Danedri Thompson
Members of the Gardner City Council tabled a proposed amendment to the city’s truck route ordinance on Sept. 7. The proposed amendment would create new designated truck routes throughout the city.
Bill Miller, Gardner Edgerton School District Director of Operations and Facilities, requested that the proposed changes be tabled until school officials had a chance to examine them.
“We received the ordinances this morning,” Miller told council members. “…The largest concern we have is on Waverly Road.”
Proposed changes to the truck route ordinance would designate Waverly Road between 167th Street and U.S. 56 Highway for truck usage. Both Gardner Edgerton High School and Madison Elementary School sit along the street. In addition to the Waverly Road designation, Center Street; 183rd Street between Center and Moonlight Road; Moonlight Road; and 167th Street between Moonlight and Waverly would also be designated as truck routes.
Miller said school officials are pleased that the proposed changes remove Madison Street’s designation as a truck route from the city ordinance.
“But we would really like to look at some options,” Miller said. “There’s some interest in Moonlight as well.”
Council member Steve Hale said Moonlight Road would likely need to be included as a truck route because there is property south of the school zoned industrial. Council members declined to rezone it to multi-family residential last year, in part due to concerns from school officials.
“We might have been hindered there by the actions of the previous council and the school district,” Hale said.
The proposed changes exempt trucks making local deliveries and pickups, however.
The current ordinance, adopted in 1990, designated Center Street, Cherokee Street – west of Center Street; Madison Street, Main Street, Moonlight Road, Sycamore Street – between Warren and Main Streets; Warren Street and 175th Street as designated truck routes within the city.
Warren Street and Cherokee Street were included in the existing ordinance because of industrial-type businesses located on those streets – specifically Cramer Products and Dot Label.
David Greene, city public works director, said the proposed changes allow trucks to travel through town on arterial roads. Several Gardner schools are located on arterial roads including Sunflower Elementary on Center Street and Moonlight Elementary on Moonlight Road.
Hale said he also is concerned about making Waverly Road a designated truck route.
“That is a residential neighborhood where kids could conceivably walk or ride along that road,” he said.
The road also could use improvement before trucks start using it.
“The same could be said for 183rd Street,” Hale said. “That road is slated for improvement.”
Mayor Dave Drovetta said the proposed ordinance change would not increase truck traffic in Gardner.
“Essentially we’re looking at this as a routing mechanism for routing truck traffic,” he said. “We’re just saying if you are passing through the community – these are the routes you should use.”
Stewart Fairburn, city administrator, said the routing system would be used to eliminate jams and backups along Center Street, Main Street and Moonlight Road.
“Primarily this is to get people from one end of town to the other,” Fairburn said.
School district and council should interact on proposed changes to the ordinance if district officials have concerns, Drovetta said.
He cautioned that without communication between the two parties, not taking action on the item probably wouldn’t change the proposal.
“We’d ask for (school officials) to participate,” he said. “We’ve been designing truck routes forever. I’ve been doing this for 15 years and this is the first we’ve heard concerns ever.”
The proposed truck ordinance changes were tabled until November. Between now and then, council members plan to address the issue during a work session.
In other business, council members:
• adopted a resolution in support of an application for tax credits for the development of low-income housing in the Waverly Pointe subdivion. (See related story.)
• appointed Doreen K. Pesek as city clerk.
• authorized the city administrator to execute an agreement for construction of improvements to Cottage Creek Drive.
• appointed Mayor Drovetta and council members Brian Broxterman and Dan Newburg as voting delegates to the Kansas League of Municipalities conference.
The council will next meet for a joint work session with the Edgerton City Council at  6:30 p.m. on Sept. 13 at city hall.