A development of a comprehensive city master plan, which would include extending services and enhance infrastructure around areas of Pittsburg, was discussed between Pittsburg City Commissioners and department heads.

A development of a comprehensive city master plan, which would include extending services and enhance infrastructure around areas of Pittsburg, was discussed between Pittsburg City Commissioners and department heads.

Pittsburg Director of Public Works Bill Beasley said that the initial creation of a master plan would come with a $130,000 price tag.

“We’ve had several conversations with developers, and we really should move every 10 years with a new plan,” Beasley said.

Commissioners emphasized the need to look at a section of South Broadway along Pittsburg State University. The primary concerns included students crossing Broadway in front of Russ Hall and the potential dangers therein.

Currently, there are three crosswalks along Broadway near the PSU campus and Pittsburg Police Chief Mendy Hulvey suggested that the city discuss eliminating one of those crosswalks.

Pittsburg Mayor Patrick O’Bryan also asked about placing rumble strips, similar to those that are on highway shoulders, be placed ahead of the crosswalks to alert drivers.

“We can certainly talk to KDOT (Kansas Department of Transportation) about that idea,” Pittsburg Interim City Manager John VanGorden said.

Hulvey said that there is a “handful” of problems related to the crosswalks in front of the university.
“It’s frightening to think because there are so many possibilities for incidents there,” Hulvey said.

As a continuing part of the economic development discussion and a city master plan, there was discussion about Pittsburg officials approaching Crawford County about extending the city’s zoning boundaries to a 3-mile zone around the city limits. Pittsburg Director of Public Utilities John Bailey said that it meant those living in the boundary would have to conform to city zoning regulations.

“If a city is expanding, this may be the only way to get control of some things,” Bailey said.

He said that the 3-mile buffer would not extend into Frontenac to the north because one city cannot intrude on another city’s zoning.

Officials also talked about finishing the master plan for the Pittsburg Municipal Airport. Beasley said that part of the plan includes extending the current runway by 500 feet.

Marketing available buildings in the city was also a topic of the economic development conversation. VanGorden said that some of the previously vacant buildings in the city have been filled, but Commissioners asked about the use of the old National Guard Armory building that is currently owned by the city. Bailey said that the building can be used to store some city equipment that is currently being housed outside.

“If we had someone who really wanted it, I think we could vacate it,” Bailey said.

Officials said that plans to create a citywide wireless Internet network may have to be put on hold for the time being because of costs.

“Long term, it would facilitate a lot of things,” said Pittsburg Finance Director John Garrison. “At this time, I think it needs to be pushed back.”

Pittsburg Director of Economic Development Mark Turnbull said that the city is also actively marketing the North Broadway TIF district to fill vacancies as well as assisting current employers in potential expansion.