Sunday, March 27, 2016


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Diagonal Parking in 
Downtown Raytown?
One of the first things you learn when writing an electronic newsletter is that more often than not, your readers direct the focus of the news.

Last week’s response to a tongue in cheek editorial by Paul Livius about the proposed back in diagonal parking planned for the Downtown Raytown Streetscape is a perfect example.

Readers responded loud and clear for the most part to their opposition to the idea of back in parking period. Many others questioned the use of tax dollars to make the changes in a Downtown that has shown little sign of coming back. And, to be fair, there were a few who embraced the concept of backing into a parking spot on 63rd Street.

I wondered about how much space the diagonal parking took as opposed the space used for parallel parking. So I visited the city’s website to take a look.

To view the streetscape plans use this link: STREETSCAPE

The plan calls for larger sidewalks with diagonal (back in) street parking on the north side of 63rd Street. There would not be any street parking on the south side of 63rd Street. The larger sidewalks and diagonal parking use quite a bit of space, so the remaining street would be limited to one lane in each direction with a shared lane in the middle. According to the plan documents, 63rd Street is currently considered to be a four lane street with parallel parking on both sides.

According to the drawings, the planned improvement area is only one block long with traffic stop lights at each end. The limited driving lanes could cause a traffic bottle neck for east/west bound traffic. I am not a traffic engineer, but since both the east and west bound lanes of 63rd Street is four lanes, reducing the traffic lanes to two lanes is going slow down one of Raytown’s primary east/west traffic routes.

Paul’s Notes: The Board has given approval of an expenditure of $95,913.00 to hire a consulting firm to oversee the 63rd Streetscape Project. Ward 5 Alderman Eric Teeman and Ward 1 Alderman Karen Black had some tough questions for the City’s Public Works Director, Kati Horner Gonzalez over the expenditure (see Downtown Streetscape highlighted below.

The $95,913.00 comes from the Sales Tax Reserve. Which raises the question . . . how much money does the city have in the Sales Tax Reserve?

The Paul Livius Report
MIDWEST ANIMAL RESCUE: The Board passed an ordinance granting a conditional use permit subject to certain conditions to allow an animal kennel facility as part of an animal adoption operation at 10312 E. 63rd Street.  Monopoly Acquisitions, LLC, on behalf of Raytown Animal Hospital and Midwest Animal ResQ, is seeking approval of a conditional use permit application to allow an animal kennel facility as part of an animal adoption operation at 10312 E. 63rd Street.

The  property is zoned Neighborhood Commercial (NC). Monopoly Acquisitions is in the process of purchasing the property from Raytown Animal Hospital. Upon purchase of the property, Monopoly Acquisitions then plans to lease the property to Midwest Animal ResQ, who wants to operate an animal adoption center. The animal adoption center will include the keeping of dogs and cats in kennels, which will be located inside the building. The keeping of animals in kennels, however, requires approval of a Conditional Use Permit application.

Erin Morris, with the Midwest Animal ResQ, said they have placed over 3,000 animals since their inception in 2009.  They plan to reduce the euthanasia rate in Raytown by adopting out unwanted pets.  Midwest Animal ResQ is very different from the previous organization that ran the shelter in the past.  Midwest Animal ResQ has paid employees instead of volunteers.

The Missouri Department of Agriculture has performed several unplanned inspections and Midwest Animal ResQ has a perfect record.  Bev Matlin told the Board she is a life-long Raytown resident and believes this will be good for both the people and the pets of Raytown.

Alderman Teeman asked how many animals the shelter will house.  Ms. Morris said there will be 12-14 kennels.  Last year, the previous organization adopted out more than 350 pets.  Alderman Aziere said the previous organization had problems with odor and excessive barking.  He asked how Midwest Animal ResQ will address those issues.  Ms. Morris said no dogs will be housed outside.  When dogs are taken out, the staff will remove the waste.  The inside of the facility is concrete and easy to keep clean.  They follow all state regulations and requirements for kennels. Josh Greene asked about the hours of operation.

Ms. Morris said there will be staff there 7 days a week to care for the animals.  They will be open to the public Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in the beginning. 

EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICE GRANT: The Board passed a resolution accepting a community grant from Walmart in the amount of $1,000.00 to further the city’s community education programs. Doug Jonesi told the Board that Raytown’s Department of Emergency Medical Services has become well known in the Kansas City area and outlying communities for our Child Safety Seat program.  Parents and caregivers have become familiar with the open availability, the skills, and the professionalism of the certified Child Safety Seat technicians at Raytown EMS.

