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City Debuts New Logo, Branding

There’s only ONE Osawatomie.

A resolution for a rebranding contract was first introduced in May of 2021 at a regular meeting of City Council. City staff presented the idea at the beginning of the Oz Commons Downtown Revitalization Planning Project, known as Oz Commons, and noted that the current logo was lacking in unique identifiers for such a unique community.

In the resolution summary presented to council, staff wrote “The current City of Osawatomie logo, our little green tree, has been in effect since at least 1993. While simple and clean, it is very nondescript and generic, and has no ties to our community’s most notable features. As we embark upon our downtown planning project and redevelopment, we’d like to also look at redeveloping our City identity. … We’d like to find a logo that is uniquely Osawatomie.”

After approval from City Council, staff contracted with professional design company Springboard Creative out of Mission, Kansas, who carries a portfolio of comparable work in municipal branding and logo development. Springboard Creative met with city staff and toured the community before beginning work on draft options.

Over the course of several months, Springboard Creative drafted several different ideas for consideration and brought draft designs back to City Council for feedback and review before a final slate was presented in January of 2022, after the new members of City Council were seated following the November 2021 election. The City Council approved the new logo on January 27th, 2022.

The chosen design features a large light-green letter “O” with an illustration of the iconic Creamery Bridge across the center in a darker green, and includes the water of the Marais des Cygnes river underneath. Osawatomie is known as the town between two rivers and was named for the Osage and the Potawatomie indigenous peoples, from whom the rivers also received their names (the Marais des Cygnes was originally known as the Osage and is part of the larger Osage River water system). The new design honors the history of the community’s origins, geographic identity, and historic landmarks, but the modern and sleek graphic gives it a fresh feel for the next generation. It was important to the design team to create a logo that embraced Osawatomie’s history but still pointed toward a bright future of growth and development.

The negative space in the middle of the “O” that frames the bridge is a subtle hint to the sunrise, according to City staff. “The community is facing so many great and critical projects, from the water plant redesign to the huge street repair plan to the downtown development and all the places in between. There are a lot of good things happening, and it feels like the sun is rising again over this little town,” said City Manager Mike Scanlon.

The new logo for the City of Osawatomie, Kansas. The city’s Creamery Bridge and its twin, the Pottawatomie Creek Bridge, are both on the National Register of Historic Places and are two of only eight remaining triple-span Marsh-arch bridges.

The new logo builds off the foundation of the previous logo and still utilizes a predominantly green color palette, which staff believes sets the community apart visually from neighboring municipalities. “The City of Paola’s logo uses navy and maroon, City of Louisburg has turquoise and navy, and Spring Hill is also navy-based,” said Samantha Moon, Osawatomie’s Public Information Officer. “We gave the design team a list of colors we wanted to try to stay away from when we thought about neighboring cities and blue was at the top.”

Springboard Creative designed the icon with different media and applications in mind and made sure the details could be sized up or down, such as when embroidered on a shirt, printed on a business card, or used as part of a billboard or streetlight banner. Elements of the icon can also be used independently to enhance other communication or marketing materials.

Further Development

Within the overall rebranding project, two “exterior” departments also received new logos. The Osawatomie Public Library and the Osawatomie Golf Course each serve a unique set of patrons and operate outside of the normal scope of city services, and city staff believed they needed their own logos to boost their unique qualities while still matching the city brand. Once the main city logo was finalized, Springboard Creative set to work again alongside staff to design additional logos for consideration in those departments.

Library

The new logo for the Osawatomie Public Library mirrors the “O”-shape in the city’s logo, but is comprised of multi-hued green tiles in a mosaic effect. The differently sized pieces fit together neatly, and the image evokes the Library’s inclusive tagline of “A Place to Belong.” City staff said the tiles also felt like “an interpretation of a brainstorming session” where ideas get woven together to make a whole, and is reminiscent of the wide array of resources the Library offers under one roof. Staff is glad to have an official and independent logo for the Library, possibly for the first time ever in its history.

