County moving forward with observation tower
The Jackson County Commissioners have signed an architectural and structural engineering contract with Falk Architects of Topeka as they have decided to move forward with the construction of an observation tower at Banner Creek Reservoir.
On Monday, the commissioners signed a $1,500 contract with Falk, which included a reported $1,000 discount, to research similar observation towers and provide sketches and final renderings of the tower prior to its construction here.
Falk will also coordinate with the Westar Energy Green Team, which has agreed to provide materials and building assistance for the tower at no cost, it was reported.
According to Westar’s website, the volunteer Green Team completes 50 to 70 projects a year on the weekends for conservation groups, agencies and schools in order to “enhance and foster an understanding of the Kansas environment.”
The team is currently building a two-story observation tower at Baker Wetlands in Lawrence, using recycled lumber from old Westar transmission lines for the tower’s poles, beams and planking.
At Monday’s meeting, it was noted that the Green Team will provide all the materials and labor for the tower, except for the roofing, railings and fencing around the perimeter of the tower.
The additional work will be completed by county staff or by a private contractor, it was reported.
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