The Paul Livius Report BY PAUL LIVIUS
Raytown Board of Aldermen Meeting – February 19, 2013
Rex Block with the Raytown Baha’i gave the invocation.
Police Chief Jim Lynch told the Board Pat Ertz and Richard Tush donated the Drug Take Back Box. It is located in the lobby of the Raytown police station and is only for unwanted prescription medications. Pat Ertz told the Board there will be a Drug Take Back day on April 27, 2013. Residents can safely dispose of their unwanted prescription drugs. Locations will be at the Apple Market on Raytown Road and 350 Highway and one at City Hall.
Janet Emerson went before the Board to say she opposes TIF’s for any new construction in Raytown. They take away from the fire department, the police department, and the schools. Because of the store on 350 Highway, we have already lost enough.
Chris Merrill said he thinks the proposed site plan in downtown Raytown is a huge safety concern. There have been many incidents with Walmart on 350 Highway, such as bomb threats and over 400 arrests for theft, shop lifting, and check fraud last year. The Board wants to put this across the street from the Senior Living Center and the library and down the street from the high school. Increased car traffic and increased trucking deliveries will make it dangerous for kids walking to school and the library. Walmart has a history of bomb threats and that puts the community at risk.
Edward Clark said he has an office in a Raytown shopping center. He told the Board there will be 165 car spaces for Walmart store and only 3 exits. None of these exits enter onto 63rd street. Two of the exits will be next to the Raytown Plaza. He said Raytown is selling the land for $675,000 and the city paid $500,000 for the land, then had to tear down the church building.
Elisa Breitenbach told the Board that after recent denials and cover ups by Raytown officials, along with the Raytown Times Newspaper, the people of Raytown now know the truth. Walmart is trying to come into the heart of downtown Raytown. The whole process is shameful in how it has played out. She was devastated to know our public officials and our local newspaper conspired to conceal this Walmart from the public. As recently as February 10, the Mayor assured her that Raytown had not received plans from JMC Realty or from Walmart. He also said nothing he had seen had the Walmart name on it. Yet the Raytown City website said on February 8 that JMC Realty had the site for a new Walmart Neighborhood Market.
Sandy Worley said we can go down Sterling and come to a Walmart at 40 Highway. We can go down 350 Highway and come to another Walmart. Raytown has several Apple Market stores, and The Store on Raytown Road, all of which are locally owned. There is no reason to put another Walmart in Raytown.
Teresa Swisher said her mother used to live over by the Hyper-mart. There used to be horse farms and residences that were bought up and tore down for the Hyper-Mart. Now when you drive by on I-435, it’s an eyesore with the empty buildings and unkempt property. She is concerned that we already have two Walmarts close together and she feels Walmart is trying to monopolize businesses in Raytown. She thinks the pharmacy at Walmart will put Fox’s Drugs, who have been in Raytown 70 years, out of business.
Jeanette Gentry said the comprehensive plan for the City addresses the fact that downtown Raytown is historic. The Raytown Report “Reaching for Tomorrow” has many ideas on ways to grow downtown Raytown. Numerous plans from high paid consultants have indicated that people need to feel safe. A 40,000 square foot box store with a high crime rate will not accomplish that. There are three facilities that are large enough to hold a grocery store. In fact, she told the Board, all of them have been grocery stores in the past. They are within ½ mile of the green space. Raytown deserves better.
Mayor Bower told the residents who attended the meeting that the city has received 2 illustrations representing a pre-application for a site plan. There has not been an official submission to the staff for this project. The developer has not asked for a TIF or any incentives for this project. This is good. The Staff has worked hard so Raytown doesn’t have to give away the profits anymore.
Andy Noll told the Board Batliner will no longer pick up the recyclables after the end of March. The volume is too small.
The Board appointed Michelle Williams to the Special Sales Tax Review Committee.
The Board authorized an agreement with Slide Care LLC for the 2013 waterslide maintenance and repair project. This agreement cover the repair and maintenance of the fiberglass water slides at Super Splash that is required to ensure safe pool equipment, proper maintenance and extend their useful life. The equipment maintenance is required to meet ASTM standards. Two of the three large slides are over 20 years old and show signs of age including leaking joints, gel coat chips, and oxidation. The scope of work involves a visual inspection report, slide joint leak repair, gel coat repair, removal, and replacement of damaged or rusted hardware, buffing and cleaning of slide riding surfaces and recoating the exterior of the slides.
The Board authorized an agreement with McConnell & Associates for the 2012 Colman Tennis court project. The Colman Park tennis courts have been closed to the public since 2010 due to poor asphalt playing surface conditions. The last asphalt court overlay was in 1996. A 45% Federal grant administered through the Missouri Department of Natural Resources Conservation Fund was awarded in 2011 to renovate the four courts. Additional grant funding requests have been submitted to the United States Tennis Association Facility Assistance program. The project scope includes asphalt milling, fence removal, and replacement, installation of reinforced perimeter curb, court regarding, aggregate base installation, asphalt overlay, color coating, court striping, net posts, center anchors and nets, and ADA access ramps. To lower costs, City Staff will remove and replace fencing and complete grading and reseeding.
The Board passed an ordinance amending Chapter 13, offenses and miscellaneous provisions, Article IV, offenses against Persons, section 13-37, regarding endangering the welfare of a minor.
The Board moved into closed session. The Mayor did not disclose the topic of the closed session.
