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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27 comments:

Anonymous said...
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Peggy Sue said...

At the last meeting, Jim Melvin alluded to the fact the Block building may not be sold. He said there is some confusion as to the status and he wasn't sure in his own mind whether the building was truly available or not. It makes me wonder if Block "sold" the building because they didn't like the city making demands. As Jim said, it will take several months for the truth to fully come out. I guess the next question should be, "if Block did, in fact, lie, what recourse, if any, does the city have against them"?

Anonymous said...

I love that last comment. Jim Melvin "alluded to the fact the Block building may not be sold." NOt sure you can call something a fact and then use words like may or might to explain a theory. If Block does not want to sell his building he has a right not to do so. Until there has been a formal agreement signed I don't think anything binding is in play. Could be the city is at fault for mishandling the deal. Could be Block changed his mind. The simple solution is to cross the location off the list.

Peggy Sue said...

Jim Melvin didn't come right out and say Block lied about the building being available. He did say they had been told the building had been sold, and after the staff had found the trailers, the deal to sell the building suddenly fell through. Melvin questioned the timing and thought it was suspicious.

GADSDEN said...

GADSDEN said...
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.”



The above information that I want to thank Greg for is the kind of information that the tax payers of Raytown need to know.

For those that say we need another Wal-Mart let them do it with out a TIF or any other tax benefit from the taxpayer.

Again thanks to Greg for the above information

Please someone in the know please let the taxpayers know how much has been used to pay of the bonds with taxpayer money??

Andy Whiteman said...

When the Raytown Walmart bonds went on the market, I asked my financial adviser about them. Not only did he recommend not buying them, but his firm wouldn't market them because they were not of a suitable grade.

Andy Whiteman

Marilyn said...

Andy,

Why weren't they of a suitable grade? Walmart is a good company that shows profits year after year. Is it because Raytown was backing the bonds and Raytown has a poor financial reputation?

Anonymous said...

That last comment shows a complete misunderstanding of how the TIF bonds work. Walmart has nothing at stake in their store on 350 Highway. The City of Raytown is on the hook for the property. If Walmart would pull out tomorrow, there is nothing the city can do to stop them. If they vacate the property, the city is left with a white elephant. But the debt will continue because our city fathers stupidly backed the bonds. This is what made the bonds marketable. If Walmart abandons the store, the debt remains. The city's course at that point is very limited. They can try to find a new tenant. Which is a lot easier to type than it is to do. Or, they can raise taxes to pay off the $99 million dollars of debt.

That is how Walmart remains a successful company. No risk on their part. The only risk they have is the product on the shelf. Which in many cases is not truly their risk. Walmart treats its stores like warehouses. If they close the store they simply move the merchandise to another location.

Next time some ignorant politician comes around with a song and dance about how their is no down side to a deal like the mess on 350 Highway called Walmart, close the door in his or her face.

Marilyn said...

Thank you SO much. That is the first time anyone has truly explained the Walmart TIF. When Walmart was looking to put in the Neighborhood store, someone stated that Walmart owned the building and property on 350 Hwy. If Walmart closed the store, they could let it sit until it crumbled. They sited the Walmart Supercenter on Bannister as an example.

It's nice to know the City can rent out the building if necessary. I understand it would be difficult, and it may take some time. But it can be done.

Thanks again.

Raytown Newbie said...

I have to say I wish all the diligent folks who are fond of beating the dead (dead because apparently we can't do anything about it)Walmart horse to death on here would have gotten involved years ago when this mess was created.

Also, seems like the bonds would have been a good investment since they are backed by the City. Looks like we are solidly on the hook.

Or is all this never ending carping just a way to vent frustration. Anonymous posters coming up with supposed facts and figures that appear to be unsupported by verifiable sources.

Funny to consider that we let Walmart screw us over on 350 Hwy, but when they wanted to locate a store downtown, on their dime, which would have been done w/o TIF and would have paid sales tax to the city from day one, the Walmart haters came out of the woodwork to kill it off. Hmmm, go figure.

I remember when a poster mentioned the potential loss of sales tax revenue because of that,, some rocket scientist on here piped up with the comment that nothing was lost since we had never gotten any ????

Anonymous said...

Marilyn,
I didn't question my financial adviser as to "why". Each bond issue is rated by several companies and these bonds had a general low rating. I think anonymous explained it quite well.

Andy Whiteman

GADSDEN said...

I have just finished reading a treasure trove of information form Dec 2 of 2007 from this site that were published by Greg W.. It explaines the Walmart TIF and the dire consequences that would be our future. What was explained to us at time have now come home to roost.

