Olathe News Briefs

This Edition of E-News - January 31, 2011:
• City Prepares for Winter Storm
• New Look to City Utility Bill
• 2010 Development Year In Review Now Available
• Stagecoach Park Benefits from Volunteer Efforts

City Council Agenda
The Olathe City Council will meet Tuesday, February 1, at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall for a regular session. Regular sessions 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. If weather conditions are severe, a decision to cancel the meeting will be made by noon on Tuesday.


City Prepares for Winter Storm
Released January 31, 2011
The City of Olathe remains in a winter storm warning through Wednesday morning. The potential of heavy snow fall is likely. City crews finished pre-treating roadways prior to Monday’s early morning traffic.

Residents are reminded to avoid parking on the streets during snow storms, especially during daylight hours. In addition, residents and property owners are reminded to maintain sidewalks in front of their respective properties, especially in areas where children walk to school.

Trash and recycling collection will not be cancelled, but may be slightly delayed. Residents are asked to place trash and recycling carts at the curb by 8:00 a.m. on their regular trash day, leaving carts at the curb until they are serviced.

Updates will be provided as more information is available. For updated information, visit the City’s website, www.OlatheKs.org, follow the City of Olathe on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/CityofOlatheKS) and Twitter (@OlatheGovNews) or tune in to OGTN (Comcast Channel 7/AT&T Channel 99).


Full Page Utility Billing to Arrive in February
Released January 31, 2011
Beginning in February, City of Olathe residents can expect a new look to their water, sewer and sanitation bills. For years, residents received a monthly post card bill. Residents will now receive a full page bill and return envelope each month.

The City is moving to a full page bill for several reasons. First, the new process will be outsourced, resulting in cost savings. The new format also provides more specific information about customer account charges. In addition, the new bill format will offer a reminder about the City’s electronic billing option that saves time and expense. Finally, the new format does away with the post card and delivers the bill in a sealed envelope, concealing private information like account balances.

To preview the new bill format and download a reader’s guide, visit the City’s website, www.OlatheKs.org.


2010 Development Year In Review Now Available
Released January 31, 2011
The City of Olathe 2010 Year In Review is now available on the City website at http://www.olatheks.org/Development/LongRange/DandD. The review provides detailed statistics on the permitting and development activity that occurred during 2010.

Notable new construction projects in 2010 included the K-State Innovation Campus, Johnson County Community College, Johnson County Crime Laboratory, City wastewater treatment plant expansion, and a number of major church additions. Residential unit figures totaled 364 in 2010, up from 312 in 2009.

The 2010 review is enhanced with a number of new features, including two new maps. The “New Residential Permits” map shows the location of single family, two family and multi-family permit activity in Olathe. The “New Commercial Permits” map indicates the location and square footage totals of commercial, industrial, office and public development activity in the city. As noted in the review, Olathe has maintained relatively strong residential activity when compared to neighboring Johnson County cities.


Stagecoach Park Benefits from Volunteer Efforts
Released January 31, 2011
The trees in Stagecoach Park will soon get some extra TLC thanks to a statewide volunteer initiative. The Kansas Arborists Association will focus their Day of Service efforts in the park on Friday, February 4. Thirteen crews from across the state will descend upon Olathe as part of an annual event that allows regional arborists to give back to the community.

According to City of Olathe Arborist Rick Spurgeon, the use of free crews and equipment for the day is invaluable. “This is wonderful for the City of Olathe because we are able to focus efforts on maintenance that will help the trees look better and last many years longer. This is a project we have wanted to do since the City acquired the park and now we have the resources available to us,” Spurgeon said.

Over 40 arborists from across the region will conduct structural pruning, maintenance and overall clean-up throughout Stagecoach Park. The volunteer efforts will beautify the park, and will help with preparations for the annual Tree Climbing Championship scheduled for June in the park.


