Sunday, May 24, 2015

RAYTOWN'S LEADING NEWS SOURCE

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COMMUNITY EVENTS
The Raytown Ambulance Service will conduct a Blood Drive, Wednesday, May 27th at the EMS Headquarters located at 10020 East 66th Terrace. The event will start at 2:00 pm and end at 6:00 pm.



Paul’s Rant!
 "This is not your father’s Board of Aldermen"

There have had two meetings and so far they have:

1. May 5 –   tabled fee and license changes
2. May 5 –   turned down a change order on water slide over-run
3. May 19 – tabled  a resolution to purchase a new skid loader
4. May 19 – told city staff “no” on a resolution to convert vehicles to CNG
5. May 19 – passed resolution for agreement for emergency animal veterinary care, but not without chastising animal control department for lack of responsiveness.

This Board is not willing to rubber-stamp the proposals given to them by the staff.  The Board is forcing the staff at City Hall to do the work they were hired to do.  They are also forcing the staff to think, for a change.  These are things the staff hasn’t had to do for eight years. 

It is very clear that City Staff is not doing its homework with the Board before shaping the agenda at City Hall. The direction the City takes is supposed to be based on input from the Board of Aldermen. The past eight years has been a study of the tail wagging the dog at City Hall . . . or more plainly stated, City Staff has been giving the Board of Aldermen directions to follow.
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Apparently those days over.


BY PAUL LIVIUS
The Paul Livius Report
Raytown Board of Aldermen Meeting
May 19, 2015
Due to the length of Paul's Report we have made some changes in our reporting. More interesting sections will be highlighted in yellow type.  

Additional commentary, not covered in the Board's discussion, has been added. These sections will be be in red type. We hope the additional background information will be helpful in telling the entire story for the reader.

Mayor McDonough proclaimed May 17-23 to be both EMS Week and Public Works Week, in recognition of the valuable service they provide our community.

Kyle Rigter went before the Board and said he was representing Splashtacular.  He said he was unprepared for the last meeting when the Board voted down the change order.  He said it was true his company didn’t measure the slides until they started running out of materials.  He told the Board there was no reason to measure the slides.  This was not a negotiated bid.  It had a very specific set of specifications.  Nowhere in the bid did it indicate the lengths were approximate or “more or less” a certain length to make the company think the slides were any other length than what was stated.
At the May 5th meeting the Board of Aldermen rejected a request for additional money to pay for areas of work not accurately outlined in Park Board specifications. Apparently Mr. Rigter felt it was necessary to make a final statement on the topic. We expect this will not be the last heard of on this subject.

Steve Guenther told the Board the Raytown Farmers Market was opening on Saturday, June 13 at 11:00 am.  They will now accept debit and credit cards.  They have also been approved to accept SNAP.  They will have many vendors setting up this year.

The Board passed a resolution appointing Steve Meyers to the Planning and Zoning Commission.

The Board passed a resolution appointing Steve Knabe to the Board of Trustees of the Police Officers’ Retirement Fund.

The Board passed a resolution appointing John Ness to the Board of Trustees of the Police Officers’ Retirement Fund.

The Board passed a resolution appointing Larry Jackson to the Board of Trustees of the Police Officers’ Retirement Fund.  Alderman Van Buskirk said he was against having another police officer on the Retirement Board.  He said this will be the third police officer on the Board and it gives the appearance of being inappropriate.  It’s like having the fox guard the hen house.  Alderman Greene said he had no problem with Mr. Jackson serving on the Board.  He said he believes Mr. Jackson is qualified because he understands how the Retirement Fund Board works.  He reminded the BOA that any recommendation made by the Retirement Fund Board has to be approved by the Aldermen.  In spite of Mr. Van Buskirk’s objections, the Board passed the resolution.

The Board passed a resolution approving an amended schedule of fees for the City of Raytown.  The Credit Card fee schedule establishes the fees associated with Credit Card Payments.  The fees collected help to cover all or a portion of the cost incurred by the City.  Staff is proposing that the Schedule of Fees be amended by adding the following:

Credit Card Surcharge Fee: 2.5% of transaction amount.  This fee will be charged to persons using a credit card to make a payment in person at City Hall or over the phone.  The percent charged will cover the costs charged to the City by the credit card intermediary that processes the credit card payment.

