Sunday, July 26, 2015

RAYTOWN'S LEADING NEW SOURCE



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Chiefs sign former Raytown High running back

The Chiefs and NFL by beat writer Terez Paylor / KANSAS CITY STAR
The Chiefs have signed a player to get back to boost their thinning running back corps, and he's someone people from Raytown might remember. On Thursday, the club announced that it has signed Central Missouri running back LaVance Taylor to get back to the off season roster max of 90.
READ MORE



BY GREG WALTERS
Board Changes Policy
on Street Improvements 
I read in Paul’s Report that the city is taking a positive step away from the light aggregate seal used on city streets during the Bower Administration. The Board of Aldermen is united in recognizing the failure of the former light aggregate seal program. So much so that they have directed city personnel to change the scope of the program from the low end material used in Raytown the last eight years to a more efficient and longer lasting material.

The new overlay material is a finer mix of granite and sealant. To say it is the same as an asphalt surface is a stretch. But there is no doubt it is far superior to the failed practice of the previous administration.

FIX THE PROBLEM . . . DO NOT JUST COVER IT UP!
One of the problems with the old program was lack of preparation of the street surface before the light aggregate was applied.

In other words, if there is a two inch crack in the road, crumbled asphalt that has left shallow potholes, or even entire sections of the road surface degraded to crumbled asphalt, make the repairs before you put the new material and sealant down.

Don't do it and the result will be the same as before. There really are no shortcuts to doing any type of job right. That includes repairing streets.

BY PAUL LIVIUS
The Paul Livius Report
Raytown Board of Aldermen Meeting – July 21, 2015
Mayor McDonough said Al Brown worked tirelessly to feed thousands of people through REAP in the past 20 years.  Under his management, he assisted in securing funds to build a $1.3 million building that was needed for storage and office space for the organization.  Al has provided valuable leadership and guidance to promote and educate Raytown regarding the services and programs needed to serve residents in the community.  The mayor called upon all residents to join the city in recognizing Mr. Brown’s leadership, public service and extend the sincerest gratitude for his commitment to our City.

The Board passed a resolution authorizing the City Administrator to enter into an agreement with Vance Brothers for the 2015 lightweight aggregate seal project and approval of Change Order no. 1.  Change Order No. 1 changes the aggregate from Lightweight Aggregate to Granite Aggregate, deletes the Nu-Seal and Ultra-Seal bid items, adds Granite Aggregate Seal for the Parks Trail and deletes the full depth removal and repair bid items. The total for the project with Change Order No. 1 in place is $259,566.00.  As in 2011 through 2014, the City will allow the contractor to close a section of road for up to an hour to place the asphalt emulsion oil and to use less aggregate to decrease the amount of loose gravel. Also, the 2015 Lightweight Aggregate Seal project will require the contractor to make a straight edge for the seal surface treatment when ending at another street.  The staff is also requesting an additional $5,200.00 (2%) in the approved amount for possible change orders.  Overruns in this resurfacing project are prone to happen with the fast pace of the project. This will make an approved amount to spend of $259,566.00 + $5,200.00 = $264,766.00. This total is within the 2015 Street Maintenance Plan allocation for the lightweight aggregate seal project and the Parks budget for trails repair.

The Board passed a resolution authorizing an agreement with Pac-Van for modular housing rental for the temporary housing of the Raytown Police department and all necessary expenses in an amount not to exceed $73,500.00.

Jim Melvin told the Board the Staff has worked with local realtors to find a location to temporarily house the Police Department during the remodel of the lower level of City Hall. Staff looked at several sites, as follows:

1. Terminex/Ken-A-Vision: While this property is immediately adjacent to City Hall, the lease rate of $5.50 per square foot plus an additional $1.40 per square foot for maintenance fees would have equated to a total lease rate in excess of $17,000.00 for the 6-month term not including construction to accommodate PD’s needs. Ultimately, the property was unsuitable without some construction. Time and expense does not permit any construction.

