|Home brewers were a big hit at the Festival.|
The Festival of the Lost Township made its debut as a public event this past weekend. A warm day with blustery winds combined to make the perfect atmosphere for sampling beer of over 30 area craft brewers. Michael Crane, owner of Crane Brewing Company, was on hand share some of his secrets of the art of brewing.
BREAKING NEWS . . .
Shooting in Raytown Leaves One Dead
Shooting in Raytown Leaves One Dead
One person was shot about 6 p.m. at Mama's Chinese Buffet in the 6600 block of Raytown Road. For more information use this link . . . READ MORE
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Broken Promises = Loss of Credibility
Broken Promises = Loss of Credibility
|BY GREG WALTERS|
The Raytown Board of Aldermen has found itself in quite a pickle over the 1/8 cent sales tax. In case you are not up to speed on this issue, here it is in a nutshell.
In 2010 the Board of Aldermen placed a 1/8 cent sales tax on the ballot. When the Board finally asked the voters to approve the sales tax increase, they added stipulation the proceeds from the sales tax would be used to fund local parks/storm sewer water control.
Here are the minutes of the May 4, 2010 meeting in which the Board made the changes: (minutes are in bold type)
Amended Substitute Bill No. 6207-10, Section III-A-9.
AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING AND APPROVING SUBMISSION AT THE PRIMARY ELECTION TO BE HELD AUGUST 3, 2010 TO THE QUALIFIED VOTERS OF THE CITY OF RAYTOWN, MISSOURI, THE QUESTION OF WHETHER THE CITY SHALL IMPOSE A SALES TAX IN THE AMOUNT OF ONE-EIGHTH (1/8) OF ONE PERCENT FOR THE PURPOSE OF FUNDING LOCAL PARKS/STORM WATER CONTROL WITHIN THE CITY FOR A TERM OF SEVEN (7) YEARS AND IMPOSING SUCH TAX IF APPROVED BY A MAJORITY OF THE QUALIFIED VOTERS VOTING THEREON.
Alderman Aziere, seconded by Alderman Melson made a motion to amend by substitution which would change the term of the sunset from 7 years to 10 years. The motion was approved by a vote of 10-0-0.
Ayes: Aldermen Aziere, Melson, Lightfoot, Mock, Par-Due, Van Buskirk, Creamer, Ertz, Hamilton, White
Despite the fact the Board had indicated the sales tax dollars would be spent on approximately a 50/50 split, the Park Department has received 100% of the funding since the tax was approved by voters five years ago.
I ran into Mayor Michael McDonough at the Lost Township Beer Tasting Festival and asked if the city had made any plans to correct the situation. He said the Board has yet to make a decision.
Ward 1 Alderman Karen Black was the one who blew the whistle on the misappropriation of funds. She has suggested the Board approve a 60/40 split of the funding for the 2015/2016 City Budget. City Administrator Mahesh Sharma as since confirmed Ms. Black's findings.
When you consider that 100% of the sales tax has gone to the Parks Department for five years – it is a generous offer.
As far as the current budget year goes, the Board’s hands are tied to a budget not of their making. The current year budget was set under the David Bower Administration. The Park Board has already allocated or spent the funds.
However, it is within their power to make a difference as the 2015/2016 city budget is concerned.
Ward 5 Alderman Eric Teeman said it best at a recent meeting. “Parks are not supposed to make money. But they are not supposed to lose this much money”.
Super Splash hit is high water mark in the 1980’s. Since then its attendance has dwindled, costing the city and park department hundreds of thousands of dollars in red ink to keep the facility open.
The reasons are many, but the main cause is competition from similar water parks in Lee’s Summit and Independence. The Coco Keys resort near the Truman Sports Complex undoubtedly has had an impact on the marketplace as well.
The people of Raytown voted in new representatives and a new Mayor at the last election. It was a call for change from the practices of the past – not an endorsement of the status quo.
