Sunday, April 13, 2008
Changes Are Coming
Changes to the Downtown Raytown landscape and changes in how the city conducts one of its more popular programs are soon to become reality. The first is in the area of Recycling. The Board of Aldermen will address the issue this week when it makes a final vote on recommendations forwarded to them by the Recycling Committee. NEW RECYCLING CENTER: The Committee has recommended moving the location of the Recycling Center to the Public Works Garage located at 6417 Railroad Street. The garage area is undergoing renovations and will be ready for the move by early July. The new Center will have lighting and be fenced. The police department re-fuels their police cars at the same location. The extra security along with the police presence is expected to eliminate the illegal dumping that has plagued the location on 350 Highway. The Recycling Committee has also recommended changes in the operation that is expected to net the city a minimum of $10,500 annually. This can be accomplished by changing the service provider who removes the recycled material at a fee of $550 per month to one that will pay the city for the recycled material. The Committee’s next step is to come forward with a plan to bring curbside recycling to Raytown. State law requires that a two-year notification be given before a curbside program can be initiated. The Committee has its work cut out for it. The two year notification process requires the support of the Mayor and Board of Aldermen. OLD FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH: The Old First Baptist Church is another area of interest. A federal grant is in the process of being obtained for removal of the building. The city allowed the building to go into disrepair. It quickly became Raytown’s largest eyesore. If nothing else it proved once again that municipal governments make very poor landlords In hindsight, the plan to purchase the building was a monumental error that has cost the city hundreds of thousands of dollars. However, as my grandmother used to say, “there is no way to unspill the milk”. The best course of action at this point is to remove the blight. The federal grant is limited to demolition of the building. This means that when it is gone, all that will be left will be an empty lot. Some have suggested that a city park be built on the old footprint and parking lot. It would make more economic sense to try to market the property for development. This would give the City a chance to create a blend of the old and new in Downtown Raytown.