Golf Course

The Osawatomie Golf Course also got a fresh, fun update as it prepares for another big year of outdoor recreation and record-setting tournament numbers. Its new logo features the “O” from the main logo, but this time the negative space in the center is used to represent a golf ball on the fairway, with simple clouds and a flagstick in the background – a snapshot of a perfect day out on the gorgeous greens. The previous logo for the golf course was a yellow tree on a red background.

Implementation and Roll-Out

Over the next several weeks, City of Osawatomie staff will be installing the new branding across the organization, beginning with interior communications, forms, and digital platforms. Once those immediate changes are made, exterior communications and signage will be replaced such as the decals on the city’s fleet, wayfinding signage, and other physical materials like the metal logo displayed on the face of City Hall.

City staff is hopeful to have the rebranding effort completed and fully implemented by October 1, 2022.

Media Relations and Contact

If you are in need of the City’s new logo for print or digital media, please contact the City of Osawatomie Public Information Officer with your request.

Applications Welcome for Arts Commission

The City of Osawatomie is seeking applicants for a newly established Arts Commission!

At the May 12th, 2022, regular meeting of City Council, the Governing Body approved a resolution outlining the establishment of a public arts commission to help develop and implement public art and arts-and-culture activities and programming within the City of Osawatomie.

City staff will be accepting applications for the seven-member Commission from interested residents until June 6th, 2022, and conducting brief interviews if the number of applicants necessitates additional review. The City’s Public Service Application is available for download below, or paper copies can be made available at City Offices at 439 Main Street. Completed applications should be returned via email to [email protected] or paper applications can be returned to City Offices.

For the purposes of the Commission’s studies and recommendations, public art and arts and culture shall mean:

Public Art: “Public art can express community values, enhance our environment, transform a landscape, heighten our awareness, or question our assumptions. Placed in public sites, this art is there for everyone, a form of collective community expression. Public art is a reflection of how we see the world – the artist’s response to our time and place combined with our own sense of who we are.” (Association for Public Art)

Arts: A vast subdivision of culture, composed of many creative endeavors and disciplines. The arts encompass visual arts, literary arts and the performing arts.

Culture: A set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that define a group of people, such as the people of a particular region. Culture includes the elements that characterize a particular peoples’ way of life.

The goal of the Commission is to focus primarily on the introduction and implementation of public art projects and arts-and-culture projects within and around the City limits, and to develop public art projects that may also integrate with other public art projects, installations, or objectives in the region including the Kansas City metropolitan area and other urban, suburban, or rural centers.

As indicated by the resolution approved by City Council, the Arts Commission’s policy and procedure papers will be reviewed at the June 23rd, 2022, meeting of City Council with the papers approved and the Commission seated at the following meeting on July 7th, 2022.

Please contact the City’s Public Information Officer with questions or feedback regarding this new commission.

Proposed Code Change: 2018 Code Presentation

Director of Community Development Ed Beaudry hosted a town hall on Wednesday, May 18th, 2022 as part of a series of presentations regarding a proposed update to the building code. The presentation created by Beaudry can be found below, and a final version will also be shown to the City Council as part of the June 23rd meeting of the Governing Body.

Currently, the City of Osawatomie Building and Codes Department recognizes the 2006 International Codes and the 2005 National Electric Code. The department is proposing that Council adopt the 2018 International Codes and the 2017 National Electric Code to provide regional consistency (Miami County and Spring Hill are working on a similar adoption and Louisburg adopted the later versions in 2021), and to assist in the qualification for an improved ISO rating which would allow residents a savings on insurance premiums.

If you have feedback on the proposed changes, or questions regarding the Code or process, please contact Ed Beaudry directly.

Staff members from the Office of Rural Prosperity visited Osawatomie in April 2022.

ORP Mural Q + A

We hear there are some questions about the new mural going in… Let’s do a quick Q+A!


Q: Where did the money come from for this mural?

A: The City of Osawatomie applied for a grant through the Kansas Department of Commerce’s Office of Rural Prosperity and the “Rural Mural” program — a pilot program from ORP designed to bring public art into rural communities. The City received $15,000 for the project and issued a call for applications; the award included all expenses for labor, equipment, supplies, etc.

