Sunday, May 21, 2017


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59th Street Attracts
City’s Attention
Any regular reader of the blog portion of the Raytown Report can tell you this past week has seen a lot of attention and comments from the public.

Here is what has transpired.
See Paul's Rant for comments on this photo.
A little over a month ago there was a water main break at 59th and Elm Street. To repair the broken line, the water company had to tear out a large portion of the street. The picture at left shows the street after repairs were made.

But the problem does not end with the water main break. East of where the water main break was repaired the road surface has begun to buckle. The result, as one blogger put it, “. . . is like riding a roller coaster” when you drive down the street.

Apparently the city has recognized the problem. This past week city crews placed signs along the east bound portion of 59th Street warning drivers to reduce their speed along the deteriorating section of 59th Street.

Our View . . .

One of the comments on this week’s blog caught our attention. A message signed by someone named Jim Williams wrote:
Jim Williams said…

I see a lot of people on this blog moaning and groaning and whining about 59th street. I watch each and every BOA meeting broadcast on the web. I haven't seen anyone at the meetings complaining about the street. Instead of sitting on your rear and griping on this blog, why don't you get up and DO SOMETHING?

May 19, 2017 at 9:17 AM

We can understand Mr. Williams angst regarding people showing up at meetings to complain about the street. From our point of view, they have done just as well complaining about the street on the Raytown Report. Apparently someone at City Hall became aware of the problem. The two pictures showing the water company repair work and the signs warning drivers to slow down pretty much tells the story. City Hall has clearly received the message.

The taxpayers did their part when they pay the taxes that end up in the city’s coffers. Now it is time for the machinery of the local government to go to work to make certain repairs are made to acceptable standards expected in a major metropolitan area.

Memorial Day Celebration
The Raytown Arts Council and Council on Aging will hold its Annual Memorial Day Celebration on May 29th at Coleman Park located at 59th and Lane Streets from 10 to 11 a.m. at the main Shelter House.

Mayor Michael McDonough will be on hand to address the gathering. Live patriotic music will be performed by the Polished Brass, a band made up Raytown musicians.

The public is invited to attend this free event.

Paul’s Rant 
The picture below is of recent repair work done on 59th Street.Greg’s cover story covers the details of impending problems on 59th Street. There is no point in going over them again. However, it is important to point out the work performed on the street was done by a utility. Not by the city. At the same time, it is important to understand that such work is supposed to be overseen by city hall Codes and Public Works Department personnel. At the end of the day, they have the final say of whether a job is a acceptable by Raytown standards.

What concerns me is the poor quality of the repair job. City ordinances require the city monitor and “sign off” on roadwork before traffic is allowed on the surface. City code also requires certain standards are met in the quality of workmanship of utility cuts on public roadways.

Take  a close look at the picture. Would it have been too much trouble to extend the northern edge of the concrete work to remove the potholes and large cracks in where two sections of asphalt meet?

The photo does not do justice to the uneven surface of the new concrete surface. However I can assure anyone driving on the repaired portion of the street will feel it. If you drive in the east bound lane, be forewarned, slow down!

As Greg told me when we talked about this story . . . "If this was the quality of concrete work done on my driveway, I would be less than pleased."

I suggest my readers take a drive along 59th Street and make the determination for themselves. From my point of view it is very clear we need to raise the bar as to what is acceptable and not acceptable when utility companies make street cuts.

The Paul Livius Report 
Raytown Board of Aldermen Meeting – May 16, 2017

The Colors were presented and the Pledge was led by the Raytown Police Department Color Guard.

Mayor McDonough proclaimed May 14-20 as National Police Week.
Mayor McDonough proclaimed May 21-27 as EMS Week.
Mayor McDonough proclaimed May 21-27 as Public Works Week.
Mayor McDonough proclaimed May, 2017 as Older American Month.
Mayor McDonough proclaimed Mary Bell to be the Support Staff of the Year at Fleetwood Elementary School.

Mayor McDonough congratulated Park Board member, Nancy Nail, who has been selected to be a guest soloist on June 4 at the Lincoln Center in New York Center.

