Olathe news briefs for the week of March 7

City Council

The Olathe City Council will meet Thursday, March 10, at 6 p.m. for a special joint annual meeting with the Olathe Board of Education. The meeting is at the Olathe Community Center, 1205 E. Kansas City Rd. For a recap of the previous Council meeting, visit the City Clerk’s webpage.

Olathe receives elite rating for fire protection service

The City of Olathe has attained the highest rating possible for fire protection service according to the Insurance Services Office (ISO), who recently designated Olathe a Class 1 community based on its independent rating system for assessing the quality and effectiveness of municipal fire protection.

ISO’s Public Protection Classification (PPC) program recognizes the efforts of communities to provide fire protection services for citizens and property owners. A community’s investment in fire mitigation is a proven and reliable predicator of future fire losses.  Insurance companies use PPC data to help establish fair premiums for residential and commercial fire insurance.

Of the more than 48,000 fire protection areas across the country, only 132, or 0.49 percent, have a Class 1 ISO rating.  There are only seven Class 1 communities in Kansas.

Olathe is one of only 38 fire departments to hold the distinction of a Class 1 ISO rating and accreditation by the Commission of Fire Accreditation International.

“Achieving a Class 1 ISO rating for our community is a significant accomplishment that recognizes the City’s efforts to provide first-rate fire protection for our residents and business owners,” said Fire Chief Jeff DeGraffenreid.

Olathe has held an ISO Class 3 rating since 2002.  Since that time, the Olathe Fire Department instituted major changes including investment in fire apparatus, firefighters, and the implementation of the Johnson County Fire Service Automatic Aid Agreement. That agreement improves efficiency because it allows the closest unit to respond to emergencies regardless of city boundaries.

ISO’s evaluation program includes 10 classifications, with one being the highest and 10 being the lowest. The rating evaluates fire department capabilities including community risk reduction, emergency communications, and the water supply.

DeGraffenreid credited the Johnson County Emergency Communications Center for excellent dispatch and tracking services, and both the City of Olathe and WaterOne for their investments in maintaining reliable and pressurized water supplies.

The City of Olathe takes great pride in the quality of water we produce for our customers.  It’s satisfying to know that our water is safe and reliable and that it also contributes to fire reduction and life safety,” said Public Works Director Mary Jaeger.

Olathe property owners should check with their insurance providers to ensure they are receiving the lowest rates for fire loss insurance based on the new Class 1 designation, which goes into effect April 1, 2016.

Indian Creek Library closed indefinitely due to flooding
Olathe’s Indian Creek Branch Library (12009 S. Black Bob Rd.) is temporarily closed due to a water line break.  Patrons are asked to use the library’s downtown location (201 E. Park St.) until clean-up and repairs are complete. A temporary materials return is located near the northeast corner of the Indian Creek Library parking lot.  Materials can also be returned at the goLibrary in the Olathe Community Center and other drop off locations in the city.

It is not known how long clean-up and repairs will require.  The library regrets any inconvenience and appreciates patron understanding.

KDOT’s I-35 project resumes in March
The Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) will begin Phase Two of construction on I-35 from Santa Fe St. to 151st St. the week of March 14. The tentative schedule and major lane/ramp closures include:

  • Week of March 14
    • Daily lane closures from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., southbound from 119th St. to 151st St.
  • Saturday, March 19
    • Southbound entrance ramp closed from Santa Fe St. to I-35.  Emergency vehicles will use ramps in emergency situations.
  • Saturday, March 26
    • Northbound I-35 traffic moved to the southbound side of I-35.
    • Northbound entrance ramp closed from Old U.S. 56 Hwy.
    • Northbound entrance ramp closed from Santa Fe St. to I-35.

The project is slated for completion in September, weather permitting. Daily traffic information for this project can be viewed at ksdot.org/kcmetro/laneclose.asp.

Household Hazardous Waste drop-off event on Saturday, March 12
All Johnson County residents have the opportunity to drop off their unwanted Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) at the City of Olathe’s drop-off event Saturday, March 12, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the HHW facility, 1420 S. Robinson Dr. behind Public Works and Customer Service. Residents will be asked to provide a photo ID and a general description of their HHW items. Items that can be dropped off include aerosol cans, automotive fluids, automotive and household batteries, bathroom cleaners, carpet cleaners, cooking oil, drain cleaners, fertilizers, paint, light bulbs, pesticides, etc. e-Waste (electronics) is not accepted at the drop-off event. For a full list of acceptable items, visit OlatheKS.org.

Celebrate Olathe – Spring Fling

Mark your calendar for a night filled with spring fun at Celebrate Olathe – Spring Fling, on Friday, March 25 at the Olathe Community Center, 1205 E. Kansas City Rd. The schedule includes:

  • 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. – free games, activities, face painting, and crafts.  The first 500 kids will decorate bags to hunt eggs. 6:15 p.m. – kids ages 0-11, will be divided by age group and invited to hunt for their share of 10,000 eggs hidden throughout Stagecoach Park.

Park at Olathe North High School and take the free shuttle to the Community Center.

Olathe Parks & Recreation Spring Break activities

Spring Break is right around the corner. Olathe Parks & Recreation offers a variety of full-day and specialty camps to help keep kids active. Spring Break options are available for registration online.

2016 Summer Camp registration now open
Registration is now open for Two Trails and Black Bob Summer Camps offered through Olathe Parks & Recreation. Campers ages 5*-12 will swim, enjoy weekly field trips, play games, and more.  *Five-year-olds must have completed kindergarten.

  • Register for camp by the week. You choose the week(s) that fit your needs.
  • Registration includes a 50 percent fee to reserve your spot.  The remaining fee is due two weeks before camp starts.
  • Register early; space is limited to 60 campers each week, per location.

Mahaffie offers living history activities for Spring Break
Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm, 1200 Kansas City Rd., will offer living history activities on Thursday, March 17, Friday, March 18, and Saturday, March 19.

Visit the Mahaffie House, see what is cooking on Mrs. Mahaffie’s cookstove, visit the blacksmith, play 19th Century games, and take a stagecoach ride. Horse powered plowing activities are planned to get the fields ready for planting. Horse powered planting of the annual spring wheat crop is scheduled Saturday, March 19. All activities are dependent on weather and ground conditions.   Regular daily admission is $7/adults, $5/kids ages 5-11 including all activities.  Olathe residents receive $2 off admission with proof of residency.

Winter hours for the Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm are: Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. Weekend activities include visiting the Mahaffie House on Saturdays at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Sunday house visits are available at 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Details, including a schedule of spring events, are available at Mahaffie.org or by calling 913-971-5111.

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