This Edition of E-News - January 24, 2011:
• Yoder to Hold First Town Hall Meeting in Olathe
• Celebrate Kansas’ 150th Birthday at Mahaffie
• City of Olathe Unveils Interactive Map Viewer for Snow Routes
• Retirement Reception for Olathe Public Library’s Linse

City Council Agenda
The Olathe City Council will next meet on Tuesday, February 1, 2011.


Yoder to Hold First Town Hall Meeting in Olathe
Released January 24, 2011
Congressman Kevin Yoder will host a Town Hall Meeting in the Council Chamber of Olathe City Hall on Friday, January 28, at 11:30 a.m. The Town Hall is scheduled to broadcast live on OGTN (Comcast 7/AT&T 99) and will last one hour.

Yoder was elected to the U.S. Congress in November and serves the Third District of Kansas. The public is asked to join Representative Kevin Yoder for his first Town Hall Meeting.


Celebrate Kansas’ 150th Birthday with Mahaffie’s Winter on the Farm
Released January 24, 2011
Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm, 1200 Kansas City Rd., will host its annual Winter on the Farm event Saturday, January 29, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Visitors can discover and help with winter farm chores and also help celebrate Kansas’ birthday. Kansas will celebrate 150 years of statehood on January 29.

Activities will include soap making, knitting, sewing and wood cutting. Staff will cook wheat bread on Mrs. Mahaffie’s cookstove and also demonstrate the horse-powered wheat threshing machine. Weather and ground conditions permitting, stagecoach rides will be available. Inside the Heritage Center, visitors can enjoy 150 cupcakes and sing Happy Birthday to Kansas at 1:50 p.m.

Members of the Ensor Park and Museum & Marshall Ensor Memorial Organization will be in the Heritage Center demonstrating amateur radio equipment and skills. Amateur radio operators or "ham radio operators" use several high frequency and very high frequency bands for communicating with others locally or around the world. There are 750,000 Hams licensed in the United States by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

All activities are included with regular daily admission of $6/adults and $4/kids ages 5-11. Olathe residents receive $1 off admission with proof of residency. For more information call (913) 971-5111. A second Winter on the Farm event will be held Saturday, February 26.


City of Olathe Unveils Interactive Map Viewer for Snow Routes
Released January 24, 2011
The public can now track up-to-the-minute snow removal progress in Olathe at the touch of a button thanks to new mapping technology.

The interactive tool provides live location mapping of all vehicles engaged in snow removal activity. Vehicles are “pinged” once per minute, transmitting virtual real-time data to users via the GPS/ AVL map.

The dynamic mapping system can be searched, panned, and zoomed to better view a particular neighborhood or area of the city. The page opens to a composite summary of the current location of each vehicle. Users have the option to toggle between mapping layers that show where plow vehicles have been in the last 13 and/or 24 hours. This toggle feature is located on the top right of the screen, above the “ID” button. Users can also input a specific location on the top of the screen and select from a photo view, a map view or a composite view of the requested information.

The mapping tool provides benefits to the public and City staff. The public can track where plows have been, view progress made in snow removal efforts, and determine how that progress relates to a specific neighborhood or area of town. City staff can accurately respond to resident concerns and questions about snow removal progress and actively monitor and address streets that may have been inadvertently missed.

According to Mayor Michael Copeland, the interactive mapping system is another tool for residents to track how their tax dollars are spent. “The City Council believes we should do everything possible to ensure residents know how their money is being used. This is one more important tool to aid in that transparency and enhance our customer service efforts,” Copeland said.

The City welcomes public input as this new mapping technology is refined and improved. To access the online mapping feature, visit the City’s website at www.OlatheKs.org and click the online mapping link at the top of the page.

Last week’s launch of the mapping application received a great deal of media coverage, resulting in an overwhelming number of hits to the site. Consequently, residents may have experienced a slow response last week when the application was initially released. City staff will continue to monitor the situation.