On-Line Credit Card Convenience Fee: $3.00.  This is a fee charged to a customer for a credit card payment taken through the City’s website.  The ability for customers to make an on-line payment on the City’s web site is a new feature being provided by the City as part of the City’s new web site.  The fee amount charged will help cover costs charged to the City by the credit card intermediary that processes the credit card payment.

For more information on City fees and licenses, click on
and go to page 26.
Unless you are fond of paying additional fees of up to 2.5% on taxes, fees, literally any item paid for at City Hall, you would be well advised to pay by money order or check. In fairness to the consumer, the Board of Aldermen should post the fees charged for use of Credit Cards to pay for taxes, licenses, fees, etc. at all Pay Windows (including the Court) at City Hall. The city has not stated if such a policy will be put in place.

The Board passed a resolution approving an agreement with ETS Corporation for credit card processing services.  The City’s financial management software, Incode Vx, installed in 2013-14 has the capability of accepting online payments for City transactions.  In order to be able to have these payments load directly into the customer’s account it will be necessary to work with a vendor that partner’s with Incode.

There are two vendors considered preferred partners with Incode but only one vendor, ETS Corporation that has the ability to interface directly into their software.  Staff would like to enter into an agreement with ETS Corporation to handle all City credit card transactions.  Currently, card transactions processed in person create a daily batch that must be reconciled both on the bank statement and individually to each drawer.

By selecting ETS Merchant Services for card processing, all daily transactions both in person and online will load directly into the City financial software.  This will allow balancing by drawer as part of the nightly closing and will create the necessary entry into the financial system to reconcile with the bank deposit.  This will save time and help reduce the potential for errors that have to be tracked down during account reconciliation.

In comparing the ETS Corporation agreement to the City’s current vendor, the primary difference is that the City will need to collect transaction fees directly.  The City’s current credit card processor does not charge the City any direct fees; instead they collect them as a separate transaction directly from the customer.  It is staff’s intention to add these fees and charges to each transaction so that there will not be a negative financial impact to the City.

The Board passed a resolution amending budget for salt purchases.  During the budget process the Public Works Department planned to purchase salt in an amount of approximately $50,000.00.  Earlier in 2014, but in this budget year, Staff was granted approval to expend up to $42,000.00 and that amount was expended.  The fiscal year 2014-2015 budget did not contain sufficient funds to address the 23 days when staff applied salt to the City streets.  Salt was purchased from Kansas City, Missouri to an amount of $45,597.75 and a total of 825 tons and exceeded the budgeted funds by approximately $38,000.00.  Currently, the salt storage barn contains only about 800 tons of salt.  The capacity of the barn is approximately 1600 tons.  During the winter when salt was needed staff was only able to obtain smaller amounts of salt, and at a much higher rate.  KCMO sold Raytown salt at the rate of $55.27 per ton.  When purchased during the winter, the best price the staff could obtain from other sources was $85.00 per ton.  Staff would like to have additional funds available to purchase enough salt to fill the storage barn prior to winter.  The total needed to pay KCMO and fill the salt barn is $90,000.00 assuming a price of $65.00 per ton.  If salt is bid in May or June, a $65.00/ton price could be expected.  Beginning in November, salt may not be available in any quantity and none available for less than $85.00/ton.

The Board passed a resolution approving the purchase of fuel from Maher Oil Company from the City of Olathe, Kansas cooperative purchase contract The City of Raytown was purchasing fuel from Maher Oil Company utilizing a cooperative purchasing contract administered by Kansas City, MO.  The Kansas City, Missouri, contract provided the City of Raytown favorable pricing, but does not provide as favorable pricing as the contract recently awarded by Olathe, Kansas.  The Olathe contract provides more favorable pricing associated with the combined purchasing power of the City of Olathe, City of Overland Park, and other cities.  The Olathe contract prices are $0.03 per gallon less than the Kansas City, MO, contract.  Total expenditures with Maher Oil Company in the previous fiscal year were $285,017.00 and Staff anticipates a similar, but slightly lower expense this year.  Fiscal year 2014-2015 budgeted amounts for all City departments and the Fire Department totals $301,719.00.  The Fire Department is budgeted for an expense of $28,000.00 which the Fire Department reimburses the City for the expense; therefore, the actual City budgeted expenses are $273,719.00.