The certified Child Safety Seat technicians of Raytown EMS are passionate about community outreach and education of parents and caregivers regarding the safe transportation of infants and children as well as other safety issues, such as safe sleeping practices.  Raytown EMS is also focused on going beyond mandated requirements for transporting infant and children patients in the safest manner possible.

The Department of Emergency Medical Services views education and training a critical component to our mission.  These additional funds would allow us to provide education, training, and equipment to further enhance our current educational programs and training.

DOWNTOWN STREETSCAPE: The Board passed a resolution authorizing a professional services agreement with GBA for the downtown streetscape project in an amount not to exceed $95,913.00 Kati Horner Gonzalez said the Downtown Streetscape construction project is scheduled to begin construction on March 28, 2016.  This is a complex construction project that will require a significant amount of labor-intensive oversight.

It is estimated that adequate inspection of this project will require approximately 6 hours per day through the duration of the aggressive 90-day construction schedule.  The City does not have the staff qualified to conduct erosion control testing, traffic study and control, as well as material testing and inspections.  As a means to provide adequate inspection and testing throughout the project, staff requested a cost proposal from GBA utilizing the MoDOT 2014-2017 LPA Consultant On-Call List.  Every three years, MoDOT solicits bids statewide from consultants and testing companies for the Local Public Agency (LPA) Consultant On-Call List.

As a means for local agencies to provide the appropriate oversight for LPA projects, which often are over and beyond the inspection capabilities of the agencies, this list is developed and is available for the agencies to select an inspection service to oversee the construction of LPA projects. Due to the large number of construction projects currently under design or going out to bid as well as the complexity of the Downtown Streetscape Project, it was determined that the use of inspection services will be required to ensure federal and state guideline compliance as well as an acceptable final product in construction and stakeholder communications.

The proposal includes the oversight of all construction activities, utility coordination, the upkeep of all required daily inspection notes and forms, communications with City staff and surrounding businesses, bi-weekly progress meetings, coordination of all required testing, and the completion of as-builts.

Alderman Teeman asked why this item wasn’t budgeted and where was the money coming from?  Ms. Gonzales said she originally thought all the oversight could be done in-house, but it has since been determined the City doesn’t have the necessary staff.  The money will come from the Sales Tax reserve.

Alderman Karen Black said this has been in the works for five years.  She asked why is the staff just now figuring out this can’t be done in-house?  Ms. Gonzales said she didn’t take into account the staff.

83RD STREET DESIGN: The Board passed a resolution authorizing a professional services agreement with Olsson associates for the preliminary design of 83rd Street Bridge in an amount not to exceed $57,801.86 Per the direction of the Board, Staff solicited design proposals for the replacement of the 83rd Street Bridge. One proposal was received for the replacement of the bridge from Olsson Associates.

Upon review of the proposal staff determined that the proposal met or exceeded all requirements of the proposal and awarded the project to Olsson Associates.

The design phase of the project will be divided into two phases: Preliminary Design and Final Design/Construction Services. During Phase I, evaluation of four alternatives for the repair or replacement of the bridge will be conducted with a final report on each alternative and the recommendation for construction. Phase II will be the final design of the selected alternative and associated construction services.  Phase I includes survey, monthly progress meetings, evaluation of existing structure, hydraulic conditions, and four design alternatives, development of cost estimations for alternatives, preparation of the final analysis report and recommendations, and a formal presentation to the Board of Aldermen overviewing the findings and recommendations. The tentative schedule is as such:

Notice to Proceed March 24, 2016
Delivery Recommendations June 1, 2016
Presentation to the Board June 22, 2016

SECURITY CAMERAS FOR CITY HALL: The Board passed a resolution approving the expenditure of funds with Central States Security in an amount not to exceed $18,960.39. The request is for the purchase and installation of twenty-three IP based digital surveillance cameras to upgrade and replace thirteen analogue cameras in City Hall and ten cameras in the Police Department. Several of the existing cameras in City Hall are severely outdated and non-functioning. These cameras will upgrade the entire camera security system for City Hall and the Police Department to a digital platform. Central States Security, LLC is the vendor that initially installed much of the existing system and is familiar with the City and Police Department’s surveillance platform. This project was presented to the Special Sales Tax Review Committee on January 19, 2016 and found to meet the intent of the Capital Sales Tax.