I have a feeling that the current Mayor and some of the council members such as Jim Aziere, Van Buskirk and Mock who I think were all on the board at the time do not realize the mess that the city is in.

I have asked and no one seems to know, which is terrible, how much the city has paid into the TIF during the past year. This amount will probably grow each year and there will be a fewer number of streets resurfaced.

There was also a letter from Pat Casady about the Walmart TIF and what he says now is the same that he said then when he tried to warn us about.

Greg thanks for the postings that are still on the web.

Anonymous said...

Treasure trove; I like that saying. I've only known a few people that coin that phrase and only a few that have used it on this blog through out the past

Rebecca Perkins said...

Heard on the street....Sack and Save closing around labor day?????Can't get an answer from them...what will happen to Sam's Pharmacy if that happens??? any body heard anything????

Anonymous said...

Gadsden;
Is'nt it great the internet!?! Anything that has ever been uploaded or printed on the net stays in cyberspace. Even stuff people deleted from their post or messages recieved pages. You can ALWAYS find the truth

KMCCLA said...

I have not heard anything about the Sack and Save closing, however if it does, I'm sure Sam's Pharmacy will find another place. I have been with them for years (ever since they where at Sam's, and I was a child), and have been with them at several places. Hopefully Sam's will survive.

Anonymous said...

I have heard the same thing. The store will be closing soon. I think some of their regular shoppers did not care for the change to the sack and save concept. Those alienated shoppers probably went somewhere else to do their grocery shopping.

Anonymous said...

I was beginning to wonder if I was the only one who noticed the disparity between what is spent on city hall and what is spent on our neighborhoods. Let's see. A second pension for the police department, a complete remodel of the upstairs of city hall with the p.d. remodel just around the corner. Even the street leading up to city hall got asphalt instead of the junky slurry seal they put in our neighborhoods. One of the candidates running last April promised some street lights in the his camppaign. I would better others did as well. it would be nice to see some of our money come back to us in the form of safer neighborhoods with decent street lighting.

Anonymous said...

raytown newbie has it all wrong. The downtown walmart was planned to be built in a development district that already had tax abatements as part of the deal. The mayor and city council would have wrung their hands and said "oh my, their is nothing we can do about it. Our hands are tied.

Check it out at city hall. it is all public information. They will not be very forthcoming with it but it is your right to look at the development plans for Downtown Raytpown.

Anonymous said...

The downtown development plans can all be pulled up on the net. They go back very far especially interesting is when Sue Frank was Mayor

Anonymous said...

I don't know what a 3/5 plan is but I do know that the City Administrator was a Public Works Director before he came to raytown. In fact, he was hired as the public works director when he came here. Maybe you have something there. Sharma does not want street lights so he stonewalls any action from his office. Hope the BOA knows enough to take care of business. Last time I checked they are the ones we elected to be in charge.

Anonymous said...

" the city is not moving forward with needed street lights and or sidewalks install and repair because we DO NOT have a 3-5 infrastructure plan. The current manager of public works is the "intrem" director. Apparently the previous manager did not create a plan."

What a bunch of hogwash.The real question is why doesn't the city have a plan? They set the money aside last October when they wrote the budget. Sounds like the Board had a plan when they approved the budget. Now, who would be responsible for following through on that plan? Don't the have a City Administrator in charge to make sure the wishes of the people, expressed through their elected representatives, are followed through on?

Or does that amdinistrator just pick and choose what he thinks is important?

It is very clear that he thinks carpeting all of city hall is important. Maybe street lights is not high on his priority list. It sure is in my neighborhood.

I wonder how many street lights the city has installed in the last 8 years? I bet it was very few. Our last mayor did not think they were a priority. I had real hopes we had swept his kiind from office last April.

Ihope the city council proves me wrong.

Peggy Sue said...

Did anyone read Randy's Reflections in the paper? He stated "Then we hit a couple of bars in Clinton and by the time we got back home it was near 10:30 p.m." I wonder how often this guy drinks and drives? Sounds like he's a menace on the road.

Samuel said...

Peggy Sue
They serve cola products as well as ice tea at bars. People; Drinkers, Drunks and Non Drinkers go to sports bars and regular bars to socialize with the locals . I have a one drink limit as I and my friend are CDL drivers. I see Many people that do the same or don't drink alchol at all when out.
Have you heard the old saying Assume!
Must not have much going on.

Anonymous said...

How much does the City Staff hate the City Market? Enough that they completely turned off the sound when the Mayor was giving the proclamation about the market.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about Peggy Sue's comment. With some people one drink is too much. With others one drink is never enough. We don't even know who was driving or if they were walking. Give the guy a break!

Anonymous said...

Isn't the PIO responsible for televising the meetings? Could it be she's passive/aggressive?