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Raytown police responded to a shots-fired call in the 11000 block of East 74th Terrace shortly before 8:30 p.m. on Sunday. The caller told responding officers there appeared to be bodies on the ground in front of a residence. Arriving officers discovered three dead suffering from apparent gunshot wounds.
At a Special Meeting of the Raytown Board of Aldermen last Tuesday, the operation and management of the Raytown Ambulance Service was formally handed over to the Fire District effective in November 17, 2018.
The vote for the change in management was eight to two with Ward 2 Alderman Jim Aziere and Ward 4 Alderman Bill VanBuskirk casting the two no votes on the issue.
Voters in Raytown will have the final say on the matter. State law requires voters approve the transfer of the service from the City to the Fire District. That election is tentatively set to be held in April, 2019.
Another election will be held to determine if voters wish to raise the Fire District tax levy on Real Estate and Personal Property to help fund the service. A date has not been set for the tax increase election. The next available date set aside for municipal elections by the Jackson County Election Board would be April of 2020.
A number of years ago the voters in Raytown were sold a Public Safety Sales Tax. Voters were promised revenue from the sales tax would be specifically earmarked for use by police and ambulance service.
FOLLOW THE MONEY . . . The reality of the situation is told in the 2017-2018 city budget. Here is how much revenue was collected and how it was allocated.
Public Safety Sales Tax Revenue $1,654,380.00
Budgeted for TIF debt $ 300,000.00 *
Allocated to the Raytown PD $1,140,451.00
Allocated to the Ambulance Service $ 109,853.00
*The $300,000 payment is part of the city's obligation to pay down the debt of the Raytown Live Tax District (commonly known as the Walmart TIF)
These numbers show only $109,853 of $1,654,380 raised was allocated to the Ambulance Service. The rest, $1,140,451, went to the police department.
Raytown Voters were promised the tax revenue from the Public Safety Sales Tax would solve the city’s funding problems for the Ambulance and Police. City Hall then shifted nearly all of the money over to the Police Department.
City officials approved a budget that literally stripped all but $109 thousand dollars from the Ambulance Service. This “crisis” was created by City Hall.
The Fire District has gone on record stating the cost related to running the ambulance service in Raytown will be an additional .13 to .19 cent levy increase on Real Estate and Personal Property Taxes.
Raytown taxpayers have kept their part of the bargain. City Hall should keep its end of the deal as well.
SMOKE AND MIRRORS
This pattern of “make a promise . . . break a promise” is not new at Raytown City Hall.
Readers will remember the debacle over the Parks / Storm Sewer Sales Tax ended up being used exclusively for parks for five years.
Voters were told the sale tax was to be "split" between Parks and Storm Sewer needs. After five years the Board of Aldermen finally "split" the tax receipts. The current City Council set the "split" at 75% Parks and 25% Storm Sewer.
Voters have already approved and are already paying an increased sales tax for funding of the Ambulance Service. They should not have to pay another tax because city hall has mismanaged the funds of the Public Safety Tax.
at Coleman Park
Coleman Park leads other Raytown City Parks in two categories.
- Statistically speaking –
it is Raytown’s most popular park. It is home to a senior softball league and
its three shelter houses are full with gatherings every weekend.
Coleman Park also leads in city ordinance violations. Those include curfew violations,
excessive noise violations, the use of electronically amplified music and vandalism.
Coleman Park also leads in city ordinance violations. Those include curfew violations, excessive noise violations, the use of electronically amplified music and vandalism.
In an effort to help enforce city ordinances at the park the Park Board has installed high definition cameras around the park. The cameras can read license plates and can be used to identify those who participate in illegal activities at the park.
Sink Hole Forming at
59TH Terrace and Hunter Street
Those living near 59th Terrace and Hunter Street first noticed the street was always wet on the southwest corner of 59th Terrace and Hunter Street.
Last June we informed the city of the problem. They immediately sent out crews who took samples from the water. According to the report, the wet area was caused by a leaking water line.
This morning we took the time to document the damage to the street. The street has sunk at least 16” (measured from the top of the curb). On the other side of the curb, the ground has dropped nearly two feet.
The depth of the hole has eroded past the frost line of the curb.
This means that a simple repair of a leaking water line has now grown into a project in which a section of the street as well as the curbs will soon be in need of replacement.
The Director of Public Works, Damon Hodges, said Raytown Water Company is responsible for maintenance of its water lines. He also said the water company has been informed of the problem.
The City of Raytown is responsible for making certain utility companies, like Raytown Water Company, properly maintain their easements and city right of way.
Twice the city has been informed about the problem. In each instance, someone came out and painted lines all over the streets. They even put tiny little flags in properties near the problem area. This last time they added a traffic cone marking the sink hole so drivers would avoid it.
It is time they did more than acknowledge there is a problem.
It is time they fixed the problem.
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