2. Blue Ridge Plaza: while the property would have provided ample space, the available spaces in the property were not finished and had a number of mechanical system deficiencies. Converting the space to office for a temporary use would have been cost prohibitive.

3. Former GE Building: The initial rental rate was projected in excess of $15,000.00 per month, ultimately negotiated below $2,500.00 per month. Due to an unanticipated sale of the property to the State of Missouri, the lease negotiations were called off.

4. School District Properties: Staff contacted the school district regarding the Success Academy and other school properties. The Success Academy is currently full and the District has no other properties available.

5. 7001 Blue Ridge: Twenty-two of the Police Department personnel will need to move during the remodel, and can readily be housed at 7001 Blue Ridge. For a 6-month duration the cost would be $21,000.00 plus utilities. Taxes on the property are included in the monthly rent of $3,500.00 Utilities average about $800.00 per month, so assume $5,000.00 for the 6-month rental.

6. Staff obtained approximately a dozen other listings, but upon examination they were found not to be suitable for one reason or another.

7. Mobile Office Space: Space could be made available quickly. Lease of the space was approximately $1,790.00, and this did not include electrical hookups, utilities, pumping the sewer holding tank, and other expenses. Total expense for the 6-month period is approximately $55,420.00, although the expenses are not all final.

Some additional cost would be incurred with any of the options staff examined, such as moving expenses and dis-assembly and assembly of office cubicles. However, those same costs would be incurred with any other facilities. Moving expenses and cubicle take-down and installation cost is $5,689.00 on move-out and $5,689.00 to move back into City Hall. Total moving costs are then $11,378.00. Expenses for holding tanks for septic and bulk tank for potable water are not final. Also unknown is the cost of electrical, phone, and computer hookup. The Staff estimate is $73,500.00.

The Board passed an ordinance establishing a procedure to disclose potential conflicts of interest and substantial Interests for certain municipal officials in the City of Raytown.  Teresa Henry told the Board In 1991, the Missouri General Assembly adopted an ethics and personal financial disclosure law, which applied to all municipalities with an annual operating budget in excess of $1 million. Under the law, municipalities were allowed to adopt their own simplified personal financial disclosure requirements by ordinance (commonly known as “short form” reporting). The financial disclosure reporting requirements apply to each elected official, the City Administrator, the Director of Finance, the City Clerk, the full-time General Counsel, the Park Board, and the Parks and Recreation Director.  Each political subdivision desiring to use the “short form” is required to readopt the ordinance authorizing “short form” reporting every two years. However, in order to avoid the significant consequences of the failure to readopt the ordinance the recommended best practice is to adopt the ordinance annually. The ordinance must be adopted by September 15 and a copy must be provided to the Missouri Ethics Commission

Police Housing Back on the Table?
The search for a place to house the Raytown Police Department has taken a tortured path. Originally the Board of Aldermen turned down a proposal from Block Realtors for property located at 7001 Blue Ridge Boulevard. Two meetings later, the Board reconsidered a “new” proposal from Block. They approved the contract only to learn the property had already been sold.

Or has it? According to Ward 2 Alderman Jason Greene, it appears Block’s plan to sell the property has run into problems and the building may still be available.

Greene also told us that the second proposal, which was provided by city staff to the Board, was not the official contract from Block.

During the discussion on the second contract Ward 2 Alderman Steve Meyers complained that the contract in front of them was a copy of the previous contract and that no changes had been made to the body of the document.

City Clerk Teresa Henry admitted the only change in the document before the Board of Aldermen was the last sentence.

It would be fair to say the only certainty is the city has yet to find a home for the police to stay in during re-construction of its headquarters.

BY GREG WALTERS
Ragbrai Report 

As many regular readers know, I dust off my bike every July and join about 30,000 riders who participate in RAGBRAI – or, as it is more formally known, The Register’s Great Annual Bike Ride Across Iowa. Following is my report of the ride.

RAGBRAI: The Registers Great Annual Bike Ride Across Iowa was a blast this year. Temperatures in the 70’s for most of the days, it never went over 88 degrees! We are camped on the Missouri River. A number of riders take the time to dip their rear tire into the river to formally begin the ride.