REGIONAL MULTI-HAZARD PLAN: The Board passed a resolution approving the adoption of the Regional Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan. In order to qualify for Federal grants regarding hazard mitigation and / or natural disaster damage reimbursement, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requires that jurisdictions have in place an approved Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP). The Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) coordinated the drafting of an HMP, outlining several strategies for mitigating natural hazards for the MO counties in the region this year. Several public meetings (at least one in each county) soliciting input were held. The resulting plan was submitted to both the MO State Emergency Management Agency, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Both agencies have approved the plan.

T-MOBILE TOWER RENTAL: The Board passed a resolution approving an agreement with T-Mobile Central to lease available space on the tower owned by Raytown. T-Mobile Cellular desires to rent tower space on the City’s existing tower located behind City Hall. Structural analysis shows the tower is capable of handling the additional equipment. New ground equipment would be located within the  existing fenced enclosure. Consultation with the City’s radio maintenance provider shows there should be no interference with the City’s equipment. The initial lease period would be for five years, with five additional five year terms set to auto-renew. The initial term rental would be at the rate of $1,500.00 per month, with each successive five-year rental period increasing by 10% for that rental period.  It is requested that revenue from this lease be “earmarked” toward Capital Projects, in keeping with previous discussions regarding tower revenue.

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Anonymous said...

I drive westbound on 63rd st daily at 2:25 pm and again at 5:05 pm. The traffic at 2:25 pm is as heavy as 5:05pm since you have the high school letting out and a few school busses that must travel that way. I think Raytown is making a big mistake in the idea of dumping tons of $$$ into making a block area a traffic nightmare.

Anonymous said...

I am all for upgrading our Downtown area but that does not mean that we should close our eyes to problems we may be creating. Designing a roadway that pinches a four lane street down to two lanes does not sound very smart. Particularly when the four lane road stretches across the width of Raytown. Why not create parking space behind the buildings on 63rd Street in the green space? There is plenty of room and it would allow traffic to flow more evenly along 63rd Street.

I agree with most of the comments I've seen about this. Diagonal parking may look attractive and quaint, but it is really not very practical. That is why most city's stopped using it many years ago.

Raytown Newbie said...

Welp fellow Raytowners....

the train has left the station on this Streetscape fiasco. The project is underway as I am typing this. The changes they are making will be very hard to undo. The west bound traffic will suffer the most because few turn left at the west end of the streetscape. And to add to the lane loss is the slow downs caused by the folks trying to back into the reverse angle parking. The workaround for many will be to avoid this route altogether and take the scenic route by the library.

Going east through the street scape many turn left to go up Blue Ridge so that traffic will flow almost the same. It does make me wonder though, where can an east bound driver get in the left turn lane to make the turn at Blue Ridge. And how will all this affect downtown's busiest business the liquor store on the corner?? Don't have a need to shop there myself, but there are hundreds (or thousands?) that do.

Jennifer said...

Raytown Newbie - I'm sorry to hear this. I like eating at that new restaurant across from the high school on Blue Ridge. However, I don't like it enough to fight traffic and messed up lanes. Oh, well. I guess I just go east into Lee's Summit.

Anonymous said...

63rd st is just one of many ways. I will be avoiding that mess for quite some time.

Anonymous said...

I love reading the negative comments on here and the extremely positive comments on the Mayors facebook page. I'm guessing the multitude of responders on his page outnumber the 8 or so haters on this page.

Anonymous said...

The back in parking spots on 63rd street are a nightmare waiting to happen. You create this bottleneck of 2 lanes and then make it so the traffic is completely blocked as people try to safely back into these tricky back in parking spots. I for one will not be using the area more. I'll be avoiding it.

Anonymous said...

If a tree falls, errrr, if someone avoids "downtown" Raytown would anyone notice?

Anonymous said...

Don't you just love those folks who complain about comments on this blog. My favorite is like the one posted earlier today. Apparently they do not approve of the opinions some have posted.

For instance. If someone does not want to back into a diagonal parking spot, he calls the a "hater". If someone thinks that taking a four lane road down to two lanes it will cause a traffic backup. He calls them a "hater".

It would seem the one who is trying to brand anyone who does not share his point of view is the real "hater".

I like the diversity of opinion on this blog. The administrators do a good job of monitoring the content and allowing all to have their say.

Guess that makes me a "hater" too!

Anonymous said...

I bet Sue Frank, the State Farm insurance agent on 63 rd street business will increase 10 fold for all the accidents that will happen when people will have to back into the parking spots on the new "street scape" not including possibly backing and jumping the curbs into the building's front entrances. What a mess!!

Raytown Newbie said...

Hello Anon 9:21,

I am not a Facebook member but my kids are so I know a little about it. Don't you have to be a "friend" of someone to post on their page? .... I thought so. That alone would tend to skew comments in the direction of the mayor.