The Board tabled a resolution for the purchase of equipment from K.C. Bobcat in an amount not to exceed $27,941.17.  Jim Melvin said the proposal was for $57,941.17 minus trade in of $30,000.00 equals $27,941.17.  The skid loader Public Works currently has is a 2005 Bobcat S220 skid steer loader, with 1502 hours.  It is currently 10 years old and the programmed life is 10 years.  Repair costs to date have been significant ($35,758.00), and are expected to increase in the next year or two due to the age of the machine and the number of hours on the machine.  In addition, the S220 was purchased without air conditioning and the lack of air conditioning is a significant issue.  This skid loader is used for milling which is a very dusty activity and requires masks and/or respirators in order to protect the operator.  In addition and due to the age of the machine, the crew has experienced uncontrolled lift arms due to electronic issues.  The uncontrolled lift arms are a significant safety problem.  The Initial purchase of the S220 skid loader included a broom, cold planer, and bucket.  The broom has actually failed and either needs significant repair or immediate replacement.  The budget contains sufficient funds to purchase both a skid loader and a broom attachment.  It is the staff’s opinion that replacement of both pieces of equipment will be the most economical course for the City.  The staff proposed purchasing a new Bobcat S630.  The purchase would include a new 24” planer and a new broom.  The City would retain the old planer and the old broom as backup and for parts.  The City would dispose of the 2005 S220 skid loader for a trade in price of $18,000.00 which is the current retail value per recent sales.  The City would also dispose of a 2005 MT55 walk behind loader for an additional $12,000.00 trade in.  The MT55 has less than 200 hours in ten years of service and it is cheaper to rent a walk behind loader when needed rather than maintaining the current unit.

Alderman Moore asked why the city had spent $35,758 in repairs when it unit has only 1,508 hours.  Jim Melvin said the unit goes through a set of tires every 3-4 weeks.  It also has electrical problems and there is no air conditioner in the unit.  That means the windows have to be rolled up to prevent the operator from breathing the dust.  The unit can’t be used in the hottest part of the summer because of this.  Alderman Moore said it isn’t like a Lincoln Continental running down the road.  There will be belts and filters and all sorts of equipment on an air conditioner that can break.  The city only patches small parts of the pavement.  There should be no dust to cause problems.

Alderman Meyers asked if 1,500 hours was a lot.  Jim Melvin said historically, the city keeps equipment for 14-15 years and 2500-3500 hours.  This unit has a lot of electrical problems that can’t be fixed.  Alderman Meyers asked if this type of unit is leased.  Mr. Melvin said it is, but he would have to talk with the Joe Willerth about entering into a lease agreement.  Alderman Meyers moved, and the Board approved, a motion to table this question until June 16.

The Board failed to pass a resolution approving the expenditure of funds to Fuel Conversion Solutions for the 2015 fuel conversion project in not to exceed $35,000.00.  In 2014, the City converted two vehicles from strictly gasoline fuel to gasoline or propane fuel—operator’s choice.  Those conversions were performed after significant research.  The fiscal year 2014-2015 budget has funds set aside for converting up to 4 more vehicles.  The conversion is expected to save between $1.00 and $2.00 per gallon.  Depending on the gas and propane prices, payback for the investment will take place between 5 and 12 years.  Life of the vehicles is assumed at 12 years.  The total cost is $33,950.00.  Vehicles to be converted are:

Unit 213 a 2013 Ford F550 1.5T used as an Arial truck.
Unit 223 a 2014 F150 pickup truck 1/2T general use vehicle.
Unit 224 a 2015 F550 Dump/Plow truck 1.5T
Unit 247 a 2012 F150 pickup truck 1/2T

The Sales Tax Oversight Committee voted to consider this item as a proper expenditure of Sales Tax Funds; however, they questioned whether it is a viable financial investment.  At current fuel prices, the investment would pay for itself in about 10 years.  If fuel prices rise to previous levels it will pay for itself in less than 5 years.  The fiscal year 2014-15 Capital Improvement Sales Tax budget is $1,017,998.00.  This amount includes the fuel conversion project, vehicle maintenance building renovation, lower level remodel, skid loader replacement, salt barn lease payment, and interest on the salt barn lease.  The fuel conversion project was budgeted at $35,000.00 which is included in the $1,017,998.00 total.  This project was planned to begin upon authorization by the Board of Aldermen and to be completed in late June.