The Board passed a resolution approving the purchase of software and training from CI Technologies In an amount not to exceed $16,500.  The Police Department manages internal investigations to closely monitor situations of vehicle pursuits, force situations, and citizen complaints.  The related reports and files have historically been kept in paper form in file boxes.  This is an antiquated and cumbersome method to store and research this information.  The implementation of “IA Pro” software has permitted much more modern and effective record keeping practices.  The second phase of this project is the implementation of the field reporting solution known as “Blue Team”.  This module permits employees to report incident data directly into the internal affairs software.  This solution provides more accurate and timely reporting of these sensitive incidents and enables the Police Department to more closely monitor these high-risk situations.  This type of analysis has been highly emphasized by the Department of Justice and set as a goal for many Police Departments.  Funds for this acquisition were approved per the fiscal year 2016-2017 budget process.  This item has been reviewed by the Special Sales Tax Oversight Committee and found to meet the voters’ intent of that fund.

The Board passed a resolution approving a service agreement with Digitech Computers for EMS billing services and supplies including integrated patient care reporting software and related hardware in an amount not to exceed $12,500.  Raytown EMS billing was contracted to MED3000 in 2008.  MED3000 was acquired by McKesson, Inc. during the term of the agreement, and through a subsequent merger, which became effective in April 2017.  McKesson’s EMS billing operation merged with Change Healthcare.  At the direction of the Board of Aldermen, staff opened EMS billing to bid in March 2017.  Several proposals were received and evaluated, with Digitech Computer, Inc. emerging as both the best and overall lowest (6.25%, including hardware) bid.  We believe that the proprietary technology which Digitech Computer, Inc. uses throughout the billing process will allow them to outperform their competitors who submitted proposals in this process.  Though they will be working with us on getting set up from the 1st of June, no fees will be incurred until Digitech Computer, Inc. starts processing accounts on the go-live date.  For the two months of the fiscal year 2017 this contract will be operative, we anticipate Digitech Computer, Inc.’s fees not to exceed $12,500.00.  The proposed agreement before the Board has been reviewed and approved by Digitech Computer, Inc., EMS, Finance, City Attorney, and City Administrator.

The Board passed a resolution authorizing a letter of agreement by and between the City and Raymond James in connection with the issuance of general obligation bonds.  On April 19th in conjunction with our Financial Advisor, Columbia Capital, the City issued an RFP for senior managing underwriter for two upcoming financings.  The Underwriter purchases the City’s transactions for resell in the market, serving as the intermediary between the City and the ultimate investors.  The underwriter does not have a fiduciary responsibility to the City.  On the City’s behalf, Columbia Capital extensively evaluated the six responses the City received by the May 2nd, 2017 deadline.  Attached to the RBA is a memo from Columbia Capital outlining their evaluation process and recommendation to the City that it selects Raymond James to serve as underwriter on these transactions.

The Board passed a resolution approving the additional expenditure of funds with Tyler Technologies for a total amount not to exceed $153,320.  The Staff is asking for an amendment to the R-2928-16 whereas the amount not to exceed was established at $80,320.  This would increase the authorization of expenditures by $73,000 for total not to exceed $153,320.  This increase would cover the cost of purchasing the account receivable module for our ERP software, Incode X and EnerGov Suite.  The City currently utilizes Incode Software, a division of Tyler Technologies, Inc. for all financial, purchasing, utility, payroll, human resources, courts, and customer service software.  Adding the accounts receivable module will allow for the standardization and tracking of invoicing and accurate amounts due to the city.  The EnerGov Suite would include modules for Permitting, Licensing, Inspections, and Code Enforcement, including applications that would be used directly at the worksite to enhance speed and efficiency of documentation.

The Board passed a resolution authorizing the professional services of storm water infrastructure repair from Wiedenmann, Inc.  Utilizing the City of Lee’s Summit cooperative purchase contract and approving project expenses for 7008 Evanston in an amount not to exceed $21,612.  This past year a sinkhole in the backyard of 7008 Evanston was reported to Public Works staff.  Upon investigation of the sinkhole, it was found that the subgrade around the storm water corrugated metal pipe had eroded due to pipe failure.  The Staff has been called out numerous times to temporarily fill in this sinkhole.  A permanent solution is to remove and replace about 70 feet of 24” corrugated metal pipe and replace it with 24” HDPE storm water pipe.  The Staff contacted Wiedenmann, Inc. to investigate the needed repairs.  Wiedenmann, Inc. developed the cost estimate of $19,647 to do this work.  This is not a proposal or a not to exceed amount, but is a construction estimate based on a time and materials cooperative agreement being utilized through the City of Lee’s Summit.  The Staff is recommending BOA approval to be 10% higher than this estimate, to cover unforeseen circumstances that may arise with this underground work.

