Olathe News Briefs

For Immediate Release
March 29, 2010

This Edition of E-News
• New Water Meters Rolling Out for Olathe Customers
• CDBG Hearing Planned for April 6th
• New Mahaffie Program and Summer Camp Information
• Olathe Public Library Taking Part in Statewide Initiative

City Council Agenda
The Olathe City Council will next meet on Tuesday, April 6th for a regular session meeting. All regular session meetings are broadcast live on OGTN (Comcast channel 7, AT&T channel 99 and on the City’s website). Complete agendas are posted on the City’s website the Friday afternoon prior to the meeting.


Process to Replace Olathe Water Customers Meters Beginning
Released 3/29/10

The City of Olathe is beginning the process of replacing roughly 35,000 water meters in homes and businesses with new modernized equipment that will allow for a significant increase in efficiency, cost savings and improved accuracy.

The new meters can be monitored remotely, eliminating the need to have city water meter readers travel to each location. The updates will allow the city to greatly reduce meter reading positions, 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.

Automated metering infrastructure (AMI) uses a radio unit attached to the meter to send usage reads to a tower based antenna. The antenna receives the signal through a base station computer at the tower and sends the information to the City facility. The project is paid for by the cost savings and increased accuracy of the new meters.

Because most meters are located in a pit in the front yard, most customers will see very little impact in the meter change-out process. There will be a short interruption of service (usually less than 20 minutes), and customers may notice a spurting of air in the pipes the first time water is used after the meter has been changed. The City will contact customers whose meters are in the basement of their homes to set up an appointment. Commercial customers will also be contacted if there is a need to interrupt service to ensure their business is not disrupted.

Customers will receive advance notice of the meter replacements through door hangers and mailings prior to the planned replacement, and the City's contractor will contact residents prior to and when the meter is replaced. Additional information is available in the municipal services section of the City’s website, www.OlatheKs.org or by calling 971-9311.


Hearing on Community Development Block Grants April 6th
Released 3/29/10

The City of Olathe will conduct a public hearing during the April 6th City Council meeting to address allocation of Community Development Block Grants (CDBG). The hearing provides a time for the public to share thoughts and ideas and about unmet community needs and past CDBG funding benefits.

The CDBG program is a federally funded initiative administered by local city and/or county governments that provides grants to local projects benefiting low income persons and/or low income areas.

In addition, the City will host a CDBG workshop for potential applicants on April 7th at 1:00 p.m. in Room 200 at the Johnson County Administration Building, 111 South Cherry Street. Applications are due to the City of Olathe on Friday, May 14, 2010 before 4:00 p.m.


Registration for Mahaffie’s Home School Open House and Summer Camps
Released 3/29/10

The Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm Historic Site will conduct its first annual “Home School Open House”, on Thursday, April 15th. The event is designed to provide home school students of all ages opportunities to experience two of Mahaffie’s most popular school programs.

“Growing Up Victorian”, a program for pre-kindergarten through second grade students, teaches children about life growing-up in the 19th century. “Wagons Ho”, a program for third through sixth grades students, features hands-on activities from the Oregon, California and Santa Fe Trails. Each program is limited to 80 students and run from 10:00 a.m. to noon. The cost is $5 per student, and there is no charge for parents who attend. In addition, all students can tour the Mahaffie home and exhibits in the Heritage Center in the afternoon. The cost is $1 per participant, and students should plan to bring their lunch.

To register, send names, mailing addresses, phone numbers, and the number of attending students in each program at 913.971.5504 by Friday, April 9. An informational flier is available at www.mahaffie.org.

Registration also is open for Mahaffie’s popular Summer History Camps featuring new extended hours and a new Victorian Science Camp. Mahaffie Summer History Camps run Monday through Friday and offer a variety of themes and activities to engage different ages each week. Each camp theme will be offered twice during the Summer.

The new “Victorian Science Camp” for students entering sixth and seventh grades covers steam power and the telegraph. Campers will learn about the scientific method and have hands-on 19th century activities. This camp will be offered the weeks of June 28 and July 26.