All Wrong BY GREG WALTERS
Randy Battagler, owner/editor of the Raytown Times, has is all wrong.
In an article he published this week he takes to task the Raytown citizens who filled Raytown City Hall at the last Board of Aldermen meeting. He starts out by calling them names (nay sayers). He then goes on a trip into fantasy land praising the wise and noble steps taken by Mayor David Bower and members of his Board of Aldermen.
I attended the meeting, as did Randy, last Tuesday night. But I am beginning to wonder if he was really in attendance. His article reads more like the talking points of a commercial developer than a newspaper writer.
A quick head count showed that over 75 people were in attendance at the meeting. They were well mannered. They were polite. Seven of their number spoke publicly with reasonable arguments against a yet to be announced Walmart in Downtown Raytown (see The Paul Livius Report).*
I recognized a number of small business owners in the crowd last Tuesday. Randy should have recognized them too. Some of them used to advertise in one of his newspapers.
The people spoke. They had valid arguments. They exercised their First Amendment right.
They were witness to the increase in crime around the first Walmart built in Raytown at 67th and Blue Ridge Boulevard. They are familiar with reports from the Raytown Police Department that identifies the new Walmart on 350 Highway as the highest crime location in Raytown.
They are also familiar with the economic havoc created by the tax abatement and TIF schemes out of city hall that has lowered the city’s real income.
Randy Battagler has it very wrong.
The speakers spoke in favor of economic development.
They spoke in favor of economic development that improves the Downtown landscape.
Sources at City Hall now tell us the plans call for development behind the buildings on 63rd Street -- with few, if any improvements on the Downtown’s main thoroughfare.
Former Mayor Sue Frank, who pulled together a group of business and civic leaders to set standards for improvement in Downtown Raytown during her time as Mayor, spoke ill of what was going on.
“If you had told the people that our vision was to build a 40,000 square foot box store behind the row of buildings on 63rd Street and called it a Downtown Raytown Plan they would have laughed at us and walked away.”
Sounds like good advice.
The Board of Aldermen should listen to what the people in Raytown are saying. They should turn back any proposal that does NOT improve Downtown Raytown.
Building a 40,000 square foot box and calling it economic development simply does not fill the bill.
Raytown deserves much better.
PUBLIC FIGURES IN ATTENDANCE: A number of candidates for Aldermen were in attendance at the meeting. They were – Jason Greene, Josh Greene, Janet Emerson, Chris Merrill and Richard Tush. Nine of the Board of Aldermen were in attendance. Mayor Bower said that Ward 3 Alderman Christine White had been “excused” from attending the meeting.
|Citizens at Tuesday BOA meeting.|
Former Mayor Sue Frank reminisced about the original plans for Downtown Raytown.
She told the Raytown Rep0rt:
“In 2003 we had over 100 stake holders participate in creating a vision for Downtown Raytown.”
“They included the School District, Chamber of Commerce, local business owners, and private citizens working together to create a plan for a “small business friendly” environment with three walkable design options.”
The city hired the same firm that had been used to design Gateway intersections that had been built in Raytown to create a design plan for the Downtown. The end result was not one, but three separate concepts. None of the plans included a box store with a 40,000 square footprint.
About the Cost of the First Baptist Church.
The City paid $500,000 for the property owned by the First Baptist Church. At the time the appraised price of the property was 1.2 million dollars.
In the beginning, the purchase was funded through payments over a four year period. At the insistence of some Aldermen on the Board at the time the entire debt was paid off to save the cost of interest payments on the remaining debt.
The city later pursued and received a grant through the effort of 5th District Congressman Emanuel Cleaver that paid approximately $500,000 for demolition and clearing of the property.
What is being proposed for Walmart may not have any TIF’s or tax abatements attached to it. But if the selling price is below 1.2 million dollars paid out for purchase and demolition of the site then Walmart will be getting the bargain of the century.
Raytown Police to operate two locations
The Raytown Police Department is conducting a Drug Take Back event on April 27th, 2013 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at two locations:
Apple Market /75th and Raytown Road
Raytown City Hall Parking Lot /10000 East 59th Street
Public Water Supply District No. 2 Donates Prescription Drug Take Back Box
Raytown has instituted a local “Drug take back program”. The purpose of such a program is to allow for safe, legal and environmentally friendly disposal of extra drugs that patients have not used.
The program serves two purposes:
First, it reduces the risk of prescription drugs entering the water, potentially harming aquatic life or getting into the human water supply. In the past, people were advised to flush unused drugs down the toilet – but that option can lead to questionable contaminants ultimately going into the water supply.
Second and perhaps more importantly, take back programs reduce the risk of prescription drugs being consumed inappropriately – either by accident or through illegal sale. Wide spread evidence indicates that a huge portion of illegal prescription drug use occurs when people raid friends’ and relatives’ medicine cabinets.
Public Water Supply District No. 2 has provided the City of Raytown’s Police Department with a prescription drug take back box, located in the lobby of the Raytown Police Department. It is for the disposal of over the counter and prescription drugs.
No questions asked.
FIT BOTTOMED GIRLS
Don't Panic BY KRISTEN
I’ve mentioned before that I’m a serious planner. I like knowing what’s on my schedule tomorrow, next week and a month from then, if possible. I get a thrill out of making spreadsheets for my vacations. It might make me a geek, but at least I’m a well-prepared geek. This turns out to be a good thing when it comes... Continue reading
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