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Anonymous said...

The utility company is only going to repair what they tore up, nothing more. It is up to the Public Works to repair the cracks and pot hole. Some one commented that this administration is not "in bed" with Raytown Water Company, you might want to think again. Why wasn't the city inspector on site when the concrete work was being done along with the "wash board board alley"? He had to drive on 59th street either direction to see the problems.

Phil Jacoby said...

So - this administration doesn't curtail the police spending and this administration doesn't make the water company repair the street correctly and this administration isn't properly overseeing the EMS department. We elected three new aldermen. Why aren't they leading the charge in these problems? Two out of the three don't say anything at all at the city council meetings. The other one talks to hear her own voice without saying a whole lot. They didn't even say anything about spending an extra $73,000 last week. Why are they any different from the ones they replaced?

Anonymous said...

I see the topic of Super Splash is blowing up on the Raytown Unleased Facebook page. I thought that the Park Board was taking a year off to decide what to do with the facility. I recently saw in their meeting minutes it would take a $1.8 million bond initiative to revitalize the pool.

The question that no one has asked is why hasn't the Park Board drafted the ballot question. The deadline for the August ballot is this week. So this "Let's take a year off to figure our Super Splash" just turned into a minimum hiatus of two-plus years to get pool revitalization on a ballot. Kevin Boji and the Park Board are up to something by delaying this.

Anonymous said...

It wasn't the concrete issue, it appears to be the under bed of the roadway east of the breaks. It takes time for things to be handled by the people that need to handle the issue. Patience is a wonderful thing.

Anonymous said...

2:13 pm - The Park Board meets the third Monday of every month at 7:00 at the Park Office. It's open to the public and all are welcome. Why not go up and make your thoughts known? Better yet, call the mayor and tell him you want to be a member of the Park Board. That way, you can do something constructive instead of whining.

Jim Williams said...

The point I was making is that people can be part of the problem and sit on their couch and gripe, or they can be part of the solution and go to city hall during the public forum and express their opinions. People on this blog are do-nothing complainers.

Andy Whiteman said...

I remember when I lived in KCMO 1994-97 and street excavations were covered with thick metal plates that caused vehicles to bump as they were driven across them! These plates remained on the streets for an extended time! It was my understanding from reading in the KC Star back then that the excavator had to PAY to repave the street back to city standards. I don't know that how they do it in KC now, I but I suggest that the Board of Alderman pass an ordinance to require that ALL excavators (not just Raytown Water) restore the excavation back to city standards within a reasonable length of time (say 30 days!) Failure to comply would result in a substantial fine.
Andy Whiteman

Greg Walters said...

Agreed. People should work to be part of a solution. The first step is to identify the problem. The disaster on 59th Street, where the road is buckling and slowly sinking has all the indications of a failed substructure to the street. Has there been one word about it the Raytown Times? Has it made it to the agenda or been discussed at any public meetings? No to both questions. Now, through the activism of people on this blog there is some action taking place. The city is well aware of the problem. Signs warning drivers to slow down because of the uneven and dangerous ruts developing in the road is a practical step taken by the city. Those who drive this street regularly know it is deteriorating. The heavy rains this past week have accelerated the deterioration. I can assure you the Board of Aldermen is aware of the problem. They read what their constituents have to say on these pages.

So they are well aware of the condition of the street. They have two choices, fix the problem, or, allow it to deteriorate to the point where the road has to be closed.

We will have more to say about this topic in next week's edition of the Raytown Report.

Steve Meyers said...


Thanks for your thoughts and also those of the citizens on the unfortunate condition of 59th st. Yes it is a serious condition that has garnered the attention of Public Works Dept and extensive discussion circulated last week within the walls of City Hall. Greg I'm sure I can almost write your next week's thoughts about the state of our aging infrastructure and believe me it is a widely discussed topic and issue amongst City Leadership.

If one might wonder why serious ongoing budget reduction discussions or even recent decisions to rescind and revise longtime planned projects like elimination of the Bike Lanes on Blue Ridge saving 300k on that project, it is very basic and simple. REVENUE... Glaring and seemingly unforeseen emergency "Pants on Fire" aging infrastructure sewer/water lines are occurring at a more frequent rate and putting an already stressed and bulging Public Works budget at the forefront of funding needs.