“Welcome to the Old West”, for students entering second through fourth grades, teaches campers about Kansas cowboys with activities such as branding and roping. This camp will be offered the weeks of June 7 and July 11.

“Civil War on the Border”, for students entering fifth and sixth grades, teaches campers how to march and drill and explores the duties of infantry soldiers and artillery crews. Union or Confederate, Bushwhacker or Jayhawker, campers will learn about both sides of the conflict. This camp will be offered the weeks of June 14 and July 19.

Structured camp activities run from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. To accommodate parent schedules, drop-off will begin at 7:30 a.m. and pick-up will be available until 5:30 p.m. These extended hours will feature unstructured play.

For more details and to register for camp, call Mahaffie at 913.971.5111.

Olathe Library Taking Part in Statewide Event
Released 3/29/10

The Olathe Public Library is joining libraries across the state in participating in “Snapshot: A Day in the Life of Kansas Libraries” to demonstrate how important academic, public, school and special libraries are to the citizens of Kansas.

On April 1st, the Olathe Public Library will compile statistics, customer comments, photographs and other data chronicling a typical library day. The data collection will answer: How many times the library helped someone work on a resume? How many times the library helped someone apply for a job online? How many students the library helped with an assignment or an online database? How many story hours the library offered – to how many attendees? How many people came through the library’s doors?

The results collected at the Olathe Public Library will be added to those of other libraries across Kansas to show how libraries provide valuable services every day to Kansas citizens.

Olathe Public Library Director Emily Baker said, “I hope our loyal patrons will stop by and be a part of this historic day. Libraries are more important than ever to our communities, and library usage is at record levels. We want all the citizens of Kansas to see what a typical day is like for a Kansas library. While funding continues to be reduced, vital programs and services go on. We hope this “snapshot” drives home the point to all that many rely on us for critical services.”

“Snapshot: A Day in the Life of Kansas Libraries” is a project of the Kansas Library Association, the Kansas Association of School Libraries, and the State Library of Kansas. For additional information, contact Mary Linse at (913) 660-6830.


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.

March 22, 2010


For Immediate Release

This Edition of E-News
• New Olathe Fire Chief Named
• Nominations Sought for Olathe Human Relations Commission Awards
• Interactive Citizen Input Section for City Budget on Web
• Olathe Civic Academy Applications Available
• Mahaffie Spring Programs

City Council Agenda
The Olathe City Council will meet at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 23rd in the Council Chamber at City Hall for a regular session meeting. Regular session meetings are broadcast live on OTGN (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.


Olathe Names New Fire Chief
Released 3/22/10

Olathe City Manager Michael Wilkes announced today that Jeff DeGraffenreid has been named Olathe’s new Fire Chief and Director of Emergency Management. DeGraffenreid replaces George Bentley, who retired last December.

An Olathe native, DeGraffenreid began his emergency services career with Johnson County Med-Act and rose to the position of division chief responsible for special operations, external relations and all clinical and system performance improvement initiatives.

After serving in Med-Act, DeGraffenreid joined the Overland Park Fire and Rescue Department as its training chief. In that capacity, he not only served as a fire duty officer, but he was responsible for emergency services training and management of the Overland Park training facility.

In 2005, DeGraffenreid accepted the position of Chief Operating Officer for Heart-to-Heart International, an Olathe based not-for-profit organization focusing on international disaster response. DeGraffenreid was responsible for all operations of the Forbes “Top 200” not-for-profit business and its activities in over 50 countries.

DeGraffenreid attended the National Fire Academy and the University of Missouri’s Fire Service Leadership Enhancement Program. He holds both a bachelors’ and master’s degree from MidAmerica Nazarene University and a Doctorate in Policy and Leadership from Saint Louis University.

According to Wilkes, DeGraffenreid is the right person at the right time. Wilkes said, “The very nature of fire services is changing, and we were looking for an innovative and cutting edge strategist to not only maintain, but enhance our exceptional fire department.” Wilkes said, “Jeff articulated a vision for where the fire department needs to be headed and how we can move forward to get there, and I believe he will work with our staff to make sure we continue setting the standard.”

