Firstly, I would like to wish everyone a healthy and happy new year. It has been my pleasure to serve as your mayor for the past 3 years. The City of Eastborough remains strong with our relationships with the City of Wichita and the County of Sedgwick. Fiscally, we remain in good shape with respect to our budget. Our revenues for 2008 amounted to $1,164,771 and our expenditures were $1,006.641 accounting for an excess of $158,130. Our unencumbered cash/investments are $869,018 as compared to $691,128 a year ago.
Your city council continues to work on your behalf. Their devotiveness is sincerely appreciated. The Eastborough Police Department under the direction of Chief Bridgewater continues to demonstrate excellence in keeping us safe in exercising their duties responsively. Our Assistant City Clerk, Barbara Kratzer, serves our city in an excellent manner. She has been very responsive to the needs of our citizens. And when Barbara needs assistance, Kay Brada, our City Clerk, is an immense help. Our Court Clerk, Cindy Burkemper, continues to work well with Judge Larry Hollis and our new City Prosecutor, Becky Mann is handling our traffic court needs. Norman Farha was recently appointed as our new Treasurer and has taken to his duties in a professional manner. Our City Attorney, Jerry Bogle, continues to advise the city council on legal issues that may arise and is a stabilizing force as well.
As we enter this new year of 2009, we must exercise extreme caution as we see local, state and federal governments cutting back on their allotments. And with people spending less, our proportionate share of income from taxes will certainly be reduced. I have received notice from the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT), that they will be suspending most construction lettings for the next several months. As you know, we have a 10-year Street Renovation Program in the works and this latest news from KDOT may find us a bit wanting. We will just see how this plays out.
It is my responsibility to keep us fiscally responsible. We will need to be conservative as to our expenses for the next 3-6 months. However, we will continue to do what's necessary to keep our residents safe, to keep our parks clean and useful and to keep our streets in the best repair as is possible.
I again want to encourage citizens to attend city council meetings which start at 5:30 on the 4th Tuesday of every month. As we enter into the New Year I wish our citizens well as we continue to strive to make the City of Eastborough a wonderful place in which to live.
Finance; Budget and Accounting; Memorial Gifts Committee Liaison;
Recently you should have received the following letter from Chris Owen with Hubris Communications. It is worth noting again.
Dear Eastborough Resident,
Approximately two years ago Hubris Communications began the creation of a new web site for the City of Eastborough. During that time we have worked with the city council and staff to create what we feel is an excellent source of information about our beautiful city. On the site you will find pictures of past events, minutes from your city council meetings, monthly newsletters, monthly police reports, upcoming street improvement maps and the full text of recently adopted city ordinances.
Recently we also added an "Eastborough News" section which features more recent news items in-between issues of the newsletter. The "Eastborough News" can also be delivered to you via email if you register at the site. If you have not visited the site recently I would encourage you to do so. The site can be found at www.eastborough.net.
My purpose for writing you today is twofold. First, one of the new features of the site this year is a new online version of the Eastborough Resident Directory. It is only available to Eastborough residents so in order to access it you must first register on the site. If you have not done so, we would ask that you please register and update your info if necessary. You can register and/or update your info by clicking on the "Directory" link at the top of the Eastborough web site.
Second, one area where the web site is lacking is in terms of content related to the history of Eastborough. We'd really like to see more historical content on the site. So if you have items that would be relevant to the site such as old newsletters, historical items or old photographs, we'd love to put them online. Please contact me at email@example.com if you have information you would like to contribute.
One of the ways we can save the city money is to discontinue mailing of the Eastborough Newsletter as well as party information which will be available on the web site. If you wish to stop receiving these mailings and thus save the city money please contact City Hall. We would appreciate your participation in this effort.
Our streets continue to be an issue. Cornejo and Sons has been delayed on starting Phase II and Phase III of our 10-year plan because of weather. However, it is hopeful they will get started on Hampton, south of Douglas, Peachtree, Willowbrook, Drury and Lakeside. The work being done on these streets will be a standard Mill and Overlay, which is a fairly accelerated process. We also have contracted with Ferguson Paving to do pothole repairs. I know that some residents are very concerned about a few large asphalt defects. We are concerned too and we are relying on Ferguson to get this taken care of as quickly as possible. In an effort to not only address the street condition on the West side of Woodlawn, but to also assist us in the overall management of our streets, we are in talks with a potential consultant. We hope the city will be able to enter into a relationship with a well credentialed street expert to help us develop a manageable and fiscally responsible plan to maintain our streets. Hopefully with the next newsletter I will be able to announce our retention of a consultant in this regard.
In an effort to maintain the integrity of our streets as they interface with driveways and curbs, the council has directed the City Attorney to draft an ordinance requiring a permit be obtained before any work is done on private property that adjoins the city's streets. For example, if you are putting in a new driveway which will come into contact with a city street, your contractor will need to get a permit. We have had some instances where contractors have gone out into the street with concrete. Unless done properly, such construction can damage the integrity of the street foundation which can have long term ramifications. While the council is hesitant to enact more regulations, it is important that we continue to properly maintain our street system.
When the ordinance is drafted and adopted, it will be published for your review. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me by phone or email.
The Duck Pond water level will be lowered in the near future to allow Tree Top Nursery to do maintenance work on the small waterfall pump and to accommodate the installation of additional stone around the pond edge. When the park was first designed it was anticipated that the honeysuckle would secure the pond bank where the stone ledge was not placed. It did not work. Therefore, we have contracted with Tree Top to add the stone to match the existing pond edge where it does not exist. This will require extensive work below the water level in order to support the new ledge. We have allowed Tree Top to do this project at their own pace over the winter months in order to make the project more affordable. They will, in the process, create quite a mess with the use of heavy equipment but will repair all damage to turf and the sprinkler system when finished before spring.
We will also be making repairs to the playground area to cover up the concrete footing for the east retaining wall. After that is completed the playground area will receive an additional soil base to level the area and new playground mulch to insure everyone's safety.
Trim-All has been retained to take over management of the two established park areas. Our long term goal is to improve those parks with more attention to building the grass cover with more chemical treatments and watering. Wade Vickery, the owner of Trim-All, was hired last year to take over the general maintenance duties for Eastborough. He has done a great job of maintaining the public areas of the city and improving their appearance so we decided to give him the opportunity to do the same in our two larger parks.
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