Olathe News Briefs

For Immediate Release
July 26, 2010

This Edition of E-News
• Olathe Finding Ways to Save Money on Streets
• Storm Debris Clean Up Update
• Sign Sweep Results
• Water Meter Replacement Project Progressing
• Upcoming Events at Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm

City Council Agenda
The Olathe City Council will next meet Tuesday, August 3, at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall for a regular session meeting. Regular session meetings are broadcast live on OGTN (Comcast channel 7, AT&T channel 99 and on the City’s website). The meeting’s complete agenda, will be available on Friday, July 30, on the City’s website at www.OlatheKs.org.


City Utilizing Recycled Pavement Technology With Environmental and Cost Benefits
Released 7/26/10

Olathe City Council recently adopted a new recycled pavement technology with both environmental and cost benefits.

FRAP, or Fractionated Recycled Asphalt Pavement, is a green technology that recycles aged and worn asphalt pavement on existing asphalt streets, roads and highways and incorporates the material back into the new asphalt.

The process of combining old and new asphalt, known as Recycled Asphalt Pavement (RAP) has been around for years. However, RAP was generally limited to a mix of 10% recycled to 90% new asphalt. Additionally, RAP produced a larger, courser unfinished gradation. The process of turning the RAP into FRAP is a relatively newer process that breaks down the RAP by crushing and screening into two gradations. This gradation allows the recycled asphalt mix to be utilized in precise volumes specified in the mix design.

According to Jeff Beal, Olathe project coordinator for street preservation, the new process is making a difference to the already stressed street rehabilitation program. “The price per ton reduction by using a FRAP mix can be up to 30% less than a virgin asphalt mix design,” he said.

In 2010, the City of Olathe will utilize FRAP mix designs for resurfacing projects on arterial, collector and local streets.


Storm Debris Clean Up Continues Through Weekend
Released 7/26/10

City crews worked through the weekend continuing to remove storm debris from areas hit by July 17 and July 20 storms. According to Kent Seyfried, Solid Waste Manager, storm damage is most concentrated in the north half of the city. Crews have re-run routes to pick-up additional piles set out after the first round of debris removal. Since July 18, crews have collected over 500 tons of storm debris.

Limbs less than 4-inches in diameter can be cut into bundles weighing less than 50 pounds and will be collected during normal weekly yard waste collection.

This is the last week that residents may take advantage of free storm debris bulk pick up requests for limbs larger than 4-inches in diameter. Requests for bulk pick up must be made prior to 5:00 p.m. on Friday, July 30. Residents can schedule a request by calling Olathe Customer Service at 971-3111 during regular business hours (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday).

The City’s composting facility, located at 127th and Hedge Lane, remains open between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday at no cost to residents. Olathe residents must bring identification and a utility bill to the facility.


Sign Sweep Nets 400+
Released 7/26/10

On July 16, Olathe City staff removed 407 signs that were illegally placed on public property, including right-of-way and medians. For more information about the City of Olathe sign ordinance, visit www.OlatheKs.org.


Water Meter Replacement Project Progressing
Released 7/26/10

In April, the City of Olathe began the process of replacing roughly 35,000 water meters in homes and businesses with new modernized equipment, increasing efficiency and cost savings and improving accuracy.

The new meters can be monitored remotely, eliminating the need to have City meter readers travel to each location. The updates will allow the City to greatly reduce meter reading costs, including personnel, vehicles and the associated costs of manually reading meters. In addition, the new equipment will provide significantly more accurate readings on a daily (and even hourly) basis and detect water leaks, even while customers are away.

To date, the project is 29% complete. 10,290 meters have been replaced and an additional 24,673 are scheduled to be replaced by the end of the year. Customers will receive advance notice of the meter replacements through door hangers and mailings prior to the planned replacement. The City’s contractor will also contact residents prior to and when the meter is replaced. Residents may track progress on meter replacement by going to the Municipal Services page on the City website, www.OlatheKS.org.


Two Events Highlight Different Parts of Mahaffie’s History
Released 7/26/10

This week, Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm, 1200 Kansas City Road, will host two different events that highlight a different part of the site’s history.

Visitors can help harvest the wheat Thursday, July 29 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. as part of this year’s final Open Late 6-8 Thursday night event. The historic site was open Thursday nights in June and July with free admission and different themed activities each week. Activities Thursday, July 29 will focus on 1860s farming with the wheat harvest as the highlight. Other activities will include leather stamping, farm chores, stagecoach rides and cookstove cooking. Admission is free. Additional fees apply for stagecoach rides and some other activities.