DeGraffenreid said he was both humbled and excited about the opportunity. He said, “During my career, I’ve had the fortune to work side-by-side with the Olathe Fire Department on a daily basis, and I can tell you there is not a better department in the country.” “The nature of fire services continues to evolve from simply putting out fires and responding to medical calls to more and more specialized emergency services…every fire department must be willing to adapt to stay ahead of the curve by having the plans, training and expertise in place,” he said.

DeGraffenreid will become Olathe Fire Chief on April 5th.


City of Olathe and OHRC Seek Nominations for the Annual Community Awards Program
Released 3/22/10

The City of Olathe and the Olathe Human Relations Commission are seeking nominations for the seventh annual Community Awards Program. The awards recognize individuals and entities for meritorious service in the pursuit of cultural diversity and advocacy of human rights which benefit Olathe citizens.

The winners will be announced at the Community Awards Program from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on April 23 in the Council Chamber of Olathe City Hall, 100 E. Santa Fe. The theme of the event is "Diversity Makes the Difference."

Individuals living and working in the City of Olathe or living and working elsewhere who have contributed to the promotion of human rights to the benefit of the citizens of Olathe are eligible for nomination.

Persons or entities can be nominated in the following categories:

• Olathe Human Relations Commission Humanitarian Award
• Commission/Organization Award
• Business/Industry Award
• Educator Award
• Youth Award (19 or under)
• Olathe Human Relations Commission Chairman’s Award

In addition to the Olathe Human Relations Commission awards, the Olathe Persons with Disabilities Advisory Board will be presenting an “Accessible Community Award” which will recognize individuals and/or entities for meritorious service, perseverance or determination in the pursuit of disability inclusiveness which is defined as demonstrating or ensuring that people with disabilities can and do live and work within our community as productive, accomplished and contributing Olathe citizens.

The nomination forms and eligibility requirements are available on-line at: www.olatheks.org/HR/HumanRelations/HumanRelationsCommission and may be received by mail, fax or e-mail. The nomination form deadline is noon on April 9. For more information about the nomination process, or for special accommodations, contact the City of Olathe Office of Human Relations at (913) 971-8790 or send a fax to (913) 971-8715.


Citizen Input on the City’s Budget Made Easier
Released 3/22/10

The Olathe City Council always encourages residents to be involved in the budget process and share thoughts and ideas. This year, the City has created a new interactive feature on its webpage that makes getting involved easier. The page includes a public budget forum where citizens can provide direct input and ask questions, and anyone interested is encouraged to join the discussion.

Simply visit the budget section of the City’s webpage, www.OlatheKs.org to sign-up for the forum.

Direct link to sign-up: http://www.olatheks.org/Forum/Budget2011/Disclaimer


Olathe Civic Academy Looks at Local Government from Inside Out
Released 3/22/10

Applications are available for the 2010 session of the Olathe Civic Academy, designed to provide an inside view of Olathe City government. The Olathe Civic Academy is a citizen program, led by elected officials and City staff, that provides an enhanced understanding of local government, while providing a sense of renewal and vitality about the community. Olathe Civic Academy clarifies the City’s organizational structure and its roles in capital improvement projects, finances, parks and recreation, public safety and municipal services ranging from water utilities to solid waste management.

Olathe Civic Academy is modeled after citizen academies across the country, yet the program highlights what is uniquely Olathe. Olathe Civic Academy classes meet on nine consecutive Thursday evenings from 5:45 p.m. to 9 p.m. beginning April 15th. There is no participation fee. The Academy is open to individuals who live or work in Olathe.

Applications are available on the City’s website, www.OlatheKs.org, under Services & Programs and then Civic Academy, or by calling Carolyn Hendley at 913-971-8946. Applications are due by Friday, April 2.


New Spring Programs Set for Mahaffie
Released 3/22/10

The Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm has announced new programs and events slated for this Spring. Legacy on the Santa Fe Trail is coordinated by the Reenactors Guild of America and is planned for Saturday, April 17th. Spring Cemetery Tours are planned and a Mother’s Day Tea is scheduled.

