storm Shelter available to any resident without a basement. In the event of a severe storm the facility will be open to the public through the Police Department door on the west side of the building.
Last year, for Christmas, many of the northern "Eastboroughites" decorated their trees with large red bows. Please join us in decorating this year to make EastBOWough an even more festive community than it already is!
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