ROAD ART
DAY 1: A very long ride for the first day. An elevation gain of 3,941 feet meant a route of very large hills stretched over 76.5 miles. The morning went well . . . a good tail wind, cool dry breeze out of the north and the challenge of a new ride. The afternoon was different. It turned sultry, though not hot, as the wind shifted. The southerly winds brought some heat but higher humidity. Riders who were zipping up hills earlier in the day were not slowing the pace. At the end of the day, there was a feeling accomplishment mixed with sore muscles and fatigue.

DAY 2: The morning came with heavy clouds. Cool temperature brought light mist and some fog. Within in an hour the rains came. It would continue to rain until about noon. The high humidity kept the roads wet long after the rains ended. Finally, towards mid-afternoon the sun returns and brings some relief for chilled wet bodies grinding along the highway. The hills are behind us. They have been replaced with a steady incline as we continue west to east. The route is 68.7 miles long. Though shorter than Day 1, the cold rain brings fatigue. At the end of the day many riders retire early.

DAY 3: Slept like the dead, but woke up refreshed. The route today is 72.9 miles long. The good news is that it is nearly flat! It makes for an enjoyable day of slowing down and taking in the scenery and the host towns as we ride through. Unlike the first two days, the muscles seem to have adjusted to the strain on them. The temperature tops out at 76 degrees with little wind. It is a picture perfect day for a ride. The amount of road art put up by Iowans along the route seems to have increased. The ride is estimated to have between 20,000 to 30,000 bicyclists. The roads are busy but not clogged. This is also the day set aside for the Karras Loop. The loop stretches the route to 100 miles. I’ve already done a “century” and decide to pass on the opportunity.

Bicyclists walking bikes across dried river beds.
DAY 4: A short route . . . only 58.4 miles. The weather stays mild. My group is joined by new riders and we make a day of the trip. We finally roll into town about 7:00 p.m. The concert that night (host towns always hold large concerts) are some retro bands playing music from the 80’s. Our campsite sits on a hill overlooking the concert venue. It is a noisy but enjoyable evening.

DAY 5: Another 70+ mile day. This one will turn out to be my last. The weather is good, a little warmer than the previous days, and, extremely bright. Despite continually loading up with sunscreen I begin to get a bad sunburn. By the end of the day it is very clear riding in the sunlight is out of the question for the next couple of days. So I say my goodbyes and take a pick up my car in Cedar Rapids. Five hours later I am back home.

The numbers of my ride add up to about 350 miles. One of my fellow riders tells me that Friday was another rainy day, so I did not miss much on that score. All in all, it was a very good trip.

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Sunday, July 12, 2015

RAYTOWN'S LEADING NEWS SOURCE

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Police Remodeling Put on Hold
by Greg Walters

A recent article in the local paper was interesting in what it didn’t report.  The Board of Aldermen refused to sign a lease agreement with Block and Company on June 2.  Aldermen Meyers and Moore both stated the city shouldn’t pay Block’s taxes on a six month lease.  The city attorney assured the Board the lease was a “boiler plate lease document”.  The Board directed the city attorney to go back to Block and renegotiate the lease.  On July 7, the revised lease was presented to the Board and approved.  The Board was told the prior lease document was a sample lease.  There was some confusion because the document appeared to be the same document presented in June.  The city clerk pointed out the document presented to the Board in July was different because the new lease had one extra sentence absolving the city from the tax liability.  On July 15 , Randy Battagler reported in the Raytown Times the building was sold and couldn’t be leased.  The residents of Raytown are fortunate the Board didn’t sign the original lease in June.  How much money would they have spent moving, or partially moving, in the building, only to have it sold out from under them?
DUE TO PROBLEMS WITH OUR SERVER, WE WERE UNABLE TO PUBLISH MORE THAN THE ABOVE STORY THIS WEEK.  WE SHOULD BE UP AND RUNNING NEXT WEEK. - GREG WALTERS

BY GREG WALTERS
How About 
Them Royals!
The Royals are having the last laugh going into the All Star Game. Despite national attention focused solely on the “wrongness” of one team dominating the American League players of the All Star Team, seven of the boys in blue will be on the squad.

