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The Paul Livius Report is full of interesting questions raised by some Aldermen over spending items at the Board’s last meeting. Those items call into question the priorities of the city.
For instance, this last year the city did not spend any money on street maintenance. The end result is deterioration of neighborhood streets at an accelerated pace.
The following examples from last week’s meeting focuses on $158,055.00 in expenditures set aside in the city’s budget. Some of it will be spent, but with a little due diligence, the city could trim back the expense. After all, $158,055.00 would pave a lot of streets.
Not all of the eight elected officials in attendance were in agreement*. Following is a short list of three items that begs for more information before the Board approves the expenditures at the second reading of the bills before them.
*Two seats on the 10 member Board are vacant.
KCATA CONTRACT: $60,835.00
The KCATA contract will cost the city $56,335.00 this coming budget year.
The service is available 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.; and from 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Ridership is not very high. The KCATA reported it only had a little more than $4,500 in fares last year.
Incidentally, the ATA keeps the $4,500. Which means Raytown taxpayers are really out $60,835.00 for a bus service that very few use.
If the ATA’s numbers are correct -- and we have no reason to doubt them. It may be cheaper to contract with a taxi cab company or UBER to provide the same service at a much reduced rate.
EMS BILLING SERVICE: $77,220.00
Ward 5 Aldermen Eric Teeman called into question a $77,200.00 being spent on an annual basis to pay for EMS Billing and Services provided by a billing firm named McKesson. Teeman questioned why the city is paying a full year of service fees for software that is only used for three months.
Teeman was joined by Alderman Janet Emerson in his questions. The upgrades, if they are made, are not payable until the time the upgrade takes place. McKesson also takes 7.5% of every dollar it collects as part of its fee for collection service.
The contract, if approved, is for a three year period. The City can call for the contract to be placed out for bid with a 90 day notice to McKesson.
Doug Jonesi, the Director of the city’s ambulance service said “Even if we get the bids back, there was no guarantee other companies would be cheaper or better.”
Which is true. But there is no guarantee the other bids would not be a better deal for the City of Raytown. Given the number of questions raised by Aldermen Teeman, the Board would be within its rights to set the 90 day clock on the notice to re-bid the contract immediately.
HABITAT FOR HUMANITY: $20,000.00
Alderman Bill VanBuskirk called into question a bill that would give a city donation of $20,000.00 to Truman Heritage Habitat for Humanity. This is the second year for the program in Raytown. City Staff did not provide and statistics showing a track record of how much and where the money was spent last year.
Alderman VanBuskirk said the City should not be donating to charitable causes.
Apparently the program receives donations from national firms like Certainteed, Dow, Cree and Whirlpool. The actual repair work is done by volunteers and local churches to lower labor costs.
Which calls into question, what is the $20,000 spent on?
FILING FOR CITY
Filing closed for the April 4th City Election last Tuesday. Eleven candidates filed for five seats on the Raytown Board of Aldermen. The City Marshal and Municipal Judge did not draw opponents.
Here is the list of candidates you will have to choose from on April 4th.
Alderman Ward I
Alderman Ward II
Loretha V. Hayden
Alderman Ward III
Alderman Ward IV
Bill Van Buskirk
Alderman Ward V
Raytown Board of Aldermen Meeting
January 17, 2017
January 17, 2017
Mayor McDonough welcomed Boy Scout Troop 283, who were visiting so they could work on their Boy Scout Merit Badge.
The Board passed an ordinance approving an intergovernmental agreement with the Jackson County Board of Election Commissioners to utilize city hall as a polling place for the 2017 calendar year. Under state law, public entities are required to provide polling locations to election authorities free of charge and City Hall has been used as a polling location for many years. The contract specifies the rights and responsibilities of the parties with respect to such use. To continue the service, the City needs to approve a new contract with Jackson County.