Additional events include Brownie Girl Scout Day Saturday, March 27th and Saturday April 10th, Spring Plowin’ and Plantin’ on Saturday April 10th. The Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm Living History season resumes on Saturday, April 3rd with the opening of the Mahaffie home and stagecoach rides. Admission is $6 for adults and $4 for children, and Olathe residents receive $1 off admission.

For more information or to register, call Mahaffie at (913) 971-5111

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
March 8, 2010

This Edition of E-News
• Plenty to Do At Olathe Libraries During Spring Break
• Day Camp at Mahaffie
• Comprehensive Plan Events This Week
• State of City March 12th

City Council Agenda
The Olathe City Council will meet Tuesday, March 9th in the Council Chamber at City Hall for a study session meeting at 7:00 p.m. To see the complete agenda for this meeting, visit the City’s website at www.OlatheKs.org.


Spring Break at the Olathe Public Libraries
Released 3/8/10

The Olathe Public Library has plenty of opportunities to keep the whole family busy during spring break. From March 13th through the 17th, the main library at 201 E. Park Street and the Indian Creek Branch at 12990 South Black Bob Road will host activities ranging from book sales to movies.

Savin’ of the Green Book Sale is sponsored by the Friends of the Olathe Public Library and runs from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on March 13th at the Indian Creek Branch. The sale includes books, CDs, DVDs and cassettes and videos. From 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., the event includes a special “Five-Bucks-A Bag” sale. Plastic bags can be purchased for $5 and, in turn, can be filled with materials.

Spring also means tax time, and volunteers from AARP will be available at the main library between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. on March 15th through the 18th and 9:00 a.m. through 4:00 p.m. on March 20th. This is a walk-in only, first come, first served basis for all taxpayers with middle to lower income.

Two Safe Sitter ® Babysitting Classes are being offered for youths between 11 and 16 at the main library. The classes cover choking infant and child rescue (not infant/child CPR). The first session runs from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on March 15th and 16th at the main library. The second series runs from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on March 18th at the branch library. Participants on the 18th should bring a sack lunch, drink and snack. Space is limited, and registration opens today. Those interested can call (913) 971-6888.

At 4:00 p.m. on March 15th at the branch library and 2:00 p.m. on March 17th at the main library, families are invited to enjoy a free movie, Ponyo. No registration is required, but young children need to be accompanied by an adult.

The Teen Library Club (TLC) will meet on March 15 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the main library. TLC members plan and promote library programs, participate in special community service projects, attend outings, assist with teen page and blog and discuss books, music movies and websites. Refreshments are served, and no registration or membership is required.

Kids ages 3 through the 2nd grade are invited to “make noise” at the library. At 10:15 a.m. on March 16th at the branch library and 10:15 a.m. on March 17th at the main library, kids can try musical instruments, sing sings, listen to stories and make a take home craft. Registration is needed by calling (9130 971-6874.

Kids in the sixth grade and younger are invited to participate in the “Spring Break Cookie Decorating Program” on March 17th from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the branch library and 11:00 a.m. to noon on March 18th at the main library. All supplies are provided and no registration is required.

The Afternoon Rush @ OPL is an opportunity for 6th through 12th graders to meet at the Olathe main library to play Nintendo, Wii, Play Station 2 or use a laptop to play Runescape. A movie, Where the Wild Things Are, will also be shown. No registration is required and pizza and snacks will be provided. The event runs from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on March 19th.

Children of all ages may sign-up to read to a dog provided by Pets for Life, Inc. from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., March 20 at the main library. R.E.A.D. to a Dog is a time proven program that allows kids to develop reading skills and enjoy reading. Stop by children’s services upon arrival and sign up for a reading time available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Anyone with questions about these or any library programs can call (913) 971-6888.


Spring Break “No School Day Camp” at Mahaffie
Released 3/8/10

The Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm is offering a day camp on Wednesday, March 17th from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., at the historic site, 1200 Kansas City Road in Olathe.