Retirement Reception Honors Linse’s Career with Library
Released January 24, 2011
The public is invited to a reception honoring Mary Linse, head of support services who is retiring from the Olathe Public Library after 23 years of service. The open house is from 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on January 28 at the Indian Creek Branch Library, 12990 S. Black Bob Road in Olathe. The actual program will begin at 5:15 p.m. Refreshments will be served.

Linse began her library career in 1987 as a part-time clerk on weekends. She was promoted to supervise Support Services in 1989 and continued in this capacity until the end of 2010.


This Edition of E-News - January 18, 2011:
• Mayor’s Christmas Tree Fund Exceeds Goal
• Popular Daddy Daughter Ball Scheduled February 4
• Mahaffie Hosts Three Trails West Album Release Party
• Celebrate 150 Years of Kansas with Preschool Storytime at Mahaffie

City Council Agenda
The Olathe City Council will next meet on Tuesday, February 1, 2011.


Mayor’s Christmas Tree Fund Exceeds Goal
Released January 18, 2011
The Mayor’s Christmas Tree Fund went above AND beyond this holiday season. With donations reaching $72,855, the fund surpassed its highest campaign goal ever, $65,000, and met all requests from the 13 agencies supported in 2010.

“Christmas joy continues to flow in Olathe, and I am so grateful to our hard-working Mayor’s Christmas Tree Fund Board and each individual and business who supports the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Fund. Exceeding our goal is a wonderful present for all Olatheans, and especially the agencies and children who will benefit from this support, “ said Mayor Michael Copeland.

The Fund got a real boost from Olathe Public Schools students whose giving comprised over ten percent of the Fund’s total. The Pennies for Shoes campaign placed jugs in participating Olathe schools and students donated change and dollars totaling over $7,446. To Copeland, the concept of children helping children is what the Fund is all about, nurturing an intergenerational spirit of giving.

“Few things bring more joy than watching our children step forward to help other children in need,” said Mayor Copeland.

Checks will be presented to representatives of the thirteen Mayor’s Christmas Tree Fund beneficiaries at the City Council meeting on February 15.


Daddy Daughter Ball
Released January 18, 2011
Each year, Olathe’s Daddy Daughter Ball is a major event. Fathers and daughters ages five to twelve can enjoy an evening of dancing and refreshments in the Ball Conference Center. In addition, complimentary photos and other surprises are available.

This year’s ball will be held on Friday, February 4 from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at the Ball Conference Center (21350 W. 153rd Street). Cost is $50 per couple for residents and $55 per couple for non-residents. Additional “daughters” are $20 each.

The January 21 registration deadline is fast approaching, and space is limited. Registration is available online in the Parks and Recreation section of the City’s website, www.OlatheKs.org, or by calling 971-6263. When registering, enter the program code 19290.


Mahaffie Hosts Three Trails West Album Release Party
Released January 18, 2011
Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm, 1200 Kansas City Rd., will host the 3 Trails West CD launch party from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 22. This free event will be an opportunity to preview the band’s first CD. Hear the band demonstrate why they were nominated for best new act at the Western Music Association Awards. The band will perform and CDs will be available for purchase. Reservations are not required.

According to the band’s website: “Steeped in the cowboy tradition of singing songs about cattle drives and riding horses, pretty girls back home, nature’s splendor, and livin’ the life of a cowboy, the music of 3 Trails West reflects the romanticism of the western lifestyle and nostalgia of the silver screen cowboy.”

3 Trails West is comprised of Kansas City musicians Roger Eilts, Leo Eilts, Garry Bury, Jeff Elsloo, and David Kaemmer.

The band will also perform at Chuckwagon Dinner Shows at Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm on February 19 and March 19. Both shows will begin with dinner at 6:00 p.m. followed by music at 6:45 p.m. Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for children. Reservations are required. Call Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop at (913) 971-5111 or visit www.3trailswest.com.