Five of those All Stars were chosen directly by the fans themselves.

When you consider that Kansas City is one of the smallest markets in professional baseball, the numbers supporting the Royals speak their loudest. There is no way a city based population of a little more than 2 million people could have swayed the vote without a lot of help from voters all across the nation.

The ones who seem to be complaining the most about the outcome are the same talking heads who picked the Royals to come in fourth in the American League Central Division this year.

Yes, I know there is still half a season left to play. But, all things considered, the Royals are deserving of the accolades they are receiving from the public.

Don’t believe the Royals can meet the challenge? . . .  Just You Watch!


BY PAUL LIVIUS
The Paul Livius Report
Raytown Board of Aldermen Meeting – July 7, 2015
Mayor McDonough said the mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law, and scouts achieve their ranking by fulfilling requirements in areas of leadership, service and outdoor skill. Only 4% of all scouts achieve the highest rank of Eagle Scout.  Devin Cordes has fulfilled all of the requiremnts to complete his Eagle Scout Project which involved planning, designing, presenting his idea to the Raytown Park Board, and acquiring materials for a pathway to Aunt Sophie’s Cabin at the Rice-Tremonti Home.  Devin is a student at Lee’s Summit West and member of Scout Troop #54 of Lee’s Summit.  The City of Raytown, on behalf of all its residents, recognizes this bright and outstanding young man for his accomplishment and specifically his receiving the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America.  Now, the City of Raytown also encourages all residents to congratulate Mr. Cordes for completing an Eagle Scout project which will be enjoyed and utilized by residents for many years.


Mayor McDonough said Maggie Chase has been given the Missouri Municipal League “Person of the Year” award.  She has worked with the Raytown Emergency Assistance Program (REAP) for the past 16 years.

Alderman Steve Mock announced Brewer and Shipley will be at Kenagy Park on August 9 from noon to 7pm, sponsored by the Raytown Arts Council.

The Board passed a resolution approving the expenditure of funds to Watkins Lithographic, Inc. in an amount not to exceed $17,000.00.  Brenda Gustafson told the Board the City of Raytown provides four quarterly newsletters to our residents. The City put out a request for sealed bids for the printing of the newsletter. The lowest bidder was Watkins Lithographic, Inc. for a full-year printing agreement. The staff requested bids for a 16 and 20 page document. Currently, the document is 16 pages; however, the 20 pages would be totally dependent on the amount of advertising received.

The Board passed a resolution approving a 6-month lease with BPS Properties for temporary housing of the Raytown Police Department.  The staff has worked with local realtors to find a location to temporarily house the Raytown Police Department during the remodel of the lower level of City Hall.  The GE building was examined, but was sold. Staff also looked at mobile office space, but renting 7001 Blue Ridge Boulevard is more economical. Approximately 22 Raytown Police Department personnel will need to move during the remodel, and can readily be housed at this location.  The 6-month duration cost would be $21,000.00. Some additional cost would be incurred such as moving expenses and disassembly and assembly of office cubicles; however, those same costs would be incurred with any other facilities.  Alderman Meyers pointed out this is the same lease submitted in the prior packet.  Jim Melvin apologized and said he submitted the new lease and wasn’t sure why it didn’t get in the packet.  He told the Board they renegotiated the lease and no taxes will be included in the lease payments.  City clerk, Teresa Henry, pointed out the packet contained the new lease contract.  It was similar to the original, except the provision for taxes had been removed.

The Board approved a resolution approving the purchase of salt for the purpose of treating roads and bridges in inclement weather from Independent Salt Company in an amount not to exceed $52,000.00.  The Public Works Department received three bids in response to the invitation and has determined the bid submitted by Independent Salt Company in the amount of $63.99 per ton was the most advantageous bid received.