Alderman Van Buskirk pointed out the price of gas was very low and the savings would not be significant.  Jim Melvin said the propane fuel was cleaner burning and better for the environment.  Alderman Teeman questioned the age of the vehicles being converted.  Mr. Melvin said the city keeps vehicles for 10-12 years.  Alderman Teeman pointed out some of the vehicles were already 3 years old.  Alderman Emerson moved and the Board voted to carry over the resolution.  Alderman Jason Green said if the resolution is brought back, the staff should only plan to convert newer vehicles.

The Board passed a resolution authorizing an agreement with Raytown Animal Hospital for veterinary services associated with animal control in excess of $15,000.00.  The Development and Public Affairs Department requested bids from qualified firms interested in providing veterinary services.  Raytown Animal Hospital, the City’s current veterinary services provider, was the only provider to submit a bid.  The contract is for a period of two years with the City having the option to extend the contract for one additional two year period.  The Development and Public Affairs Department budget for these services in the current fiscal year is $35,000.00 which is intended to pay for the costs of veterinary services, as well as animal boarding services.  The costs incurred for veterinary services have historically been much lower than the costs incurred by the City for animal boarding services.  The cost relating to the veterinary services of each animal are billed to the city each month by Raytown Animal Hospital in accordance with the fees provided in the attached Agreement.  When animals are returned to their owner, the costs of the veterinary services are passed through to the pet owner whenever possible.  Alderman Black said the bid states animal services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.  She went on to say that is not true.  The Animal Control Supervisor claimed it was true.  Alderman Black said she called animal control last year for a dog running through yards, barking and chasing people.  The police department answered the phone and said animal control didn’t respond on weekends.  Alderman Jason Greene said he has had the same problem.  He said in the future, animal control should improve the emergency services of the department.
Aldermen Karen Black and Jason Green are correct in their observation that the city does not provide 24/7 service in Animal Control. A previous Board of Aldermen created a domestic animal licensing fee to pay for such services. City Staff does not have authority to end programs set up by the Board of Aldermen. At the time when the policy was set it was agreed that Animal Control officers would also serve as Property Maintenance Code Enforcement officers. Such duties could include removal of illegal signage, enforcement of over-grown weeds on private property and illegal placement of trash containers in residential neighborhoods.  

The Board passed a resolution authorizing an agreement with Raytown Animal Hospital for animal boarding services associated with animal control in excess of $15,000.00.  The Development and Public Affairs Department requested bids from qualified firms interested in providing animal boarding services.  Raytown Animal Hospital, the City’s current provider for animal boarding services, was the only firm to submit a bid.  The contract is for a two year period with the City having the option to extend the contract for an additional two year period thereafter.  The Development and Public Affairs Department budget for the current fiscal year is $35,000.00, which is intended to pay for the costs of animal boarding services and veterinary services.

The costs incurred for animal boarding services historically have used the majority of these budgeted funds.  The cost relating to the impoundment of each animal will be billed to the City each month by Raytown Animal Hospital in accordance with the fees provided in the attached Agreement When animals are returned to their owner these costs are passed through to the pet owner.  If an impounded animal is not returned to its owner, then the City incurs these impoundment costs.

The Board passed a resolution authorizing an agreement with K & S Associates for mowing and nuisance abatement services.  The City of Raytown currently has an Agreement for Nuisance Abatement Services with a contractor which was approved by the Board of Aldermen in 2012.  The services provided through this agreement include mowing of grass and weeds that are in violation of City Code (e.g. in excess of eight inches in height); removal of junk, trash and debris from property, and boarding up of vacant and abandoned buildings.  This spring, the Development and Public Affairs that has resulted in numerous work orders not being completed in the timeframe established in the Agreement (72 hours from issuance of each work order).  Due to this lack of responsiveness, it has caused a delay in getting work orders completed and as a result getting certain violations corrected.

The staff has contacted the cities of Independence and Lee’s Summit regarding their nuisance abatement contracts, which were cooperatively bid, and have met with both of the contractors for these two cities.  Both contractors indicated willingness and the capacity to perform the nuisance abatement services. 

The resolution would allow the City of Raytown to utilize the City of Independence nuisance abatement contractor through October 31, 2015 with the option to extend the Agreement with the contractor for an additional two years in accordance with the full length of the City of Independence contract.  Note - a similar resolution is on the meeting agenda for the contract the City of Lee’s Summit has for nuisance abatement services so that the Development and Public Affairs Department can also utilize their contractor.  This will enable the city to more rapidly catch up on the work orders that currently need to be completed as well as provide increased capacity to perform future work orders.  The fees associated with the contract are comparable to the fees in the current contract; therefore, the staff does not anticipate this will cause an increase in the current budgeted amount for nuisance abatement services.

