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Peculiar to reduce permit fees for Performing Arts Center despite opposition from Hammack

By Laurie Bassett

PECULIAR – The Peculiar Board of Aldermen approved in a 4-1 vote Monday evening, a resolution limiting the Building Permit Fees for the Ray-Pec School District Performing Arts Center to the actual costs incurred by the City during the process.

Alderman Matt Hammack

It is common practice for cities and counties to extend discounts or waive fees for other taxing entities, and Peculiar has done this in the past. Only Alderman Matt Hammack opposed this action.

Based on the City’s fee structure for the size of the construction, the permit fee would have been $66,000. District and City Officials sat down together to reach a mutually agreeable outcome.

Since Peculiar uses outside contracting for its engineering and inspection services, they need to cover these expenses, as well as the direct staff time required to oversee an operation of this magnitude.

Development Services Director Roger Kroh not only researched how surrounding cities handle this situation, but also put together an estimate of the actual cost to the City. The anticipated cost to the district is now $19,500, but the actual cost could go up or down. Kroh said that this is consistent with how Peculiar has handled previous construction with the school district.

In other business, the Board approved spending $9,600 to double chip and seal Belinda Circle. Since this is a small street, staff want to use it as an experiment to see if this is a feasible option to get a little more life out of some of the streets in town when it is cost prohibitive to completely redo all those that need it.

Director of Public Works Monte Johnson said that realistically he’s hoping that the double chip and seal will buy 3-7 years. He said that the edges of the street will be the first indicator of how well the surface adheres to the existing roadway.

Hammack noted that the last line on one of the pages in the contract with Vance Brothers was cut off in the Alderman packet. It was pointed out that the part missing had nothing to do with the City, and only applied to entities not having an account with the contractor. However, he insisted that he wanted to know what it said and moved to postpone the vote to the next meeting so that they could see what was missing.

His motion failed for lack of a second.

When questioned, Johnson said that it could be postponed, but it would likely put them lower on the contractor’s list and delay the start of the project.

As staff was searching through e-mails for the original copy, a motion was made to table the item until later in the meeting, allowing the board to continue with other business until the missing information was located. This was approved in a 4-1 vote with Hammack opposing.

When staff found the missing verbiage and read it out loud, Hammack again motioned to postpone the item to a future meeting to allow him time to review it. His request again failed for lack of a second.

Finally, it was moved to approve the resolution, pending review by the City Attorney.

It was approved in a 4-1 vote with Hammack again opposing.

A resolution for Peculiar to join in with neighboring cities in their opposition to a landfill slated to be built on the north side of Raymore was also approved in a 4-1 vote. Lee’s Summit, Grandview, Cass County, and Belton have all approved similar resolutions.

Hammack also voted in opposition to this.

City Administrator Mickey Ary announced the resignation of Police Board Member Randy Neal. Mayor Doug Stark said that he will move forward with filling the vacancy.

Ary also told the board that they will be seeking RFPs for someone to hay Dunsworth Park.

The work session topic was one that will likely be revisited often in the next few years. Many of the roads in Peculiar are in dire condition. Staff presented an overview of some of the ones needing immediate attention along with information on upcoming stormwater needs that should be addressed before sinking money into the roads. The work session on March 6 will cover the financial aspects of these issues.

The next Board of Alderman meeting will not be held on President’s Day, but rather will be scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 23.

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