Celebrate 150 Years of Kansas with Preschool Storytime at Mahaffie
Released January 18, 2011
Cozy-up with your preschooler for a series of fireside storytimes at Mahaffie this winter. The Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm Historic Site will host Happy Birthday, Kansas! celebrating Kansas’s 150th birthday. The storytime sessions will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Fridays, January 21, February 18 and March 25. Each session will include a story, craft and activity based on a different Kansas theme. Admission is $3/child or $7 for all three sessions. Children must be accompanied by a caregiver. Register at least one week prior to the session by calling (913) 971-5111.  Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop is located at 1200 Kansas City Road in Olathe, KS.


This Edition of E-News - January 10, 2011:
• Snow Removal Efforts Underway
• Operation Lifeline Available to Residents in Need
• Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Events Planned
• Celebrate Kansas’ Birthday at Mahaffie
• Retirement Reception for Olathe Public Library’s Linse

City Council Agenda
The Olathe City Council will meet Tuesday, January 11, at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall for a regular session. Regular sessions 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.


Snow Removal Efforts Underway in Wake of Winter Storm Advisory
Released January 10, 2011
With snow beginning to accumulate on streets, Olathe snow crews have already been mobilized. Crews began pre-treating streets Sunday evening and snow removal efforts began Monday morning at 3:00 a.m. with the initial primary focus on major streets and collector roads. Crews then moved into residential areas.

The City of Olathe is responsible for maintaining over 1230 lane miles of roadway. Currently, Olathe is maintaining 21 bare pavement routes focusing on major roadways. In addition, 35 units are working in residential areas including over 1,500 Olathe cul-de-sacs. Five units are maintaining city facilities and downtown parking lots.

City crews will work around the clock with drivers working twelve-hour shifts. Major arterial streets are the first priority, followed by collector/business streets, then residential streets including cul-de-sacs.

Olathe residents can assist with snow removal efforts by moving cars off streets and into driveways when possible. Residents wishing to report problem areas are encouraged to contact the City at 971-6010 or through the Citizen Request System on the City’s website, www.OlatheKs.org. Olathe is expected to remain in a winter storm advisory into Tuesday morning and crews will continue to work around the clock until storm clean-up is complete.

 


 

Operation Lifeline Available to Residents in Need
Released January 10, 2011
With recent weather conditions, the Olathe Police Department would like to remind the public of its Operation Lifeline program. The free program enlists community volunteers to make daily telephone calls to retired and self-care individuals who don’t have anyone available to check on them regularly. If a volunteer is unable to make telephone contact with a program participant, a police officer is dispatched to the residence to check on the individual.

Individuals who would like to participate in this program must meet the following criteria:

• Must live within the city limits of Olathe
• Have no family members living in the immediate area to do regular check-ins
• Must be able to provide Olathe Police Department access to residence in the event of an emergency

Additional information is available by contacting the Community Outreach Unit at 971-7500.

 


 

MLK Day Events Planned
Released January 10, 2011
“Only Light, Only Love” is the theme for the 2011 Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Celebration, sponsored by the City of Olathe, the Olathe Human Relations Commission, and Olathe Public Schools.

The highlight of events is the annual MLK Noonday Observance, scheduled for Friday, January 14, at noon in the Olathe City Council Chamber, 100 E. Santa Fe Street. The celebration includes the announcement of Olathe middle and senior high school winners in the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. contest. Contest categories include essay, visual arts and multi-media. The goal of the Olathe Human Relations Commission’s annual contest is to increase positive awareness, foster greater understanding, and celebrate the diverse groups present in the community.

Projects will be on display from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 13 in the City of Governors Room on the first floor of Olathe City Hall. Judging from a community panel will begin at 5:30 p.m. that evening.

