Olathe News Briefs

For Immediate Release
May 24, 2010

This Edition of E-News
• Black Bob Bay Aquatics Park To Open June 5th
• Memorial Day Weekend Event Honors Civil War Veterans Buried at Olathe Cemetery
• Black Bob and 127th Street Road Closure Postponed to June 1st TRAFFIC UPDATE
• Memorial Day Schedule TRASH AND RECYCLING CUSTOMERS NOT IMPACTED
• Upcoming Events at Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm

City Council Agenda
The Olathe City Council will next meet Tuesday, June 1st 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, May 28th on the City’s website at www.OlatheKs.org.


Black Bob Bay Aquatics Park Now Planned for June 5th
Released 5/24/10

Opening of Olathe’s new water park, Black Bob Bay, is now slated for Saturday, June 5th. The City had hoped to have the facility open in time for the Memorial Day holiday weekend, but the extreme Winter and wet Spring impacted construction schedules.

The City anticipates beginning to fill the pools and water features and testing equipment this week. Over the course of the following week, the water will be heated and staff, including lifeguards, will focus on training for the new features and park layout. The park will have the original diving pool and 50 meter pool, but a zero depth entry feature has been added. New amenities include a lazy river, water slides, a new children’s pool, and a shallow water play area with water features and a dump bucket.

The City regrets any inconvenience this week-long delay may have on Memorial Day plans. All customers who purchased a season pass will be offered a full refund if they choose and can call Olathe Parks and Recreation at (913) 971-6263 for more information. In addition, season pass holders can present their season passes at the gate for free Memorial Day weekend admittance to the Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm.

All other City pools (Frontier, Mill Creek and Oregon Trial) will open at 12:30 on Saturday, May 29th.


Memorial Day Event Planned for Historic Olathe Memorial Cemetery
Released 5/24/10

The Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War will host a special Memorial Day Weekend service on Saturday, May 29th at 10:00 a.m. at the Olathe Memorial Cemetery. The event will honor over 300 Union Civil War veterans buried there. In addition to placing flags at the graves, the event will include featured speaker Lt. Col (Ret) Sheldon Vazquez US Navy, an ROTC Cadet Color Guard, Boy Scouts, a Memorial Day Speech, and a wreath laying ceremony. It will be held at the Grand Army of the Republic Monument at the north side of the cemetery.

Among the Union Veterans being honored at the ceremony is Robert Wolfley, President Obama’s great, great, great grandfather, who served in Company A of the 145th Ohio Infantry.

In addition, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion will be placing flags at many of the over 750 graves of other veterans buried at the Olathe cemetery.

For more information, contact Lane Smith, Sons of the Union Veterans Camp Commander at (913) 649-1515.


Black Bob Road Closure Moved to June 1st From May 24th
Released 5/24/10

As part of the 127th Street improvement project, Black Bob Road will be closed just north of 127th Street beginning Tuesday, June 1st while storm and sanitary sewer lines are installed. The closure had originally been planned for May 24th, but weather conditions required a delay. It is scheduled to reopen on or about June 18th. Detours will be provided.

In addition, the project will require 127th Street’s closure between Black Bob and Arapaho to local traffic until Fall of this year while the street is being reconstructed. The section is currently closed to through traffic. Detours will be provided for local traffic.


Memorial Day Schedule: TRASH AND CURBSIDE RECYCLING SCHEDULE NOT IMPACTED
Released 5/24/10

City of Olathe offices will be closed on Monday, May 31st for the Memorial Day Holiday. Trash and Recycling collection will not be impacted.


Olathe Civic Band and Family Fun Night at Mahaffie
Released 5/24/10

The Summer season is underway at Olathe’s Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm, 1200 Kansas City Rd., with interpretive programming and stagecoach rides offered Wednesday through Sunday. In addition to daily programming, Mahaffie will host several family events this summer.