The Board passed a resolution declaring certain property owned by Raytown as surplus and authorized disposition.  Jim Melvin told the Board a skid loader replacement vehicle has been leased this year and the new vehicle will be placed in service soon. Public Works has evaluated the vehicles and has determined that the vehicles are not well-suited for continued use by the City and should be deemed surplus and disposed of in accordance with the purchasing policy. The S220 Skid Loader has safety issues with its lift arms. The MT55 is not used often enough to warrant its continued ownership and it is cheaper to rent a walk behind when needed rather than maintaining the current MT55.  The City would dispose of the 2005 S220 skid loader for a trade-in price of $18,000.00. The City would also dispose of a 2005 MT55 walk behind loader for an additional $12,000.00 trade-in.  The vehicles are proposed to be sold as trade-ins during the purchase of a sweeper and planer or alternatively sold at on-line auction via “Purple Wave”. The sweeper and planer are within the City Administrator’s purchasing authority. The revenue generated from these surplus items is Blue Book or better, and the fact that the City does not incur a cost to dispose of the items is an additional bonus. The unused portion of the proceeds would be deposited back to the Capital Improvement Sales Tax fund.

The Board heard the first reading of an ordinance establishing a procedure to disclose potential conflicts of interest and substantial interests for certain municipal officials in the city of Raytown.  Teresa Henry, City Clerk, told the Board in 1991, the Missouri General Assembly adopted an ethics and personal financial disclosure law, which applied to all municipalities with an annual operating budget in excess of $1 million. Under the law, municipalities were allowed to adopt their own simplified personal financial disclosure requirements by ordinance (commonly known as “short form” reporting). The financial disclosure reporting requirements apply to each elected official, the City Administrator (as the Chief Administrative Officer and Chief Purchasing Officer), the Director of Finance (as the Chief Financial Officer), the City Clerk, the full-time General Counsel, the Park Board, and the Parks and Recreation Director.  Each political subdivision desiring to use the “short form” is required to readopt the ordinance authorizing “short form” reporting every two years. However, in order to avoid the significant consequences of the failure to readopt the ordinance the recommended best practice is to adopt the ordinance annually.  The ordinance must be adopted by September 15 and a copy must be provided to the Missouri Ethics Commission.


Paul's Rant BY PAUL LIVIUS

THE LAST WORD . . . Those members of the Raytown Board of Aldermen who stood their ground on the rent ceiling of a temporary home for the Raytown Police Department have been proven correct in their action.

This past week they agreed to enter into a contract with BPS Properties to lease space at a vacant building located next to Our Lady of Lourdes Church at Gregory Boulevard and Blue Ridge for six months to house the police department while renovations are made at City Hall.

The original contract called for the city to pay the property taxes on the building over the life of the lease. The majority of the Board said “no” in the face of criticism by city staff who insisted the taxes had to be paid by the city. The Board of Aldermen clearly won this round. Since the criticisms of the Board's action came during a public session of the City Council it would be appropriate for those staff members who mistakenly tried to lead the Board astray to make a statement correcting the error.

DAVID BOWER LEGACY?
Greg sent me a text while reviewing the Board of Aldermen meeting this week. He wrote (in part) I’ve been watching the meeting. Tom Cole gave an economic report. He said over the course of the 23 year TIF for Walmart, the initial bonds were $35 million.  The total cost of the payback by Raytown will cost $90 million. Thank you David Bower.”

BY JENN
Easy Weeknight 
Meal Ideas
As I wrote about on Fit Bottomed Mamas recently, making dinner with a new baby can be daunting. But, I also realize that getting healthy eats on the table every night — whether you have a newborn at home or not — can also be tough. Whether you’re working long hours, taking care of loved ones, training for a big race or simply have a lot of to-dos on your list, I can see how “making dinner” can be replaced by something more convenient like, say, take-out. BUT! In the first few months with my little girl, I learned a number of tricks and tips to make dinner a breeze. Or, at least, more doable. From really delicious and stupidly easy slow cooker meals to what freezes well to recipes to make with minimal prep (and, even, one-handed!), I wanted to share what I learned the hard way. That way you don’t have to! READ MORE

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