The voters want a change from waste and financial irresponsibility. This is the Board’s chance to prove they are up to the task.
I hope they do not miss the opportunity. If there is one thing that is hard to restore it is trust and credibility of the voters. The Board of Aldermen made a promise to the voters in 2010. They felt strongly enough about it to include the promise in the language of the ballot question.
This Board should keep the promise made in 2010.
|BY PAUL LIVIUS|
The Paul Livius Report
Raytown Board of Aldermen Meeting – September 1, 2015
Prior to the regular Board of Aldermen meeting, the Board heard from the Park Department for a work session. Kevin Boji told the Board 15-20% of the Park Board’s budget comes from sales tax. That’s a lot of money, and if you take all or part of it away, that’s a real detriment to the Parks. At the last meeting, it was mentioned that there are over $5,000,000 in storm sewer repairs needed. The $300,000 from the sales tax won’t start to solve the storm water problem, but will hurt the parks if taken away.
The aldermen said they don’t know how much money the Park Board has. The City’s financial statements show one amount, and the Park Board’s bank statements show another amount, and the audit shows still another amount. Mark Loughry, Finance Director, said the Park Board likes to look at the bank statement to see how much money they have to spend. This is not accurate. When the Board of Aldermen approves expenditure, the requisition order is issued. That amount is deducted from the Park Board fund balance and the money is put on reserve. The checking account balance is meaningless. It might take several months for the checks to be written after the Board gives approval. Park department has to look at the fund balance to know how much is left.
Alderman Meyers said the parks are an important part of our community and Super Splash is part of that. He said upcoming expenditures for the Parks department capital expenditures are $2-3 million. There are no grants, it’s all sales tax dollars. Three items on the list are for Super Splash - $256,000 for bath house construction, $168,000 for concession stands, and $336,000 for water slides. Add to that, $190,000 for the Minor-Smith bridge replacement and $60,000 land purchases for Kenagy Park, and Super Splash is 30% of the projects. He asked if perhaps Super Splash is an attraction we can no longer afford.
Mr. Boji said the revenues at Super Splash were $275,000 and the expenses were $410,000 to date. Not all the expenses have been received. He also stated $130,000 of the expenses were capital improvements.
Alderman Emerson asked how many of the visitors to Super Splash were Raytown residents. Mr. Boji said Super Splash was originally planned to reach out and attract people to Raytown. Alderman Emerson said when Super Splash was first purchased it was a business and made money. Now it doesn’t. She’s in favor of closing all but one pool and keeping that for Raytown residents. The rest of the land can be used as a recycling center.
Alderman Teeman asked how much in capital expense do you plan to spend on Super Splash. Mr. Boji said the facility was built in 1963. It’s 52 years old. We need to sandblast and paint the pool at a cost of around $100,000. There are pumps and decking repairs and aging slides that need to be addressed. The study session ended and the Board of Aldermen meeting started after a short break.
Mayor McDonough said Pat Casady started C and C Starters and Alternators in 1972 with his brother, working out of his double-car garage before moving to the current location at 6235 Raytown Road where the business has been for 43 years. Although times got rough for the company and his brother left to seek work elsewhere, Pat and his wife remained with the company to develop it into the successful business that it is today. Pat’s quality of work has been recognized and sought after by every forklift dealer in Kansas City and other companies such as Ford Motor Company, Toys“R”Us and J.C. Penney’s. Pat has had a commitment to his business, and he has been committed to giving back to our community and especially helping those who are less fortunate.
The Mayor recognized Pat Casady for the economic and philanthropic endeavors he had made to our City.
Mayor McDonough said Sam’s Prescription Shop was founded in 1960 and located on the northeast corner of Gregory & 50 Highway within Sam’s Bargain Town, later relocating to the southeast corner of Raytown Road and 350 Highway into what is now Sack ‘N Save.
