Shawnee allows Tidy Town bulky item pickup through December; Shawnee palliative care center enhances infection prevention techniques

The city of Shawnee has delayed its Tidy Town cleanup initiative to December due to COVID-19 concerns. The annual event allows residents to remove bulky items from their homes. File photo.

Shawnee allows Tidy Town bulky item pickup through December

Shawnee has allowed its Tidy Town event to run through December due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The city-wide bulky item pickup event has several changes to programming.

“As always, we must make health and safety the utmost priority,” city staff wrote in an email May 1. “Please know this was not an easy decision and we have to consider several factors.”

Waste Management, WCA, Republic and KC Disposal have agreed on the following changes:

  • After COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, residents can schedule a bulky item pickup for their household directly with their trash hauler, pending safety and availability
  • Residents will schedule this appointment directly with their trash hauler. Guidelines of what’s acceptable for curbside pickup are still in place.
  • Bulk service must be scheduled by Dec. 1 and completed by Dec. 31.

There will be no drop-off site available. More information is on the city’s website.

Editor’s note: This item has been updated to clarify that the Tidy Town event may begin once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

Kansas Palliative & Hospice Care in Shawnee enhances infection prevention, control techniques

Kansas Palliative & Hospice Care in Shawnee last month announced enhanced infection prevention and control techniques to comply with CDC guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic while continuing to serve the senior population in Kansas City, Lawrence and Topeka.

“The protection of our staff and patients is and always has been our highest priority,” said Phillip Hill, chief executive officer of Kansas Palliative & Hospice Care. “Our team members are end-of-life experts who have received education and training on identifying, assessing and meeting the needs of patients and their families from the time of referral through bereavement services.”

Kansas Palliative & Hospice Care has had infection prevention and control techniques in place since opening in 1991, according to the organization. Some of these procedures include infection control practices with annual review, annual completion of a communicable diseases screening and TB screening for each staff member, and identification of reportable diseases experienced by staff and patients.

Some of the enhanced infection prevention and control techniques include daily COVID-19 symptom screenings of all staff prior to the start of their day, implementation of CDC recommended interventions for staff members who present positive screening results, daily briefings on PPE supply availability, implementation of strategies to reduce exposure to staff by the use of masks, screening of all patients and caregivers prior to visit, and placement of masks on patients and caregivers when needed.

Merriam to consider 10-year franchise agreement with Evergy on May 11

The Merriam city council at its May 11 meeting will consider a 10-year franchise agreement with Evergy, formerly Kansas City Power and Light, that is budgeted to generate $925,000 for the city in 2020. The terms of the agreement are as follows:

  • Evergy can use and “construct within the public right-of-way to provide electric energy”
  • Evergy cannot provide additional franchise agreement required services without first getting another, separate one from the city
  • Evergy can only use attachments to its facilities if they are covered under “a separate pole attachment agreement” with Merriam
  • Evergy will pay Merriam a monthly franchise fee: 5% of total gross receipts

The city council completed the first two steps of the three-step process at two past city council meetings, on April 13 and April 27. At the April 13 meeting, resident Billy Croan asked the city council to consider suspending the fee — which is passed to residents — for as long as people have been out of work due to COVID-19.

City Administrator Chris Engel said he doesn’t think the city can move forward without a fee and have one added down the road, and without it, the city would have two choices: Raise property taxes or let the lack of revenue impact city services. Information about the May 11 meeting can be found on Merriam’s city website, here.