Albert Rukwaro
Special to The Gardner News
Gardner has started the process of improving sidewalks on Center Street after the city council authorized Steve Shute, mayor, and Laura Gourley, city administrator, to sign an agreement with the Kansas Department of Transportation.
The council during its Feb. 18 meeting, authorized the two officials to sign KDOT form 1302 to request KDOT to schedule the project which is set to be designed in 2021 and constructed in 2022.
According to the city’s public works department, the city applied for and received funding through KDOT and the Mid-America Regional Council for pedestrian improvements in 2018. The project is estimated to cost $386,000 including the design phase and the relocation of utilities.
The improvements include adding a sidewalk on the west side of the street between Shawnee and McKinley and widening the existing sidewalk on the bridge over the BNSF rail tracks. The existing sidewalk is only 3ft wide and will be widened to better accommodate bicycles and disabled individuals.

In other business:
– The council authorized the city administrator to enter into a two-year, $93,134.00 agreement with US Foods to provide concessions to the city’s Parks and Recreation Department. According to the department, the company beat out Sysco and Evco in the bidding for the provision of sixteen of the most popular food items to the department.
– The council approved a re-zoning request for 1.97 acres of land located at 1000 East Santa Fe street from M-2 (general industrial) to M-1 (restricted industrial). The application will be forwarded to the Johnson County Airport Commission and Johnson County Board of Commissioners since the site is within a mile of the New Century Air Center. The planning commission held a public hearing about the matter on January 29 and recommended the city approve the application.