The Board heard the first reading of an ordinance approving a contract for transit service with the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority in an amount not to exceed $56,335. Ray Haydaripoor told the Board the agreement is in draft form and contains the language requested by the Board of Aldermen at their January 10, 2017 Work Session. The KCATA Board will also need to approve the changes made to the agreement which should be before the second reading of this ordinance on February 7, 2017. This is a demand-response public transportation service (Metro Service) that the City has provided under contract with the KCATA since April 2001. The City of Kansas City, Missouri also pays the same amount as the City of Raytown to the KCATA for the Metro Bus Service as the service area extends beyond Raytown to make connections with the rest of the KCATA network to the north and to the south within Kansas City. The hours of operation for the Metro Service are from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.; and from 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. The proposed agreement would maintain that level of service at a cost of $56,335.00. The operational cost is within the amount budgeted by the City for this service. This contract will be for a 12-month period that mirrors the City’s budget year. A presentation will be provided by the KCATA at a future Board of Aldermen meeting which will provide further details relating to the number of riders, origins, and destinations of riders, and other service information over the past 12 months.
The Board passed a resolution approving the appointment of Ray Haydaripoor as the Development & Public Affairs Director for the city.
The Board passed a resolution approving an agreement with Truman Heritage Habitat for Humanity for the operation of a minor home repair program in an amount not to exceed $20,000. The Agreement proposed would enable the City of Raytown to partner with the Truman Heritage Habitat for Humanity to implement a minor home repair program. The implementation of the minor home repair program would provide another ‘tool’ for the Development & Public Affairs Department to use as part of the City’s neighborhood revitalization program. The program would provide assistance to low-moderate income homeowners who are financially unable to correct the following types of property maintenance code violations on their property.
• Exterior Painting;
• Roof Repair and Replacement;
• Repair Decks and Porches;
• Repair Driveways;
• Repair and Replace Flashing and Guttering;
• Repair and Replace Siding;
• Tree Trimming for House Safety;
• Yard Cleanup.
Total repair costs per house could not exceed $3,000.00. Homeowners needing to make repairs to address City code violations would be informed of the availability of this program by the Development & Public Affairs Department when discussing specific code violations listed above. Homeowners expressing an interest in this program would be referred to staff at Truman Heritage Habitat for Humanity who is experienced working with homeowners to meet their needs. Homeowners would only qualify for this program if their annual household income does not exceed 80% of average median income. No repayment would be required by homeowners who have an annual income less than 25% of the average median income. Homeowners with a household income of between 25% and 80% of the average median income receiving this assistance will be required to repay the cost of the repairs by making a small monthly payment, which would be collected by the Truman Heritage Habitat for Humanity. Loans would be at zero percent interest for a period of up to seven years. The funds collected would then be placed in a Raytown Minor Home Repair Account for future use in this program or returned to the City upon request. The proposed program would use volunteers from local churches and other organizations to lower labor costs. A construction supervisor from Truman Heritage Habitat for Humanity would manage each project and supervise volunteers. There is $20,000 in the City’s current fiscal year budget for this program. In addition to this funding, Truman Heritage Habitat for Humanity has many national sponsors that donate materials as gifts in kind. Examples of this include paint which is donated from Valspar. Other partners include CertainTeed, Dow, Cree, Whirlpool and many others. Alderman Bill Van Buskirk said the city should not take tax payer money and give it to a charity. People do need help from time to time, but that help should not come from taxpayer money. This should be funded with private donations. Alderman Jason Greene said this project is good for the people and good for the city. Alderman Mark Moore said the city is spending $56,000 in taxpayer money for the bus service. This isn’t any different. This is especially important for the folks who complain about property values.