Join the Olathe Civic Band at Mahaffie for the annual Family Fun Night Tuesday, June 8th. Activities begin at 6:00 p.m. with the Olathe Civic Band performing at 7:00 p.m. In addition, children's music, 19th century games, and stagecoach rides are planned. Members of the Olathe City Council will hand-out frozen treats prior to the band performance. Admission to the event is free, but special activities like stagecoach rides are $2 per person, ages 3 and up.

The Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm also will be open late with free admission Thursday nights in June and July. The site will be open from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. with a different theme each week: June 3rd and July 22nd for 19th Century Farming; June 10th and July 8th for Civil War; June 17th and July 15th for Hit the Trail; and June 24th and July 29th for Kansas Cowboys.

Admission to the event is free; special activities like stagecoach rides are $2 per person, ages 3 and up. For a complete listing of events and summer camps visit www.mahaffie.org or call 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
May 17, 2010

This Edition of E-News
• Bond Rating Upgrade Helping Project Move Forward
• Library Summer Hours Set
• One More Way to Keep Up with the Olathe Public Library
• Mahaffie Summer Camps
• Mahaffie Summer Season Kicks Off
• Trash and Recycling NOT Impacted by Memorial Day Holiday

City Council Agenda
The Olathe City Council will meet at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 18th 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.

Bond Rating Upgrade Moves Delayed Streetscape Back Up
Released 5/17/10

The City of Olathe’s recent bond rating upgrade is already paying dividends for a downtown project. The Santa Fe Streetscape project had been delayed until 2012, but due in large part to lower bonding interest costs, the project is now planned for 2011.

Bond ratings are assigned by rating agencies based on a government’s financial strength. Typically, the stronger the rating, the less the government will pay in interest on bonds that finance major capital projects. In Olathe’s case, about $1.7 million in interest costs is being realized from its most recent bond sale, and that savings is allowing the streetscape project to move forward sooner.

According to Moody’s, a key bond rating agency, Olathe’s strong rating is based on its “well-managed financial operations (that are) expected to continue despite revenue pressures.”

New Summer Hours at the Olathe Public Library
Released 5/17/10

Effective Monday, May 24, both Olathe library locations will have new hours for the summer. The Olathe Public Library, 201 E. Park, will be open Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., on Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., on Saturdays from noon to 5:00 p.m. and Sundays 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The Indian Creek Branch, 12990 S. Black Bob Road, will be open Monday through Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Fridays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturdays from noon to 5:00 p.m. and Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Also beginning Monday, May 24th, service at the drive-through window at the branch library will no longer be available.

The Olathe Public Library Wants You to Become a Fan
Released 5/17/10

The Olathe Public Library now has two new Facebook pages and is inviting those interested to become fans. The library’s general page, http://www.facebook.com/olathelibrary, includes book news, author updates, library news, and other book and reading related tidbits.

The Olathe Public Library teen page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Olathe-KS/Olathe-Public-Library-Teens/65420435906 features teen book news, teen library program information and more. For more information, contact the library at 913-971-6888.

Go Back in Time with Mahaffie Summer History Camps
Released 5/17/10

The Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm is offering three different themed Summer History Camps this year for campers going into second through seventh grades. New this year, extended camp hours will be offered for all camps to better accommodate working parents’ schedules.

Summer History Camps offered are:
Welcome to the Old West – for students entering 2nd, 3rd and 4th grades, weeks of June 7 or July 12. This camp provides the Kansas cowboy or cowgirl experience with roping, branding, herding and crafts.

Civil War on the Border – for students entering 5th and 6th grades, weeks of June 14 or July 19. Campers learn to be a soldier, spy or medic while making soldiers’ equipment, learning to march and fire a cannon.

Victorian Science Camp – for students entering 6th and 7th grades, weeks of June 28 or July 26. Campers learn about many 19th Century inventions including steam engines, the telegraph, photography, map-reading with a compass and Civil War code deciphering.

Camps will run Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. each day with structured camp activities from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. with free play before and after camp. Extended camp hours are optional. Campers need to bring their own lunch, water bottle and sunscreen. Two snacks are provided daily.