Mahaffie will host an Extreme Cowboy Challenge 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Friday, July 30 and Saturday, July 31 and noon to 4:00 p.m. Sunday, August 31. Visitors can watch the cowboy clinic each day. Friday and Saturday will feature a cowboy competition at 4 p.m. Regular daily admission of $6 for adults and $4 for children will apply.

Additional information is available at, www.mahaffie.org or (913) 971-5111.


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For Immediate Release
July 19, 2010

This Edition of E-News
• Free Storm Debris Collection Update
• Cooling Centers Open Today
• July 30 Concert Looking for World Record and Helping Kids
• Mahaffie Thursdays
• Mahaffie Getting Support from History Group

City Council Agenda
The Olathe City Council will meet Tuesday, July 20 at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall for a regular session meeting. Regular session meetings are broadcast live on OGTN (Comcast channel 7, AT&T channel 99 and on the City’s website). To see the complete agenda for this meeting, visit the City’s website at www.OlatheKs.org. Tuesday’s meeting includes the second City Council budget workshop, and the public is always encouraged to attend.


City Crews Hope to Have Storm Debris Picked-up by End of Week
Released 7/19/10

Due to significant storm damage on Friday evening, July 16, City crews are collecting storm debris free of charge for residents beginning today, July 19.

If limbs are less than 4-inches in diameter and can be cut into bundles weighing less than 50 lbs, they will be collected during normal weekly yard waste collection.

However, limbs larger than 4-inches in diameter will be collected separately by bulk pick-up and must be scheduled. To schedule a pick-up, contact Olathe Customer Service at 971-9311 during regular business hours (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday). Larger limbs need to be placed within 10 feet of the curb for collection.

Olathe residents with identification and a utility bill can drop limbs and yard waste off at the City’s composting facility, 127th Street and Hedge Lane, between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday at no cost as well.

If crews are unable to collect all debris by Friday, work will continue on Saturday and into next week if necessary.


Cooling Centers Open in Olathe Today
Released 7/19/10

In response to another excessive heat warning from the National Weather Service (NWS), the City of Olathe Fire Department’s Office of Emergency Management and Olathe Public Library announced the opening of two cooling centers. The centers offer people temporary relief from the extreme heat that blankets the metro. Those who participate are encouraged to bring necessary, personal items like medicines, ready-to-eat snacks, etc. Captain Mike Hall said, "We hope the cooling centers provide comfort for those needing to escape the heat."

The temporary centers are located at Olathe’s two public libraries: the Olathe Main Library (201 E. Park Street), from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and the Indian Creek Branch (12990 S. Black Bob), from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Heat is the number one weather-related killer in the U.S. according to the National Weather Service. NWS data shows that heat causes more fatalities per year than floods, lightning, tornadoes and hurricanes combined.


July 30th Free Summer Concert Looking for Record
Released 7/19/10

If all goes according to plan on July 30th, not only will more than 5,000 people be playing Hey Jude on the kazoo, but, a Guinness Word Record will fall. More importantly, the children at TLC for Families and Children’s care will directly benefit. TLC is an Olathe based not-for-profit organization serving children from of all ages who have been victimized or are in crisis.

The City of Olathe’s final free summer concert is planned for Friday evening July 30th at Frontier Park and features Beatles tribute band, Liverpool, traditionally the series’ largest draw. TLC volunteers will be accepting donations for kazoos prior to and throughout the concert. Kazoos will be distributed during the band’s final break. If enough concert goers sign-up and “perform” for five minutes at the end of the concert, the event will break the Guinness World Record for the largest kazoo ensemble.

The kazoos are being donated by Farmers Insurance. As a result, 100% of the sale proceeds will go directly to TLC in Olathe. Suggested donations for the kazoos are $2 for one, $5 for three and $10 for seven.

The brainchild of TLC fundraising volunteers Stacey and Charles Warren, the effort should be fun and make a major difference for the kids. According to Stacy, “It is safe to say that at no time or place in mankind’s history have over 5,000 people gathered to play ‘Hey Jude’ on the kazoo….Just imagine what that will sound like, and how cool it will be to be a part to this.”

The current Guinness World Record for kazoo ensemble is 5,300 set in January by a church youth conference in Salt Lake City. To break it, 5,301 free concert attendees will need to play a song for at least five minutes.

Though breaking the record would be nice, the event means much more for the community. According to Farmers Help Point Vice-President Vince Donofrio, supporting a free family activity and helping the kids in TLC’s care is really what it’s all about.” He said, “During these challenging economic times, free family events like the Summer Concert Series are a great way to enjoy a night out.” He added, “But we can’t forget that agencies like TLC rely on the community’s generosity, and they’re facing tough times as well…This is a great way to support our community.”