The Community Celebration is scheduled to broadcast live on the Olathe Government Television Network (Comcast Channel 7 and AT&T Channel 99). For more information, call 913-971-6493

 


Celebrate 150 Years of Kansas with Preschool Storytimes at Mahaffie
Released January 10, 2011
Cozy-up with your preschooler for a series of fireside storytimes at Mahaffie this winter. The Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm Historic Site will host Happy Birthday Kansas! storytimes celebrating Kansas’s 150th birthday. The sessions will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Fridays, January 21, February 18 and March 25. Each session will include a story, craft and activity based on a different Kansas theme. Admission is $3/child or $7 for all three sessions. Children must be accompanied by a caregiver. Register at least one week prior to the session by calling (913) 971-5111.  Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop is located at 1200 Kansas City Road in Olathe, KS.

 

 


 

Retirement Reception Honors Linse’s Career with Library
Released January 10, 2011
The public is invited to a reception honoring Mary Linse, Head of Support Services who is retiring from the Olathe Public Library after 23 years of service. The open house is from 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on January 28 at the Indian Creek Branch Library, 12990 S. Black Bob Road in Olathe. The actual program will begin at 5:15 p.m. Refreshments will be served.

Linse began her library career in 1987 as a part-time clerk on weekends. She was promoted to supervise Support Services in 1989 and continued in this capacity until the end of 2010.


This Edition of E-News - January 3, 2011:
• Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Events Planned
• Water Meter Change Outs Complete
• Home for the Holidays Pet Fostering Initiative a Success

City Council
The Olathe City Council will next meet on January 11 for a regular session meeting.

 


MLK Day Events Planned
Released January 3, 2011
“Only Light, Only Love” is the theme for the 2011 Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Celebration, sponsored by the City of Olathe, the Olathe Human Relations Commission, and Olathe Public Schools.

 

The highlight of events is the annual MLK Noonday Observance, scheduled for Friday, January 14, at noon in the Olathe City Council Chamber, 100 E. Santa Fe Street. The celebration includes the announcement of Olathe middle and senior high school winners in the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. contest. Contest categories include essay, visual arts and multi-media. The goal of the Olathe Human Relations Commission’s annual contest is to increase positive awareness, foster greater understanding, and celebrate the diverse groups present in the community.

Projects will be on display from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 13 in the City of Governors Room on the first floor of Olathe City Hall. Judging from a community panel will begin at 5:30 p.m. that evening.

The Community Celebration is scheduled to broadcast live on the Olathe Government Television Network (Comcast Channel 7 and AT&T Channel 99). For more information, call 913-971-6493.

 


 

Water Meter Change Outs Complete
Released January 3, 2011
The automated metering system that remotely reads residential and commercial water meters is operational and undergoing final testing. 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 new metering system allows the City of Olathe to track water usage and trends, reduce operational costs to mitigate future rate increases, and improve customer service.

The City of Olathe has changed more than 34,000 water meters and connected them to the new automated metering system in just eight months. The change out is three months ahead of schedule and under budget. Costs of the new system are funded through operational savings, energy savings and improved effectiveness.

The project is part of the City’s participation in the State of Kansas-sponsored Facilities Conservation Improvement Program. Other City measures under the program include replacing older pumps at the water treatment plant with new, more efficient pumps, centralizing HVAC control and settings, and using existing back-up generators to power some City facilities during peak electricity usage times. All of these measures are expected to save money and energy.

Additional information is available in the municipal services section of the City’s website, www.OlatheKs.org or by calling 971-9311.

 


 

Home for the Holidays Pet Fostering Initiative a Success
Released January 3, 2011
From December 17 to December 27, the Olathe Animal Shelter participated in the Home for the Holidays national pet fostering initiative. During this period, Olathe residents were given the opportunity to foster a pet for the Holiday season with the hopes of providing permanent homes. This was the second year of participation for the Olathe Animal Shelter.

Like last year, this year’s effort was a resounding success. Fifteen of the 17 dogs participating in the program found permanent homes. Five of the eight available cats were adopted.

The Olathe Animal Shelter (505 E. Sunvale Rd.) continues to have animals available for adoption. The shelter is open to the public Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Additional information is available on the City’s website at www.OlatheKs.org/Police/AnimalControl or by calling the shelter at 913-971-6362.