The camp is available to kids in kindergarten through sixth grade and features history based games, crafts, living history activities, movie times and stories frown from cowboy culture. Weather permitting, campers will spend time indoors and outside.

The cost is $50 for the first child in the household and $40 for each additional household participant. Registration is open until Thursday, March 11th. For more information or to register call (913) 971-5111.


Comprehensive Plan Taking Shape but Public Input Remains Critical
Released 3/8/10

The City of Olathe’s Comprehensive Plan is an essential tool that helps determine how the city will grow, develop and redevelop. It provides a critical road map for City investments and planning and literally shapes the community’s future.

Since last year, the City has been undertaking a major effort to update the plan, and public involvement continues to be critical. A preliminary draft of the updated plan will be presented for public comment at two open houses scheduled for Wednesday, March 10th and Thursday, March 11th. These comments are an important part of the process to ensure the City is “getting it right.”

Both events are being held at Olathe City Hall, 100 E. Santa Fe, from 5:45 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. They will begin with a presentation and overview of the draft plan at 6:00 p.m. followed by a session of questions.

In addition to the open houses, the presentation will be broadcast on the Olathe Government Television Network. Additional information and opportunities to provide input are available online as well at www.planolathe.com.


State of the City Scheduled for March 12
Released 3/8/10

Olathe Mayor Michael Copeland will deliver his State of the City Speech on Friday, March 12th at the Olathe Holiday Inn. The luncheon is scheduled to begin at 11:45 a.m. and conclude at 1:00 p.m. Tickets are available through the Olathe Chamber of Commerce, (913) 764-1050.


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
March 1, 2010

 

This Edition of E-News
• State of the City March 12th
• Comprehensive Plan Reaching Milestone
• Information You Want Automatically Sent to Your Inbox

City Council Agenda
The Olathe City Council will meet Tuesday, March 2nd in the Council Chamber at City Hall for a regular session meeting. The Council will convene at 6:30 p.m. for an executive session, and the public portion of the meeting will begin at 7:00 p.m. 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.


State of the City Scheduled for March 12
Released 3/1/10

Olathe Mayor Michael Copeland will deliver his State of the City Speech on Friday, March 12th at the Olathe Holiday Inn. The luncheon is scheduled to begin at 11:45 a.m. and conclude at 1:00 p.m. Tickets are available through the Olathe Chamber of Commerce, (913) 764-1050.


Comprehensive Plan Taking Shape but Public Input Remains Critical
Released 3/1/10

The City of Olathe’s Comprehensive Plan is an essential tool that helps determine how the city will grow, develop and redevelop. It provides a critical road map for City investments and planning and literally shapes the community’s future.

Since last year, the City has been undertaking a major effort to update the plan, and public involvement continues to be critical. A preliminary draft of the updated plan will be presented for public comment at two open houses scheduled for Wednesday, March 10th and Thursday, March 11th. These comments are an important part of the process to ensure the City is “getting it right.”

Both events are being held at Olathe City Hall, 100 E. Santa Fe, from 5:45 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. They will begin with a presentation and overview of the draft plan at 6:00 p.m. followed by a session of questions.

In addition to the open houses, the presentation will be broadcast on the Olathe Government Television Network. Additional information and opportunities to provide input are available online as well at www.planolathe.com.


Stay Informed Without Being Overwhelmed
Released 3/1/10

There are volumes of information about City projects, services, news and activities available on the City of Olathe’s website; but often times, residents simply want to receive timely information that is important to them.

As a result, the City has made it simple for residents to selectively subscribe to automatically receive timely emails with information important to them. Automatic email updates are available on a wide array of topics including: latest news and information, recreation programming, the City’s newsletter, development statistics and construction updates. Those interested in subscribing simply need to visit the “Subscribe to Newsletters and RSS Feeds” portion of the “I Want To” section of the City’s website, www.OlatheKs.org.

In addition, residents can sign-up to automatically receive text messages with updates about recreation programming and events. Residents can also conveniently stay informed by becoming fans of one or more City related Facebook pages including: Parks and Recreation, Budget, Human Resources, OGTN, and the Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm.


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.