The trail-blazing efforts and old school beliefs of top-shelf customer service and high level of integrity propelled Eddy Rosen’s business to be one of the most successful pharmacies in the Kansas City metro area for 55 years.
While the scenery has changed, Sam’s has seemed to remain consistent with its loyal and strong core customer base and longevity of its employees. The Mayor calls upon all residents to recognize the social, historical and economic impact Sam’s Prescription Shop has had in our community and congratulate them on their homecoming back to its original location – Hy-Vee.
Kevin Boji spoke to the Board and gave the Park Department Annual Report. He said there are 9 full time employees and 1 part time seasonal employee. They maintain 7 neighborhood parks over 176 acres. There are two special use areas, Super Splash and the BMX track.. They also maintain the Rice Tremonti home. They are looking to add a new park in north Raytown.
The Board passed a resolution approving the appointment of Michael Attwood as the Ward 1 representative to the Special Sales Tax Review Committee.
The Board passed a resolution approving the appointment of Lisa Emerson as the Ward 3 representative to the Special Sales Tax Review Committee.
The Board passed a resolution approving the appointment of Jeremy Bledsoe as an at-large representative to the Special Sales Tax Review Committee.
The Board passed a resolution appointing Assistant Finance Director Briana Burrichter as a city representative on the Ditzler Community Improvement District Board of Directors.
The Board passed a resolution appointing Assistant Finance Director Briana Burrichter as the city representative on the Raytown 350 Community Improvement District Board of Directors.
The Board passed a resolution approving an agreement for Medical Director Services with Dr. Tucker Lienhop, D.O. Doug Jonesi told the Board with the resignation of David Gustafson, D.O., the EMS department must find a replacement to act as the department’s Medical Director. The State of Missouri, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and other regulatory agencies require EMS agencies to have physician oversight. The Bureau of EMS requires agencies to have this oversight in order to provide care without a direct order from another doctor. EMS views this advisor as essential to the success of the Department of EMS.
The Board passed a resolution approving the purchase and installation of safety padding and related equipment from Marathon Equipment in the amount of $24,339.99 and the installation of plumbing fixtures in the amount of $5,553.82 from Wilson Construction for a total amount not to exceed $29,892.82. Detention Technicians and Officers are often required to deal with assaultive inmates who are uncontrolled and violent because of drug/alcohol, intoxication, mental impairment and/or social dysfunction. They also receive inmates who have suicidal tendencies. The padded cell would be used to house these types of inmates. In the other cell areas, inmates can bang his/her head against the cement wall causing great damage and perhaps even death. Used properly and for short periods of time, padded cells are highly-effective at preventing harm to inmates. The benefits of installing a padded cell will be increased safety for employees and prisoners and to mitigate liability for the City. The detox toilet will be installed in the padded cell and the conventional toilet will be removed because it may present a hazard to the inmate.
The Board heard the first reading of an ordinance establishing the annual Property Tax levy rate for the city’s general operating fund and the Park fund for the year 2015. The City has received its notice of 2015 preliminary Assessed Valuation from the County. Finance has recalculated the levy rates using the formula supplied by the State Auditor's Office. These calculations indicated the City could levy a rate of $0.3531 per $100.00 assessed valuation for general city operations and a rate of $0.1763 per $100.00 assessed valuation for park operations. The 2015 proposed rates represent a slight decrease of .0225 compared to 2014. According to Zillow the median home value for Raytown is approximately $83,900.00. The total taxes collected for the City and Parks on the median home would be $86.89 compared to $88.08 last year.
The preliminary Adjusted Assessed Valuation:
• Real Estate values increased by $7,136,312.00 or 3.06% from last year's amounts for a 2015 value of $240,694,782
• Personal property value increased by $104,891.00 or 0.19% from last year's amounts for a 2015 value of $54,222,722
Based on the assessed valuation and the proposed mill levy staff is projecting that approximately $1,100,000.00 will be generated for the General Fund and approximately $580,000.00 will be generated for the Park Fund.
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