Mahaffie Open Thursday Nights in June
Released 7/19/10

Olathe’s Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm, 1200 Kansas City Rd., is open from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Thursday nights in July with different themed activities each week. Activities Thursday, July 22, will be “Hit the Trails” featuring gold panning, bullet making, journaling and stagecoach rides. The theme for July 29 will be “19th Century Farming” featuring the annual wheat harvest. Admission is free, but additional fees apply for stagecoach rides and other activities.


Questers Making a Difference at Mahaffie
Released 7/19/10

On July 20, 2010 at the Olathe City Council Meeting, Karen Grekstas, President of the Lucinda Mahaffie Chapter of the International Questers will present a grant check to Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop in the amount of $6500 for the restoration and reupholstering of an 1860's Settee parlor set in authentic horse hair fabric acquired in Tibet. Formed in 2003, the Lucinda Mahaffie Questers Chapter #1411 has contributed over 100 volunteer hours at Mahaffie cleaning artifacts and selling lemonade at the annual Wild West Show in September. Over $1000 has been raised by the chapter members and two grants from the International Questers organization totaling $7,100 have been awarded to the site. The Questers is a non-profit organization founded in 1944 with over 15,000 members in Canada and the United States. The group is an educational antique group who desire to learn more about history/antiques and preserve historic landmarks in our area. For more information on the Lucinda Mahaffie Questers Chapter #1411, contact Cara Rinne, email: crinne@kc.rr.com.


Stay informed by subscribing to automatically receive Olathe News releases via email. To subscribe, click here or visit Olathe’s website at http://www.OlatheKs.org/News/List.


For Immediate Release
July 12, 2010

This Edition of E-News
• Immediate Access to City News on Twitter
• Sign Sweep Planned for Friday
• Journey of Hope Cyclists Returning to Olathe
• Mahaffie Thursday

City Council Agenda
The Olathe City Council will meet Tuesday, July 12, at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall for a study session meeting. The meeting includes the City Council’s first budget workshop to discuss the proposed 2011 budget. To see the complete agenda for this meeting, visit the City’s website at www.OlatheKs.org.


OlatheGovNews on Twitter
Released 7/12/10

The City of Olathe is now providing timely and responsive news on Twitter. OlatheGovNews is designed to provide immediate updates and links to video, photos and information on the City’s website or other City social media sights. City events, traffic alerts and general city related news will be provided. OlatheGovNews is working in partnership with other current City pages, including the fire department and city budget to ensure residents have access to current and timely City information.


City Taking Proactive Approach to Signs
Released 7/12/10

In 2000, Olathe’s citizen survey showed residents had a raw nerve when it came to temporary signs. Ranging from “finding singles in the area” or “losing weight fast”, the level of resident concern for temporary signs neared the level of traffic flow and congestion.

Since that time, the City has not only refined its temporary sign ordinance, it has proactively removed signs placed on public property. City staff will conduct a sign sweep this Friday to remove signs clearly placed on public property, including right-of-way and medians. Removed signs will be disposed of.

The City continues to ask political campaigns to make sure volunteers are aware of the City’s sign ordinance and where signs can be legally placed (with owner permission).


Journey of Hope Cyclists Returning to Olathe
Released 7/12/10

On Monday, July 19th, a team of cyclists participating in the Journey of Hope will arrive in Olathe as part of a nine-week, 4,000-mile cycling event across the country to raise funds and awareness for people with disabilities.

The team will spend Monday and Tuesday, July 19th and 20th, in the Olathe community. Mark Cameron, a generous and dedicated Push America volunteer, is helping to coordinate the team's stay in Olathe. The team will be visiting the Olathe City Hall, 100 E. Santa Fe, at noon on Monday July 19. On Tuesday, July 20, the team will be stopping by the Children’s Therapeutic Learning Center, and will be at the Kauffman Stadium for an on-field introduction Tuesday night.

The Journey of Hope is a program of Push America, the national philanthropy of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity, which raises funds and awareness for people with disabilities. The Journey of Hope team consists of men from Pi Kappa Phi chapters across the country. The team will cycle an average of 75 miles per day, beginning in Seattle and ending in Washington, D.C., August 14.

For the team, the real journey will not be on a bike, but spending time with the people for whom they are riding. The Journey of Hope team members will spend every afternoon with people with disabilities at many different community events and activities. These men are striving for community inclusion of people with disabilities and are helping to break the barriers of society that keep people of all abilities from living life to the fullest.

Celebrating 20 plus years, the Journey of Hope teams hope to enhance the lives of people with disabilities. Push America was founded in 1977 with the hope of committing its members to enhance the lives of people with disabilities. With the combined efforts of sponsors and individual team members, this year's Journey of Hope will raise more than $500,000 on behalf of people with disabilities. Push America and Pi Kappa Phi have raised over $13 million to date and continue to be on the cutting edge of the disability movement.