Q: Did the City Council vote on the mural?

A: No, the City Council did not vote on the mural for the downtown. The City Council was made aware of the City’s application to the program and the subsequent award as part of continuing “Osawatomie 4.0” presentations at regular meetings throughout the year.

Q: Who is the mural committee?

A: The mural committee for this initial Office of Rural Prosperity Rural Mural grant was comprised of Chamber of Commerce Director Kari Bradley, Osawatomie High School art teacher Michaela Irwin, local business owner Jordy Goff of Our Clique Photography, Osawatomie Public Library Director Dr. Morgan Menefee, City Hall’s high school intern, and Assistant to the City Manager Sam Moon. An official Arts Commission will hopefully be established soon to assist with future public art projects.

Q: How many submissions did the committee receive?

A: The committee received 18 formal submissions of portfolios and approximately another 3-5 email or social media inquiries that didn’t complete the portfolio requirement. In total, there were over 200 pages of portfolio work submitted for review from a wide variety of artists including local and international talents.

Q: How did the committee pick this design?

A: The committee reviewed all submissions and selected four artists or teams believed to have had the best proven body of work to move into a finalist round. During the finalist round, the artists were asked to submit design ideas or framework (such as a rough pencil sketch, a few paragraphs about their design methodology or process, a digital rendering, a mood board, or any combination thereof etc.) so that the committee could better understand what their unique voice and vision could bring to the community. The committee then met again to review the finalist submissions and the green and yellow draft design by Hunter Sinclair Myers of Wichita’s Brickmob stood out from the pack. The unique graphic, pop-art style felt fresh, contemporary, and vibrant — the perfect complement to a reawakening downtown corridor!

Check out Brickmob’s portfolio here! They have a team of artists and designers who tag-team on murals of all sizes and styles, and a proven track record of great projects and professional experience.

Q: Why didn’t the award go to the school district for a student-led mural?

A: This mural is large-scale (nearly 40 feet high and 40 feet long) and needed a professional muralist with a proven body of work in exterior murals to lead the team, including examining the condition of the wall and recommending prep work (like tuckpointing or sealcoating) and coordinating equipment needs such as scissor lifts, commercial projectors, and access to the correct type of outdoor mural paint to ensure a long-lasting and vibrant final product. The OHS art teacher was a member of the selection committee and agreed that she and her students weren’t adequately equipped for such a task, especially in the middle of an already busy school year.

Student- and/or community-led murals are on deck for the next set of projects now that we better understand all that goes into starting and finishing a quality mural and have more time to prepare!

Q: Are you doing more murals?

A: Yes! The City of Osawatomie applied for and received a grant from the local Hawkins Foundation to install other smaller murals in the community. We’re looking forward to working with residents, students, and other members of the community on our future mural projects.

Q: How can I help with future projects?

A: Applications for the upcoming Arts Commission will be accepted from anyone in the community with a penchant for art, a desire to help create reimagined and interactive displays, or anyone who has a passion for our community culture. Keep an eye out for the application to open in coming weeks! We’d love the assistance of creative, engaged, and dedicated people for our next projects!

For more questions regarding this and upcoming public art projects, please contact the City of Osawatomie’s Public Information Officer.

Brown Avenue Street Repair Bid Awarded

The City of Osawatomie’s “Paving the Way” program is kicking into high gear this year with the first ground breaking in the highly-anticipated street repair and replacement project. At the April 14th, 2022, regular meeting of City Council, the Governing Body awarded the construction contract for Brown Avenue from 16th Street to 18th Street to low-bidder Killough Construction for $730,396.00.

Killough Construction is based out of Ottawa, Kansas and roadwork starts this summer on the full removal and asphalt replacement. The following table of tasks is the work plan for the remainder of tasks related to Brown Avenue’s repair plan. City staff is simultaneously continuing design work for the other streets slated for 2022 repair or replacement (Main Street Terrace from 18th Street to 16th Street, Walnut Avenue from 6th Street to 4th Street, 18th Street from Main Street to Brown Avenue).