The Board passed a resolution authorizing an agreement with Affordable Lawn Care for mowing and nuisance abatement services in the city of Raytown by utilizing the city of Lee’s Summit cooperative purchase contract.  The City of Raytown currently has an agreement for nuisance abatement services with a contractor that was approved by the Board of Aldermen in 2012.  The services provided through this agreement include mowing of grass and weeds that are in violation of City code (e.g. in excess of eight inches in height); removal of junk, trash and debris from property, and boarding up of vacant and abandoned buildings.  This spring the Development and Public Affairs Department has experienced a lack of responsiveness from the City’s current contractor that has resulted in numerous work orders not being completed in the time frame established in the Agreement (72 hours from issuance of each work order). 

Due to this lack of responsiveness it has caused a delay in getting work orders completed and as a result getting certain violations corrected.  Therefore, staff has contacted the cities of Independence and Lee’s Summit regarding their nuisance abatement contracts, which were cooperatively bid, and have met with both of the contractors for these two cities.  Both Contractors indicated willingness and the capacity to perform the nuisance abatement services.  Therefore, the resolution would allow the City of Raytown to utilize the City of Lee’s Summit nuisance abatement contractor through October 31, 2015 with the option to extend the Agreement with the contractor for an additional two years in accordance with the full length of the City of Lee’s Summit contract.


A Recycling Center 
in Raytown? 
SPG Solutions, a small Raytown business owned and operated by Greg Walters, has made an application for a $100,000 Grant offered by Chase Manhattan, to help fund and operate a Recycling Center in Raytown.
 
The stated purpose of the grant application would be used to develop a community recycling center in Raytown, Missouri. The grant application is the first step for Raytown to have and keep a viable Recycling Center.

Chase Manhattan, through its Foundation, Mission Main Street Grants, will give two million dollars to 20 eligible recipients this year. Chase Manhattan is accepting applications from eligible business from across the country for 20 awards of $100,000 each for a start-up business.

The application process and acceptance to the program uses a three part process. Part 1 is the application, which has been completed and accepted by the Mission Main Street Program. The second part requires the applicant to receive a minimum of 250 “likes” on its Facebook Page by June 13th.
How You Can Help . . .
You can help bring recycling to Raytown on a professional and permanent basis by simply casting a “like” vote on SPG Solutions via social media.

To cast your vote, use these simple instructions.
1. Click on the vote now link following these instructions.
2. It will take you to a page with the words "vote for your favorite business" across the   middle of the page.
3. In the dialogue box it will ask you to "enter company name, city or zip code".
    Type in 64133.
4, To vote you will be asked to "Log in with Facebook".
5. You will be ready to cast your "like" vote at the bottom right hand corner of the page.
    USE THIS LINK . . . VOTE NOW

The "like button" appears at the right hand side of the page. Please "click" it!

All votes must be cast by June 19th, so please get the word out through social media contacts. If all goes well, by this time next year, Raytown will have a recycling center we can all be proud.




BY JENN
Gluten-Free
Double Chocolate Cupcake Everyone loves cupcakes! (And if you don’t, er, I don’t want to judge, but something may be wrong with you … ) And this Double Chocolate Cupcakes recipe from Nutiva features some more nutrient-dense ingredients than you normally see in cupcakes. We’re talking coconut flour and coconut sugar, folks. We’re also talking gluten-free and dairy free/vegan if you choose. What we’re not talking though? Tasting “healthy.” These only taste delicious. Double the chocolate, double the tasty. READ MORE
  

THE RICE-TREMONTI HOME
Bi-Annual Garage Sale

Being held at Raytown REAP

9300 East 75th Street

June 4 and 5 from 8-5

June 6 from 8-12

If you have items to donate they may be dropped off the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday prior to the sale.  If you have donations and are unable to drop them off please call:

Leigh Elmore     816-333-3586

Phyllis Miller     816-353-2338

All proceeds from this event will go towards the ongoing preservation of this 1844 homestead.

Canned goods would also be appreciated for REAP for allowing us to use the facility.  See you there!



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