For more information about this event or more on Push America's summer programs, please contact Mark Cameron at 913.393.4453 or visit www.pushamerica.org.


Mahaffie Open Thursday Nights in June
Released 7/12/10

Olathe’s Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm, 1200 Kansas City Rd., is open from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Thursday nights in July with different themed activities each week. Activities Thursday, July 15 will highlight Kansas Cowboys. Activities will include the old-time photo gallery, leather stamping, branding, roping, and stagecoach rides. Admission is free; a fee will be charged for the photo gallery, leather stamping, branding and stagecoach rides.

The theme for July 22 will be Hit the Trails featuring gold panning, bullet making, journaling and stagecoach rides. The theme for July 29 will be 19th Century Farming featuring the annual wheat harvest.


Stay informed by subscribing to automatically receive Olathe News releases via email. To subscribe, click here or visit Olathe’s website at http://www.olatheks.org/News/List.


For Immediate Release
July 2-5, 2010

This Edition of E-News
• New Technology Pilot Starting with Art
• July 4th Holiday Schedule: Trash and Recycling Not Impacted
• Discount Rabies Vaccinations and Easy Registering for Olathe Pets
• City Manager to Present Proposed Operating Budget Tuesday
• Friends of the Olathe Public Library Book Sale

City Council Agenda
The Olathe City Council will meet Tuesday, July 6th at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall for a regular session meeting. Regular session meetings are broadcast live on OGTN (Comcast channel 7, AT&T channel 99 and on the City’s website). To see the complete agenda for this meeting, visit the City’s website at www.OlatheKs.org.


What Are Those Strange Pictures by the Sculptures?
There is something different about the downtown art sculptures in Olathe, but it is not a part of the art.

Next to each of the temporary sculptures in the City’s Downtown Public Art Exhibit are signs with black and white spotty images. Those images are actually bar codes, or QR codes that can be read using smart phone cameras. By “taking a picture” of the bar code, the user will be immediately directed to the City web page with information about the adjacent piece. Smart phone users will need to download the bar code reader app for the camera function to work.

If this pilot program is successful, the City plans to display more bar coded signs with links to additional information on the City’s website. Currently, the QR codes are in place on all the sculptures included in the downtown sculpture exhibit.

Direct link to QR information: http://www.olatheks.org/QR/About


4th of July Holiday Schedule
City offices will be closed on Monday July 5th to mark the Independence Day holiday. Residential trash and recycling collection schedules will not be impacted.


Rabies Vaccines
The City of Olathe is offering low cost rabies vaccine at the City’s animal shelter on July 24th from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The shelter is located behind the police department on the southeast corner of Old 56 Highway and Harrison Street.

One year vaccinations are $10 and three year vaccinations are $30 for all dogs and cats owned by Olathe residents. In addition to receiving discounted vaccinations, pet owners will be able to purchase their city pet license at the same time. Multi-year pet licenses are now available for up to three years with a corresponding rabies certificate. The multiyear licenses include price discounts.


Budget to be Presented Tuesday
City Manager Michael Wilkes will present his proposed general fund budget to the City Council during the Tuesday, July 6th meeting. The proposed budget is anticipated to include further cost reductions that reflect the economy and city revenue.

The public is encouraged to attend the meeting and follow the budget process. Further information about the city’s budget, including opportunities to become involved or follow the process is available in the budget section of the City’s website, www.OlatheKs.org.


Julybration Book Sale
The Friends of the Olathe Public Library is sponsoring a used book sale on Friday, July 9th from noon to 5:00 p.m. and on Saturday, July 10th from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Indian Creek Library Branch at 12990 South Black Bob Road.

The sale includes numerous book genres from romance, mystery, fiction, old books, true crime, horror, biography, cookbooks and travel. In addition, DVDs, CDs, videos, audio books, children's materials and much more will be available. All materials sorted by category.

New Manga and Anime will be available for purchase for $2 each, six for $10 and twelve for $20. Due to space limitations, strollers are not allowed in the sale. Cash and check payments will be accepted.

There will be a "Five-Bucks-A-Bag" Sale from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday only. The sale allows for purchase of a plastic bag for $5 at the door to be filled with materials, and with the purchase of two bags, a third is free. The doors to the sale will close from 12:30 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. to prepare for the bag sale. The sale will close early if sold out or material selection is low.

For more information: Call 913-971-6879..


Stay informed by subscribing to automatically receive Olathe News releases via email. To subscribe, click here or visit Olathe’s website at http://www.OlatheKs.org/News/List.