The week-long camp fee is $150 for Olathe residents or $175 for non-residents. Registration is due the Friday before the camp week begins. Registration is available on-line at www.mahaffie.org. For questions, call 913-971-5111.

Olathe Parks and Recreation scholarship requests can be submitted for these camps. For scholarship information, including eligibility requirements, contact the Olathe Parks and Recreation Department at 971-6263.

Mahaffie Summer Season Promotes Family Fun
Released 5/17/10

The Summer season officially beings at Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm, 1200 Kansas City Rd., in May. Beginning May 26th, living history activities and stagecoach rides will run from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and noon to 4:00 p.m. on Sundays. In addition to regular hours, Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm offers many special events throughout the summer.

Open Late 6-8 - Thursday nights in June and July will include a variety of historic-themed activities. Admission is free, but special activities like stagecoach rides are $2/person.

Olathe Civic Band Family Fun Night - Tuesday, June 8; 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Guests will enjoy children's music, 19th century games, and stagecoach rides. Activities begin at 6:00 p.m. with music starting at 7:00 p.m. Members of the Olathe City Council will hand-out frozen treats. Admission is free, but special activities like stagecoach rides are $2/person.

19th Century Fireworks and Olathe Civic Band Concert - Thursday, July 1; 7:00 to 9:30 p.m.  Guests will enjoy the Olathe Civic Band for a concert followed by 19th century fireworks by the Olathe Fire Department. Guests are invited to bring decorated bikes/strollers/wagons. The Gum Springs Serenaders will be playing after the Olathe Civic Band until dark. Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, blanket and a picnic dinner. Fireworks will begin at dark. Admission is free, but special activities like stagecoach rides are $2/person.

Independence Day 19th Century Style - Saturday, July 3; 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Guests will enjoy historic activities including: 19th century baseball, music, a reading of the Declaration of Independence, and a cannon firing, Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy this all-American celebration. Admission is free, but $2/adult, $1/child donations are suggested.

For a complete listing of events visit www.mahaffie.org or call 913-971-5111.

Memorial Day Schedule: TRASH AND CURBSIDE RECYCLING SCHEDULE NOT IMPACTED
Released 5/17/10

City of Olathe offices will be closed on Monday, May 31st for the Memorial Day Holiday. Trash and Recycling collection will not be impacted.


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
May 10, 2010

This Edition of E-News
• Citywide Recycling Saving Money
• Planning and Fundraising Underway for June Downtown Art Event
• 127th Street Improvement Project to Temporarily Close Black Bob
• Old 56 Bridge Improvement to Impact Traffic
• Grant to Help Emergency Responders

City Council Agenda
The Olathe City Council will meet Tuesday, May 11th at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall for a study session meeting. To see the complete agenda for this meeting, visit the City’s website at www.OlatheKs.org.


Citywide Curbside Recycling Program Already Working
Released 5/10/10

When the Olathe City Council approved the citywide curbside recycling program in 2009, they looked at two benefits, helping the environment and saving customers money. In the brief time the program has been operating the first quarter of this year, both those goals are being met.

Overall, the amount of trash going into the landfill has been reduced by 8% from the previous year, even though there are more residents in Olathe. Since the City pays for every ton of trash taken to the landfill, the reduction has already resulted in over $21,000 in savings. In addition, revenue collected from selling recycled goods has increased by over $24,000. Based on the first quarter, the City expects an overall swing of a minimum of $181,000 by the end of the year. Those costs savings and increased revenues will go directly to keeping the solid waste program affordable and cost effective for customers.

The number of customers actively recycling at the curb has more than doubled as well. Under the previous subscription program, only 30% of customers recycled regularly, but under the new citywide program, that average has grown to 70%. In addition, customer satisfaction with the City’s curbside recycling program improved. Overall satisfaction with the program currently sits at 91.5% with only 1.2% of customers expressing dissatisfaction.