Staff also continues to work on the designs for the streets in line for 2023 replacement, including the entire stretch of 6th Street from Lincoln to Kelly and Brown Avenue from 7th to 12th.

For more information on Paving the Way, visit the project’s main page.

Project Task ListEstimated Completion Date
Construction Contract AwardApril 2022 (Done)
Notice to Proceed for ConstructionJune 2022
Construction CompletionAugust 2022
This table outlines the remaining steps for the first section of Brown Avenue’s reconstruction plan.

Lot and Alley Closed Due to Public Safety Concerns

The City of Osawatomie has closed a public parking lot and expanded the closure of the alleyway between Parker Ave and Main Street in the 500 block.

Due to the unexpected partial collapse of a building’s exterior wall facing the alley, a portion of the alley AND the entire public parking lot north of the 500 block of Main Street have been blocked off in the interest of public safety. The closures are indicated by yellow highlight below.

Residents visiting the post office are advised to use the Parker Avenue parking stalls until the lot is reopened. The alley has been partially closed for a few weeks now, but the area of closure has expanded. There will be no thru-access via the parking lot.

Staff is on-site and working with our team of engineers and contractors to determine the scope of work and damage. Please avoid the area.

Yard Maintenance Reminder for Homeowners and Tenants

Spring has sprung, and rain and warmer weather means the grass is growing! As we head outdoors to enjoy the beautiful weather, our Code and Nuisance Department wants to remind everyone of their yard maintenance responsibilities. See the informational flyer below for more information and reminders about our City Code and resources available.

Kansas Emergency Rental Assistance Available

Emergency Rental Assistance remains available

More than $125 million in rental, utility assistance awarded

TOPEKA, Kan.— Kansas Emergency Rental Assistance (KERA) funding remains available to support Kansans at risk of eviction. KERA provides rent, utility, and internet assistance to households that have experienced a financial hardship during the pandemic.

“More than a third of Kansans rent their homes, and many have struggled to cover rent and utility bills since the pandemic began,” said Ryan Vincent, Executive Director of Kansas Housing Resources Corporation (KHRC), which administers the KERA program. “The financial repercussions are far from over for our most vulnerable families. This crucial assistance is still available to keep Kansans safely housed throughout our economic recovery.”

The KERA program has disbursed more than $125 million in rental, utility, and internet assistance to 17,633 eligible tenant households in Kansas. These funds have prevented 45,674 Kansans from experiencing evictions and utility disconnections and helped make 6,656 landlords whole.

One frontline worker described how KERA assistance kept her in stable housing during the pandemic. While on short-term work leave, she was unable to return to her health care job after twice contracting the virus. “I am beyond grateful for the rental and utility assistance provided by KERA while I recovered so I could get back to work,” she said.

The KERA program supports Kansas tenants and landlords experiencing financial hardship. Recent updates have made the program more inclusive, allowing the state to serve even more Kansans:

– Households that have experienced financial hardship at any time during the pandemic may now qualify for assistance.
– Eligible households may receive up to 18 months of assistance, an increase from the previous 15-month maximum.
– Eligible households may receive a lump sum of $900 in past-due or future internet assistance, an increase from the previous $750 limit.

Previous applicants who have not hit the 18-month maximum are eligible to recertify for additional months of assistance.
A Topeka property manager witnessed how KERA funding has helped both the complex and her tenants thrive in hard times. “Since emergency rental assistance has been available, we have provided KERA documents and Shawnee County income guidelines to any tenant that receives an eviction notice,” she said. “I tell tenants, ‘It’s always worth a shot to apply.’”

Tenants and landlords can apply jointly online via the KERA application portal. Tenants must answer pre-screening questions to determine their eligibility before accessing the application. KERA applicants must meet income guidelines and must provide:

– Proof of identification;
– A signed lease or equivalent documentation;
– Documentation or self-attestation of housing instability;
– Documentation or self-attestation of financial hardship; and
– Proof or self-attestation of household income.

Once an application has been submitted, households can track their application status and respond to communications by logging into their KERA dashboard. If applicants have additional questions, they can contact KERA customer service by emailing [email protected] or calling 785-217-2001, Option 1 for English; or Option 2 for Spanish.