But, I don't see much mayor "hating" going on here, anyway. So why the thin skin?

I will say he has made a mistake in not giving a more serious review of this streetscape plan that was hatched by his predecessor. That's just my humble opinion of course.

BTW.... I think that's one of the purposes of this blog... It is a place for us Raytowners and often times non-Raytowners to come and say their 2 cents worth.

I appreciate the efforts made by the blog owner to give us a place to express ourselves. The fact that most of us post anonymously is fine to me. That allows a free expression of our thoughts without the fear that we will end up on someone's ca-ca list, kinda like being "unfriended" in the Facebook world.

As for me, I definitely do not "hate" on anyone at the city even though I sure don't agree with everything that they do.

Don't forget to have some fun tomorrow (AFD).

Regards, RN

Vicky said...

Who can post on someone's Facebook page depends on how the page was set up. If the Mayor set it up to allow anyone to comment, then that's the way it is. Just remember, someone has to have a Facebook account in order to post to someone else's page. There are no anonymous postings on Facebook.

Anonymous said...

I dont have a problem with the remodeling of downtown, what I have a problem with is the lack of effort in taking care of that city manager.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Sue will get any additional business as she sales insurance.

I do think a lawyer looking to make some quick money should open a shop in one of the vacant places around Sue's.

There is a lot of money for a lawyer to make off those back end only parking spots.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm, been reading all this hoohaw about the back in parking. Don't you have to back out into traffic if you pull in forward?

Anonymous said...

Is it me or are code enforcement on a decline again.

I see a lot businesses to include residential rentals that need to come up to standard.

This sometimes mean code enforcement gets out and does the job they are paid to do.

However, we all know for that to happen their boss and the city administrator would have to man up and do the job their have been hired to do.

This is why all the members of the board of alderman need to clean house at city hall or we the voters can lean house like we did with the last two city elections.

Anonymous said...

Every time I see Sly James on TV crying like a girl who cannot get a date over his earning tax, I think about the amount of money I heard Dr Markly talk about that just the school district is loosing from KC MO, which was way over 10 million. Park from Brywood Shopping Center and park from the Manchester Industrial Park.

I wounder what that cost is to KCMO now look at all of KCMO and clearly they would have the funds if they would stop robbing the working person and tax the corporations like they should.

I also find it odd that Sly James supports $15 an hour min wage, but wants the poorest of the poor to pay his earning tax.

It is no wonder his son has been caught getting into many fights and making poor decision when his father makes the decisions he is making.

Therefore the only way to right this wrong is remind all your fiends that live in KCMO to stop taking advantage of the poor and working folks and end the earning tax.

Anonymous said...

That is a good point about double standard Sly James.

What is wrong with that Republican?

He wants more and more taxes on the poor and none on his rich friends.

He is just bad for MO like the rest of the tax the poor Republicans.

It is time to tax the business and remove all the tax breaks for them.

Anonymous said...

I live in KCMO just outside of Raytown.

My kids attend the Raytown schools and being we are so close to Raytown we shop Raytown.

Many of my neighbors are KCMO fireman and police officers who have asked me to vote for the earning tax, but based on the response time to our part of KCMO I don't see we are getting anything for our money.

However, for the sake of my neighbors I was still going to vote for the earnings tax until I got today's mail.

In it was a coupon to go to the KC Zoo anytime in the month of April for free. I thought what type of games is the city pulling now. When this was voted on the counties supporting would get 4 free family visits a year and now we are getting one.

If the city is going to keep breaking promises than I know I will be voting against the earnings tax.

Walter said...

We only get on free pass now because too many people were going out to the zoo with their free passes and then acting the fool. There were fights in the zoo and shootings outside the zoo. It's bee a total mess. I won't take my grandchildren to the zoo on free days. It's not safe.

Anonymous said...

The thing that kills me about the e-tax is that if you work in KC,MO, but don't live there, you have to pay the tax,. That is taxation without representation and is total BS. Glad I don't live or work there.

Anonymous said...

4:12 PM - do you buy anything outside of Raytown? If you purchase taxable items in another city/county/state, it's almost certain that you paid a sales tax that you didn't get to vote on. You've paid taxes on gasoline that you didn't get to vote on. If you cross the state line to work, you pay that state's income tax without voting on it. You get "taxation without representation" wherever you live or work.

Anonymous said...