When the program began, all customers were provided a standard 65-gallon recycle cart, and each was given the option of receiving a larger or smaller size to meet their specific needs. To date, less than one percent of customers have changed to the 18-gallon bin, less than two percent have changed to the 35-gallon cart, and just over three percent have moved to the 97-gallon cart. Over 93% or customers have elected to stay with the standard 65-gallon cart.

Recycling is collected every other week based on a set schedule. For more information about the City’s curbside recycling program, visit the municipal services section of the City’s website, www.OlatheKs.org. Customers interested in exchanging their cart for a different size can call 971-9311.


Downtown Olathe Arts Fest Committee Fundraising For June Event
Released 5/10/10

The new Downtown Olathe Arts Festival Committee is about two-thirds of the way to reaching its fundraising goal to make a June art festival in downtown Olathe a reality.

The festival is planned for June 12th and 13th and would feature visual and performing artists with a wide-array of music, displays and booths. Olathe restaurants are planned to be included and offer a variety of dining and snacking opportunities. The Olathe Public Library will be hosting a children’s booth, and the Central Core Neighborhood Association will be giving away free ice cream, while supplies last, as part of their Annual Ice Cream Social. On Saturday night, a special “Dinner and Dance” is planned from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

The Committee hopes to raise an additional $2,000 by May 15th to make the event a reality. In addition to securing corporate sponsorship packages, the Committee is seeking donations from the public. Donations, of any amount large or small, should be made to the Olathe Arts Alliance and sent to: Downtown Olathe Arts Festival, P.O. Box 201, Olathe, KS 66051. All donations are tax deductable.

The Downtown Olathe Arts Festival Committee was created through a partnership between the Central Core Neighborhood Committee; the Olathe Arts Alliance and the City’s Human Relations Commission, Diversity Committee and Persons with Disabilities Advisory Board.

The Committee’s goal is to bring new visitors downtown, and increase exposure to and participation in the arts. For more information and to access registration forms for visual and performing artists, visit www.downtownolatheartsfestival.org or call Mike Anderson at (913) 522-4730.


Black Bob Road to Close at 127th Street Beginning May 24th
Released 5/10/10

As part of the 127th Street improvement project, Black Bob Road will be closed just north of 127th Street beginning May 24th while storm and sanitary sewer lines are installed. It is scheduled to reopen in mid-June. Detours will be provided.

In addition, the project will require 127th Street’s closure between Black Bob and Arapaho to local traffic until Fall of this year while the street is being reconstructed. The section is currently closed to through traffic. Detours will be provided for local traffic.


Old 56 Highway Bridge Over Little Cedar Creek Closing for Repair
Released 5/10/10

Beginning May 24th, Old 56 Highway will be closed to through traffic between Robinson Drive and 151st Street for construction. The project includes removing and replacing deteriorated sides, replacing guardrails, rebuilding approaches and resurfacing the deck of the Old 56 Highway Bridge over Little Cedar Creed and resurfacing Old 56 Highway between the bridge and just east of Robinson. Local traffic will have access up to the bridge. Construction is expected to last 60 days, and detours will be provided.


Grant Benefits Local Emergency Response Agencies
Released 5/10/10

The Federal Emergency Management Agency and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently announced a grant award of $490,000 by the 2009 Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program to the Olathe Fire Department that will benefit as many as 14 Johnson County emergency service agencies. This collaborative radio initiative will help nearly 1,000 Johnson County, Kansas firefighters and emergency medical service workers who serve more than 530,000 people. In 2008, these workers answered over 80,000 calls for service.

“I am pleased DHS has awarded these funds, which are vital to improve firefighting efforts and first responder needs in Johnson County,” U.S. Senator Pat Roberts said. “It’s imperative to support our local fire departments.”

The grant will help the 14 participating agencies purchase about 170 mobile radios that are used for emergency communications. Once complete, the radio initiative will give firefighters and EMS workers the ability to better communicate with each other and the capability to talk with workers from other disciplines like law enforcement, emergency management and more.