KHRC launched the KERA program in March 2021 with funding provided by the Coronavirus Supplemental Relief Act of 2021. Continuing funding is provided through the American Rescue Plan Act. The measures have provided a combined $23.4 billion in emergency rental assistance to rental households nationwide, with nearly two-thirds of those funds serving extremely low-income households.

For more information and to apply, visit kshousingcorp.org/emergency-rental-assistance.

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Kansas Housing Resources Corporation (KHRC) is a self-supporting, nonprofit, public corporation committed to helping Kansans access the safe, affordable housing they need and the dignity they deserve. KHRC serves as the state’s housing finance agency, administering essential housing and community programs to serve Kansans.

For more information on Kansas rental statistics, visit the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s report, Out of Reach 2021.

Questions? Contact us at [email protected].

City Announces New Childcare Taskforce, Invites Applicants

The City of Osawatomie is preparing a new taskforce, comprised of select staff members working with community partners and members of the public, to investigate and analyze the community’s possible response(s) to the nationwide childcare crisis.

This Childcare Taskforce will investigate the current childcare situation in the city of Osawatomie and surrounding regions, compare community needs to availabilities, research efforts and mitigation performed by other cities, and analyze or evaluate possible solutions within our community. The taskforce will plan to present their findings to the City Council no later than October 1st, 2022.

The eight-person taskforce will be comprised of three ex-officio (non-voting) members and five voting members appointed by the City Council. The five voting members must reside either within the Osawatomie city limits, within the Osawatomie School District (USD 367), or be employed by an Osawatomie-based business.

Interested? Please submit a Public Service Application to City Hall, or by email to [email protected], no later than Monday, April 4th, 2022. Brief interviews will be scheduled with applicants before the final slate of members is presented to the City Council for consideration and appointment on April 14th, 2022.

Contact Information

Kari Bradley
Business Liaison
City of Osawatomie
[email protected]
913-755-4114

Sam Moon
Assistant to the City Manager
City of Osawatomie
[email protected]
913-755-2146 x103

Seat Available on Public Library Board of Trustees

Due to a recent term expiration, the Osawatomie City Council invites interested individuals to apply to serve on the Osawatomie Public Library Board of Trustees.

Applicants must live within Osawatomie city limits in order to be eligible for consideration. Trustee terms are four years beginning at the first meeting in May after their appointment, and representatives are not restricted to particular ward divisions. Terms are limited to two consecutive appointments. Applicants may not be a member of the Osawatomie governing body or have conflicts of interest in the Library’s operations.

Eligible applicants will be presented to the current members of the Library Board of Trustees for review before a finalist is submitted to the Osawatomie City Council for consideration and appointment.

If you’re interested in serving on the Osawatomie Public Library Board of Trustees, please download and submit a Public Service Application and return it to City Hall or email it to [email protected].

About the Osawatomie Public Library

The Osawatomie Public Library opened as a public library in 1889. The Carnegie Library served the public from 1913 to 1980 before being torn down. The current library building was opened in 1980. 

As a public library, we offer much more than book checkout. Our patrons can check out wifi hotspots, laptops, cake pans, games, puzzles, movies, tool kits, and video games. They also have access to the Internet via wifi and our desktops and printing, faxing, and copying services. Additionally, the Maker Space offers a wide variety of tools for patrons to utilize, including a VHS to DVD conversion station, 3D printer, sewing machine, and heat press, to name just a few. Finally, patrons can schedule time to utilize the conference room for meetings, trainings, or quiet study or work space free of charge. 

Partnerships with community organizations is also an essential part of our services. We team with Catholic Charities, DCF, Southeast KS Works, ECKAN, Parents as Teachers, and K-State Research & Extension to bring services to our patrons. We plan to expand these partnerships in order to better serve the needs of our patrons.

The Osawatomie Public Library is much more than a library. It is a community space, host to numerous resources, and, above all, a place to belong.

Contact Information

Dr. Morgan Crabtree
Director
Osawatomie Public Library
[email protected]

Sam Moon
Public Information Officer
City of Osawatomie
[email protected]