One of the biggest challenges that this current group of leadership and administration will need to tackle wil be a long range goal to secure and develop enhanced revenue streams. We are losing ground in an attempt to make up for ignored areas that simply have not been addressed by prior administrations and now are rearing their ugly financial side effects.

I would like to take this opportunity to also reach out to the great and bright folks within our community and welcome your valuable input or ideas. Please communicate with your welcoming leadership group and share any ideas or concepts you may feel would assist our efforts to make our town a viable and welcoming community for both needed business and family growth.

Thanks for all you do fellow Raytown neighbors and have a safe and enjoyable upcoming Memorial Day Holiday!

Steve Meyers,
Alderman Ward 4

KMCCLA said...

On a happier note, congratulations too Clark's Appliances on their Re-Grand Opening Monday, May 22. When I saw it had caught on fire, I just about cried. Now they are open, and the place looks great. Stop and see them.

Greg Walters said...

The City of Raytown already has a law on the books requiring ALL utility cuts on public streets to be returned to the improved condition. So the problem is not the lack of a law. The problem is the non-enforcement of the law. Let's face it. The repair work done on 59th Street is not going to win any awards as a shining example of returning a street to its prior condition. I don't know if it is codes, public works or anyone else who is charged with the responsibility of checking out utility repair cuts as to quality of workmanship. It is apparent to me the standard used in KC is higher than the one used in Raytown. From my point of view, that is inexcusable.

What do you think?

Anonymous said...

It's not where the cut was. It was downhill from that. It's the water washing away the rock bed under the actual road. Patience is the key. It takes time for these things to to be resolved.

Andy Whiteman said...

Greg, Maybe the lack of enforcement is because enforcement is based on the judgement of whoever gets sent out to inspect! During the time I lived in Raytown there were many complaints posted here about lack of code reinforcement. I have observed lack of enforcement of both codes and animal issues. I felt a big part of the issue was a muni-judge whose judgement was arbitrary and not based on the code. I had a discussion with the city attorney at that time and she admitted that I would have fared better on a barking dog issue by going to civil court rather than as an ordinance violation.

From what I am reading here is that 59th Street has either poor construction or neglected maintenance that cannot be blamed on codes.

Andy Whiteman

Greg Walters said...

Actually, the large area you refer to as the cut is substandard. It is uneven. On the east edge of the cut, the drop from concrete to asphalt is about two inches! It is as if someone put a bandaide on scab and left edges of the scab exposed. The result will not be good. Here is the real test. If you had hired the same work to be done on your driveway, would you accept an uneven, bumpy surface?

Anonymous said...


It is nice you know everything about everyone who blogs on this blog.

I am sure several government agencies could use your supper hero powers.

The fact is you don't know anything about anyone on this blog as too many don't sign name or use a pen name including Paul.

However, this doesn't mean these same people are not making phone calls and doing other things behind the public eye.

Keep in mind if you have actual watched a Board of Alderman meeting the board doesn't respond to the comments nor can you make comments about personnel.

Jim Williams said...


At least I sign my name. You can spout all the angry words you want, but they don't mean anything because you're not man enough to sign your name.

Anonymous said...

Raytown Public Works is under staffed and under budget. There is only one city engineer that also acts as a project manager yet is expected to maintain and improve 10 square miles of infrastructure, including roads, sidewalks, storm water, and sant sewer.

The solution is not to raise taxes but to reduce spending in other areas (PD) and reallocate resources to public works.

Also, the katy trail thing that is suppose to run through Raytown has got to be looked at more closely. Indian Spring trails has had 4 murders in the past 12 or so months. I would not dare walk on any secluded trail in this part of town. Heck, I'm afraid to walk to my mailbox after the sun goes down.

Anonymous said...

Raytown does have a Right of way inspector. But if contractors are allowed to repair roads with sub-standard quality, then all roads will eventually become sub-standard, which is what we are seeing now.

Anonymous said...

Aldermen Steve Meyers,

When you have department heads and City Administrator who only work in Raytown long enough to pad their resume while they job hunt, and attend out-of-town conferences on a monthly basis, then yes it is easy for them to kick the can down the road for a few years then get the hell out of Raytown without making any real contribution to Raytown proper. We've seen this over and over and it appears will not change anytime soon.

Anonymous said...

Anyone know what happened to the lawsuit the city filed against the fire dept? It's humorous what a difference a year makes. Last year at this time it was doom & gloom and now it's all sunshine and rainbows.