The award also aids with the transition to the Federal Communication Commission's narrowbanding mandate. The narrowbanding's purpose is to promote more efficient use of today's highly congested VHF and UHF land mobile bands.

Johnson County Fire and Emergency Services Chiefs Association President Bryan Dehner said, "In these unprecedented economic times for Johnson County, the ability to receive FEMA funding could not come at a better time. All members of our Association are faced with transitioning to the new digital radio system that comes with a hefty price tag. This grant will positively impact the ability of our folks to effectively communicate on emergency incidents which ultimately adds to our collective success and safety. The Johnson County Fire & Emergency Services Chiefs greatly appreciate the Olathe Fire Department's leadership in landing this opportunity for the benefit of us all."


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
May 3, 2010

This Edition of E-News
• Scouts Make Difference In Olathe
• Citizens Can Make a Difference During a Disaster with CERT
• Olathe Sister Cities Joins Facebook

City Council Agenda
The Olathe City Council will meet Tuesday, May 4th 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. A reception honoring City of Olathe retirees will be held in the City Hall Foyer at 6:30 p.m.


Scout's Efforts Have Major Impact
Released 5/3/10

On April 17th, area Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts celebrated Boy Scouts of America’s 100th birthday by doing what they do best, serving others. In total, Scouts contributed nearly 3,000 (2,923) work hours during the course of the day.

Scouts from the Red Tail Hawk District spent the day cleaning along the Indian Creek Trail and adjacent streamway. The 800 volunteers filled the equivalent of six one-ton dump trucks and five pick-up trucks with collected trash and debris.

The Trails West District spent the day working at Lake Olathe. Their projects included: constructing a fence; painting around the boat ramp, parking lot, restrooms, and playground equipment; mulching an area trail; re-landscaping around entrances; clearing overgrowth and removing trash.

Cub Scout Pack 3387 (part of Trails West) also pitched in at the park they adopted in 2003, Calamity Line Park. The scouts spent time collecting trash, twigs and sticks; and weeding and mulching landscape beds.

Most of these projects could not have been completed without the help of volunteers and required minimal city staff support.


Free Program Prepares Neighbors and Groups for Disaster
Released 5/3/10

A Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is an organized group of everyday people trained for disaster planning, preparedness and survival. Following a major disaster - like a crippling blizzard or tornado strike - professional first responders, who provide fire and medical services, may not be able to meet the initial, potentially overwhelming demand for these services.

In a disaster, people will have to rely on each other for help to meet their immediate life-saving and life-sustaining needs. The probability for large numbers of wounded, disabled telecommunication equipment and road blockages may delay emergency service workers from reaching victims. CERT trains people to help meet Olathe’s needs at home or work in the event of a disaster.

The City of Olathe Fire Department's Office of Emergency Management is offering a FREE CERT course. Class will meet on May 13, 20, 27 and June 3 and 17 at the Olathe Fire Department Administration Building, 1225 S. Hamilton Circle. Participants will learn about disaster preparedness; basic fire safety and medical operations; search and rescue; team organization; and terrorism.

Olathe resident and team member Kim Gear said, “CERT made my family more aware of the importance of disaster preparedness and we’re ready to help our community if disaster strikes.” She added, “We also created our three-day disaster supplies kit.”

Sign up for the free CERT class online at www.olatheks.org/Fire/ResponseTeam of contact Rita Hoffman at (913) 971-7943.

Did you know? About 1,200 people have completed Olathe’s CERT training program since its inception in 2001.


Sister Cities Looking for Fans
Released 5/3/10

The Olathe Sister Cities Association is looking for fans of its new Facebook page, www.facebook.com/olathesistercities. The page features photos, news updates and links for those interested in learning more about the association, Olathe’s sister cities or how to get involved.

The Olathe Sister Cities page joins other City of Olathe Facebook pages including: Parks and Recreation, Mahaffie, Budget, Olathe Government Television Network, the Olathe Fire Department, and the Olathe Summer Concert Series.


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.