11:42 am, they're still doing four free visits a year. It's not just on specific days like it was before. You should get four postcards throughout the year. The zoo website has more info at

4:12 pm, that's exactly what the e-tax is for. You have hundreds of thousands of people come into KCMO each day to work and many of them do not live within city limits. The city still needs to provide services to those people and the businesses they work at and gouging residents in the form of very high property taxes isn't a great solution either.

Anonymous said...

Getting rid of the e-tax is a great idea if you live outside the city limits, and own tax abated property inside the city. Then you get to live tax free.

Anonymous said...

The e tax is an earnings tax isn't it ? I live and work in the same city but years ago that was not the case. I made my living off another city other than that in which I lived and paid an earnings tax to that city.

Anonymous said...

Someone is really confused. Their is only two cities in Missouri that have an Earnings Tax. They are Kansas City and St. Louis. If you do not live in those cities you do not get to vote on them. However, if you work in one of those cities you have to pay the earnings tax. In Kansas City (Missouri) the earnings tax is 1%. It taxed on your gross income. Which means one percent of the money you earn goes to the city of kansas city.

Unless you are one of the large corporations for which Kansas City has raised the earnings tax. It is a dirty little secret Sly James and others do not like to talk about. The earnings tax is waived to encourage (bribe would be more appropriate) large corporations to locate in Kansas City, Missouri.

It is how the rich stay rich and the poor and middle class pick up the tab.

If you live in Kansas City do yourself a favor and vote NO on retaining this unfair, regressive tax that hurts those who can afford it the least.

Vicky said...

I read and agree with every single statement against the earnings tax. However, no one has brought forth an alternative to replace the tax. Any suggestions?

Anonymous said...


I think the problem with KCMO and actually any government body is are they living within their means and are they spending money in the best means available.

In short, the answer too often is no.

I have been in the consulting business for process improvements for private businesses for years.

If large corporations can find and reduce waste so can any government agency.

The problem with government agencies is often jobs are created for friends and/or family of friends. Example is the job Country Executive Frank Whites son got with KCATA. Although KCATA is not controlled by the county the job was not placed on the open market, and being it was only offered to Frank's son we not only have a conflict of interest, but a clear operation of taking care of politician family members and that means some vote will be or has been done that benefits someone Frank does have control over or the job would have been posted and anyone else could have been selected.

When things like that and contracts are not bidded correctly or waste for positions that are not needed are filed and/or over paid there is money for things that are really needed.

If you take a city the size of KCMO and go department by department employee by employee you will quickly find cuts and other places that need realignment.

However, they won't do it because someone's buddy might be the one on the street even though they maybe should have never been hired to start with.

There is also waste of water, which creates high rates for everyone. If KCMO years ago had been replacing lines and not just repairing I hate to think what could be saved as true water lose is an unknown number therefore unknown cost.

So the money is there if the crooks would spend it correctly

Anonymous said...

Why not quit some of the waste? Do you think there are some expenditures that are ill advised. Kansas City or Jackson County. Both could serve as a poster child for corruption in government. The solution is simple. If they do not get the tax dollar they are forced to make better decisions.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand who you think is confused. Everyone knows we are talking about the Kansas City e- tax. And from all the comments that would be exactly what they all are refering to.

Peter said...

I did as well. Live in Raytown and work for the school district there. At one time I was at Eastwood hills elementary which is located in KCMO and earnings tax was on my paycheck then I transfered to Central Middle school which is in the heart of Raytown and that eliminated the earnings tax from my paycheck

Anonymous said...

I saw on the news last night that KCMO Mayor was going door to door campaigning for his E-Tax.

I wish it was out here in Eastern KCMO.

I would love to follow him from door to door in my neighborhood and remind my neighbors we all live within our means so why is the city not.

Odd I just saw something on Facebook yesterday about the tax break for the private company project over off 435 and Banister.

Now we know why they mayor is all worked up, I mean lets be honest when you give money away like that crazy KS governor someone has to pick up the short fall. Why is it the working man? Why keep giving money to those private companies?

I also recall reading in the KC Star several years ago that covered the pay of several top positions in KCMO Government offices. What those folks got paid truly explains the concerns we all should have with what clearly sounds like over paid and underworked.

The news said they have 10 years before the E-Tax would even go away, so that gives them more then 9 years to figure out what a to 10 company could in 1 year. Granted this is the government and they clearly cannot manage anything.

Beth said...

I thought the discussion was about Kcmo and not St Louis . Many people in the Raytown Area either live in KcMo or work in Kcmo so this does effect them. If you work for the Raytown School District but teach in a school that is housed in kcmo you of course pay the tax. Only people residing in the kcmo area get to vote on the taxes that effect the properties within the area . Isn't that correct ?