The Board passed a resolution approving the continuation of an agreement with Raytown Animal Hospital, for veterinary services associated with animal control in excess of $15,000.00 but within budgeted amounts for fiscal year 2016-2017. After a bid process and an award in May of 2015, the City of Raytown entered into an agreement with Raytown Animal Hospital for veterinary services. The agreement was for a two year period with the City having the option to extend the contract for two additional, two year periods. The Development & Public Affairs Department budget for vet and boarding services combined is $50,000.00. The cost relating to the veterinary services of each animal are billed to the city each month by Raytown Animal Hospital. When animals are returned to their owner, the costs of the veterinary services are passed through to the pet owner whenever possible
The Board passed a resolution authorizing the continuation of an agreement with Raytown Animal Hospital, for animal boarding services associated with animal control in excess of $15,000.00 but within budgeted amounts for fiscal year 2016-2017. After a bid process and an award on May 19, 2015, the City entered into an agreement with Raytown Animal Hospital for animal boarding services. The agreement was for a two year period with the City having the option to extend the contract for two additional, two year periods. The Development & Public Affairs Department budget for vet and boarding services combined is $50,000.00. The cost relating to the impoundment of each animal will be billed to the City each month by Raytown Animal Hospital in accordance with the fees provided in the attached Agreement. When animals are returned to their owner these costs are passed through to the pet owner. If an impounded animal is not returned to its owner, then the City incurs these impoundment costs.
The Board passed a resolution approving the expenditure of funds with Stivers Staffing Services. Teresa Henry told the Board from time-to-time various City departments have the need for temporary employment staffing and the City uses a Staffing Services to fulfill that need.
The Board passed a resolution approving the repurposing of a 2009 GMC Savanna ambulance. The Police Department is requesting to obtain the ambulance to be used as a Crisis Negotiator Vehicle. Currently the Crisis Negotiator Team (CNT) is working out of the back of a four door sedan and it becomes very cramped with people and equipment. The ambulance would allow for a dedicated vehicle for the CNT to transport critical personnel and equipment to the barricade location, provide a calm quiet environment for negotiations, and offer a large work area for monitors, and completion of necessary paperwork.
The Board passed a resolution approving a continuation of an existing service agreement with McKesson for EMS billing services and supplies including integrated patient care reporting software and related hardware and authorizing payment in an amount not to exceed $77,220 for fiscal year 2016-2017. The staff recommends approving the authority to pay McKesson, formerly known as MED3000, Raytown’s ambulance billing company, their contractually obligated fees for providing services to the City. In December 2007, the Board of Aldermen approved an agreement with Med3000 for ambulance billing services. The contract was renewed for an additional three years in 2013, and renews year-to-year automatically following that. McKesson is paid a percentage of collected revenue. Their contracted percentage is 7.5%. The City, for that percentage, gets their collection services as well as electronic patient care reporting software. Since the City has no other means to bill for ambulance service, the City would have no other option except to cease billing for services until another option became available. Alderman Jason Greene said the Board talked about this last year. Now there is not a lot of time to look for a replacement company. Alderman Janet Emerson pointed out the city has had a contract with McKesson for three years and should have paid for all the equipment. Doug Jonesi said that was true. The city is only paying for the subscription to the software. Alderman Eric Teeman said according to the contract, the early termination clause states the city is liable for the unamortized hardware costs on the equipment. He doesn’t understand why the city would have to pay a full year’s subscription for software it uses for only three months. He asked who agreed to that. He also asked why the city can’t get bids back by April and a new company in place by July. Doug Jonesi said even if we got the bids back, there was no guarantee other companies would be cheaper or better. Alderman Janet Emerson said McKesson’s representative indicated the city was being overcharged. Mr. Jonesi said he was told last Friday by the representative the reason the city was paying higher than market rate was because of the laptops. Now that the laptops have been fully paid for, the rate can come down. Alderman Steve Meyers asked if the contract expires January 31, 2017. City Attorney Joe Willerth said the city must give a 90 day notice or the contract will automatically renew.
The Board passed a resolution approving the purchase of medical supplies from Moore Medical off the Mid-America Regional Council Emergency Rescue committee (MARCER) cooperative purchase contract in an amount not to exceed $60,779. Moore Medical is our primary vendor for medical supplies for patient care. This is part of a cooperative purchasing agreement negotiated by MARCER. These supplies are mission-critical for the purpose of providing emergency care to ill and injured citizens.
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